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Building Solution Features


Materials and Cross-Sections

List of Materials

  • Steel (AISI, AISC, cold-formed)
  • Concrete (A23.3, ACI)
  • Wood (O86, NDS, Nordic, Generic Joists)
  • Reinforcements and bends (G30.18, A615)
  • Cables (Grade 1760 and 1860)
  • Studs (NEILSON)
  • Steel Decking (CANAM)
  • Wood Sheathing (DFP, CSP, OSB)
  • Cohesive & Granular Soils, Rock
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

List of Cross-Sections

  • Editable databases of over 2000 section profiles and automatic calculation of their properties
  • Parametric Sections: Steel, standard concrete resistance, species of wood
  • Types of Steel available: AISI, AISC, CISC
  • Wooden I-Joists
  • Open Web Wooden Joists
  • Calculates the sections mechanical properties including St-Venant Torsional Constant

Section Calculator

The Section Calculator is a very powerful feature that allows you to import any geometric section into the software in order to be used in the structure. The software calculates the geometric and mechanical properties of the section and saves it within the custom section spreadsheets. The section created is saved and can later be used for any model.


ADA Building offers a complete library of structural elements, supports and loads. Easily configurable, these elements adapt to all situations. This CAD software has advanced features while remaining easy to use:

  • 2D and 3D Structures
  • “Structure”, “Load Case” and “Results” Modes
  • Linear Elements: Members with 12 DOF and cables (released in tension or in compression, rigid)
  • Surface Elements: shell, plate, membrane, plane strain and plane stress 6DOF/node
  • Floors: One-way, Two-way, Joist, Rigid or Flexible (diaphragms)
  • Walls: One-way, Two-way, Stud, Rigid, or Flexible (with or without diaphragms)
  • Able to orient and block support DOF and elastic supports (non-linear support with releases)
  • Master/Slave Node Link
  • Semi-rigid connection between linear elements
  • Dependant Nodes, Fixed, Pinned, Adjustable, Elastic and Released Supports
  • Editing Functions: Add, Delete, Copy/Paste, Move, Pivot, Control on Beta Angle, Mirror, Split (Plates and Members), Enlarge, Search, Un-do & Re-do, Create Selection with any Element Type
  • Interaction between graphical select and content in spreadsheets
  • Copy/Paste with other Commercial softwares working with Spreadsheets
  • Spreadsheet Operations: Auto-numbering, Replace, Modify, Change Units, Sort, Search and More...
  • Members with elastoplastic Behavior for non-linear time history analysis
  • Members with Rigid extensions, partial rigidities, composite beams, filled HSS’, elastoplatic behavior
  • Grid
  • Composite Sections
  • Metric and Imperial Units
  • Multilingual (English, French, Spanish)
  • Online Help and Extensive Manual
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features


GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

The generators in ADA Building offer a time saving solution for the users.

  • Building Generator
  • Arch
  • Finite Element generator (two-way system)
  • Truss
  • Retaining Wall (automatic generation of the retaining wall model, the model of the shallow or pile foundation below, automatic generation of the loads, the elastic supports, continuous systems, automated assignment of design specifications and plate groups)
  • Wood Truss Roofs

North American Codes and Standards

ADA Building has all the latest codes and standards enforced in Canada and the USA. Some of codes in ADA are:


  • National Building Code of Canada 2010
  • CAN-CSA S16-14 Design of Steel Structures
  • CAN-CSA A23.3-04 Design of Concrete Structures
  • CAN-CSA O86-09 Engineering Design in Wood

The seismic spectral accelerations defined in the NBCC are available in the databases to be selected and used.


