Other enhancements and fixes

Tekla Structural Designer
Tekla Structural Designer

Other enhancements and fixes

In addition to the major features, there have been other improvements made to modeling, design and many other areas. All the following were implemented/introduced after the first release of Tekla Structural Designer 2023.

General & modeling

A number of additional fixes which are not detailed explicitly here are also made in this release to improve general performance and stability. An example of this is given directly below:

  • [TSD-15003] - Crash when adding a construction line or grid line in a truss view (new in release 2024)In previous releases, a program error would occur when attempting to add a grid or construction line in a truss view - in this release to prevent this the Model ribbon Grid and Construction line commands are now disabled in the truss view.

    • Note that there was no such issue when adding construction lines in a 2D Frame view containing the truss. There is no change to this process in this release, it being the recommended method of adding any required construction lines in a 2D view.

[TSD-14805] - New explanation text for Show/Alter state attributes (new in release 2024)

In previous releases, only the Show/Alter state Attributes with a ribbon button had explanation text (in the cursor tooltip when over the button). In this release similar explanation text is added for all other Attributes in the Properties Window information box when they are selected, as shown in the picture below for the “Assumed cracked” attribute.

[TSD-15140] - Renumbering of entities with user names (new in release 2024)

For the Renumber feature, a new option “Renumber user names” is added in the Model Settings > References > General, as shown in the picture below. When enabled, any previously defined user names for renumbered items are now overwritten (following the reference defaults and further settings on the page). In previous releases, only members with no user name applied would be renumbered. This enhancement makes it much easier to return to the default numbering system should this be desired.

[TSD-14574] - Material Database - Additional Default Materials for Singapore (Eurocode) (new in release 2024)

To assist with new 2024 requirements of the Singapore Building & Construction Authority related to its digitized approval system with IFC model submission, the following are added to the material database:

  • Concrete Grades - class C12/15 has been added for all Eurocode regional codes.

  • Reinforcement - for the Singapore country, new classes have been added: 500A, 500B ,500C , 600A, 600B and 600C, all having the same bar sizes as the existing classes.

[TSD-15402] - Steel Section Database - Source added to details (new in release 2024)

In the Steel section database dialog, a new section row giving the Source of the section data is added to the section Details display, as shown in the pictures below. In many cases the data comes directly from the manufacturers’ catalogs which will now be shown in the Source information. This feature should answer users questioning the origin of section data, for example when they might not be found in more general data sources - such as the UK SCI Blue book - which themselves can be out of date or incomplete.

[TSD-14774] - Editing of user-defined material grade names enabled (new in release 2024)

The Materials dialog is updated to a new format in this release. As part of this update, the option to edit user-defined material grade names has been added - in previous releases, while it was possible to edit user-defined grade property values, it was not possible to edit the name.

[TSD-3765] - Improved Labeling of Members & Supports from Grid References

In previous releases, the logic used for member/support numbering by grid point references related to the order in which the gridlines were modeled (1st, 2nd, 3rd…etc), which could lead to an inconsistent labeling convention for members and supports. The new logic is controlled by a new "Grid point naming" setting in Model Settings > References, as shown in the picture below. This can be alpha/numeric, numeric/alphanumeric, dir1/dir2, or dir2/dir1 (the latter two options are required to cater for cases where only letters or only numbers have been used for all grid lines).

Example: A support placed at the intersection of gridlines A and 1 would previously have been named "SUP A/1" - if gridline A had been created before gridline 1 - or it would have been named "SUP 1/A" if gridline 1 had been created first. With the new settings it will now be labeled as follows:

  • "SUP A/1" if the "Grid point naming" setting is set to alpha/numeric

  • "SUP 1/A" if the "Grid point naming" setting is set to numeric/alphanumeric

  • "SUP A/1" if the "Grid point naming" setting is set to dir1/dir2 and gridline A is within +/- 45 degrees of building direction 1)

  • "SUP 1/A" if the "Grid point naming" setting is set to dir2/dir1 and gridline 1 is within +/- 45 degrees of building direction 2)

[TSD-8924] - Review view - now defaults to most frequently used attribute

To improve efficiency when using the Review View / Show/Alter State, the history of the most recently used views and associated Attribute is used to determine the default settings for the view.

A combination of the frequency and most recent is considered to set the default - so commands used more recently have a precedence over those used previously. When a View is switched to Review View either the current Show/Alter state is displayed or, if Show/Alter State is selected, then the most commonly used option/ attribute is defaulted to. This should make returning to the previously displayed Show/Alter state more logical and remove the necessity to search for the most frequently used option/ attribute.

[TSD-13095] - Result Strips - Ability to copy with reference point

The copy and move commands are now enabled for result strips. Previously the position of a result strip could not be changed, making it necessary to delete and recreate them in the desired changed position(s).

Note that result strips of slab patches cannot be copied or moved in isolation - these are restricted to their ‘parent’ patch area hence the patch itself must be moved to relocate such patch result strips.

[TSD-11743] - Planarize - Extended to Inclined Plane

The Planarize function, which is useful for correcting modeling errors such as slight misalignment of members, was previously restricted to vertical planes. In this release it is now available for inclined planes also.

