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Building Modeling w/ underground levels

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Please consider the following items and respond accordingly:

>From experience, if you have to generate a 3D plate element model of an
irregular shape shearwall building with a basement level (all walls are
continuous down to the bot of basement), do you find it better to model the
building down to ground level
with appropriate supports(ie. equiv. soil springs, stiffness of walls below,
etc.) and then generate a second "basement model"?  Or do you model the
basement level as part of the model.  I realize the answer can vary depending
on several factors.

Q2:  What if you have two basement levels?

Q3:  If you model the basement(s) as part of the model what kind of boundary
conditions do you assume/consider for the underground exterior walls (ie. joint
releases/restraints of the plate element joints)?

I understand ETABS has capabilities for modeling underground levels, but I
don't have access to ETABS at this point.


Please excuse the lengthy questions.  Also, like many of you, I wish the
outputs to may of the available programs could be controlled better,
especially, for plate elements.

Ed Gonzalez