Increase calculation speed in Advance Design 2023

by Mateusz BUDZIŃSKI
Structural Analysis Product Line Manager


 In this article, you will find out what impact the changes made in the latest version of Advance Design have had on computation time.

Keywords: Advance Design, 2023 release, Performance, Calculation time


The latest version of Advance Design brings a great number of changes and enhancements in many fields of the program. One of the most visible changes are improvements related to the speed of computation and the way data is stored. This short article will show the impact of these changes.

Description of changes

To help increase productivity time in Advance Design, we have worked hard to improve several areas, which translate into much faster calculation times, as well as reduced file sizes of the results.

Three areas have been changed:

  • Improvement of the calculation solver and program architecture

These changes consisted in the optimization of operations, thanks to which the speed of the FEM calculations has been increased.

  • Changed the way results for combinations are calculated

Previously, the results for each linear combination for each node were determined and saved to a file during the calculation. Now the results are calculated while displaying the results, which has dramatically reduced the size of the project on disk as well as significantly reducing the computation time. At the same time, the increase in the generation time for graphical results is unnoticeable.

  • Optimization of verification procedures for steel and timber elements

These changes concern the design procedures for steel and timber linear elements, resulting in a significant reduction in design time. Although some changes and improvements are common to all standards for steel and timber design, special attention has been given to design procedures for members according to Eurocode 3 and 5.


Below are 5 examples that illustrate the changes between the current and the previous version of the program regarding FEM calculations, steel/wood design and the weight of the result files.

 The average increase in performance

The above models represent an approximate range. However, the effect is global and independent of the nature and size of the model. The table below, shows the aggregate results for the decrease in the required time, as well as the decrease in size of the project file compared to the previous version of the program for a sample of 15 various models of different sizes and computational range.

Note that the above values are averaged and may vary depending on the number and type of elements, the number of load combinations and the type of analyses performed. The smallest impact of changes is seen on smaller structures with a small number of combinations but complex types of analysis (for example nonlinear). The greatest benefits can be seen for large structures with a large number of linear combinations.

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Transfer beam analysis using construction stages

by Naim AYOUB
Product technical specialist


This article highlights the importance of construction stages in studying frame structures with transfer beams. For this purpose, a result comparison between Advance Design construction stages and classical full model single run analysis are presented for a steel frame model with a transfer beam.

Keywords: Advance Design, Construction Stages, Transfer Beam.

1. Introduction

In conventional structural analysis, all loadings are applied at once on the complete final structure before studying their effects in a single step calculation. In other words, no loading of any type is applied on the structure until the entire construction process is completed. However, in practice, structures are constructed in stages (story by story) and loadings such as self-weight, construction and finishing loads are present at each stage prior to structure completion. Therefore, at each construction stage, the distribution of displacements and internal forces in the completed parts of the structure (due to the existing loads) is not affected by elements of upper stories that do not exist yet.

Neglecting the construction stages effect in the classical analysis will sometimes yield wrong results.  A good example where this effect should not be overlooked is in analyzing frame structures with transfer beams.

2.Frame structure with transfer beam

A steel frame structure with a transfer beam in story 1 is considered. This structure is subjected to its self-weight and finishing dead loads at each story (refer to Figure 1).

2.1.            Construction stages

Construction stages are defined according to the actual story by story construction sequence (Refer to Figure 2).

2.2.            Results comparison

To highlight the importance of conducting construction stages analysis, results comparison between the Advance Design classical analysis (all loads applied at once on the complete final structure) and construction stages will be presented (refer to Figures 3, 4 and 5).

3.     Conclusion

The real structural behavior obtained by the construction stages analysis is very different from the results of the classical analysis. Neglecting the construction stages effect, will lead to a dangerous under dimensioning of the transfer beam and middle column.

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Supports with limited capacity

by Kamil Dziedzic
Solution technical specialist


In this article you will see how to define a support of limited capacity for example a foundation piles.

Keywords: #AdvanceDesign #Concrete #Piles #FEM

1. New advanced support in Advance Design 2023

In Advance Design you could easily define rigid, elastic and non-linear (tension/compression) supports. Starting with 2023 release of Advance Design the possibilities increase with new more advanced support type. This new type will allow you to define more complex non-linear functions.

The definition of new supports is as it was before. However the restraints are specified differently.

Right now for each direction a different function can be defined. There are 3 linear restraints (free, fixed or elastic) and 5 non-linear where user specify a specific function.

2. Support with limited capacity

One of the example of non-linear support type is ‘Hardening’. For this support user specify a limit in force after which supports reaches it capacity.

Above you can see a support that is rigid until reaching the limit in force of 500kN. After reaching it capacity the support weakens and has reduced stiffness – its not rigid anymore. The restraint become free or elastic if any stiffness is defined.

Please see this simple example below of a foundation slab supported by piles of capacity 500kN.

When external loads are of low value piles do not reach the capacity limit. All works with the same rigidity.

But with increasing the loads some of supports reach the limit. Deformation changes because 2 middle piles can’t take any more load. The forces are distributed to neighboring supports.

With further increasing of loads more and more piles reach 500kN support force, until point of the slab being unstable.

3. Summary

As you can see this new support type will allow you to perform more advanced and complex analysis, and cover a bigger spectrum of design needs.

Note that limit in force is only one of the possibilities. Thanks to non-linear diagram definition user can reflect any behavior of structure support.

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Results in tabular form in Advance Design 

by Mateusz Budziński
Structural Analysis Product Line Manager 


In this article, you will learn about the possibilities of Advance Design for the presentation of final element analysis results in a tabular form. 

