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Archives for StruCalc Features

Footing Module Reinforcement

I really like to have the opportunity to explain why we do things the way we do. Well, in this video I give you the chance to glimpse inside my mind and see what’s going on. I often get the comment that the footing module requires way too much reinforcement even when it might not be necessary. If any of you have thought this, you are not alone. After you watch this video you will understand why.

Footing Module Reinforcement

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Dynamic Loading Diagram

Here at StruCalc we really want the customer to know that we are on their team. We want you to succeed. We listen to the requests coming from our clients. That is why we made the Dynamic Loading Diagram and this video briefly will introduce you to the idea behind it. We are happy with how this turned out. Feel free to make suggestions in Toby’s Corner if you have any good ideas.

Watch the video here

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Load Calculator for Footings

In this first video I introduce a feature that often gets overlooked. In the event you want to quickly design a continuous footing or you’re just tired of the tedious calculations that go in to load paths, StruCalc has come up with the Load Calculator. You can quickly place a final load on a footing starting at the Roof and moving down to the upper floor and then finally the lower floor. This can be done in literally about 20 seconds. I think that is pretty cool.

Watch the video here

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StruCalc Diagrams

Loading Diagram

The loading diagram is perfect for all of those teachers that wanted to see a free body diagram.  The loading diagram is a visual representation of the loading on the beam being designed.  Below the loading diagram there is also a summary of the various loads on the beam.  This is available in any of the beam design modules, but excludes the footing and column design modules.

 StruCalc Loading Diagram

The loading diagram above shows all of the different loads available:

  • point loads (in green)
  • uniform loads (shown on the center span)
  • beam self weight loads (shown on the left span)
  • trapezoidal loads (rectangular, trapezoidal, triangular; shown in red)

It also shows the reactions as determined by the pin setup you choose in the design mode. The loads are all scaled relative to each other’s magnitude. You can visually see that the left span TR1 load is twice that of both the center span TR1 and TR2 loads. Also it is possible to see that P3 is three times the magnitude of P1.

Shear/Moment/Deflection Diagrams

StruCalc also provides the shear, moment, and deflection diagrams (VMD Diagrams).  The diagrams are available for all possible loading conditions along all the spans of the beam.  StruCalc will automatically show the controlling shear, moment, and deflection, but by typing in a location and hitting calculate the shear, moment, and deflection values will be displayed.  This is available in any of the beam design modules but also excludes the footing and column design modules.

Strucalc VMD Diagram

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Flitch Beams

Flitch beams are available options to design with in each of the following StruCalc  modules:

  • Uniformly Loaded Floor Beam
  • Roof Beam
  • Combination Roof And Floor Beam
  • Multi-Loaded Multi-Span Beam
  • Multi-Span Floor Beam
  • Multi-Span Roof Beam

StruCalc gives the option of designing a flitch beam with either solid sawn lumber or structural composite lumber.  Switching to the flitch beam option is as easy as switching to design with glulams or solid sawn beams.

First select either a Solid Sawn or Structural Composite flitch beam from the material drop down menu:

Flitch Beam 1

StruCalc then loads the details toolbar with the available flitch beam options. These are the same for both solid sawn and structural composite lumber:

Flitch Beam 2

StruCalc allows for flitch beams with up to three steel plates and five solid sawn or structural composite lumber plies.  The depth of the steel plate is set at the depth of the solid sawn or structural composite member.

When designing a multi-span flitch beam StruCalc does require that the top of the beam be fully braced to resist lateral buckling.  This can typically be achieved just by the floor framing.  Floor joists at 16 inches on center should be considered fully braced.

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Footing Design Module

StruCalc’s footing design module allows for the design of square, rectangular and/or continuous footings.  The footing module will provide size and reinforcement requirements for any concrete footing loaded with pure vertical load.  After a footing type has been specified StruCalc will then want to know what is providing the load; this will mean specifying the column type for the square or rectangular footing, or the stemwall type for the continuous footing.

Here you can see the load selection criteria for square and rectangular footings:

Square or Rectangular Footing

And here you can see selecting a continuous footing allows for selecting the stemwall type and weight in pcf:

Continuous Footing

After the footing type has been entered it will then be appropriate to enter the loads on the footing.  The loads can come from two sources:  calculations elsewhere in the structure that might result in reactions from beams, columns, walls, etc., or they might come from the use of the load calculator.  The load calculator will generate loads on the footing based on user set floor, roof, and wall loads followed by specifying tributary widths or areas.

You can see the standard load inputs of Live Load and Dead Load above. Selecting the Load Calculator option gives you this calculator:

Footing Load Calculator

Simply filling in the load options in the calculator will automatically calculate the Live Load and Dead Load.

