There are two methods for importing shells modeled in the main program into the wall modules for design
1. Integrated Design. Modules – Assign
2. Standalone Design. Modules – Standalone
The Integrated Design option imports the wall geometry, material property, and forces from the main program. The module works as a post-processor: the analysis is completed in the main program, forces are imported into the module, and wall design is completed in the module using those forces. Once the design is performed, the results are stored in the main model file (*.etz). After the design is saved and the module is closed, an orange rectangle representing the wall design will be displayed within the shell elements as shown in the image below. The wall design can be edited or reviewed later by editing the assigned wall (Modules – Edit or double-click on the orange rectangle). If changes are made to the wall geometry or loads in the main program, those changes will automatically be imported in the wall module file when the wall is edited at a later date.
Because the module is a post-processor and a second finite element analysis is not completed in the module, it is not possible to change properties of the wall (thickness, opening locations, etc) or loading within the module. All items marked with a red arrow (see yellow circle in image below) cannot be modified in the module. To include changes to these items in the wall design, the change must be made to the shells in the main program, the model must be reanalyzed, and the assigned wall design must be edited so the wall information is reimported into the module. Items marked with a blue pencil (see red circle in image below) can be modified in the module.
Out-of-plane wall pressure, such as wind load on an perimeter wall, can present problems for the Integrated Design option. Typically, wind loads are applied as story forces at a point on a diaphragm and not as pressures applied directly to exterior walls. This is how lateral loads are imported in models that are imported from RAM Structural System. If wind loads are applied this way, there is not a way to add the out-of-plane wind pressure when the wall is passed into the module. To consider the out-of-plane pressure in the wall design, the wind loads would need to be modeled as pressures on the exterior shells or a second model using the Standalone Design option would need to created to evaluate the out-of-plane condition.
The Standalone Design option imports the wall geometry and material only. The loads acting on the wall and the load combinations must be defined in the module after the wall is imported. A separate 2D finite element analysis is completed in the module based on the imported geometry and material properties, the manually defined loads, and the assumed boundary conditions. The wall design is saved in a separate file (*.cwd, *.msw, *tup). There is no direct integration between the module file and the main program file. Any changes made in either file will need to be copied over manually to the other file.
For either the Integrated Design or Standalone Design option, the shells are imported into the wall module by first selecting the shells for one wall elevation and then clicking on the menu option noted above. The selected shells that are passed into the module must meet the following requirements:
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