Keywords: Advance Design, Finite Elements, FEM, Tables, Results 


In Advance Design, we can quickly and efficiently perform the entire design process of a building structure, from modelling to analysis and structural optimization. And an integral part of the design process is the review, evaluation, and documentation of the calculation results. Today we will look at one aspect of this – methods for viewing results from FEM calculations using values in tables.   

Available methods of presenting results with using tables 

Results in tabular form can be generated in two ways – by generating tables during report generation, or using a new mechanism introduced in the latest 2023 version, by generating tables with results directly on the screen. Let’s look at the two methods in turn.   

Report tables 

One of the main components of calculation reports are tables with results. The selection of the template tables that are to be included in the report is made on the Table tab of the report generator.  In case of FEM analysis results, the number and type of available table templates depends on the model, including the type of calculations performed. For example, if no surface elements have been defined in the model, then no templates with results tables for surface elements will be found in the list 

However, before we start to generate a report with a table, especially in case of results from FEA results, it is crucial to properly narrow down the range of results to be viewed. The reason is very simple – the number of results can be huge, especially when we have a larger model and a large number of combinations.  In addition, most tables, such as the internal forces table for linear elements, present results at each node by default. With a relatively dense division into finite elements, this can result in a table that is many pages long for a single beam. So how do I filter the report tables? 

 Let’s start by selecting load cases / combinations. This can be done directly in the generator window using the load cases / combinations filter window. Thanks to the convenient selection options, we can easily set the range of interest. The selection made in this way is common for all tables for which you are generating the report. 

However, if you want to select a different case range for some tables, then you can filter using the properties dialog box for each such table.  

This way is also used for selecting points in which the results are presented. We can increase or decrease the result point density by selecting one of the options from the list. For example, in the table of internal forces of linear elements, by default the results are displayed in nodes of finite elements. We can change this setting so that the results are presented at 3 points – at the beginning, middle and end of the member, for example. 

To have the table contain results for only selected objects, we can also use the table properties dialog box to generate a table for only the items in the selected systems. But we can also easily generate a table for any range of objects, even for a single element. To do so, before generating a table, you should simply select the elements for which you want to generate a report. 

Another important functionality is the ability to create your own table templates. It means that we can decide what information and results should be placed in particular rows and columns of the table. We can put different types of data and results in the same table, of course within the same element type (for example, a linear element). Such templates can then be used to generate tables in exactly the same way as the default templates. 

Tables with results 

In Advance Design 2023, we have the ability to filter and check FEM calculation results even faster. This is all thanks to the new “Results Tables” functionality which allows us to quickly display the results in tabular form directly on the screen. This feature is available  after the FE calculation has been completed and can be accessed directly from the ribbon. 

We can generate tables using default template list, and if we want to narrow the number of displayed columns, we can easily hide the unnecessary.  

But we can also create our own template with specific result columns and settings. For this purpose, a similar mechanism and dialog box is used as when defining report table templates. Saved table templates will be able to be used in all projects or deleted when no longer needed. 

Similar to the report tables, you can narrow the table content to show results for only selected objects as well as for only selected load cases/combinations.  

The tables also have useful features that make it easier to find interesting results in the already generated table. For example in an easy way we can sort values on columns, just by double clicking on headers.  And we can filter the results using special fields below column headers. We can use text filters but also different types of single and multiple value ranges. And what is great is that we can easily use multiple filters at the same time. 

Finally, another great feature of the tables is the ability to export of the contents of the table to an Excel spreadsheet. To do this, just use the export button and the whole process will run automatically. This allows us different scenarios for further external work with results. 

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Out-of-plane eccentricity of loading on a masonry wall 

by Thibaut FRETTÉ 
Product Technical Specialist


In this article, we will apply the methods from EN1996-1-1, Annex C to estimate the out-of-plane eccentricity of loading on a masonry wall subjected to mainly vertical loading.  

Keywords: Advance Design, Masonry, Eurocode 6, EN1996-1-1

1. Introduction

The vertical load coming from a floor connected on top of a masonry wall is usually eccentric.

As a result, this eccentric force will create an out-of-plane moment on top the wall that must be properly assessed. Annex C from EN1996-1-1 provides two methods in that regard. In this article, we will apply each method on an example, and we will compare the obtained moment.  

2. Moment on top of the wall

Annex C from EN1996-1-1 provides two methods to assess the out-of-plane moment on a masonry wall:

  • First method, in Clause (2), is based on the stiffness of the connected members (floors and walls)
  • The other method, in Clause (6), relies on a simplified expression

Although quite intimidating, the method based on the stiffness of the connected members from eq. (C.1) is said to be less conservative and therefore, more cost-effective.

We will compare both methods on a given example.

2.1. Assumptions

We will calculate the moment on top of the lower wall in the configuration below:

  • Walls
    • Thickness: t = 0,2m
    • E = 3192 MPa
    • Level height: H = 2,70m
    • Boundary conditions: Fixed
  • Slabs
    • Thickness: t = 0,2m
    • E = 30 000 MPa
    • Clear spans: L = 6m and 2,5m
    • Boundary conditions: Fixed

2.2. First method – Stiffness of the connected members

The first method uses a simplified frame model where members 1 and 2 respectively stand for the upper and lower walls, while members 3 and 4 stand for the left and right floors.

