Buckling Verification of an Angle Section

by Thibaut Frette
Product technical specialist


In this article, we will design an Angle section in pure compression, considering its principal axes (u-u & v-v).  

Keywords: Advance Design, Angle, Eurocode 3, EN 1993-1-1


ke most steel structural members, angle sections are designed not in their geometrical axes (y-y & z-z, parallel to the legs) but in their principal axes (u-u & v-v).

2.    Theory

The Eurocode 3 convention for member axes refers to the axes about which the moment acts.

For most sections, that would be the geometrical axes (y-y & z-z):

  • y-y is the cross-section axis parallel to the flanges
  • z-z is the cross-section axis perpendicular to the flanges

Yet, this convention is not suitable to angle sections, for which bending occurs about the principal axes (u-u & v-v).

Therefore, the u-u & v-v axes should be used instead:

  • u-u major principal axis
  • v-v major principal axis

3. Application

Assume a L 90×9 equal leg angle, subjected to a NEd = 80 kN compressive axial force.

Steel grade is S275.

The effective slenderness (λeff) refers to annex G from EN1993-3-1:

EN1993-3-1 (Annex G)

The effective slenderness involves a k parameter, which depends on the type of restraint, as per Table G.2 from EN 1993-3-1.

For buckling about the v-v axis though, the k formula is unchanged.

Table G.2 from EN1993-3-1

The angle section under consideration is properly designed.

4.     Conclusion

Angle sections should be designed about their principal axes, especially in pure compression situations, where buckling typically arises about the v-v axis.

The upcoming update of Advance Design (version 2023.1) will enable this option, while letting the user consider the effective slenderness ratio.

Learn more about Advance Design!

Visit website – https://graitec.com/advance-design/
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Shelter factor for walls and fences at the Eurocode 1

by Thibaut Frette
Product technical specialist


In this article, we will compute the shelter factor that applies to a free-standing wall to account for the presence of an upwind wall or fence.  

Keywords: Advance Design, wall, free-standing wall, Eurocode 1, EN1991-1-4, return corner


In a previous publication, we have covered the determination of wind forces on a free-standing wall at the Eurocode 1:  


The present article goes one step further by considering the interaction between several walls, and the sheltering effect they may produce on each other.

In addition to these supports, a user defined nonlinear support mechanism is also possible (“NL-Diagram” option in Figure 2).

2.    Theory

Shelter factor is defined in §7.4.2 from EN1991-1-4.

This coefficient will reduce the pressure coefficients when an upwind wall is able to provide protection to the wall under consideration.

The shelter factor can be determined on Figure 7.20, based on:

  • The spacing between the two walls (x)
  • The solidity ratio of the sheltering wall (φ)
  • The height of the sheltered wall (h)

3. Example

Assume a 15m x 4m wall, with a φ = 0,9 solidity ratio.

The pressure coefficients on this isolated wall would be:

  • Zone A: Cp,net = 1,863
  • Zone B: Cp,net = 1,375
  • Zone C: Cp,net = 1,237

Now, if a similar wall, were to be located at a 40m distance, it would produce a sheltering effect that would be introduced in the calculation through the shelter factor.

Of course, the alternate oblique wind direction should be considered as well:

The climatic generator Advance Design is able to automatically detect the potential upwind walls and to compute the corresponding shelter factor for each wind direction. 

On the picture below, Advance Design detected that the wall under consideration could benefit from the sheltering effect of an upwind wall for the Y+ wind direction, resulting in ψs=0,55.

Yet, no such walls were detected in the other directions, resulting in ψs=1,0 for the X+, X- and Y- directions.

4.     Conclusion

When designing a wall or a fence for climatic actions, the determination of the shelter factor can be a lengthy and tedious process, yet totally worthy as it can allow for a significant reduction of the wind forces.

Fortunately, in Advance Design, the detection of the potential upwind walls with the shelter factor they produce, is performed instantly during the automatic wind generation.

Learn more about Advance Design!

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Application examples of nonlinear advanced supports

by Naim Ayoub
Product technical specialist


This article presents application examples of nonlinear advanced supports. The purpose is to highlight how these supports work and the different mechanisms they have.

Keywords: Advance Design, Advanced Supports, Nonlinear Analysis.


Some structures require special type of supports such as:

  • Supports that work only in tension or compression (tension or compression only supports).
  • Supports that allow displacements/rotations within specified limits. Once these limits are reached, the supports are activated and no further displacements/rotations are allowed (gap supports).
  • Supports that block displacements/rotations until specified reaction forces/moments limits are reached. Once these limits are reached, displacements/rotations are allowed while maintaining the limit forces/moments reactions (hardening supports).