[TSD-9520] - Cuttings planes - new Deactivate/ Activate/ Reset All in current view

To improve efficiency when using cutting planes, new 'Deactivate All', 'Activate All' and 'Reset All' options have been added to this command, as shown in the picture below. These enable the view to be quickly and easily switched between having all current cutting planes off or on, or all returned to the model boundaries, where previously it was necessary to move each activated plane back to the original position or open a new view to deactivate them.

[TSD-1399] - Member 2D Text/ Attributes orientation improved

In 2D Level Views and 3D Structure Views, when 2D Text or 2D Attributes are activated in Scene Content the text is now displayed the same way up irrespective of the member direction.

[TSD-13968] - Connection Resistance Tabular Report improved refresh

Significant improvement has been made to the refresh time of the Connection Resistance in tabular data view when editing beam end fixity in the Review View. In previous releases in larger models such edits could result in significant delays.

New Localization Features for Spain

A number of enhancements are made in this release to make the program easier to use in more regions and countries, especially for projects in Spain and engineers using the Spanish language.
  • [TSD-13590] - New Settings Set for Spain

    A new specific Settings Set for Spain is added in this release. This is listed together with the existing country settings sets for Import as shown in the picture below. It uses EC (European) Materials and European sections by default.

    Note that the Design Code Region for this Settings set is “Europe (Eurocode)”. This is the ‘base’ Eurocode without reference to any country’s National Annex, thus all Action and Resistance Codes (with the exception of Wind Loading - see below) for this follow the ‘base’ Eurocode. There is currently no Spain Eurocode Regional Code.

    New materials are added for Spain. These include steel grade S450 J0, bar size 6 and mesh grades and sizes. The new mesh data is available for the Europe Country setting, which previously used the UK defaults.

  • [TSD-13593] - Wind Wizard - new Variant for Spain

    A new Wind wizard (CTE DB SE-AE) variant for Spain is also added in this release - see the Loading section below for more on this.

  • [TSD-13974] - New Spanish & French Interface Languages

    A new Spanish Interface Language option is added in this release. A French language option was also recently added. With either of these new options active, the change of language applies to the entire program interface (Menus, Ribbon text, properties, dialog text ect.) except design checks.

    The new language options can be selected via Home > Settings > “Select the preferred language” as shown in the picture below. The program must be restarted after changing the language for it to take effect.

Spanish Interface Language

France Interface Language


[TSD-13655] - View Title and Legend Text - new text font & size control

New control is added in this release for the font and size of View Title and Legend text. This is accessed via Home > Settings > Scene > Fonts as shown in the picture below. Please note that changes to this setting are not reflected in the currently active View(s), they only impact newly opened or activated views. Hence to update the text size of a currently active View(s) after changing the font/ size, simply close and re-open the view.

[TSD-14084] - Measure Angle Improved

The measure angle command is enhanced to show both the clockwise and counterclockwise angle.

[TSD-13029] - Project Wiki - new Model Info page

A new page “Model Info” is added to the Project Wiki dialog with sections (that can be expanded/ collapsed) for; “Assumptions”, “Status”, “To Do” and “Notes” in which any amount of text can be entered to manually record such information in the model file.


[TSD-14741] - General Performance Speed/ Memory mode now optimized automatically (new in release 2024)

Tekla Structural Designer now uses the .NET 8 runtime. This allows the adoption of a new automatic performance mode, replacing previous choices in Home > Settings > Performance > General, which are now removed. It blends the benefits of the previous options typically giving speeds approximately equal to the old "Favour Speed" option whilst at the same time requiring less memory. In the situation where available memory is more restricted it will utilize less memory automatically whilst retaining better performance than the old "Conserve Memory" option.


[TSD-15517] - Enhanced assessment of total gravity load for NL/ MLL/ seismic weight for some geometries (new for release 2024)

Calculation of Notional Loads (NL), Minimum Lateral Loads (MLL) and seismic weight/ mass all use the same process of assessing the gravity load distribution throughout the structure by calculating the forces at the nodes of columns and walls at levels. This process is enhanced in this release for some less common geometries (involving raised supports above the main base level) to give a more accurate assessment of the total gravity load and hence total NL/ MLL/ seismic weight.

[TSD-13593] - Wind Wizard - new Variant for Spain

Together with the enhancements of the new Spain settings set and language discussed above, a new variant of the Wind Wizard for Spain is also added in this release. This is automatically set when the new Spain settings set is active. For more information about the scope of this new feature see the new Help Topic Wind wizard (CTE DB SE-AE).

The Wind Wizard for Spain follows the CTE DB SE-AE 2009 loading code which is now listed for selection via Global/ Model Settings > Design Codes > Wind Loading (Carga de viento) as shown in the picture below.
With the CTE DB SE-AE Wind loading code selected, the Wind Wizard is automatically configured to request input (base wind speed, ground roughness and topography information) appropriate to this code. When the Wizard is completed the zones and pressures on the wind panels are automatically determined following the code provisions.

[TSD-5336, 13997] - Tekla Portal Frame Designer Integration - U/S Haunch Level set out improvements

For frames defined using the height to the underside (U/S) of the haunch option (illustrated in the pictures below) with haunches set to the max. cut depth from the same size as the rafters, improvements are made in this release for integration with Tekla Portal Frame Designer (TPFD).

In previous releases when using these settings, changes in rafter size in either Structural Designer or TPFD could cause problems with integration. For example, when the rafter size was changed in TPFD and returned to Tekla Structural Designer, the eaves level would not initially be updated - it was necessary to “force” the eaves level to update by clicking OK on the Spans page of the Portal Frame dialog). Now the eaves level is updated automatically at the point when the sections are returned to Tekla Structural Designer.

This issue and change also applies to edits to the rafter size of such Portal Frame made directly within Tekla Structural Designer.

It should be noted that when using this set out option a change of rafter size will alter the frame’s geometry and hence the Solver model, as illustrated in the picture below. Thus any members or panels that were previously connected to the rafters in the Tekla Structural Designer model would need to be manually edited following such a change to suit the updated eaves level.

For this reason it is recommended where possible to use the “Eaves” Level option rather than the “U/S Haunch”.


[TSD-14229] - US ASCE7 Wind Loading - torsion load on parapets removed

When using Wind Wizard loading, in previous releases for load cases including the Torsion option, overall torsion (MT) loads were applied for wind loads on parapets. Since parapets are generally very flexible, it is thought unlikely that wind loads on them would generate the overall building torsion loads intended to be considered for wind loading to the ASCE7 code. Hence in this release such overall torsion loads are no longer created when decomposing wind zones on parapet walls.


Grasshopper Live Link Enhancements (new in release 2024)

The following enhancements are made to the Grasshopper Live Link in this release:

  • [TSD-14494] - New Foundation Reactions Component

    A new component for obtaining the foundation reactions has been added to the Grasshopper plugin.

    • Inputs for the component are:

      • Analysis method

        • Defines the analysis method

        • Available options to match the analysis methods available in Tekla Structural Designer

      • Loading

        • Defines the loading to get foundation reactions for

        • This is an optional input. Leaving it unconnected allows loading defined within Tekla Structural Designer to be output.

      • Axis system

        • Defines the axis system to use for reporting reactions

        • Available options: Local (the default), Building Direction

        • This is intended to match the option that is available within Tekla Structural Designer for the axis system to report the results in, with the exception of the “Angle to Global” option that is available in Tekla Structural Designer.

      • Imposed (Live) load reduction

        • Defines whether to include imposed load reductions

        • Available options: True, False (default True)

      • Combination factors

        • Defines whether combination results should use strength or service factors

        • Available options: Strength, Service

        • Note that this option is only used for combinations

    • Output is in a csv format, matching closely the Foundation Reactions tabular view in Tekla Structural Designer. The csv format allows the data to be easily streamed to Excel using Grasshopper functionality.

    • This component does not require the model to be built from Grasshopper. Having no connection to the optional Loading input will output data for all supports and all relevant loadcase and combination results from Tekla Structural Designer.

  • [TSD-14495] - New Member End Forces Component

    A new component for obtaining the member end forces has been added to the Grasshopper plugin.

    • Inputs for the component are:

      • Analysis method

        • Defines the analysis method

        • Available options to match the analysis methods available in Tekla Structural Designer

      • Loading

        • Defines the loading to get member end forces for

        • This is an optional input. Leaving it unconnected allows loading defined within Tekla Structural Designer to be output.

      • Member

        • The member to get results for

        • This input is optional. Leaving unconnected will output results for all members.

      • Object type (All, Beams, Columns, Braces)

        • The type of object to get results for

      • Imposed (Live) load reduction

        • Defines whether to include imposed load reductions

        • Available options: True, False (default True)

      • Combination factors

        • Defines whether combination results should use strength or service factors

        • Available options: Strength, Service

        • Note that this option is only used for combinations

    • Output is in a csv format, matching closely the 1D Member Forces tabular view in Tekla Structural Designer. The csv format allows the data to be easily streamed to Excel using Grasshopper functionality.

    • This component does not require the model to be built from Grasshopper. Having no connection to the optional Loading input will output data for all member ends and all relevant loadcase and combination results from Tekla Structural Designer.

  • [TSD-14496] - New Components for Composite slabs

    New components have been added to the Grasshopper plugin to allow the creation of metal decking on composite slabs.

    • New Component: Deck Profile

      • Inputs

        • Country

          • Selection to determine which country to get available profiles for

      • Outputs

        • Profile

          • Allows output of the name of one profile, selected from the context menu

        • All profiles

          • Outputs a list of the names of all available profiles

    • New Component: Deck Gauge

      • Inputs

        • Profile

          • Deck Profile output from that component

      • Outputs

        • Gauge

          • Allows selection of one of the available gauges for the profile

        • All gauges

          • Outputs a list of all gauges for the profile

    • Changed Component: Slab Item

      • New input

        • Gauge

          • Takes the output item from the Deck Gauge component

          • Not a required input

      • Validation

        • If there is an input value to the Gauge input (i.e. it is not empty) then there is a check that Deck Type is "Profiled metal decking". If it is not, a warning is presented to the user.

        • If Profiled metal decking is selected for the Deck Type, and no input is provided to this new input, Tekla Structural Designer will automatically select the default deck profile and gauge.