Moment is then calculated from eq. (C.1):


  • h1 and h2 are wall heights
  • l3 and l4 are the clear spans of the connected floors
  • w3 and w4 are the distributed loads on the adjacent floors
  • ni are the stiffness factors of each member (taken as 4 for members fixed at both ends and 3 otherwise)

All inertias are equal due to all members having same thickness (0,2m):

Eq. (C.1) can then be simplified:

2.3. Second method – Simplifed expression

The second method relies on a simplified expression

In case of an intermediate wall, with floor spanning on each side, the load from the wall above (NEdu) is considered to be concentric and each side of the floor is taken as supported individually by half of the total bearing length (a = t/2):

3. Conclusion

The method based on the stiffness of the connected members from Clause (2) appears to be less conservative indeed.

Yet, the gain turns out to be minimal most of the time.

Therefore, the simplified expression from Clause (6) is usually the preferred method, especially for manual calculation.  

Fortunately, our upcoming Advance Design module, dedicated to masonry wall design, will instantly apply both methods and retain the minimum moment value, ensuring an optimum design for your masonry projects.

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Calculated steel connections available in Advance Design Steel Connection

by Adriana Gherlan
Steel PowerPack Manager


In this article, you will find what type of connections can be checked according to Eurocode 3 within the Advance Design Steel Connection module

Keywords: #steeldesign #connections #advancedesign

Joint categories

The Advance Design Steel Connection module has evolved over the years, the User interface has changed, and a wide variety of steel joints can be calculated according to the EC3 norm, in a fast way, efficiently covering many of the situations that can occur in the steel joint calculation.

Part of Advance Design, the Steel Connection module ensures the configuration of a seamless solution, with the ability to manage and calculate bolted and welded joints, and with fully detailed design reports that include the calculation formulas and reference to the design code.

The joint library from Advance Design Steel Calculations is categorized according to the connection type, therefore 9 categories are available.

Type of joints

The Steel Connection module comes with predefined configurations for all categories, configurations that can help the user achieve faster the desired configuration.

1. Base Plate

The Base Plate joint is created by welding a steel plate to the bottom end of the column that is connected to the foundations through anchors. The joint can include several reinforcement plates, shim plates, or shear anchors.

The joint has predefined configurations that are categorized as:

  • Reduce base plate
  • Pinned base plate
  • Fixed base plate
Pinned base plate

2. Tubular Base Plate

 The Tubular Base Plate is created for cases when the column has a hollow section, rectangular or circular. The particularity of this connection is that the verifications are done in two directions, therefore the joint can be categorized as a 3D connection.

For this joint, 3 predefined configurations are available:

3. Moment End Plate

Moment End Plate joint of Advance Design – Steel Connection module is used to connect a beam to a column flange. Additional elements are available to customize this connection (i.e. haunches, plates, stiffeners, welds). 

4. Apex Haunch

Apex Haunch joint of Advance Design – Steel Connection is used for roof beams. It consists of two beams spliced with bolted end plates, on which haunches or plates can be attached at the top/and the bottom. The haunches are created from profiles or plates.

The connection has 2 predefined configurations: with or without external bolts, but the many other possibilities are achievable.

5. Clip Angle

Clip Angle connections are used for connecting a floor beam to another beam, or a column to a beam. The attached beam can be sloped to the main one. The angles are bolted or welded to the main beam.

The connection of the module has 5 predefined configurations which can be changed accordingly to the project needs. Besides those, models can be started from the default configuration and modified.

6. Gusset

Gusset connection of Advance Design – Steel Connection module connects bracing members using gusset plates. The number of bracing members that can be enabled can vary from one to three. For the calculation, the Advance Design – Steel Connection module implements Eurocode 3 international design standards, for all the connection components verification and parts of the connected elements.

7. Splice

Splice connection of Advance Design – Steel Connection module is often used to assure continuity for structural members (beams or columns) along their length. The splice plates can be bolted or welded to the main members. On web connections, U-shaped profiles can be used instead of splice plates.

8. Gable Wall

Gable Wall End Plate connection is used to connect a continuous beam to the top of the column. Similar to the Moment End Plate joint, additional elements are available to customize this connection (i.e. haunches, plates, stiffeners, welds). Like all the other connections, the Gable wall has some predefined configurations which can be changed according to the needs, or the default configuration can be initialized and changed as needed.

9. HSS Bracing

HSS Bracing connection of Advance Design – Steel Connection module connects bracing members with hollow sections, circular or square. The number of bracing members can vary from one to three.

As a connection from the module, it comes with 6 predefined configurations to help the user achieve faster the needed configuration.

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Graphical presentation of results for surface elements in Advance Design

by Mateusz Budziński
Structural Analysis Product Line Manager


In this article, you will learn about the possibilities of Advance Design for the graphical presentation of results for surface elements.

Keywords: Advance Design, Finite Elements, FEM, Floors, Slabs, Walls

Graphical presentation of results for surface elements

Advance Design can generate and calculate various types of three-dimensional structures, including those containing flat surface elements (such as slabs or walls), as well as shell elements (e.g. curved roofs or circular tanks). In addition to the preparation of the model and the execution of the calculations, an integral part of the design process is the review, evaluation, and documentation of the calculation results. Today we will look at one aspect of this – the ways in which results for surface elements are presented graphically in Advance Design.


The available methods will be presented on the example of one slab of a very simple spatial model of a concrete structure.

Figure 1 : Model in Advance Design

For the selected load case, we will check the graphical presentation of the displacement results, but the same methods as presented below can be used to display other types of results, ranging from internal forces and stresses to outputs related to the design of reinforcement (for example reinforcement areas or crack values).

How to change display settings for results

With the model calculated, displacements for all or selected part of the model can be displayed directly using the commands available on the ribbon. The results are then presented using a default display mode – in the case of displacements this is called ‘Deformed’. To change the mode, use the window with the setting of graphic results (opened, for example, using the keyboard shortcut Alt+Z). Note that the list of available display modes depends on the type of element and the type of result. In the case of surface elements, a list as shown in the image below will be available.