Advance Design has all these special supports available in the advanced supports feature. They can be assigned to each DOF separately and are available for point, line and surface supports (refer to Figures 1 and 2)

In addition to these supports, a user defined nonlinear support mechanism is also possible (“NL-Diagram” option in Figure 2).

2.     Application examples

1.1.            Gap supports

Two identical 2D frame structures are considered. A pin support is used on the left side and an advanced support on the right side for each frame (refer to Figure 3). Frame 2 carries double the load of frame 1.

The advanced support for both frames is fixed in the vertical translation and presents a 2 cm displacement gap in the horizontal translation (refer to Figure 4).

Since nonlinear supports are used, a nonlinear analysis is conducted and the results are presented in Figures 5 and 6:

In Figures 5 and 6, it is clear that for frame 1 the gap support did not reach its limit (1.67 cm < 2 cm) therefore no horizontal support force was applied to block the displacement. For frame 2, theoretically we should get twice the displacement since it carries double the load. However, the gap limit of 2 cm is reached and a horizontal support force is applied to block any further displacement.

2.2.            Hardening supports

Considering similar frame structures to paragraph 2.1. A pin support is used on the left side and an advanced support on the right side for each frame (refer to Figure 7). Frame 2 carries double the load of frame 1.

The advanced support for both frames is fixed in the vertical translation and presents a 10 kN limit hardening support in the horizontal direction (refer to Figure 8).

Since nonlinear supports are used, a nonlinear analysis is conducted and the results are presented in Figures 9 and 10:

In Figures 9 and 10, it is clear that for frame 1 the hardening support limit is not reached (8.27 kN < 10 kN) therefore the support was able to block the displacement. For frame 2, theoretically we should get twice the support force since it carries double the load. However, the hardening support limit of 10 kN is reached and it can no longer block any further displacement requiring more than 10 kN of force.

3.     Conclusion

The advanced supports are a powerful tool in Advance Design for modeling structures with particular support conditions. The user can choose between predefined support mechanisms such as gap and hardening supports or define his own mechanisms.

Learn more about Advance Design!

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Geometry capabilities in Advance Design reinforcement concrete design modules

by Mateusz Budziński
Structural Analysis Product Line Manager


 In this article, you will find out what geometry possibilities are available for selected Advance Design reinforced concrete modules – RC Beam, RC Column and RC Footing.

Keywords: Advance Design, Reinforcement, Beam, Column, Foundation, Geometry


One of the characteristics of good and universal design software is flexibility in the range of supported geometry types. Indeed, what if our software allows a full range of analysis, if it supports only one or two basic geometric types. Therefore, Advance Design reinforced concrete element design modules offer a wide range of geometry types and a large range of their modifications. Let us take a look at the capabilities of 3 of the modules in this regard: RC Column, RC Beam and RC Footing.

RC Column

Advance Design RC Column module allows you to perform reinforcement analysis of reinforced concrete columns. One of the basic geometric settings is the selection of the column section. There are eight types to choose from:

It should be noted that the type and distribution of reinforcement in the elements shown in the above and next images are only examples, as in practice they depend on many factors (starting from the load, through the individual settings of reinforcement parameters, to the standard conditions for the given country).

In the case of RC columns, it is also worth mentioning the possibility of specifying the beams and columns above, which affects the configuration of the starting bars.

RC Beam

Advance Design RC Beam module allows you to perform reinforcement analysis of reinforced concrete beams. Apart from the possibility of defining a beam as a multi-span beam, the main geometry modification possibilities concern the cross-section as well as openings and depressions.

Let us start with the cross-section of a typical beam – a simple cast-in-place rectangular section.

The next types of configurations available are cross sections in which part of the section is prefabricated. We can define different types of configurations with prefabricated beams, slabs, and cuts.

There are also various possibilities for modifying the beam’s elevation, including the possibility of defining lower and upper depressions on any part of the span, as well as defining rectangular and circular openings.

As with all other types of geometry, even for such an unusual beam as in the image above, the reinforcement is calculated automatically, taking into account all standard requirements.

In addition, the RC Beam module enables the definition and analysis of corbels, which can have fixed or variable heights.

RC Footing

Advance Design RC Footing module allows you to perform reinforcement and geotechnical analysis of concrete isolated and continuous footings.

The basic possibilities of modification for continuous foundations are the ability to specify bevels, i.e. the possibility of obtaining a trapezoidal cross-sectional shape. In addition, we can freely modify the position of the supporting element (wall).

