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Modelling precast elements

Modelling precast elements

Modelling precast elements


I'm modelling a building with precast / tilt panel concrete walls which provide the lateral load resisting structure. I'm after advice on the correct way of modelling discrete shell elements in ETABS 2016, as our current office practice is to draw a gap between the panels in the model. While this is a valid way of modelling the panel wall, it is an extremely tedious process on large buildings as each panel must be reduced in size manually.

Is there a more elegant modelling technique that can be applied in situations similar to this? (ie edge releases?)



RE: Modelling precast elements

How you've described is how our office does our modeling as well.

There are edge releases as well that you may want to look at. In ETABS 2016 it's Assign>Shell>Edge Releases. I've never used them so can't vouch for how well it works or if it's even appropriate for this application.

I'm personally a little wary of edge releases. Easy to forget them and think you're connected because that's how it still looks visually. Maybe not as big of an issue if you mainly do precast or tilt, but I personally do primarily CIP so it's real easy to forget edge releases because I never use them. Would personally rather take the time to model the physical gap. Doesn't take very long if gaps are at regular intervals like the sketch you've shown. Can just do one and then replicate however many times you need.

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