  • 2006 International Building Code
  • ASCE 7-10 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures
  • ANSI/AISC 360-10 Specifications for Structural Steel Buildings
  • ACI 318-02 Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete
  • ANSI/AF&PA NDS-2005 National Design Specification (NDS) for Wood Construction

Loads and Combinations

  • Concentrated loads, linear loads and surface loads, imposed masses and imposed displacement
  • Load Cases: self-weight and dead loads, live loads, snow loads, wind, seismic, thermal gradients
  • Accidental loads, time history, vibrational loads
  • Nodes and Supports: Concentrated, moments, displacements and settlements of the supports
  • Members: concentrated, uniformly distributed, trapezoidal (partial or total), torsional and temperature differential
  • Plates: gravitary, pressure and temperature differential
  • Floors: dead, concentrated, uniformly distributed and trapezoidal
  • Combination generator based on a Canadian code (NBCC 1995-2005-2010) or American code (ASCE-7, ASD or LFRD)
  • Manage associations based on primary and accompanying loads
  • Manually create personalized combinations
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

Static Analysis

GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

This feature allows linear, non-linear static (P-δ and P-Δ) and analysis with releases for 2D and 3D structures. The results of the other features (moving load analysis, spectral analysis, etc…) may be combined to create combinations to run in a static analysis. The "Batch Analysis" function allows starting the analysis of several models at the same time without having to open each file. The software also provides a “Results Comparer” which makes comparisons (in the same table) of results for several different files.

For static analysis, we find the following main features:

  • Linear analysis
  • Linear analysis with releases
  • Non-linear 2nd order analysis
  • Multi-processor solver
  • Analysis of influence lines (2D or 3D moving loads)
  • Construction stages analysis for pre-stressed concrete beams

Dynamic Analysis

This feature allows the user to perform modal analysis, spectral, temporal linear and nonlinear, transient and general dynamic. The results envelopes E (spectral), Et (time history) or Etnl (non-linear time history) can be incorporated within static analysis combination. It is possible to calibrate the spectral analysis according to a selected code. Inelastic effects and accidental torsion are also included.

Modal Analysis

  • Calculation of natural frequencies of the structure and the corresponding vibration modes
  • Graphic animation of the vibration modes
  • Editable percentage of dampening

Spectral Analysis

  • Seismic Spectral Analysis (NBCC, UBC, IBC)
  • Results at each level (storey) according to the seismic directions defined and the inter-storey drift
  • Calibration of spectral analysis according to the code selected
  • Included the inelastic effects and accidental torsion
  • Can perform a ductile design by adding in the effects of ductility for seismic force resisting systems according to the CAN/CSA-S16-09 Chapter 27

Linear Time History Analysis

  • Built-in database of more than 100 accelerograms
  • Differential displacement between nodes
  • Time history curves of forces, reactions and displacements
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

Non-Linear Time History Analysis

  • Members with elastoplastic behaviour
  • “Pall” Friction Dampers (linear elastic-perfectly plastic) to be used for a study with any accelerogram selected
  • Hystersis loops

General Dynamic Analysis

  • Type of functions that can be selected to be used in the general dynamic analysis
  • Sine
  • Cosine
  • Half Sine wave + step interval
  • Triangular + step interval
  • Rectangular + step interval
  • Trapezoidal + step interval
  • Node displacement results displayed according to time

Moving Load Analysis

This feature allows for the analysis of 2D and 3D moving loads for structures that can contain overhead cranes or for structure that supports mobile equipment (machinery, ventilation systems, etc..).

For an analysis of an overhead crane, ADA Building allows to directly define the various loads to be considered in the moving load scenarios to ensure it covers all conditions of load combinations required by the NBCC 2010.

  • Definition moving load axis
  • Definition of load cases to be included in the scenarios of the moving load
  • Definition of the moving load scenarios
  • Definition of moving load envelopes
  • Definition of the combinations that include the moving load
  • Has the ability to manually set the vertical and horizontal loads of the overhead crane without generating scenarios of moving loads
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

Finite Elements and Calculations

GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features
  • Automatic FE Generator: Delaunay
  • Mesh according to member boundaries
  • Internal mesh of floor systems with joists (steel or wood) and for the analysis
  • Colour contouring and deformation results of the finite element mesh (plates)

Steel Design

This feature verifies and optimizes the steel members using design specifications (verification or design) and design groups. The calculation is an iterative cyclical process. Ductile design for seismic resisting frame system (SRFS) is also available.


  • Available standards: CSA/CAN-S16, S136, AISC-360
  • Design groups
  • Control on the section class and cross-section while optimizing
  • Automatic calculation of non-supported length (Lu), ω2 and Cb values, and the effective length in compression
  • Calculates the buckling length, lateral-torsion buckling and the allowable deflection
  • Resistance and stability of a section
  • Section optimization
  • Calculates the capacity of the steel decking diaphragms
  • Steel specification generator
  • Deflection criteria (L/Δ max) according to strong or weak axis of the profile
  • Stiffeners/spacing for I beams
  • Thickness of the HSS profiles for the design (0.9t, 0.93t or 1.0t)
  • Spacing between the intermittent fillers of a double angle
  • Optimization and control of the design based on area, inertia, width and height of the cross-section
  • Calculation of the net effective area with or without reduction factor (shear lag)
  • Maximum work ratio capacity factor
  • Web-Tapered members

Composite Beams

  • Supports the design and calculation of the capacity of steel-concrete shored composite beams
  • Adjustable ratio "n" (E steel/ E concrete)
  • Calculates the number of shear studs required for fatigue and shear resistance
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

Complete Design Brief

The Complete Design Brief featuring detailed explanation of the calculations of steel and timber members. This report contains:

  • Forces diagrams for critical load combinations, Bending-Compression and Shear-Torsion as well as deflection diagrams for serviceability and instantaneous combinations.
  • Concentrated and distributed load cases applied to the member, for the critical load combination.
  • Name of shape and building code used for the design
  • Shape properties
  • Material properties
  • Critical load combination values for combined bending/compression forces in the member, and forces that are considered in the design.
  • Critical load combination values for maximum shear-torsion force acting on the member, and corresponding forces
  • Verification of KL/r max, Mr with and without lateral buckling, verification of code provisions and deflections for Deflection load combinations, if any.
  • Q value: Factor that reduces the fy-value of class 4 sections, other than cold-formed.
  • “Sufficient or Insufficient” cross-section Conclusion

Ductile Design

  • Calculation and verification of ductile frames as defined in section 27 of the CAN/CSA-S16-09 standard
  • Members in the bracing system are defined based on their usage in the SRFS
  • Retro-calculation for the ductile design
  • Results of seismic steel design in spreadsheet format

Concrete Design

This feature verifies and optimizes of the main reinforcement and stirrups for continuous systems and beam-columns, as well as for two-way slabs and shear walls using finite elements. Also, it is possible to obtain the 2D and 3D interaction curves, the rebar placement plans as well as the reinforcing bar list.


  • Available standards: A23, ACI-318
  • General and simplified method
  • Regular and variable geometry elements
  • Rebar placement for linear elements and surface elements, which includes longitudinal and transverse reinforcement
  • Rebar placement in beams, columns, shear walls, two-way slabs and slab on grade
  • Steel rebar, fiber reinforced polymers and meshes
  • Graphic or spreadsheet editing of reinforcement (automatically re-calculates resistance diagrams)
  • Cross-sectional view generator
  • Bill of materials along with a reinforcing bar list which includes the all bends necessary
  • Rebar placement plans: pdf direct print screens and export to DXF
  • Verify the columns using the interaction curves
  • Designs L, T, rectangular, circular and variable geometry sections
  • Calculates resistance Mr by stress-strain compatibility
  • Verification and design considering cracking
  • Calculates and places reinforcement in the foundations
  • Verification of the capacity of a pre-stressed member with stages of construction

Continuous Systems

  • Automatic calculation of rigid extensions
  • Control the eccentricity of a member in all three directions of it local axis: x, y, and z
  • Assign a specification per continuous system

Modifiable Reinforced Concrete Specifications

  • Automatic calculation of concrete cover based on exposure
  • Considers epoxy coating
  • Allows the choice of rebar to be placed during the design for both bending and shear
  • Choice of optimization type for the longitudinal, transversal and stirrups bars
  • Can select the temperature reinforcement for two-way slabs

Pre-Stress Concrete Design

This feature does the verification and optimization of pre-stressed concrete beams with pre-tension and sequential or non-sequential post-tensioning cables.


