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Structural design and residential construction are common tasks for the building contractor. A contractor, architect, structural engineer, or the consumer may take part in the structural design process. Residential construction is a complicated process, and many consumers and professionals turn to a structural analysis software program to assist with the structural design process.
Structural analysis software programs assist the purchaser with a wide variety of building design applications. Beam design, footing design, and column design are all included in quality structural analysis software.
The structural design of a building is critical to the structure’s stability. One misplaced column or beam can result in property damage, personal injury, or collapse of the building. Structural design programs assist the designer in creating a stable, attractive residential design that fits the needs of the consumer.
The structural design of a residential building is much more than a floor plan and aesthetic design. It is also a blueprint for a sound structure that is designed to withstand the forces of nature, the effect of the residents, and the ravages of time.
Structural Design and Residential Construction: From the Contractor’s Point of View
A building contractor values his or her time. A contractor works on a tight schedule and places enormous importance on meeting the needs of the consumer. An unhappy homeowner is bad for business. The majority of consumers hire a contractor with a set budget.
They want to get the most values out of their new home as is possible. Errors in the structural design of a residential construction project can be costly for both the contractor and the homeowner. Structural analysis software helps eliminate design errors before a single brick is laid or the first nail is driven.
Residential construction can be very stressful for the homeowner. Many homeowners can become finicky, demanding, or downright hostile during this stressful period. Last minute changes to the structural design of a residence equate more stress for the building contractor as well. With the use of a structural analysis software program, these last minute changes are quickly and easily integrated into the existing residential construction plan.
Structural Design and Residential Construction: From the Home-owner’s Point of View
Every homeowner wants a quality home that does not drain his or her bank account. Having realistic expectations about the structural design of a residence in relation to budget set for the residential construction helps reduce the stress level for the homeowner.
A structural analysis software program helps the consumer plan out the details of the structural design and evaluates the cost effectiveness of such a plan. Having a detailed residential construction plan also aids the homeowner in setting a realistic budge for the project.
A structural analysis software program helps eliminate problems in the structural design of the home and thereby reduces the cost of construction by eliminating the need for alterations during the construction phase.
Structural design and residential construction are completed more quickly and smoothly when the homeowners or building contractors decide to use a structural analysis software program.
Structural design software has many features and benefits for builders, contractors, architects, and even the industrious homeowner. Structural design software is a useful tool that saves time and money for anyone involved in building or remodeling structures. If you are considering purchasing structural design software for your business or personal use, this review of the features and benefits of structural design software will help you determine if an investment in structural design software is right for you.
Features of Structural Design Software
Not every structural design software program is the same. Some structural design software is very basic while other programs have extra features. Some structural design software is geared toward professional architects, contractors, and builders, and other programs are better suited for the homeowner remodeling his or her own house. A good structural design software program has features that are suited for a wide variety of uses and is easy to use, right out of the box.
A well-rounded structural design software program includes footing design, column design, and beam design. Structural design software should also include features for wood construction, steel construction, and manufactured building supplies.
An exceptional structural engineering software program also includes added features like flitch beam design, hip and valley beam design, international building codes, laterally loaded column design, local building codes, multi- span analysis, rectangular and continuous footing design, sheer and moment diagrams, steel angles, and wide flange steel columns.
Benefits of Structural Design Software
You may be wondering who uses structural engineering software. Architects, engineers, designers, and builders all benefit from using structural engineering design software. Structural engineering students and homeowners remodeling their home can benefit from structural engineering software.
Structural design software saves users time by streamlining the structural design process. A good quality structural engineering software program includes building codes that apply to your specific geographical location. This feature saves time by eliminating the extensive research and double-checking that would otherwise be required without the use of structural design software.
Structural design software also saves money. Not only does it cut costs by streamlining the design phase of construction, it eliminates costly mistakes and last minute alterations in the design of a structure. Using structural design software also ensures that structures meet all building regulations , thereby eliminating fines and costly alterations to bring a structure up to code.
Structural design software saves builders, architects, engineers, and designers time and money. Be sure to check out the features of a structural design software program before purchasing it, to ensure it meets your design needs.
Designing Earthquake Safe Buildings and Structures
Buildings and structures are susceptible to the ravaging devastation of earthquakes. Great amounts of research have been performed to determine what types of buildings and structures are able to withstand an earthquake and how structural engineers can design earthquake-safe buildings and structures for the future.
Flexibility is Key
One of the most important physical traits of earthquake safe buildings and structures is flexibility. A rigid structure will crumble and collapse during the movement caused by an earthquake. Taller structures are inherently more flexible than two or three story buildings and structures. Shorter buildings and structures require greater amounts of reinforcement to withstand the forces of an earthquake.
The construction materials used in buildings and structures can significantly help reduce the amount of damage caused during an earthquake. Wood and steel have greater flexibility than stucco, unreinforced concrete, or masonry.
Buildings and structures can be created with additional strategically placed beams that help transfer the energy of the sway of the building during a quake to the base of the structure and the surrounding earth. Reinforced beams and trusses can also help prevent warping and collapse of buildings and structures during and after an earthquake.
Specially designed foundations for buildings and structures can also help limit damage. Foundational plates can be layered to allow for a sliding movement during a quake, providing a stable base for the structure throughout the movement. Another type of foundational alteration is the addition of flexible cushions in the foundation. These flexible cushions absorb movement and energy during an earthquake allowing the structure to remain intact.
Soil Types Can Limit Damage
Softer soils and surrounding earth that contains a high amount of moisture are more prone to induce greater amounts of structural damage during an earthquake. This is partly due to the properties of resonance as energy passes through the soil during the shocks of the quake. Providing additional solid breaks in the soil surrounding the foundation and building on solid earth, such as bedrock, greatly reduces the likelihood of large amounts of damage to structures and buildings.
Saving Lives with Planned Failure
Some structures and buildings are designed to fail in a certain way in the event of an earthquake. These planned failings allow for protection of interior spaces where people are likely to be located. The structures are also designed to limit the amount of rubble and debris that is deposited around the foundation of the structure to keep from damaging nearby buildings.
As advances in structural engineering are made and new construction materials emerge, earthquake-safe buildings and structures may soon be a reality.