Release notes: Tekla Structural Designer 2020 SP2

Tekla Structural Designer
Tekla Structural Designer
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Release notes: Tekla Structural Designer 2020 SP2

This release will upgrade your Tekla Structural Designer installation to version number and should be installed to ensure optimum function of the program. It includes a number of enhancements and issue resolutions as detailed below.

If you are upgrading from a version earlier than release 2020 SP1 (version, you can find details of requirements, enhancements and fixes for all previous releases in Tekla User Assistance (TUA) and Tekla Downloads via the links below:

Licensing & Installation



  • This service pack requires Tekla Structural Designer 2020 first release (version to be installed.
  • Previous Versions and file compatibility - Files from all previous versions can be opened in this release however note that, once saved, they may not open in an older version. If you wish to retain this option we therefore recommend using the File > Save As… option to save a new version of the file and retain the original.

  • Databases - For an existing installation, if your databases are out of date, a message informing you that new databases are available will be displayed in the Process Window as shown below when Tekla Structural Designer is first opened.

    • Please ensure you upgrade your local databases as follows;

      • Open “Materials” from the Home Ribbon, select the “Sections” page in the list of options, click the “Upgrade” button, then click this button again in the subsequent “Upgrade Database” dialog. Repeat this process for all the other databases (Material, Reinforcement...etc ) to ensure all your databases are up to date.

Issues with Associated Bulletins

  • [TSD-7014] - Concrete Column Design - US Head Code - this issue relates to the design of concrete columns to the 2014 edition of ACI 318 (years 2008 and 2011 are not affected). The issue affects the slenderness limit of section 6.2.5 for braced columns and the calculation of the uniform moment factor Cm for columns classified as slender, and could result in an unconservative design in some circumstances. For more information please see Product Bulletin Product Bulletin PBTSD-2005-1.
    • The issue is fixed in this release.

  • [TSD-7035] - Modeling - Shear Only Walls - this issue relates to the new feature introduced in TSD 2020 for ‘Shear only walls’. The current modeling formulation, as the name suggests, is restricted to shear resistance and shear stiffness behaviour only. This has the limitation of failing to report the vertical ‘push-pull’ effects at the ends of the panel that would be expected to be present to resist overturning. For more information please see Product Bulletin PBTSD-2005-2.
    • Due to the potential for mis-use and mis-understanding, the option to use shear only walls is accordingly removed in this release.

    • For existing models containing shear only walls a validation error will now be issued and the analysis and design conditions are set to out of date. In order to run analysis or design, any shear only walls must then be removed, changed to a valid wall type or replaced with a bracing system as suggested in the Product Bulletin.

General & Modeling

  • A number of additional fixes which are not detailed explicitly here are also made to improve general performance and stability.

  • [TSD-5522] - Enhanced Find and Select - the Find feature and working with Selections has been significantly enhanced as detailed below:

    • The Find command is now added to the Quick Access Toolbar by default as shown in the picture above.

    • Other dialogs and View windows are now accessible while the Find dialog is open. Thus, for example, the view can now be manipulated by panning, rotating etc and/ or object references checked in various locations all during an active Find operation.

    • The following new options are added

      • "Ghost unselected" (enabled by default) - when enabled, everything other than the selected item is now switched to the Ghosted view (for more on this feature see the video Ghosted Structure view) , making the selected item extremely clear and easy to locate.

        • When the Find dialog is closed, the selected item remains selected and the view reverts to normal (un-ghosted)

      • “Cutting plane” (not enabled by default) - when enabled, an automatic cutting plane perpendicular to the current view direction is activated, rendering the part of the model containing the selected object even more clear.

        • The cutting plane can then be changed simply by altering the view direction then disabling and reenabling the cutting plane option.

    • The object location arrow, that previously displayed to highlight the selected item only in some cases, now applies to all object types.

    • When the Find command is run again, the Find dialog now re-opens with the last found object listed and selected.

    • Ghost Unselected Toggle - in addition to the above, the Ghosting of unselected objects is extended to all views - of all or part of the structure - via the new “S” toggle button at the bottom right of the view window.

      • As illustrated in the pictures below, when toggled On (at right), all unselected objects are shown as ghosted and only selected objects have solid shading but without the distinct opaque selection colours. The selection can be altered as the engineer requires in this view, making editing and working with selections even easier.

        • This can prove especially useful in the Review View where otherwise the selection colours would obscure other colour-coding such as pass/fail status and utilization ratio etc. This facilitates reviewing the status of parts of the structure, such as member design groups, especially in larger models.

        • The new control can be used in a view of part of the structure - for example a floor or sub structure view - to further focus the desired selection operation. 2D views - such as of Levels and Frames - must first be toggled to 3D ‘mode’ to enable this option.

      • When toggled Off (on the left) behaviour is as previously; all objects have regular shading, with selected objects assigned the distinct opaque selection colours.

  • [TSD-6192] - Review View - Copy Properties - following customer feedback, the default attribute for the Copy Properties Show/Alter State attribute is changed to “All properties” where formerly it was “Deflection Limits”.


  • [TSD-6193] - Steel Connections - IDEA Statica - export of steel connections to IDEA StatiCa has now been enabled for models set to the British Standards (BS) Head Code. Note the following:

    • Connection design in IDEA StatiCa can only be performed to Eurocode EC3 and not BS 5950.

    • The elastic modulus in such cases is exported as 205,000 MPa which is the BS value rather than the EC3 value of 210,000 MPa.

Design - General

  • Concrete Design - Slabs - All Head Codes:

    • [TSD-1229] - Review View > Design Summary - a brand new Design Summary for Slabs & Mats is added to the Review View design result tables, giving a concise tabular view of slab design results for all slab and mat types. This can be selected as shown in the picture below and, like other tabular design details, can be exported directly to Excel.

      • All slab items and patches associated with the slab are listed together. By default, slab and patch items are listed in order of utilization ratio with slab items listed first followed by patches, then mats and their patches.

      • The table can be sorted differently simply by clicking on a column header (with the exception of the Grade and Result columns)

      • The summary table reflects the critical results from all the available RSA and Static combinations.

    • [TSD-6872] - Analysis Method - the design details now state the Analysis method from which the critical design moment originates, as shown in the picture below.

Reports and Drawings

  • [TSD-4253] - Tabular Data & Reports - Member Design Summary - user-defined span/ stack names are now included in the Tabular Data design summary and associated report item where previously the span/ stack number only was reported. This applies to all member types and materials.

  • [TSD-6749] - Wall Schedule Drawing - improved tolerance is added to prevent detection of very slight section differences along the wall height which would commonly be ignored and could formerly result in unnecessary section duplication and notes regarding the cross section not being consistent in the drawing.


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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