This document is available as part of the Construction Information Service. The Construction Information Service brings together a comprehensive collection of essential technical documents from a wide range of publishers in one online package. Covering all aspects of building, engineering, design and construction, it provides its users with a single source for all their technical information needs. Contact us today to find out how to become a subscriber to this indispensable service.

Design for movement in buildings

Technical Note TN 107

CIRIA, 1981
Design for movement in buildings

Document Status

Partially replaced or revised by new document


Core Supplement


Technical Note


Describes the types of movement which affect the performance of buildings and building elements. Methods and data are given to enable amounts of movement to be estimated, and design details are put forward to satisfactorily accommodate these movements. Sources of movement considered include: temperature and radiation effects, early age thermal movements of concrete, shrinkage and expansion resulting from moisture movement, elastic and creep deflections under load, and foundation movements. Dynamic response to wind or ground motion is included, because this is often an important design criterion for taller structures. Restraints to movement are often present, frequently generating significant forces. This study describes how these forces can be reduced, either by designing elements to minimise the restraints to movement or by providing suitable movement joints. In concrete elements, imposed tensile strains can be distributed by reinforcement.


Updated as C734 Design for movement in buildings (CIRIA, 2014).




Publisher History

CIRIA was formerly known as the Construction Industry Research and Information Association. They are a member-based research and information organisation who publish reports and technical papers covering building and civil engineering as well as transport and utilities infrastructure.



NBS has produced specification systems and information products for construction industry professionals for more than 40 years. The National Building Specification is the recognised UK national standard and is used by over 5,000 organisations. NBS is part of RIBA Enterprises Ltd.

IHS Markit

IHS Markit is a leading global source of critical information and insight for customers in a broad range of industries. Our customer product and service solutions span four major areas of information: energy, product lifecycle management, environmental and security. By focusing on our customers first, we deliver data and expertise that enable innovative and successful decision-making. Customers range from governments and multinational companies to smaller companies and technical professionals in more than 180 countries. IHS has been in business since 1959 and employs more than 3,500 people in 35 locations around the world.

Request a quote

The Construction Information Service (CIS) gives subscribers 'the information advantage' in today's competitive market.

To request a quote, complete the form below, selecting your supplements of interest.

  • Core
  • Building
  • Construction Management
  • Mechanical and Electrical
  • Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural

First name:
Email address: