We are delighted to announce that Advance Design 2021, part of Graitec Advance suite, has been released. Based on the needs and requests of the ever-growing communities that have gathered around each software developed by Graitec, we have developed new exciting features to enhance all your structural projects.

Advance Design 2021, the leading structural analysis software, is enhanced with a lot of new functionalities with high benefits for the end-user, and is articulated around a few main subjects:

  •   Advanced FEM calculations with the Pushover method implementation.
  •   New possibilities for Steel Design, including a possibility for defining super-elements, new steel connections and updates for the North American design codes.
  •   New possibilities for the Reinforced Concrete design, including improvements for the Shear Punching verification and a new way for defining drawings on RC modules.
  •   New workflows for Design calculations, including the possibility of running the design on a selection of elements, in several steps.
  •   Tens of miscellaneous features considering user’s requests.

We are inviting you to take a quick look at the selected new features and improvements brought to the Advance Design 2021.

New Pushover method

The Pushover is a method to predict the non-linear behavior of a structure under seismic loads. It can help demonstrate how progressive failure in buildings really occurs and identify the mode of final failure. The advantage of the pushover analysis is that the material nonlinearity and plastic hinging are considered but without the complications of the dynamic behavior.

The Pushover implementation is Advance Design comes with several benefits:

Easy definition of the Pushover analysis available directly from the Project Browser. As soon as you create the Pushover Analyse, the corresponding load cases will be created. Go to the property list and set the right parameters!

Advance Design
Advance Design

Powerful definition of Plastic Hinges, manually or automatically: hinges are available directly from the properties list of elements. Users can define manually the characteristics of those plastic hinges or select the automatic definition based on the geometry for steel elements or based on real reinforcement definition for RC members.

Those plastic hinges can be displayed on the 3D model!


Automatic generation of Pushover loads with extensive parametrization capabilities: different types of horizontal loads distributions, loads direction selection, point of application, loads eccentricity (defined by percentage) …

After generation, users can control those loads on screen!

Advance Design

Wide range of available results: as with normal static calculations, FEM results such as displacements and internal forces are available. The results can be checked as for the non-linear calculations for each of the subsequent calculation steps. Users can also generate the pushover force-displacement curve and display the graphically the status of the plastic hinges for each loading step.

Dedicated results tables are also available in the report generator.

New possibilities for Steel Members and Connections Design

Advance Design 2021 comes with several new powerful features dedicated to the design of steel structures.

New type of compound object is available: Super-element. A super-element is an element which consists of a set of individual linear elements. It’s a kind of a group of linear elements, that is used as a single element for various checks. A simple example of where the use of super-element is beneficial is the check of the limit deflection for a roof that is modeled by several linear elements.

For the elements to be combined into one super element, they must meet several conditions, including joining at the ends, having the same material category, having the same cross-section type and the same orientation (Z axis of the local system facing the same direction). Each newly created super element has its own unique ID number. It can be used, among other things, for selection or for displaying on a model view, thanks to the new type of annotation for linear elements.

Advance Design can optimize the entire 3D Steel model considering the defined super-elements.  The Steel design results are available separately for the element and the super-element either. For example, check the maximum deflections using postprocessing diagrams, accessing the detailed shape sheet per element or super-element, or generating parametric detailed reports. Check all your steel project in a short time!

Improvements on Intermediate restrains definition for the Lateral Torsional Buckling check. In Advance Design, it is possible to define those restrains graphically which makes the definition much easier and more effective. Just select a steel member and access the different possibilities through the contextual menu: pinned and fixed restrains, for lower and upper flanges with the possibility to define them on points defining the required option in the command line.

With Advance Design, you can also design and optimize the Steel Connections within the same application. With the release 2021, several new features enhance possibilities:

  • New User Interface for easier management of connections
  • Base plate connection with hollow sections (rectangular, square or round)
  • Asymmetric pinned based plate connection
  • Additional stiffeners on beam flanges to increase the compression resistance of Moment End Plate connections
  • Several miscellaneous improvements on different connections

New possibilities for Steel Members and Connections Design

Advance Design 2021 also comes with several new powerful features dedicated to the design of Reinforced Concrete structures.