The following enhancement was made to the Grasshopper Live Link in the 2023 SP3 release:

  • [TSD-14493] - Grasshopper Live Link - return of section sizes to Grasshopper

    The Grasshopper - Tekla Structural Designer Live Link is enhanced in this release with a new “Span Properties” component which enables output to Grasshopper of member Name and Section size values from the Tekla Structural Designer model. Model input is required from the Model component output. The output is provided in list form, in consistent order of spans and from each of the output nodes, as shown in the picture below. The new component functions for the following entity types and materials with filtering of output enabled for both of these.

    • Entity types; Beam spans, Column spans, Braces.

    • Materials; Steel, Concrete, Timber, General, Cold Formed, Cold Rolled.


[TSD-13692] - One Click LCA Integration - Improved Login information

The One Click LCA Login dialog now shows all communication error messages, as illustrated in the picture below. This assists with understanding and diagnosing errors in communication with the One Click LCA Online service.


[TSD-1822] - New Check/ Warning for slabs set to semi-rigid diaphragm in levels meshed in 3D analysis

To alert the engineer to a potential issue, a new model validation check and associated warning is added for slabs set as semi-rigid diaphragms in levels and slopes that have been set to meshed in 3D analysis (Level/ slope setting “Mesh slabs in 3D analysis” enabled). In this case the semi-rigid diaphragm setting takes precedence and the slab is meshed with semi-rigid 2D solver elements (which essentially have only in-plane stiffness) as described in this Help Topic Managing diaphragm action in roof panels and slabs. The warning states "2D results are not calculated for the 3D analysis of this slab".

[TSD-4420] - New Check/ Warning for truss members within diaphragms

As described in this article Truss modeling, axial force and the effect of Diaphragms, the commonly expected axial force will not develop in truss chords which lie in a diaphragm. A new validation check and warning is added in this release to alert the engineer to this circumstance, with the warning text "Truss member contained within a rigid\semi-rigid diaphragm - axial forces may not develop as expected".

[TSD-13153] - Steel Columns - validation of eccentricity input

A validation of acceptable input is now made for steel column properties > Eccentricity - only values in the acceptable range (0 <= 1m) can now be entered. If an existing file created in a previous release with invalid input of eccentricity is opened in this release and Validation run, a validation error message of ‘Invalid eccentricity’ will be issued in the Validation status tree listing the affected member(s).

[TSD-12228] - Load Cases - New Check & Warning for Automatically calculated disabled

For the load cases which can be set to be automatically calculated - Selfweight - excluding slabs , Slab self weight, Slab Wet - a new validation check and associated warning is now added for when automatic calculation (“Calc Automatically” setting in the Loading dialog - enabled by default) for one or more of these cases is disabled by the user and there are no (manually added) loads in the case(s). The validation tree tooltip for the warning includes a more detailed description and advice for the issue as shown in the picture below.

The validation/ warning be disabled from validation settings (Home > Model Settings > Validation) or directly from the validation tree right-click context menu as usual.

Analysis & results

[TSD-15168] - Story Shears - enhanced for single and eccentric brace arrangements (new in release 2024)

In a further enhancement to the recently released Enhanced Reporting of Story Shears, results are improved for the situation of two single braces (either connecting, or not connected) used within a bay, for example when modeling eccentric brace arrangements. Previously, the resulting two shear values were displayed overlapping at the mid-span of the bay. In this release the two values are merged producing a more useful result, both in the results view and the associated Model & Results > Wall/Braced Bay Storey Shears results table.

[TSD-14401] - Improved selection of analysis method/ cases/ combinations for results (new in release 2024)

In an improvement to ease of use, when investigating analysis results in this release, the choices of analysis method/ cases/ combinations are now limited to those that are valid, rather than listing all choices regardless of whether results for them are available. This applies to all views and areas in which results can be viewed and their associated analysis method and load case/ combination selection lists; the Results View, individual entity views, Load Analysis view, Model & Results > Tabular Data view.

  • This is illustrated in the picture below showing the change to the Results ribbon’s (Analysis) Method selection list - in previous releases all Analysis methods were listed, regardless of whether they had actually been run. In the new release only methods with available results are listed and “Analysis has not been carried out” is shown when this is the case.

[TSD-8692] - Partially fixed beams - incorrect Structure not in equilibrium solver warnings (new in release 2024)

In previous releases for some models containing beams with partial fixity specified, following analysis incorrect Structure not in equilibrium solver warnings could be issued. This was traced to the use of an unnecessarily large stiffness value in the solver which is adjusted in this release such that the issue no longer occurs. While it is possible this adjustment may result in a slight change in analysis results compared to previous releases, it is expected the difference, if any, would be extremely insignificant. This has proved to be the case with all examples investigated so far.

[TSD-5299] - Foundation Reactions Tabular View & Report - new setting for Imposed Load Reductions

Following customer requests, the ability to toggle Imposed (Live) Load Reductions on/ off (which already existed in the graphical results view), has been added to the Model and Results tabular report view for the Foundation Reactions table as shown in the picture below. In previous releases, Imposed (Live) Load Reductions were always active for this result table (and the associated Report item).

This new option is also added to the settings for the associated Report item “Foundation Reactions” as shown in the picture below.