Finally, it is worth mentioning that in addition to modules for RC beams, columns and foundations, Advance Design also includes other design modules, including reinforced concrete walls and shear walls, which allow many types of geometry. But that’s a topic for a separate story.

Learn more about Advance Design!

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Design of Masonry Walls in Advance Design

by Kamil Dziedzic
Solution technical specialist


In this article you will see how our new Masonry design module can handle walls modeled in Advance Design.

Keywords: #AdvanceDesign #Masonry

Starting with Advance Design 2023 you can model and design Masonry Walls according to Eurocode, NTC and CR6 codes. In order to correctly cover full approach following novelties were implemented:

  • FEM calculations – in the definition of masonry materials (single/two-layer/re-layered, slotted hollow/filled);
  • FEM calculations – in the definition of rotary/translational edge releases, including single-sided compression/tension releases;
  • Design of walls defined in the FEM model in the new design module according to codes;
  • Design of walls in standalone design module application for a wall defined and loaded separately by the user (without the FEM model).

1. Definition of masonry material in Advance Design

Advance Design 2023 implements a new material family – MASONRY, along with reference to relevant national standards, for example Eurocode 6 together with national annexes. Within this family, it will be possible to define walls of various types in terms of their construction – single-layer (including stiffened), two-layer, façade, cavity walls (filled or not). The type of wall will affect the mechanical parameters of the material, such as the strength parameters of the wall, but also stiffness. Thanks to this, it will be possible to define multi-material walls and you will not have to worry about determining their parameters yourself. In addition, a database of masonry units and mortars was implemented.

2. Masonry design module in Advance Design

Due to the fact that the masonry dimensioning has been implemented in accordance with our current philosophy, 2 work scenarios will be available as a dimensioning module – the use of the module on elements in the FEM model as well as the independent launch of the application, where the user, by defining the geometry of the wall and loads, will calculate any part of the wall without need to create a complex FEM model. So far, other reinforced concrete modules such as beams, columns, footings, etc. have worked on the same principle.

When working with a masonry wall in Advance Design, the key is how to transfer this wall to the module – as you can see, all pillars can be designed within one element. Working with the module itself looks identical to the existing reinforced concrete modules.

The method of determining the design forces is also interesting – strip method was used here, which was also used earlier as one of the possibilities of design RC slabs.

Thanks to this, FEM forces are converted into resultant forces reduced in the pillars. But importantly, the user will also be able to manage the width of the integral and enter their own panel division.

3. Masonry design according to Eurocode 6

On the basis of the above reduction or on the basis of external loads (in the standalone version of the module), the pillars are dimensioned according to the provisions of Eurocode 6 (or Italian NTC/Romanian CR6). Both detailed methods according to part 1 of the standard as well as simplified methods based on part 3 may be used.

The external and internal walls of the basement floors, intermediate and highest, are designed.

The scope of calculation is the design of walls:

  • loaded mainly vertically
  • under concentrated load
  • for bending from loads perpendicular to the plane of the wall (e.g. wind/ground pressure)
  • for shear in and out the plane of the wall.

In addition, the stresses can be verified  according to the classic principles of mechanics. The user will be able to indicate whether he wants to carry out all or only selected verifications, and the results will be presented for the worst or specifically indicated pillar.

Learn more about Advance Design!

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Advance Design Steel Connection – part II Advance Design                            

by Adriana Gherlan
Steel PowerPack Manager


This article is the second one in a series of 3. In this series, you will find basic information about Advance Design Steel Connection: what it is, how it can be used, and which are the main features of the module.

This second article will explain how to use the Advance Design Steel Connection module in the Advance Design environment.

Keywords: #steeldesign #connections #advancedesign

1. Advance Design environment

Advance Design allows the creation of different types of connections between the steel profiles. Connections can be created in the modeling step and the analysis step as well. Advance Design also performs the connections errors verification. The verification function, available anytime during the modeling and also at the creation of the analysis model, displays in the command line the connections modeling errors and warnings (if any).

2. Create connections in Advance Design

The creation of the connections between steel members is very easy. Once the steel structure is defined the connections can be added.

The connection types are available in the contextual menu at the right click based on selection or the ribbon.

Connections – Contextual menu

Adding connections using the contextual menu, is done by selection. For example, if we want to add the base plate connection for all the columns, just select all the columns and choose the base plate from the connection list. This will instantly add all the base plate connections for all selected columns.

