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Concrete is the most essential building material
which plays a significant role in all building
structures. Its property is its versatility which is
its ability to be moulded to form any shape
needed for various structural forms.
Most software follows a same hierarchy of steps
in designing. The basic steps are explained here
in this article.
This is the heart of structural design. When
you start sketching the model, there are
several options. You can either draw it in a
grid or use a template. You can also import
the file from Auto-CAD and even see the
supposed image of your model after
creation. The following steps are done in
Some of the most used materials are pre-
defined in the software. The material which
suits to our building is taken. For designing a
concrete building, we choose concrete as the
material for beams, columns and slabs. The
walls could either be of masonry or concrete
depending on the loads coming on the
building. Other materials like steel and
aluminium are also used in the construction.
For the concrete section, rebar are used for
Other material properties are:
Modulus of elasticity of steel, E
Poissons ratio,
Steel density
Yield strength of steel, Fy
Basic strength of concrete, Fck
Density of concrete
Beams and columns are given length, width and depth.
Slab is given thickness and the slab type is defined as
membrane element which is to represent only the in-
plane stiffness of the members.
Boundary conditions:
To select a proper boundary condition has an important
role in structural analysis. The modeling of support
conditions at expansion joints and bearings require a
careful consideration of continuity of each translational
and rotational component of displacement. It is natural
to use simple supports for a static analysis.
Load calculation:
The loads needed for the building are defined here.
The software takes the loads according to the code IS
456:2000 which is pre-installed. The loads which are
defined and applied to the building are:
Dead load: Load on a structure due to its own weight.
Live load: This is the load due to moving weight. The
live load differs for different structure types.
Earthquake load: This load is the total force that an
earthquake can exert on a structure.
Wind load: This is a distinct load on the structure due
to the intensity of the wind.
Load combination:
Its our duty to design a safe and serviceable structure
and in order to do so we must predict the magnitudes of
various loads that are likely to be applied to the structure
over its lifetime. Hence to account for the probability of
the simultaneous application of various load types,
several load combinations are applied on the structure.
These load combinations can be created by selecting
the Indian code and also with the help of auto load
combinations where they are generated by the software.
The structure will be analyzed. Results from the
analysis like displacements, responses, bending
moment, shear forces, storey drifts can be seen on
the structure. It displays results in graphical forms
and also display real time-history displacements
and yield reports. The deformed geometry of the
building can be portrayed based on any loads or
any combination of loads.
Load application:
Here the loads are applied on the sections and slab.
The seismic and the wind loads are employed by
software. If the wall is not included then the frame
loads are put on the beams.
Concrete design is done as per IS 456:2000 and the
steel design is done according to IS 800. After the
information needed for the design is shared.
software performs the design for every structural
element. The design is created, depending on the
Details are provided in some software, where the
rebar used must be defined. The detailed components
include concrete beams, columns and walls, steel
framing, beam schedules, column schedules and
After the structural analysis, it is created to find out the
steel used for the reinforcement for columns and
beams. Results from the analysis like displacements,
bending moment, shear forces, storey drifts could be
seen on the structure. For columns, the axial forces
that come on it, the bending moment and the shear
forces can be obtained.
Some important points to be considered:
Columns must be located near the corners of a building and at
the intersection of the beams. The position of columns is
selected so as to lower bending moments in beams.
Avoid large spans of beams.
Avoid large centre-to-centre distance between columns.
The spacing of column must be lowered considerably so that
the load on column on each floor is less and the necessity of
assigning large sections for columns is prevented
Earthquake will never occur simultaneously with wind.
The value of elastic modulus of materials, must be taken as
per static analysis.
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