ETABS as Structural Analysis Software, Read This First!
Using ETABS as structural analysis software is normal in the world of Civil Engineering. ETABS is made by Computers and Structures Incorporated (CSI) which is located in Barkley, California, USA. Etabs started to be developed by Dr. Edward L. Wilson in 1970 in University of California. CSI does not develope ETABS only, but also SAFE and SAP. These there softwares (SAP, ETABS and SAFE) are quite famous in Civil Engineering World.
SAP is Structural Analysis Software usually used in Bridges, Stadium, Steel factories and other industrial buildings. SAFE is specifically used in concrete slabs and foundations. ETABS is used in High Rise Building (Apartment, Hospital, etc).
Generally, ETABS has five modes. They are Steel Frame Analysis, Concrete Frame Analysis, Composite Beams Analysis, Truss Analysis and Shear Wall Analysis. This software has been used in Indonesia and even in the world for long time. All engineers believe in this software for analysis. This software will make any civil engineers save their time in analyzing the building structure.
In structural modeling using ETABS, we have to make simple model which is representative for the analysis. Macleod (1990) suggested that structural model :
1. Should be simple, but don’t be too simple. Make it representative.
2. Should be done in phases. Macro model and Micro model should be done correctly.
3. Should consider the real structural behaviour on site. The engineer should has the ability to predict this.
In structural analysis using ETABS, we should not trust the result 100%. We should understand the structural behaviour. This needs experience and teacher.
In order to make Structural Analysis going well, we should understand these following things :
1. Design Process (analysis, design and drawing)
2. Fabrication Process (implementing the drawings and design specification)
3. Erection Process (Assembling)
4. Maintenance and Structural Evaluation
ETABS is really useful as Structural Analysis Software. On the other hand we have to understand that ETABS is only secondary tool. As structural engineer, we should study “what is inside”. There are so many things should be considered in Structural Analysis.
I hope this is useful for you.