After the loads have been entered the there remains some additional footing/environment information that will need to be entered.  Steel yield strength, concrete compressive strength, soil bearing pressure, reinforcement cover, and reinforcement bar size will all need to be entered.  StruCalc preloads some common values for the above mention properties, but the user is free to change any that might not be accurate.  More information about the column would also need to be entered now when doing a square or rectangular footing design.

Now, when designing a square or rectangular footing StruCalc will require a depth and a trial footing width (and length for rectangular footing) to be entered.

 Rectangular Footing

After, they have been entered StruCalc will verify their adequacy as well as give the reinforcement requirements.  If the dimensions of the footing are inadequate a red bar will appear in the lower right hand corner of the screen and new dimensions will need to be entered.  It will be at this point though, that StruCalc will have calculated a required area for the footing.  This will allow the user to specify dimensions to satisfy the area required.

Square or Rectangular Footing Requirements

If the user is designing a continuous footing then the stemwall thickness and height, as well as the footing depth will all need to be entered.  After they have been entered StruCalc will generate a footing width required as well as the continuous reinforcement that is required.

Continuous Footing                        Continuous Footing Reinforcement Requirements                    Continuous Footing Requirements

For either of the three types of footings you can also add a soil weight load and it will compensate in the footing’s total load for the additional required load. You can select this option using the Calculate Soil Weight Above Footing as shown below:

Footing Soil Weight Load Addition

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StruCalc Column Design

The column module in StruCalc is set up to design most posts in residential or light commercial projects.  The program first asks the user to specify the type of column to be designed. There are five different types of materials available in the column module:

  • solid sawn
  • glulam
  • structural composite
  • steel
  • tube steel

Each of these materials then has selections from the current National Design Specification in use for species, grade, width and depth.

After the material has been selected the overall height of the post must be entered followed by the unbraced length in each direction. The unbraced length of the column would be the distance between any sort of bracing that might be provided within the structure (drywall, sheathing, kickers, etc.). The column end condition, K (e) is automatically set at 1.0 for pin-pin supported columns and 2.1 for cantilevered columns.

Once the overall conditions of the column have been established the loads must be entered. The module first asks for any vertical load applied to the column followed by the load eccentricity. The load eccentricity is a measure of how far away from the center of the column the load is applied. Looking at the post in plan view there would be both an x and y measurement to how far the load is away from the center of the column, and hence, the module asks for both to be entered.

Once the vertical loads have been applied, the module then asks for any lateral loads to be entered. Lateral loads can be entered in the form of:

  • a uniform load across the entire column
  • point loads placed at various locations on the column
  • partially distributed loads on the column

It will also ask which face of the column the lateral loads are being applied. As well as if the lateral loads are wind and/or seismic loads (for wood, glulam, or structural composite columns).

One other important feature within the column module is the ability to do a stud wall design. This part of the module will verify the adequacy of stud size and spacing based on the length of the studs and the vertical and lateral loads applied to the studs. This part of the module will unfortunately not specify shearwall nailing. Here is a view of how StruCalc applies loads and measurements in stud column design:

Stud Column Design In StruCalc

Here is a view of how StruCalc applies the loads and measurements in its normal column design module:

Standard StruCalc Column

 Finally here is a view of the load entering interface for column design please click the thumbnail for a detailed view:

Cantilever Column in StruCalc
 

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Cantilevered Column

Within the column module of StruCalc there is the ability to calculate a cantilevered column. 

The column module typically assumes a pin-pin connection for the end supports, but the end condition can be changed to a cantilever inside the module.  Once a cantilever has been designated by selecting the Cantilever Column checkbox the Column End Condition or K(e) value will change from 1 to 2.1 and the top of the column will then be unrestrained.

This is particularly useful for posts that are supporting lateral loads of some kind such as:

  • pole barn supports
  • car port supports
  • wind post design
  • fence post

You can view the representation of this type of a column in StruCalc by clicking the thumbnail below

Cantilever Column in StruCalc

Follow this link for more information on StruCalc columns

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Hip And Valley Beam Design In Roof Beams

Within StruCalc is the hip/valley beam portion of the roof beam module.  Our users can easily determine the size of a hip or valley beam by entering the span length and the pitch of the two roofs that are coming together. StruCalc will then determine the slope adjusted actual length of the beam, behind the scenes StruCalc also calculates the loading that the beam feels, and the size of the member. These are then viewable in the print outs.

Below is an actual representation of a hip beam in a construction view before inputting the design into StruCalc:

Hip Valley Beam Design

As you can see in the actual module here please click the thumbnail for design view:

 Hip Beam in StruCalc

StruCalc offers these options in Hip/Valley beam design:

  • Choosing to force Side 1 and Side 2 to be equal length and equal roof pitch
  • Allowing Side 1 and Side 2 to have independent width and pitch
  • Choosing Half Rafter tributary Width or Full Rafter Tributary Width independently for each Side 1 and Side 2
  • Adding Intermediate Support at any distance along the beam from the left end
  • Checking Unbalanced Loads

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