Figure 2 : Changing display styles

Available display modes

Let’s now take a look at the display modes available. The default one is called ‘Deformed’ which presents the results as color maps on the deformed structure. This mode is available also to linear elements, which allows showing results for a whole structure using common color scale.

Figure 3 : Deformed

There is a twin mode, called ‘Iso regions’, which also shows the results as maps but only for surface elements. The iso-value regions represent colored polygons on the planar elements corresponding to certain results on displacements, forces, stresses. Thus it is possible to view the highest stress areas on the planar element within a single glance. The values of these regions can be smoothed or not; for this purpose you can use the option “Smooth results on planar elements” from the Results dialog box – Options tab.

Figure 4 : Iso regions

The next display mode is called ‘Iso lines’. The color of iso lines correspond to the results color scale. Note that regardless of the selected style, additional presentation options can be set, such as visibility of the finite element mesh, display of extreme values or values corresponding to particular iso lines.

Figure 5 : Iso lines

The next display mode is called ‘Iso maps’, which combines the display of isolines and solid color maps.

Figure 6 : Iso maps

As mentioned earlier, we can control additional graphical settings. In the example below, we have the same display mode but with isolines turned off and values displayed in finite element centers.

Figure 7 : Iso maps with values

The next two similar display modes are called ‘X Diagram’ and ‘Y Diagram’. These are diagrams in the X or Y direction of the local system respectively, displayed in a plane perpendicular to the surface element. As these diagrams pass through the centers of the finite elements the resulting effect depends on the density and shape of the mesh.

Figure 8 : Y diagrams

The next display mode available is called ‘Values’. And as the name suggests, it displays values in finite element centers. Depending on the settings the values can be displayed in scale colors or in solid color.

Figure 9 : Values

As the values can be difficult to read (too small or overlapping) in the case of a dense or irregular finite element mesh or at lower magnification, we can display the values using another style called ‘Values on grid’. This display mode comes in three variations – for presenting minimum, maximum or average values in a grid. The results grid is a virtual mesh of regularly arranged rectangles used only for the presentation of results.  The setting of the mesh size is available individually in the properties of each surface element.

Figure 10 : Values on grid

Additional settings

In addition to the presentation display modes, Advance Design offers various additional options for setting the presentation of the results. Firstly, we can control the color scale. For example, we can set a reduced number of ranges with defined limit values.

Figure 11 : User scale

Another possibility is the presentation of results using Dynamic Contouring command. This allows you to filter the displayed values to a selected range.

Figure 12 : Dynamic Contouring

Another way of presenting results for surface elements is to display intersection diagrams. These are created using linear Section cut objects. You may create section cuts in the modeling step and in the analysis step, and like all elements of the model, the section cuts may be selected, resized, moved using CAD tools. Diagrams on section cuts may be generated in the element plane or in a perpendicular plane.

Figure 13 : Section cuts

Finally, it is still worth mentioning that for planar elements it is possible to view the forces and stresses results expressed in the main axes. For this we use dedicated display mode called ‘Main axes’. The two main axes are represented graphically by their color, the sign is represented graphically by the arrowhead direction (inward for negative values and outward for positive values) while the angle of axis orientation is given by the alpha values.

Figure 14 : Vectors (for internal forces in main axes)

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Verification of a masonry Wall subjected to shear loading

by Thibaut FRETTÉ 
Product Technical Specialist at GRAITEC


In this article, we will follow the rules from EN1996-1-1 to verify an unreinforced masonry wall subjected to an in-plane lateral force.

Keywords: Advance Design, Masonry, Eurocode 6, EN1996-1-1

1.     Introduction

Masonry can effectively carry compressive forces but this material only has moderate capacity when it comes to shear.

Yet, masonry walls may be exposed to wind forces that could cause shear failure mechanisms, especially on the top levels, where the compressive forces are moderate.

Therefore, shear resistance of masonry walls must be properly assessed.

Eurocode 6 provides a method in that regard.

2.     Sliding shear resistance of an unreinforced masonry wall

Unreinforced masonry walls subjected to shear loading are covered in section 6.2 from EN1996-1-1.

As usual with the Eurocodes, a design force (VEd, design shear force) is compared to a resisting force (VRd, shear resistance).  

2.1.            Assumptions

Assume the following wall:

Material characteristics

Initial shear strength: fvk0 = 0,20 MPa

Compressive strength: fk = 5,00 MPa

Partial factor for material: γM = 2,2

2.2.            Shear resistance VRd

Shear resistance VRd is defined in eq. (6.13).

First of all, we need to estimate the compressed length of the wall (lc).

The VEd lateral force is indeed creating an in-plane moment that can cause tension at the bottom part of the wall, especially if the compressive forces are low.

  • Moment at the bottom of the wall
  • Eccentricity
  • Compressed length lc

The eccentricity exceeds 1/6 of wall length.

Assuming a linear distribution and based on the equilibrium of force and moment:

We can assess the length of the compressed part of the wall:

  • Shear strength fvd

Assuming all joints (vertical and horizontal) are filled with mortar, we compute the characteristic shear strength fvk with eq.(3.5).

The design compressive stress σd can slightly increase fvk.


fvk does not exceed

The design shear strength is then given by:

  • Shear resistance VRd

We can finally compute shear resistance VRd from eq. (6.13):

Sliding shear verification:

The sliding shear verification is passed.

3.     Conslusion

This verification can prevent some of the shear failure mechanisms that may occur in masonry buildings.

Of course, hand calculation might be tedious.

