SeismoBuild – Innovative Software for Structural Assessment and Strengthening

SeismoBuild is an innovative Finite Elements package that can be employed to carry out structural assessment and strengthening of reinforced concrete framed structures. The program makes use of the Nonlinear Static Procedure (NSP), it is thus based on pushover analysis, and is capable of fully undertaking code defined seismic assessment methodologies, from the structural modelling through to the required analyses and the corresponding member checks.

The rational and intuitive structure, as well as the simplicity of this software tool, which stem from the fact that it is the only software worldwide that is exclusively dedicated to seismic assessment and strengthening of buildings, result in a very smooth learning curve even for engineers that are not familiar with the Finite Elements method. The user-friendly, CAD-based, graphical user interface increases the productivity significantly, to the point that the assessment of a multi-storey RC building may be completed within a few minutes, including the creation of the technical report and the CAD drawings to be submitted to the client.

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Why use SeismoBuild

It is a software tool focused on seismic assessment and strengthening

SeismoBuild follows an innovative new methodology, by which seismic assessment is fully separated from the design procedures and parameters. The main advantage of this approach is simplicity and clarification. With just a limited number of settings, dedicated only to assessment, and with a linear, straightforward process from structural modelling through to the analysis, the capacity checks and the export of the technical report and the structural drawings, the entire approach is fully transparent and intuitive.

It does not require specialised knowledge on nonlinear FE

Particular effort has been put on simplifying SeismoBuild, to the point that it can be used by engineers without any background on Finite Elements procedures. The input provided by users is related only to either the structural details (geometry, materials, and reinforcement), or clearly defined code-based parameters, such as the limit states, the seismic action, or the knowledge level. The entire structural model (including the material models parameters, the nodes location and the FE mesh, the elements geometry and offsets, the mass distribution and the loading patterns) is automatically created by the program without any intervention by the user.

It has a very smooth learning curve

Featuring an extremely intuitive graphical environment and a very straightforward methodology from the structural modelling to the capacity checks, SeismoBuild is extremely easy to learn, and can be used almost immediately. Neither manuals nor tutorial examples are required (though both are available), and any engineer may immediately start using the program effectively.

It offers increased productivity

Particular emphasis has been put on rendering the program not only intuitive, but also easy and fast to use. Columns, beams, slabs and stairs may be assigned with just a few mouse clicks, large libraries of materials have been included (including e.g. FRP wraps), the program default settings work for the vast majority of cases, and, whenever possible, the process is completely automated.

Further, the execution of the capacity checks and the extraction of the results are also automatically carried out, whereas the technical report and the CAD drawings are derived in such a way that they require the minimum possible interventions by the user, before they are submitted.

All these facilities result in an extremely user-friendly environment, whereby the modelling and checking of multi-storey buildings in a seismic assessment or strengthening project take no more than 1-2 hours.

It offers enhanced accuracy and reliability

The nonlinear analysis solver of SeismoBuild is based on the advanced solution algorithms of SeismoStruct, a package that features both geometric nonlinearities and material inelasticity and has been extensively used and verified by thousands of users for more than ten years. The accuracy of the solver in the nonlinear analysis of framed structures is very well demonstrated by the numerous successes of SeismoStruct in recent Blind Test Prediction Exercises, such as the Concrete Column Blind Prediction Contest 2010 (UCSD, San Diego, USA), which was sponsored by the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) and the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER, Berkeley University), or the Blind Test Challenge of the 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (LNEC, Lisbon, Portugal), amongst others.

SeismoBuild Features

General

  • SI and English Units supported
  • European and American reinforcing rebar types
  • support for Eurocodes, NTC-08 (Italian National Seismic Code) and KANEPE (Greek Seismic Interventions Code)

Building Modeller

  • easy CAD-based input; the floor’s plan view can be used as background
  • predefined built-in cross-sections for both existing and strengthened (jacketed) members (rectangular, L-shaped, T-shaped, circular, shear walls, normal or inverted T-beams)
  • very fast input of the longitudinal and transverse rebars through reinforcement patterns
  • graphical input of additional rebars at any location
  • predefined material sets for existing and new members; multiple material sets may be applied in the same model
  • easy modelling of strengthening with Fibre-Reinforced Polymers (FRP) wraps; a large library of existing FRP materials is available
  • simple input with a few mouse clicks for columns, slabs, beams and walls
  • simple insertion of stairs
  • easy modelling of inclined beams and slabs
  • automatic column subdivision to model short columns
  • advanced editing, copying and member renumbering facilities
  • snap, grid and ortho facilities

Codes and Standards

  • straightforward definition of code-based parameters
  • simple input of limit states, building performance levels, earthquake hazard levels and knowledge levels
  • easy definition of the parameters needed for the nonlinear analysis, with a range of predefined settings schemes and detailed guidelines with suggestions by the program

Structural Modelling, Analysis and Checks

  • after the model input is completed, the structural model is automatically created by the program (material models, nodes, FE mesh, elements, offsets, mass distribution and loading patterns)
  • geometric nonlinearities and material inelasticity are considered
  • large library of nonlinear models for concrete and steel materials
  • fibre-based inelastic frame elements
  • distributed plasticity models to accurately model the distribution of inelasticity along the entire height of large walls
  • eigenvalue and pushover analyses supported
  • SeismoStruct’s advanced, accurate and stable nonlinear solver is employed
  • automatic calculation of the target displacement
  • detailed and intuitive presentation of the analytical results; tables, charts and 3D plots are available
  • 3D plots with the deformed shapes; AVI movies to illustrate the sequence of structural deformation
  • all the code-defined capacity checks are supported (shear capacity, chord rotation capacity, inter-storey drift level, beam-column joints checks)
  • checks presented on a table and on the 3D plot; the members where the capacity is exceeded are highlighted with red

Deliverables

  • detailed technical report in PDF, RTF or HTML format; the content (text, plots and tables) and the size of the report are determined by the users
  • CAD drawings with plan views, members’ cross sections and reinforcement tables; specially created *.ctb files are included
  • easy copying of all the data, tables and plots to any other Windows application