Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Related Articles


what is the Building Design Process

what is the Building Design Process

what is the Building Design Process

when trying to design a concrete structure what is the process that needs to be followed ?

as far as I know sap2000 ETABS and SAFE are used to design. but what is the process ? what is done first ? which software should be used first and what are the outputs ?

does sap give you detailing ? which one to use sap or etabs ?

as you can see I'm confused so if anyone can give me the procedure it would be great. like first you use sap to get loads then safe to design each element or you first use sap to design slab and beam and then ....

PLEASE HELP ME !! if you could point me towards a video or a presentation on youtube or somewhere on the web it would be very helpful

RE: what is the Building Design Process

Design from the top down.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: what is the Building Design Process

First, you need to be a structural engineer, which requires an education and training. Then, you need to learn to design structures with pencil, paper, and calculator. Then, if you are still going, you might use software to help you with some of the laborious calculations. Using software requires not only understanding the inputs and outputs, but understanding when the outputs are wrong.

RE: what is the Building Design Process

Different firms and engineers will approach things differently but here's one outline that I see a lot that leans heavily on software:

1) Get preliminary lateral design out of the way. Generate wind and seismic loads by hand or with a spreadsheet. Build a simple model in ETABS for the sole purpose of lateral design. Verify it with hand checks.

2) Run some rudimentary SAFE models to get the loads on your columns from each floor. Verify this by via simple hand checks.

3) Create a column load takedown spreadsheet using the values from #2. Use these to preliminarily design your columns and footings. Use whatever tools you have in house.

4) Use your SAFE models from #2 to check long term deflections and punching shear in you slabs with the goal of estimating slab thickness.

5) Have an internal concept review performed by a senior engineer.

6) Cycle back through everything and perform your detailed, final designs. Reuse and refine models and designs that you've created above. Do some spot checks by hand.

7) Do your detailing by hand unless you're very experienced. I still do the majority of my detailing by hand. Good detailing is the primary thing separating good engineers from software monkeys in my opinion.

8) Have an internal quality control review performed by a senior engineer.

I like to debate structural engineering theory -- a lot. If I challenge you on something, know that I'm doing so because I respect your opinion enough to either change it or adopt it.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close