[TSD-13045] - Results View - New User option for default analysis type

A new setting has been added to the Global and Model settings to set the default analysis method when opening a new graphical view and switching to the results regime. This determines the initial analysis method for the Results View when no analysis or design has been run in the current session. As in previous releases, when analysis or design has been run the analysis method from that run is automatically selected.

The new setting is accessed in Global Settings via Home > Settings > Scene > View Settings and Model settings via Home > Model Settings > Graphics View Settings (as shown in the picture below).

2D Integrated Results - Result Strips Enhancements
  • [TSD-8924] - Ability to copy with reference point

    The copy and move commands are now enabled for result strips. Previously the position of a result strip could not be changed, making it necessary to delete and recreate them in the desired changed position(s).

    • Note that this does not apply to the result strips of slab patches since these are automatically restricted to the area of their ‘parent’ slab patch.

  • [TSD-13338] - Enhanced collection of Maximum Values

    Following customer feedback, the process for determining the 2D elements and nodes considered in the determination of Result Strip maximums has been enhanced in this release to generally determine potentially more conservative maximums in some circumstances, such as at slab edges and around openings. This may lead to some different results for slab design - where maximum values are used for this (such as for slab panels and panel patches) - when compared to previous releases.

  • [TSD-13044] - Direction arrow and improved Station Lines/ Points display

    A direction arrow is added for Result Strips in this release. This is displayed in the same manner as for member direction arrows with its visibility controlled via Scene Content > Result Strip options. In addition to adding the direction arrow the display of station lines and points is also enhanced such that:
    • Station Lines are now shown across the unbroken FE mesh width rather than the full strip width.

    • Station points are now indicated by a series of short lines crossing each station line.

[TSD-13601] - New Freehand Dimension

A new option to create a Freehand dimension line between any two points is added in this release. This new feature is particularly useful for example for creating dimensions on 2D contour diagram plots. The command to add this new dimension type is available from the right-click context menu in all 2D and 3D views and applicable view regimes and a new individual control is added for their visibility in Scene Content settings, as shown in the picture below. Just as for existing dimensions, these new dimensions are displayed in all saved screenshots and Views included in reports.

After activating the “Add Dimension” command, new Freehand dimensions are created as follows:

  • First select a reference construction point for the dimension line - this defines the plane in which the dimension lies when in a 3D view

  • Next pick the start point of the line with the cursor - after doing this a preview of the dimension from the start point to the current cursor location is displayed as the cursor is moved. In the same manner as when adding grid and construction lines, the dimension line will automatically snap to the horizontal/ vertical when the cursor location is close to these.

  • Next pick the end point of the line - grid intersections and mid, 1/3 and 1/4 points along members, lines and panel edges are indicated for snapping to during this stage. Any freehand location can also be selected with the cursor.

  • Finally define the lateral offset of the dimension line from that between the start and end points - either by a final cursor click or F2 and entering the offset value directly.

Results View - 2D Results - Improved Force and Stress Display settings and lists

The following 3 enhancements listed below are made in this release to the Result options, graphical contour display and display options for 2D Result Forces and Stresses.

[TSD-13599] - 2D Forces - New Principal Axis Moments

New options to view Principal Moment results M1 and M2 are added to 2D results in this release. This applies to all locations in which 2D contour/ nodal results are reported; Result View > 2D Results Contour diagrams, cursor tooltip, Reports and the Tabular Data view. For more about how the principal moments are calculated see the Help Topic Display forces in 2D elements.

[TSD-13600] - 2D Result Contour Diagrams - New inflection line

A new dashed line is added to the 2D Result contour diagrams to clearly indicate the inflection line (location of the change in sign – i.e. zero point). The dashed line is also added to the contour legend to identify the zero point on this, as shown in the picture below. This applies to all applicable Force, Stress and Deflection 2D results plots in the Results View.

[TSD-13602] - 2D Forces - New Maximum Shear Fzmax Results

A new 2D Results force Maximum Shear Fzmax is now calculated and can be selected for display in 2D result contour plots as shown in the picture below. For more about how the Maximum Shear Fzmax is calculated see the Help Topic Display forces in 2D elements.

[TSD-13603] - New separate lists and controls for 2D Forces and Stresses

With the addition of the new 2D contour forces discussed above, the combined list of forces and stresses was becoming too lengthy for easy navigation - hence in this release this is reorganized into two separate lists of Forces and Stresses respectively. The list of forces is located as previously, while the list of stresses is now located in a separate adjacent drop list to the right. There are also new “Forces” and “Stresses” buttons above each drop list to activate viewing of Forces or Stresses respectively, as shown in the picture below.

[TSD-13604] - Enhanced Force and Stress list names

Together with the above change, the Force and Stress list names have been enhanced with additional information about the result - such as its plane of action - in brackets after the result name.

These enhanced list names are also now used in the title text of the selected Result in the graphical view.

[TSD-12211] - Seismic Analysis - Effective seismic structure mass/ weight - corrected for meshed walls supported by Mat Foundation Slab

The calculation of the seismic structure mass/ weight - used in Seismic ELF and RSA Analysis - is corrected in this release for the less common circumstance of meshed walls supported by a Mat Foundation slab in a level which is NOT set to be ignored in the Seismic Wizard (which we would note is not recommended). The forces in the supporting slab mesh nodes are now correctly considered when calculating the seismic mass/ weight - in previous releases they were ignored which produced an overestimate of the seismic mass/ weight.