  • Selection of a model with shrinkage and creep and calculation by numerical integration
  • Checks shear and flexural capacity according to general or simplified method
  • Calculates Mr by stress-strain compatibility
  • Automatic calculation of secondary pre-stressed effects and effects of shrinkage and creep

Pre-stressed Cables

  • Useful to place cables within the continuous systems: rectilinear, parabolic and circular
  • Pre-tension
  • Post-tension, placing of cable
  • Internally without grout
  • Internally with grout
  • Externally

Construction Stages

  • There are 11 construction stages, 4 of these levels are for pre-load and 3 sequential or non-sequential post-tensioning
  • Internal
  • Pouring of concrete
  • End of cure
  • Transfer of pre-stress (1)
  • Application of post-tensioning (2)
  • Addition of slab
  • End of humid cure for slab
  • Application de la post-tensioning (3)
  • Addition of extra dead loads
  • Long-term
  • Application of post-tensioning for repairs (4)
  • Long-term (repairs)


  • Analysis for staged construction and results at each stage
  • Automatic modification of end conditions for the members during the analysis of the construction stages
  • Isostatic, hyperstatic and semi-continuous systems (with design of additional longitudinal reinforcement)
  • Stirrup design (see module Reinforced Concrete Design)
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

Wood Design

This feature verifies and optimizes wooden structures, trusses and groups in a cyclical iterative design. The length, width and depth of the notches at the supporting ends are also considered during the calculation of the member resistance as well as the correction factors, duration and fasteners. Included are treated, glulam and mixed, processed and incised lumber. Besides the design of timber members, the module offers the possibility to design light framing floor joists systems and studded walls systems.


  • Available standards: O86, NDS
  • Buckling length, lateral-torsion buckling calculation and verification of deflections
  • Stability and resistance of sections
  • Section optimization
  • Calculation of capacity of light framing floors and walls with or without diaphragm effect
  • Notches considered in the calculations
  • Coefficients Kh, Kd, Ks, Kt, Kx, Kl, Kc considered
  • Modifiable Kd coefficient for the load combinations
  • Fasteners: nails, bolts and split ring
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

Design Criteria and Specifications

  • Design groups
  • Optimization and control of the design based on area, inertia, width and height of the cross-section
  • Deflection criteria (L/Δ max) according to strong or weak axis of the profile
  • Condition of use: dry or humid
  • Composition: sawn timber, glulam and mixed
  • Treated wood, incised or fire retardant treatment
  • Calculation of effective net area
  • Modifiable maximum design load rate

Light Framing

  • Design of wood joist floor system
  • Design of studded wood wall system

Foundation Design

This feature verifies and optimizes shallow foundations with or without soil-structure interaction and verifies pile foundations. It includes the verification of geotechnical and the structural capacity.

Foundation Modeling Wizard

  • Modeling wizard helps generate foundation models for both shallow and pile types
  • Can generate a stratigraphic profile and assign a specification to the models generated
  • Can edit parameters in the spreadsheet after the model has been generated
  • No restriction on the number of generated (auto-numbering of models)

Isolated Foundation

  • Interaction soil / structure (redistribution of forces within members generated by differential settlement between footings)
  • Bearing capacity by Meyerhof, Hansen, Vesic, Terzaghi, SPT, known q ult, field vane test, etc…
  • Design of reinforcement in the footings, modification of rebar and calculation of required reinforcement bars

Deep Pile Foundations

  • Steel or concrete piles, driven or bored, working is friction and/or point
  • Calculates the structural and geotechnical capacity of a single pile and group of piles
  • Piles modeled in finite elements according to the soil profile defined
  • Calculation of the bending, shear, friction or point capacity, displacement and calculation of the lateral capacity of each pile
  • Graphical results on the capacity of piles according to their depth and the position of the neutral axis
  • Display of pressure acting against the elastic supports located the length of the pile as well as their capacity
  • Automatic calculation of rigidity of elastic support according to the stratigraphic profile
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

Graphic Display

  • Absolute control over all the graphical settings: color, style and size of fonts, adjusting diagrams
  • Partial masking and unmasking of the structure
  • 3D Camera control using the keyboard
  • Displacement of the structure and force diagrams
  • Rotate the structure with a 3D orb function
GRAITEC Advance Design America | Building Solution Features

Online Help

A detailed online help is available and aims to best assist the user in developing their model. It is composed of 21 chapters dealing with modeling procedures while detailing some design assumptions used in the programming. A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) will provide a variety of useful tools for in its structural analysis.

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