This Client Server article is republished in its entirety from 2008 for reference purposes.
By Phil RiegelTechnical Support Analyst 11 September 2009 Modified: 24 November 2009
Reference Loads is a powerful tool in STAAD.Pro that expands users’ options for setting up load cases and improves their overall efficiency. Reference Loads are useful because they are not explicitly solved during the analysis, but rather exist only as building blocks to be included in creating primary load cases. In this sense one can think of Reference Loads as “load definitions.”
They are particularly helpful for large models, which often contain many load cases that do not require analysis in their own right, including seismic, wind, or live load acting alone. Users can create multiple reference loads and then have STAAD.Pro solve only a limited number of “real” load cases. By limiting the loads examined, the user can significantly reduce the time required for analysis.>
Reference Loads are defined in the General -> Load & Definitions page of the Modeling Mode, which can be accessed by clicking the appropriate tabs on the left-hand side of the screen (circled in Figure 1):
In the Definitions section, the Reference Loads are listed as follows:
To add a new Reference Load case, select "Reference Load Definitions" in the Load & Definition dialog box and click Add. Inputting the title for the Reference Load case and the number is done in the same manner as when creating primary load cases.
Once a Reference Load case has been created, follow these steps to input load items. This process, too, is exactly the same as for primary load cases:
At this point the Reference Load definition is complete. The next step is to include the Reference Loads in primary load cases, as follows:
The format of the definition of a Reference Load (i) in the data file is as follows:
DEFINE REFERENCE LOADS
LOAD R(i) LOADTYPE (type) TITLE REF LOAD CASE 1
END DEFINE REFERENCE LOADS
The format of a reference to a Reference Load in a primary load (j) case is as follows:
LOAD (j) LOADTYPE (type) TITLE LOAD CASE 1
Reference Loads are very helpful when creating a seismic load definition. Consider, for example, a situation in which the dead loads have been defined as Reference Loads. Instead of manually inputting the dead loads a second time in the seismic definition, you can simply refer to the Reference Load case, which is listed in the seismic definition dialog box as seen below.
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