Note that this issue relates only to the 2022 SP5 and 2023 releases in which the requirement in the Seismic Wizard that the level to be ignored must be set to that of the mat foundation slab(s) (or the top such level when there are mat foundation slabs on more than one level) was removed. For more about this and how the seismic mass/ weight is determined see Product Bulletin PBTSD-2303-02.

[TSD-12973] - New Orthotropic Meshed Walls

Similar to the fairly recently introduced option for Orthotropic Slabs (see also 2021 SP2: New orthotropic two-way slabs) , Meshed Walls of any material can now be set to have orthotropic behavior in the analysis. This option can be used by the engineer at their discretion to model the analytical behavior of walls that are commonly assumed to behave in a significantly orthotropic manner, such as those constructed of masonry or cross-laminated timber (CLT). The analysis results obtained using this feature could then be used for the ‘manual’ design (outside Structural Designer) of such walls.
  • A new “Orthotropic” option is now included in the “Analysis & design control” settings for walls, as shown in the picture above. This is also available separately for each panel of a multi-panel wall.

  • To set orthotropic behavior for a wall - the process is as follows:

    • Either when creating walls or for a selection of one or more walls, in the Properties window expand the “Analysis & design control” group and enable the “Orthotropic” option.

    • Next, with the “Calculate properties” option enabled (the default and recommended option) enter the desired relative stiffness factors for each orthogonal wall direction; “X factor - along the length of the wall” and “Y factor - along the height of the wall” (max = 10.0, min = 1.0x10-5).

      • E.g. for the wall to be 10x stiffer in the X (horizontal) direction than the Y (vertical) direction, you can enter X factor = 1.0 and Y factor = 0.1.

    • The adjusted wall material stiffness properties which will be used in the analysis are automatically calculated and displayed. These are; Young’s Modulus for each direction Ex and Ey; the Shear moduli In-plane Gxy and out of plane Gxz/Gyz; the Poisson’s ratio for each direction 𝜈x and 𝜈y.

      • Note that the ‘base’ properties from which the orthotropic values derive are the Young’s modulus E and Poisson’s ratio 𝜈 defined in the Materials Database for the wall material grade. For more information about the orthotropic material properties and how they are calculated and related see the Help Topic Orthotropic wall implementation.

  • Apply modification factors - note also the new “Apply modification factors'' setting at the bottom of the “Analysis & design control” properties group which is also added in this release (for all meshed wall types and all concrete structural walls). This is enabled by default replicating the behavior of previous releases (see the Help topic Use of modification factors for more about these).

    • Related to this is that the “Orthotropic” setting can also be used to override the global stiffness modification factors for specific walls - for more about this see the “Override global stiffness modification factor with wall specific factors” section in the Help Topic Orthotropic walls.

  • Using the “Calculate Properties” option as described above is the simplest, most robust and thus recommended method of setting orthotropic properties for meshed walls. However, if you know the specific material properties you want to use, you can disable the “Calculate Properties” option to enter your own values directly.

    • For more about this see the “Define an orthotropic wall by entering properties manually” section in the Help Topic Orthotropic walls.

[TSD-13568] - Footfall Analysis - Non-composite beams to be considered as composite

A new "Treat as composite" property is added to non-composite steel beams such that a steel beam can be considered as composite for Footfall Analysis when for design purposes it is still treated as a non-composite beam. Enabling this property allows the concrete flange width above the beam to be defined as for a composite beam and its increased composite short term inertia is then calculated in the same manner as that of a composite beam.

As part of this improvement the title of the page/group where this option is included is renamed from "Natural Frequency" to "Floor Vibration" to improve clarity.

Note the following:

  • To use this setting the slab the beam supports must be of a type valid for composite beams i.e. “Composite” or “Precast” (Concrete planks) - it does not function for other slab types.

  • This new setting does not currently apply to either simplified floor vibration checks or the individual beam natural frequency calculation/ check when enabled.

[TSD-14019] - Mass Normalized Mode Shapes - Units clarified and converted

In the Tabular Data View tables for Mode shape (both by Node and by Level) and the associated report item, in the conversion of units for mass normalized mode shapes the values are corrected for US customary units. In addition the table column headers for translation and rotation values include units for both SI units and US customary units. This applies to all analysis processes for which Modal Analysis is performed and mode shape results reported.

[TSD-14232] - New Solver View Ribbon

When a Solver View is active, a new dedicated Solver View ribbon is introduced in this release to improve ease of use. Solver models for different analysis methods can be selected from the ribbon via the ‘Method’ drop-down list. A “Refresh Solver Model” button is also available on the ribbon which is enabled when appropriate. The previous method of selecting solver models via the view right-click context menu is still available.
  • Instead of defaulting to the Working Solver Model, an existing analysis solver model is now shown in the Solver view in preference such as directly after running a specific analysis option.

[TSD-13886] - Model & Results - section size included in 1D Member Forces table

An additional column for the member section size is added to the Model & Results > Tabular Data view > 1D Member Forces results table for all materials, as shown in the picture below.