For an APEX connection selecte all the rafters and from contextual menu choose the corresponding connection: Connections -> Create on selection -> Fixed Connections -> Beam-Beam fixed connection

Therefore, in less than a minute the connections are created within the Advance Design model.

3. Group Connections in Advance Design

The option for Group connection is created to boost productivity and optimize the workflow.

To group the connections, select the connections you want to have in one group and do a right-click to access the contextual menu. From there choose the Connections -> Group.

More than that, the connections which are grouped will be renumbered to see from which group they belong.

4. Connection Design

Once the calculation is done, in the Design tab of the Advance Design Pilot, we can find the Connections. As you will notice, only one type of connection is available for design.

Before opening one of the connections and starting to design it, you must not forget to check the different options available for the Design Modules, including the Advance Design Steel Connection:

Based on the selected options, different loads and envelopes will be transferred to the steel modules:

  •  Always transfer user-defined envelopes to Design Modules for steel connections elements

This option should be checked in case you have specific envelopes defined by you and you need them in the steel connection design

  • Export loads to design modules – Load cases and corresponding efforts diagrams/torsors

This option will export just the load cases and the corresponding efforts per load case.

  • Export loads to design modules – Load cases and corresponding efforts diagrams/torsors with the list of combinations

Besides the load cases and efforts, this option will export also the combinations.

  • Export loads to design modules – Load cases and corresponding efforts diagrams/torsors with the list of combinations + combination values of efforts diagrams/torsors

This last option will export also the combination values of the efforts.

An example of the MEP Connections will be shown further.

The geometrical configuration of the connection is similar to the standalone application but accessible from one single button on the ribbon: Geometry.

The Geometry button is regrouping in the Advance Design environment all the independent dialogs from the standalone application, in one dialog with multiple tabs.

The GUI of the tabs is identical to the one from the standalone module, offering the user the same smooth experience.

After the geometrical configuration is set, the Design Settings must be checked to make sure everything is according to the user project.

In the Design Settings, one particular option will define with which efforts the joints will be designed, the Combinations option. This option offers two possibilities: All Combinations or Envelopes.

All Combinations – the joint will be calculated with all existing combinations. Depending on the number of combinations, and in this case the number of connections grouped, the calculation can take longer than usual. For example, if we have 10 connections and 100 combinations, 1000 calculations will be performed.

Envelopes – the joint will be calculated with the combinations that provide the maximum efforts. The criteria to choose these combinations are different from one type of joint to another and will be always available in the Report under the chapter Load Combinations description.

For the MEP group, we are showing in this article, these are the criteria and the corresponding envelopes used to verify all the connections from the same group. As we can see, instead of 100 combinations for each joint, we have only 11 envelopes.

Once the Design settings are defined, the calculation can be run and the main results will appear in the console of the module. In case of warnings or/and errors, the corresponding tab will be highlighted.

If everything is ok, the drawing can be generated. This is done automatically while clicking on the Interactive Drawing tab available in the top left corner of the main window.

The report generation is similar to the standalone module. On the Ribbon, we have the Report Settings button, which allows the configuration of the content we want to have in the report. Here, the user can choose what chapters to include in his report.

Next to the settings, the Generate Report button is available. The report can be generated in PDF or DOC format, depending on the needs of the user.

Learn more about Advance Design!

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Advance Design Steel Connection – part I The Basics

by Adriana Gherlan
Steel PowerPack Manager


This article is the first one in a series of 3. In this series you will find basic information about Advance Design Steel Connection: what it is, how it can be used and which are the main features of the module.

Keywords: #steeldesign #connections #advancedesign

1. The History

The Advance Design Steel Connection module is the evolution of a French local product Melody Attache. Even if today GRAITEC French customers are using the local product, because of the evolution of the software industry, Advance Design Steel Connection was born.

 As I mentioned in a previous article, 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.

This evolution of the module can be translated into an embedded application in Advance Design and a standalone application module. Therefore, when a user is installing Advance Design, the steel connection module will be available as well, within Advance Design or standalone.

Old Version of ADSC

Version 2023 of ADSC

2. What is Advance Design Steel Connection

The Advance Design Steel Connection module is a specialized and dedicated module for joint design, using analytical methods according to Eurocode 3. The module is part of the Advance Design application and can be run inside Advance Design and as a standalone application.

In my last article, I have presented all the connections available in the steel connection module, connections documented in Eurocode 3, with specific analytical methods. Let’s have a brief review of the connections offered by the design module: Base Plate, Tubular Base Plate, Moment End Plate, Apex Haunch, Clip Angle, Gusset, Splice, HSS Bracing, Gable Wall End Plate.