Several improvements for the Punching Shear verification:

Possibility of running the verification over punctual supports and below concentrated loads

Ability to set parameters separately for each slab to better manage complex situations

Extended detecting a position of the column for the automatic eccentricity β factor determination and control perimeters definition

New and more detailed tables for the reports

Accurate definition and calculation of the Punching bars calculated using the 6.52 formula from the amendment A1 (February 2015) to EN1992-1-1: transversal and longitudinal imposed spacing, type of shear bars, imposed or automatic diameter for the links…

New option for the minimum reinforcement on RC slabs: To extend the control over the definition of minimum reinforcement in slabs, a new Coverage of minimum reinforcement option has been added to the property list of concrete planar elements (Eurocode) to calculate those minimal required values only on tensioned faces on the element. This new option offers greater flexibility in the reinforcement calculation of planar elements.

Maximum crack width values definition has been separated for the bottom and top side of slabs to allow the verification separately for the two sides, which is particularly important for slabs having contact with ground or water from one side. Both values are available on the property list of concrete slabs.

For better control when defining the real reinforcement values on RC slabs, additional info about reinforcement areas per unit length has been added to the definition dialog. It is available on new columns separately for the global definition part and for parts for defining additional areas with using fabrics or bars.

All values on new columns are read-only and are automatically updated if diameter or spacing is modified for reinforcement bars or a fabric type is changed.

Improvements on concrete design modules

In the latest version of the Advance Design many novelties and improvements have been introduced to the concrete design modules.

New dialogs for better user experience: dialogs for defining the geometry, the design assumptions and for editing the reinforcement have been completely modified. All windows have a uniform appearance, size, layout and data input. Thanks to the menu list on the left side of dialogs and its tree structure, the user can quickly add/remove or modify certain components (for example openings). It is especially useful on windows for reinforcement editing, where modifying one of the features (e.g. bar diameter) for the parent position in a tree changes the value also in all elements in each tree branch.

The mechanism of creating reinforcement drawings has been completely modified. Thanks to the new layout, and especially a tree with all drawing components, the user has control over the composition of all drawing elements: views can be moved freely within the sheet and easily rescaled. It is also possible to move or delete most of the components of the view, such as dimensional lines, view descriptions, level symbols, bending details and more. All this makes it very quick and easy to adapt the drawing to your needs.

Verification of existing 3D rebar cages: command has been added allowing to perform the verification of the element with modified / manually created reinforcement. It performs all verifications that are carried out during calculations, considering all settings and set loads as well as imposed reinforcement. After verification, all diagrams, drawings and reports are available. If any conditions are not met, appropriate warnings appear on the Errors and warnings tab.

The latest version of the RC beam module offers the possibility to choose the method of automatic transversal bars spacing compensation. It allows for choosing the method of placing transversal bars for uneven bar distribution.

New methods for multilayer soils: the method of determining the load-bearing capacity of the foundation on the multi-layer soil has been extended with a selection of the way for the homogenization of layered subsoil for determining the mean soil parameters:

  •   According to DIN 4017, which has been expanded with new options.
  •   By averaging soil parameter to a given depth, using various types of average.

Both methods are universal and can be used to verify the resistance according to all standards available in the application.

With the latest version 2021, the possibility of generating automatically Rebar bending details on wall reinforcement drawings was introduced. As with the other modules, there are several settings that allow the user to choose how to measure the length of bar sections and how to describe the schemes. Bending details can be generated on drawings of single bearing walls or shear walls.

The release 2021 can be downloaded from here

Joseph PAIS, Graitec Product Director comments: “For the new release 2021 of Advance Design, we have focused our developments on customer-driven enhancements to offer our users the tool they need. Super-elements, pushover, design at stages are examples of high-end new features you will benefit from this new version. Advance Design 2021 position itself as being the right tool for professionals who want to combine the power and the efficiency for their BIM Connected projects”.