Fortunately, our upcoming Advance Design module, dedicated to masonry wall design, will perform this verification, among others, in a matter of seconds and provide a detailed calculation report, with intermediate values and reference to the EN1996-1-1.

End bar Symbol

by Stevens Chemise
Product Line Manager at GRAITEC


PowerPack for Revit propose an End Bar Symbol command, available on the Detailing ribbon. It allows for a quick definition on 2D views a special symbol showing location of ends of straight bars

Keywords: PowerPack, Revit, Rebar modeling, Reinforcement Drawing, Rebar Detailings

PowerPack for Revit propose an End Bar Symbol command, which is useful especially for cases, when rebars overlap on the view to clarify reinforcement drawings.,

The End Bar Symbol command supports two usage scenarios:

  • called with existing rebar selection – symbols are defined automatically at both ends of selected bars,
  • called without any selection – a symbol it is defined at the end which is closer to the indicated point on the bar.

The type of bar end symbol depends on the family used (Detail items category). The default family and type are selected in the Reinforcement Configuration window.

The family supplied with the program (Graitec EndBarSymbol) contains two types of symbols:

tick (with or without bar mark annotation)

tag (with or without bar mark annotation)

This family also allows for easy configuration of the size of the components as well as easy flipping

Design of multi-span RC beams with Advance Design Modules 

by Kamil Dziedzic
Solution technical specialist at GRAITEC


In this article you will see how to define a multi-span concrete beam in Advance Design in order to design and detail it using RC Modules. 

Keywords: #AdvanceDesign #Concrete #Reinforcement 

1. Defining beams in Advance Design 

In Advance Design you can model very different types of objects including planar and linear elements, which will represent our structural elements such as beams, columns, walls and slabs. With defining right section and material we can simulate behavior of our structure using FEM analysis. 

If it comes to concrete beams we always could provide linear element stretching from one support to another. If we defined also intermediate supports like columns or walls our beam would be treated as multi-span. 

Figure 1. Beam as a linear element in FEM model of Advance Design

2.     Super-element concept for RC design

Even though we could easily design a beam shown on figure 1 above this approach has some limitations. Because it’s a single element we can for example specify only one section height for all spans. However, sometimes we need for a different spans to have different sections due to capacity requirements or some technical aspects (such as need of clear height of a story, leaving some space for ducts and so on).

Starting with Advance Design 2022 it is possible to use super element concept also for RC design. Initially it was implemented for steel structures, however using this workflow was found effective also for other materials.

2.1. Creating a super element in Advance Design

To create a super element we model each span of a beam as a single element. Remember to always define them from support to support. If possible, try keep local axes in the same direction and orientation.

Last thing to do is to convert these 3 single linear elements into one super element. We can do that using context menu at right mouse button or finding these exact options on Objects ribbon.

Figure 2. Defining a super element of 3 linear elements

Note that now you can pick whole super element by selecting any part of it. However if you need to select only a single span for example to change its section you need to toggle pick mode from super elements to elements. You can do it by pressing ALT+E or again find it at right mouse button context menu.

Figure 3. Super element properties

After defining a super element you can see it has now new own identifier, a list of elements which you can always edit if needed and also each element included in this group gets a postscript to its name informing user it’s a super element. Remember you can always cancel super element similar way you created one.

2.1. Design of multi-span beam defined as super element

When you are done preparing super elements, rest is as usual. We need to perform a FEM analysis calculations to obtain static results. Now we are ready to open a super element using RC Beam Module.

Notice that super element shown below has 3 spans of 3 different sections height.

Figure 4. Opening super element with RC Beam Module

Right now we need to specify requested reinforcement and design assumptions. Element will be designed as it was continuous multi-span beam. Reinforcement drawings and schedules also can be provided for whole element at once.

Figure 5. Design of super element RC beam with Advance Design Module

How to edit the same multiple joints but with a different configuration

By Adriana GHERLAN
Steel PowerPack Product Manager at GRAITEC


In this article, you will find out how you can edit the same type of joint but with a different configuration, without grouping them.

Keywords: #PowerPack #AdvanceSteel #Joint #Graitec

1.     The concept

Often in the steel structure detailing projects, we have the situation when the same type of connection is available, but with a different configuration, even if we talk about one parameter.  Even if the configuration is different, the detailer might need to change one or more common properties of those connections.

Today, in Advance Steel this is possible with the functionalities around the “Group joints” feature, but with certain limitations. The limitations are related to the fact that the joints must be the same type and have identical configurations (master and slave behavior)

2.     Joint Multi-Edit

The Joint Multi-Edit available with GRAITEC PowerPack for Advance Steel is allowing the user to change parameters in two or more joints from the same category but with a different configuration. The joints do not need to be grouped or have any master and slave behavior.

2.1.            Criteria:

The criteria to enable this feature is to select 2 or more joints with are part of the same category: Base plate, Corner Base Plate, Gusset plate at 1, 2, 3 diagonals, Create Stiffeners, etc.

2.2.            Example:

Following, to understand better how this feature can be used, an example with the Corner Base Plate joint will be explained. 

Two columns with the Corner Base Plate joint are created but, as it can be seen, the configuration is different:

  • Different anchors
  • Different base plates dimensions
  • Shear lug enabled or not
  • Leveling plate enabled or not
Figure 1: Lateral view
Figure 2: Top view

To access the command Joint Multi-Edit:

  • Select both joint boxes
Figure 3: Selection of joint boxes
  • Right-click to open the active menu and search the “GRAITEC PowerPack Joint Multi-Edit” command
Figure 4: Right-click menu – command Joint Multi-Edit

When the command is selected, the dialog of the joint will be displayed.