3. How to use Advance Design Steel Connection based on environment

The Steel Connection module can be run together with Advance Design, allowing the user to design the specific connection directly from the Advance Design model without exiting the application.

Another way to use the module is as a standalone application, allowing the user to design the one by one the joints.

A. The Standalone environment

After the installation of Advance Design, besides the icon of the main application Advance Design, a folder is created: GRAITEC Advance Design modules. Inside this folder, the Advance Design Steel Connection icon is available, to launch the standalone application.

Once the application is started, the starting page will appear from where the user can set up the Localization, create a New file, Open an existing one, or select a predefined template from the available list for Types of connections.
Start Page

After choosing a type of connection, the user can start to configure it as needed. The accessible user interface offers all tools needed to achive the requirements.

Example of joint in standaloane

Configuration dialogs – Geometry

Once the geometry is configured, the design assumptions, the combinations and the loads can be set using specific dialogs.

Configuration dialogs – Design assumptions and Loads

As everything is set the calculation can be lunched and the results can be check quickly using the results bar available in the bottom left corner of the application window.

Results on standalone

As any other design module from GRAITEC, the results and all the geometrical details, including loads, can be checked in a simplified or detailed report. Also, the report can be generated in a DOC or PDF file format.

Report settings

I must specify that the detail report contains all formulas and articles pointing to Eurocod chapters.

Here below we can see an example of the Compression resistance of the column verification. As you notice, the chapters from Eurocode are listed on the right side of the report, in line with the specific verification.

Compression resistance of the column

As I mentioned at the beginning of or the article, this is the first one in a series of 3.

Don’t miss the next one, where I will talk about how to use the steel connection module in  Advance Design enviorement.

Learn more about Advance Design!

Visit website – https://graitec.com/advance-design/
Visit Advance Design Virtual Stand – https://graitec.com/advance-design-virtual/
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Wind action on free-standing walls at the Eurocode 1

by Thibaut FRETTÉ
Product Technical Specialist


In this article, we will apply the procedure from the EN1991-1-4 to estimate the wind forces on a free-standing wall with a return corner.  

Keywords: Advance Design, wall, free-standing wall, Eurocode 1, EN1991-1-4, return corner

1. Introduction

Free-standing walls are covered in §7.4.1 from EN1991-1-4.

This part is intended towards fences as well as buildings with so many openings that they should be designed as per §7.3 (canopy roofs) and §7.4 (free-standing walls).

2. Theory

The Eurocode 1 defines two types of free-standing walls:

  • Without return corner
  • With return corner
Free-standing walls will be divided in A, B, C and D zones, depending on how long they are.

Pressure coefficients for each zone are determined from Table 7.9 and may require up to 3 successive linear interpolations based on:

  • The dimensions of the wall (Length/Height ratio)
  • The length of the return corner (if any)
  • The solidity ratio of the wall (also called opening ratio or porosity)

3. Example – Free-standing wall with return corner

Assume a free-standing wall (Length: 16m and Height: 4) with a 0,9 solidity ratio.

This wall has a 2m-long return corner.

3.1.            1st linear interpolation
We perform a 1st linear interpolation based on the length/height ratio of the wall (ignoring the return corner).

Yet, the values we have just obtained (in red) only stand for a wall without a return corner.

A 2nd linear interpolation is then required.

3.2            2nd linear interpolation

We perform a 2nd linear interpolation based on the length of the return corner (noted L’).

Yet, the values we have just obtained (in blue) only stand for a solid wall (φ = 1).
A 3rd and final linear interpolation is then required.

3.3.            3rd linear interpolation

We perform a 3rd linear interpolation based the solidity ratio of the wall.

The values we have just obtained (in green) are the ones we should expect for the A, B and C zones (the wall is not long enough to get a D zone).

There are the values the climatic generator from Advance Design 2023 will return:

Of course, Advance Design will consider all required wind directions (perpendicular and oblique winds).

Advance Design will also consider more complex effects, such the potential force reduction that can be benefited from an upwind wall, through the shelter factor (ψs) defined in §7.4.2:

4. Conclusion

The estimation of wind forces on free-standing walls sure is a tedious process, with a high risk of errors due to the various linear interpolations needed.

Fortunately, version 2023 of Advance Design now handles these structural elements, generating the corresponding forces on your 3D structures in a single click.

Learn more about Advance Design!

Visit website – https://graitec.com/advance-design/
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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.

Learn more about Advance Design!

Visit website – https://graitec.com/advance-design/
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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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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.

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

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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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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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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