[TSD-8033] - Patterning of eccentricity moments - improved handling of point loads

This issue relates to patterning of live load eccentricity moments for steel and precast concrete columns, when the options for these are enabled via Model Settings > Loading > General > Load Patterns. The setting is enabled by default only for precast columns. For more about this process see the Help Topics Steel column connection eccentricity moments and Precast column connection eccentricity moments. In this release, the calculation of column forces resulting from the process of patterning of eccentricity moments is improved to remove some previous limitations relating to point loads, notional loads and brace forces applied at the top of column stacks.

Design - general

[TSD-15322] - Seismic Analysis & Design - RSA - improved analysis of Seismic torsion for seismic drift (new in release 2024)

For seismic analysis and design using the RSA method, analysis of the seismic torsion load cases is assessed by a static Building Analysis (BA) procedure (for more about this see Seismic loadcases). Previously the analysis model for this procedure used the default BA modification factors more suited to long term deflection assessment, hence the resulting deflections would be an overestimate and seismic drift checks (which assess the combined drifts from both the lateral seismic and torsion loadcases) would be conservative to a degree. In this release, this analysis has been changed to use the RSA (short term) analysis modifiers producing more accurate (less conservative) seismic drift checks.

[TSD-11501] - Design using Tekla Tedds - Timber - enhanced for built-up members with width > depth (new in release 2024)

When running Design using Tekla Tedds for Timber members it is now possible to specify in the Tedds calculation a built-up section (composed of 2 or more sections side-by-side) with an overall width > the depth and have this section imported to the model. When the built-up section is imported to the model from Tedds, the format of the section name is 2x, 3x etc. In previous releases this circumstance was flagged as beyond scope and the section update process would be skipped (which would be noted in the Process window) and subsequent designs for the member could not be run. Note that single section members must still be wider than deep.

[TSD-13361] - Steel Column Design - Size Constraints - All Regional Codes

Size Constraints in steel columns now need only be applied in each reference stack (which is the lowest stack below a splice or top of column), while in other stacks the Size Constraints are read only (but automatically updated). This makes the behavior for Size Constraints similar to the way in which column section Size has functioned in previous releases in relation to splices - e.g. if a splice is removed then the Size updates immediately to the reference Size in all dependent stacks..

[TSD-11224] - Concrete Slab Panels & Patches - Design Status and UR shown in Tooltip

The cursor tooltip for Concrete slabs (flat slab, slab on beam) and all slab patches that can be designed now includes the Pass/Fail status and utilization ratio (UR) as shown in the picture below. This applies to all View Regimes in which slabs and patches are visible.

Note that for slabs that are not designed (one-way, general, composite and precast slab), the tooltip text is ‘beyond scope’ with zero UR.

[TSD-13768] - Column Patches - copy between levels

It is now possible to copy and paste column patches between levels where previously it was only possible to copy patches around a single level.

[TSD-13769] - Concrete Columns & Walls - Interactive design dialog changes

As shown in the picture below, to make the program operation clearer, in the main Interactive Design dialog the Additional Design Cases first column header is changed from "Active" to "Include in Design". Additionally when adding Design Cases, an informative tooltip is added for the “Active” checkbox header "Check in order to make this design case available for interactively designed concrete column/wall members in the model."

[TSD-13967] - Footfall Analysis - Additional Excel Export Options

A new button to export "All Modal Results" is added to the Floor Analysis Model Data ribbon to enable exporting of results for all the modes into a single Excel file in one operation. The existing export button is renamed "Current View" to clarify its use. This applies to all the Footfall Analysis Design Guide options.

When using the new button in the resulting Excel file:

  • Sheet 1 lists the Modal Frequencies

  • Sheet 2 lists the Mode shape by node values for Mode 1

  • Additional sheets are created for modes 2 to n where n is the last mode with frequency <= the cut-off frequency

[TSD-12990] - Section Order Lists - updated with New British Steel Advance sections

In the 2023 release the steel database UK sections for the UB, UC, ASB, PFC, EA and UEA section types were updated to match the new British Steel catalogs published in 2022 (for more about this see the 2023 Release notes Other enhancements and fixes). To complement this, in this release the Section Order lists are updated to include the new sections.

  • Note that to use these new order lists it is necessary to manually reset them in the steel section database via Materials > Manage Section Orders > Select an Order list - e.g. “UB Beam” - then click the “Reset” button, as shown in the picture below. Repeat this process for other order lists including UB, UC, ASB, PFC, EA and UEA section types.

[TSD-13047] - Slab Design Details - critical analysis and combination reported at top summary

The critical analysis method and critical load combinations have been added to the slab panel and patch design summary table as shown in the picture below.

[TSD-14293] - Slab Design - Punching Checks - enabled for top of non-concrete column stacks

Punching checks can now be placed and checked at the top of column stacks of any material, not just concrete columns. In previous releases, while such checks could be added to a model they would be invalid, and checks could only be performed at the bottom of the bottom stack where a column was supported by a slab.

  • Note that when performing punching checks on non-concrete columns it is recommended to consider employing the User Loaded area option to make allowance for such things as pedestals and connection plates etc - for more about this see the Override the punching check loaded area section in the Help Topic Create punching checks.