Note: The configuration of the last joint selected is the one displayed in the dialog when this is opened with the Joint Multi-Edit command.

Figure 5: Configuration of the last selected joint

Now, when any parameter is changed, the change will be propagated to all selected joints for which the multi-edit command was activated.

Figure 6: Changes’ propagation – Shear lug type
Figure 7: Changes’ propagation – Base plate dimension

The command is working with any joint category from Advance Steel as well as on any joint from the PowerPack.

Customizing a drawing style template in Advance Design modules

Structural Analysis Product Line Manager


In this article, you will learn how to start modifying and defining your own drawing style template in Advance Design modules.

Keywords: Drawings, Advance Design Modules, Bar schedules, Templates

Modifying Drawings in Advance Design Modules

The reinforcement drawings generated by Advance Design modules are highly customizable. The range of possibilities is very large and can be divided into two groups – the current modifications that can be done to the generated drawing and the modifications to the templates used for generating the drawings

Current modifications to the drawing are mainly done graphically or using a series of simple commands available from the properties list. Among these are ability to modify the scale, change the position of views on the sheet, add/remove views (as new sections), rename views, add dimension lines, move descriptions or symbols.

The second group of modifications relates to the templates used for the generation of the drawings. There are many different types of templates available, starting from the most general Drawing Style, which is a template collecting all settings and layouts of views, through templates controlling the settings of colors, lines and symbols used, templates for title blocks and templates for rebar lists.

Today we will look at modifying the general drawing template – the Drawing Style.

Drawing Style – general information

 The style template is the most general template and contains a complete description of the drawing, i.e. the orientation of the paper, how many and which views you see, their scale and position on the sheet, used drawing templates, title blocks and bar schedules.

Each module (e.g. RC Beam, RC Forting, …) has its own set of style templates and their number and content is different depending on the regional settings of the program. So drawings may look different according to the default templates for France and the UK for example. However, anyone can easily modify existing templates or add their own.

Changing Drawing Style

Let’s start with how to apply a style other than the default template. The easiest method is to right-click on the first item in the tree (Drawings) and select one of the styles from the available list – Apply Style.

The list shows the styles available in the default styles folder for the given element type and for regional settings (country). By selecting ‘Select styles’ you can preview the contents of the folder and select a file from another location. This command menu also includes a Save Style command that saves all current drawing settings to a new Style template file.

Layout of views

Most of the changes to the settings in the property list (including the sheet format or the type of reinforcement list) as well as the number and type of views are written directly to the template. However, the placement of views and their scale depend on the Layout of views settings. So it is usually not enough to move the contents of a view (for example, a beam cross-section) to a new location on the sheet, but to move its associated rectangular outline, which is presented as a blue frame.  Namely, modify the layout of the views on the sheet  

To check and modify the layout of the views in the current drawing, right-click and select Edit Layout command.

We will then see the layout of the views, which we can freely arrange on the sheet by moving the corners of the outlines (using grips). This will allow us to ‘anchor’ a given view on the sheet, also in relation to the other views.

By default, the views are generated according to the position of the layout frame as well as their scale is automatically adjusted to its size. But we can change these settings using two options from the view properties.

The ‘Views fit layout’ option is responsible for automatically scaling the view so that it fits optimally in the frame area. If you disable this option, the scale will not be automatically modified when regenerating the drawing.

The ‘Views follow layout’ option is responsible for the location of the view relative to the frame area. If you disable this option, the view will not automatically follow the frame area when the drawing is regenerated, i.e. the last position of the view after it was manually modified will be preserved.

The above description, of course, only briefly introduces the subject of template customization, so I recommend exploring the available options on your own. At the end, one more note – remember that the final effect, i.e. finally generated drawings, can also be saved directly in DWG format, allowing further changes or assembling drawings in CAD if necessary.

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How to determine the equivalent characteristics of a steel beam supporting a concrete floor?

Steel beams supporting a concrete slab are quite common in building practice.

Yet, one might need to determine the equivalent characteristics of the whole system (for quick assessment of dynamic behaviour for example).

This can be achieved manually or with a section editor program.

Let’s consider the system below:

The distance between the centres of gravity is 14cm + 4cm = 18cm:

Modelling in Advance Design

In Advance Design, this result could easily be achieved by using the Section Editor:

First, a rectangular contour is introduced, with concrete material, to account for the slab:

Then, the HEB280 profile is called from the library and positioned right below the slab:

In the calculation settings, we select the intended material for the equivalent member:

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Graitec PowerPack – Reinforcement layers

With Graitec PowerPack for Revit, a specific functionality has been introduced for assigning reinforcement to a layer (for example Top or Bottom) for easy and quick filtering of the reinforcement. 

The layer might refer to a geometrical location of reinforcement but also to another purpose, such as its function. 

The information about the assigned layer is stored using shared parameters: G.Rebar Location for Structural Reinforcement and G.Fabric Location for Structural Fabric Reinforcement.

The assignment is done automatically and manually. The automatic method is applied during reinforcement generation using calculation modules or reinforcement generators in PowerPack. For example, the top bars in the foundation have an automatically assigned value T (a default name for a top reinforcement). Automatic assignment is made to the selected rebars, for example in the case of a foundation to the lower and upper bars in the pad.

The manual assignment is done for selected reinforcement using the Assign Layers command, which is available in the PowerPack Detailing ribbon.

The Assign Layers command opens a special dialog with the list of default/predefined layers.

The content of the list is based on the configuration from the Reinforcement Layers Definition window, opened by the  Layers Definition command. The user can modify names for default layers, use the Active option to limit the list of layers that can be available during the assignment and add new positions/layers to the Other group.

