Revisiting the moment distribution method : Examples of a one-step approach

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)22_Publication in policy or professional journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-121
Journal / PublicationHKIE Transactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2014


The moment distribution method (MDM) is revisited in this paper. A one-step analytical approach is presented herein for the moment distribution analysis of indeterminate structures, which is unlike the conventional MDM that requires numerical iteration until convergence. The one-step approach inherits the beauty and simplicity of the conventional MDM, yet it can largely reduce the time and effort spent on numerical iteration. The exact distribution of moments can be easily obtained with merely one cycle of balance and carry over. The presented approach provides a simple and physically intuitive tool for practising engineers to analyse structures at the preliminary design stage or to cross-check numerical results from commercial software. To illustrate the one-step approach, three examples are given herein, namely a continuous beam, a non-sway portal frame and a simple sway frame. © 2014 The Hong Kong Instituition of Engineers.

Research Area(s)

  • continuous beam, moment distribution, non-sway frame, one-step approach, sway frame