Computer Modeling of Structural Systems for Residential Scale Buildings

by Richard A. Ebeltoft, Univ of Arizona, Tucson, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Housing America in the Twenty-First Century


The majority of housing in the United States is single family residences or low-rise multiple family dwelling units. The structural systems usually consist of rather uncomplicated types of structural systems such as wood and masonry. The preliminary design of these component parts is relatively simple, yet the optimization and design of all the component parts can be time-consuming and tedious. The development of spreadsheet programs has lent a powerful tool to the effort of improving on the design analysis of family units. Spreadsheets are a matrix of cells that perform a assignable mathematical function at any desired cell. The spreadsheet can be programmed to calculate most series of equations used to design any structural element. The designer can for example write a series of instructions for calculating a wood beam. All the steps and the associated equations can be typed out and are visible on the spreadsheet. This can then serves as a template for any future calculations that need to be made. The use of these spreadsheet templates offers the potential for the development of a variety of simple programs for design of individual structural elements. These can then be used to perform repetitive calculations. The use of these spreadsheet programs or templates can greatly expedite the design of these simple structures in several ways.

Subject Headings: Spreadsheets | Computer models | Residential buildings | Structural systems | Scale models | Structural models | Wood structures | Structural members | United States

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