The value of the layer parameter is mainly used in the new options of the tools for controlling the reinforcement visibility

In fact, in the Rebar Visibility functionality, there is a group of options for selecting by layers.

When the Top or Bottom option is selected, then an additional filtering for reinforcement is activated, respectively by the top and interior or the bottom and exterior layers. When the Selected option is active then the selection of layers for displaying is done through the dialog opened by the Select Layers button .

In addition, three new commands are available under the drop-down list under the Rebar Visibility: By layer, Hide All Reinforcement and Show All reinforcement.

Hide All Reinforcement and Show All Reinforcement allow you to quickly turn off or on the visibility of the entire reinforcement in a given view. By Layer allow you to quickly select the reinforcement to be displayed by using the Layer property.

This is particularly useful when generating drawings with separate views, e.g. for bottom/ top reinforcement for slabs or foundations.

Easy ways to create libraries of typical elements in GRAITEC Advance Design

Among the many features that make modeling in Advance Design easier, today we will look at two simple ways to create your own library of common elements.  These options can greatly speed up the modeling of upcoming projects, especially if you often use the same elements.

The first solution is to save element properties to file for assigning them to other elements in a current or new project. 

Let us see a simple example. Consider a steel structure that has already been designed and verified. Thus all the individual elements such as columns, purlins, lateral bracing etc. are not only correctly modeled but also have their design parameters set correctly.

 If in the next project some of the elements should be modeled and parameterized in a similar or identical way, we can create our own library easily. To do so, simply select an element (e.g. bracing) and use the ‘Save properties’ command located at the top of the properties window (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Importantly, all properties, both basic, such as section or material, as well as others, including release settings, system assignments, and dimensioning parameters, are included in such a saved template.

The template will be saved as a file in XML format, and you can decide on its name and location on the disk. In this way, you can create your own database of typical elements, both linear (steel, concrete or wood) and surface elements. Working with the next project, after modeling the geometry, we can select one or more elements of the same type (although not necessarily with the same properties) and load the properties using the ‘Load a properties file’ command (Figure 2).  

Figure 2

Let us now look at another solution. When we want to create a library containing many elements with information about their geometry, we can use a slightly different mechanism – saving selected elements to the library. To do this, we use the commands available on the BIM ribbon (Figure 3).

Figure 3

The procedure is also simple. Select the objects (it can be any selection of objects of different types, including linear elements, surface elements, supports, loads and others) and export to a file, specifying the insertion point (Figure 4). When inserting into a new project, simply select the file and specify the insertion point.

Figure 4

In this way, we can create a library of typical structural parts (for example, girders, frames, trusses, bracing systems) and, together with the geometry, all the properties of the elements are preserved, including the design parameters.  But this mechanism is more universal and allows you to write any object, for example a layout of selected loads, into the library. This functionality is also useful when one or more users separately model different parts of a structure. Then the element libraries export / import tool makes it possible to assembly these parts into one single project.

Learn more about Advance Design!

EnergyPlus simulation with ArchiWIZARD

1.    EnergyPlus engine

The EnergyPlus module in ArchiWIZARD provides access to dynamic thermal simulation covering the building envelope, inertia phenomena, glazing, sun shading, and occupant comfort analysis, from the same energy model used for bioclimatic simulations and RT2012/RE2020 regulatory calculations.

Based on the American «EnergyPlus» engine, EnergyPlus is a powerful and comprehensive computing engine that allows to go further in the fineness of the simulated phenomena.
In ArchiWIZARD this EnergyPlus module allows, among other things, to guide architectural choices, optimize projects, energetically audit projects, with high accuracy.

2. Creation and verification of the EnergyPlus model in ArchiWIZARD

Compatible with all CAD solutions on the market, ArchiWIZARD translates the digital model into an energy model, which will be the basis of all energy and environmental calculations. As part of the thermal and dynamic simulations, an EnergyPlus energy model is generated from the ArchiWIZARD model. In other words, the ArchiWIZARD model data is translated to fit the EnergyPlus calculation engine.
The ArchiWIZARD model data that will be translated for dynamic simulation are:

  • Parameters from the building envelope and the model
  • Scenarios

In addition to the ArchiWIZARD model data, the management of the solar masks and the duration of the simulation must be configured in the EnergyPlus module :

Management of solar masks
Simulation time

To start a dynamic simulation, after setting the input data, the EnergyPlus model must be created:

Creation of the EnergyPlus model

After the EnergyPlus model has been created, it is possible to check its consistency directly in the ArchiWIZARD 3D interface.

Model verification interface

Color code :

  • Green : environment (solar masks)
  • Blue : Bay
  • Volume in purple : Temperature controlled areas
  • Volume in blue : Buffer space

3. Variant manager and results

The module is accompanied by a simulation and variant manager, as well as an integrated result viewer to exploit live simulations in the ArchiWZARD interface.

EnergyPlus results interface and 3D view

ArchiWIZARD produces all input (.idf, .epw) and output files for EnergyPlus simulations for an easy interoperability with third-party applications using EnergyPlus.

Learn more about ArchiWIZARD here

How is the anchorage length calculated?

For the Base Plate and Tubular Base Plate joints, designed with Advance Design Steel Connections, to determine the bond resistance of anchors subjected to tension, an anchorage length needs to be computed.

The anchorage length calculation has changed:
 for the French localization (French design annex), the anchorage length will be
computed according to both CNC2M and EC2 recommendations; the smallest
length will be used to compute the bond resistance.
 for the localizations, Eurocode 2 recommendations will be used to determine
the anchorage length.