Design - Eurocode

[TSD-13706 & 13710] - Steel & Concrete Member Design - design to EQU Combinations

The design of steel members, concrete members and walls to EQU combinations (when these exist) has been reinstated in the program to consider the design situations where the resistance of the structural members contributes to the overall state of equilibrium of the structure.

[TSD-12256] - Composite beam design - new concrete haunch width

For composite beams with steel decking and parallel deck span direction, it is now possible to specify the concrete haunch width above the beam b0. This is particularly relevant in car parks for example where the steel is galvanized and the studs are shop welded. Increasing the b0 dimension increases the shear stud capacity, which is beneficial in achieving the required minimum shear interaction.

As shown in the pictures below, this setting is only available for the parallel deck spanning case and when the shear connectors are set to be “Shop welded” - the new setting is then displayed in the “Metal Deck” properties dialog page/ properties window group.

Note the following:

  • The “Site Welded”/”Shop welded” option drop list is newly added in this release for regular open end steel decking. Previously it was only displayed for precast and closed end decking as described in this article Composite beams - new Sigmat closed ends steel decking & design enhancements.

  • The initial value of b0 is automatically set to the “Concrete breadth in rib, b” value from the steel decking database. It can then be user-edited within the following valid range of lower/ upper bounds:

    • Both Re-entrant and Trapezoidal decks - lower bound = 1 * stud diameter

    • Re-entrant deck - upper bound = MIN[2 bf , bf + b2]

    • Trapezoidal deck - upper bound = MIN[2*bf , bf + b1] where; bf is the composite beam flange breadth, b1 and b2 are decking dimensions from the steel decking database.

[TSD-13006] - Slab on beam design - max allowable span/ effective depth ratio limit now applied

For the design of two-way slabs on beams, the span - effective depth (deflection) check part of the design per EN 1992-1-1:2004, for the UK region only, is enhanced to include the prescribed limit of 40K from Table NA.5 of the UK National Annex to the Design Standard.

Design - USA regional code

Steel Seismic Design - Columns - issues addressed
  • [TSD-13418, 13265, 13656] - Design Process Error for steel columns in SFRS

    In previous releases, a design process error would occur for the seismic design checks in some circumstances for the less common situation of SFRS beams and/ or braces connected to columns in the same SFRS at locations which were not in a construction level and hence there was no column stack division. This is fixed in this release and the seismic design checks are now fully completed in this situation.
    • Note however that in general it is best practice to add levels where beams/ braces connect to a SFRS column and avoid members connecting within the length of a stack.

  • [TSD-13431] - Brace forces - compression effective length factor considered in required strength check

    In the previous release for braces of a SFRS, the full analytical length of the brace was always used for the calculation of the expected strength determined for the Seismic Brace Analysis and Required Strength checks within the column seismic design checks, with the compression effective length factors Kx and Ky being ignored. In this release the compression effective length factors Kx and Ky are now taken into account in seismic design*.
    • *Note that the seismic design assumes that Ly/ry governs the brace expected compression strength - a note to this effect is now included on the brace Compression properties page as shown in the picture below.

[TSD-13323] -Concrete Design - Update to ACI 318-19(22)

ACI 318-19 was re-approved in 2022 without changes. Accordingly a new 2022 year is added to the Resistance Codes for Concrete Design in this release, as shown in the picture below. This is the default for newly imported Settings sets. All clause references in Concrete design details and output are updated when the new year option is selected, so ACI 318-19 becomes ACI 318-19(22).


[TSD-15145] - Error generating report for models with analysis elements fixed (new in release 2024)

An issue introduced in version 2023 SP3 (version released Nov 2023) which caused an error when generating reports containing the Analysis > Element Properties chapter in models containing analysis elements is fixed in this release.

Storey Shears & Forces

  • [TSD-14988] - Story Shears and Story Forces - Analysis Method option (new in release 2024)

    For the Story Shears and Story Forces Report chapters, an Analysis Method option is now added, allowing the desired analysis method to be selected, as shown in the picture below. In previous releases there was no such option (they were only reported for 1st Order Linear analysis), however it was still possible to obtain the Story Shears/ Forces results for a specific analysis method in the Model & Results tabular data view in release 2023 SP3 (version released Nov 2023).

  • [TSD-14957] - Reporting Options for Story Shears (new in release 2024)

    A new associated Report item is added in this release for the recently added Wall/Braced Bay Story Shears result table which was introduced to the Model & Results tabular data view in 2023 SP3 (version released Nov 2023) - for more about this see Enhanced Reporting of Story Shears.

[TSD-12920] - Material List - Steel/ Composite Beams - Camber data added

Following customer requests, Camber data has been added to the Material list tables for both composite and non-composite steel beams for both the Review View > Tabular Data view and the associated Report item.

Note the following:

  • This applies only to the full table view/ Report setting, not when the “Summary only” option is enabled.

  • Grouping (indicated by "No." > 1) does consider camber, hence members with different camber (that are otherwise the same) are not grouped together (this can be seen in the table below for the two UB 203x133x30 beams highlighted).

Note: The number in brackets before an item denotes an internal reference number. This can be quoted to your local Support Department should further information on an item be required.
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