The main steps which are implemented in the calculation, both for straight and hooked
anchors are the following:

1. The basic required anchorage length, lb,rqd (EN 1992-1-1, 8.4.3)

The calculation of the basic required anchorage length is done according to the EN 1992-1-1, 8.4.3:

The values for the ultimate bond stress fbd are given in 8.4.2, as follows

For simplification, 𝜎𝑆𝑑 = fyd = fyk/Ɣs (acc. to paragraph 3.2.7; fyd = design tensile stress of anchor – conservative assumption).

Straight anchors – Extract from Chapter 3.5 from “Pratique de l’Eurocode 2”, J. Roux,
Hooked anchors – Extract from Chapter 3.7 from “Pratique de l’Eurocode 2”, J. Roux,

2. The design anchorage length (EN 1992-1-1, 8.4.4)

Since we deal with tensioned anchorage, 8.4.4 (2) allows for the use of an equivalent anchorage length (𝑙𝑏,𝑒𝑞), as a simplified alternative to the design anchorage length lbd given in 8.4.4 (1):

𝑙𝑏,𝑒𝑞 = 𝛼1 𝑙𝑏,𝑟𝑞𝑑, for shapes shown in Figure 8.1b to 8.1d
𝛼1 is computed according to Table 8.2 and fig. 8.3 (for hooked anchors):

Paragraph 8.4.4 (1) also provides a minimum anchorage length, if no other limitation is applied:

3. Warnings

3.1 Minimum anchorage length

The real anchorage length* must fulfill the minimum anchorage length condition:

𝑙𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙 ≥ 𝑙𝑚𝑖𝑛

If the condition is not fulfilled, the anchor bond strength will be neglected.

• Warning message: Anchor bond strength is neglected! Minimum recommended anchorage length is not fulfilled – 8.4.4(1) (8.6), EN 1992-1-1. In this case, l real for hooked anchors is considered to be l = l1+r+l2 (see figure below

3.2 Equivalent anchorage length
The real anchorage length* must be bigger than the equivalent anchorage length (see Figure 8.1, EN1992-1-1):

𝑙𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙 ≥ 𝑙𝑏,𝑒𝑞

Currently, users cannot define a custom anchor, so if this condition is not fulfilled, the bond resistance will be computed with the real anchorage length and a warning message about the inadequacy between anchorage lengths will appear in the report.

• Warning message: “Increase anchorage length! There is not enough length remained to match the equivalent anchorage length (8.4.4(2) & Fig. 8.1, EN 1992-1-1)”.

In this case, l real for hooked anchors is considered to be l = l1+r (see figure below)

3.3 Hooked anchors – Minimum hook extension
According to fig. 8.1., the hook extension must be bigger than 5 bar diameter:

If the condition is not met, a warning message will appear inside the report.

• Warning message: “The length past the end of the bend is smaller than 5 diameters of the anchor (Figure 8.1, EN 1992-1-1)! The Minimum recommended length is: (..).

Example of a report with warning messages

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Join GRAITEC Advance Design Award Winner’s Ceremony!

The GRAITEC ADVANCE DESIGN AWARD 2021 is an international contest organized by GRAITEC and dedicated to structural engineers and design offices. The award is for the best practical use of Advance Design in Steel / Timber / Concrete design projects. The submission process is now complete, the Jury has selected the winners and we are delighted to invite you to the Awards Ceremony!

Join our live broadcast and watch the Advance Design Award Winner’s Ceremony.
See live discussion of Jury members, Advance Design Award winnersi and Graitec representatives about the projects. Gain and share experience with this unique group of experts!

The ceremony will take place on 19 October at 3PM, in GRAITEC studio in Prague and we will host a live broadcast! During the ceremony you will get to know the winners and their projects, get behind the scenes stories and find out what the jury’s deliberations were like!

You can’t miss it!

Fill in the registration form and be part of the ceremony today

How to determine the rotational stiffness from sheeting to purlin at EN1993-1-3?

The following example shows how to estimate the rotational stiffness of a trapezoidal sheeting connected to the top flange of a purlin (CD,A) as per EN1993-1-3.

Note: Position of sheeting positive / negative

bT: Width of the sheeting flange through which it is fastened to the purlin (in mm)

bT,max: See Table 10.3

In Advanced Design, the rotational stiffness from sheeting to purlin can be considered when the Advanced Stability feature is enabled:

The CD,A rotational stiffness can then be specified in the bedding tab, as the KRx component:

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Importance of Performance Point calculation for Pushover Analysis in Advance Design

The Pushover is a static nonlinear analysis in which the structure is pushed gradually following a predefined load pattern distribution. Material nonlinearities in structural elements are usually modeled by concentrated plastic hinges and the option for including geometrical nonlinearities is available.

A control node, generally located at the top level of the structure, is considered to monitor the lateral displacement while the load is increased. The base shear is plotted Versus the control node lateral displacement and the resulting graph is called the Pushover curve.

The pushover curve represents the structural capacity to resist lateral loads and for this reason it is also called the capacity curve. On the other hand, the adequate seismic response spectrum represents the seismic demand and is also referred to as the demand curve.

The purpose of the pushover analysis is to determine the maximum structural nonlinear response to seismic loads. This extremum is provided in the form of maximum control node displacement. Then, based on its value, the location and plastic limit state of hinges are determined and the inter story drift is checked.

The sought maximum response is found at a point that balances between the structural capacity and the seismic demand. This point is called Performance Point and in Advance Design it can be calculated according to the Eurocode 8 N2 method or the ATC-40 Capacity Spectrum Method (CSM).

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