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RE: Simpson Strong Tie Lateral Design Software

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Title: RE: Simpson Strong Tie Lateral Design Software

This is part I of a 2 part message:

The intent of this message is to clarify the relationships between Simpson Strong-Tie, Keymark Enterprises, and the QLAT lateral analysis program developed by LateralPro Technology.  It is also to explain, in some detail, how the new software we are marketing works (it is very different from QLAT).  Because of the current debates surrounding lateral analysis of wood structures,  I felt it important to let everyone know "what's coming" as we haven't been too vocal up to this point.  I hope that this is not perceived as an inappropriate use of this list server. 

Over the past few years, Simpson Strong-Tie and Keymark Enterprises have been working together to develop a new generation of wood design software.  A key part of that effort has been a comprehensive lateral analysis module that replicates the state-of-the-art practices of the structural engineering community.  This software is completely new, completely independent from the QLAT software and is currently in a beta phase of testing.  Specific details of this new program, called KeyLat, will be addressed below. 

Recently, Simpson Strong-Tie purchased LateralPro Technology and the QLAT program, long recognized as the leader in lateral analysis for wood structures. Support for the QLAT program will continue as well as further enhancements.  QLAT and KeyLat are different enough that they will appeal to different users for different reasons.  Together, these programs support our goal:  helping people build safer structures economically.  They do this by quickly performing the tedious calculations involved in a lateral analysis, thus allowing the engineer to spend more time on applying good engineering judgement to the results of the analysis.  No matter how good the software is, good engineering judgement will always be required!  For this reason, KeyLat is being marketed to registered engineers and architects only.

As mentioned earlier, the KeyLat software from Keymark Enterprises is completely new and entirely separate from QLAT.  While we have incorporated many of the good features of QLAT, we have also added many features not found in QLAT.  KeyLAT is composed of three fully integrated modules:  MODEL, STRUCTURE, and LATERAL.  They work together to perform an exhaustive lateral analysis in a very short time, based on either the '94 or '97 Uniform Building Code.  The program will specify typical site built shear walls (gypboard, stucco, plywood/OSB) as well as the new prefabricated Simpson Strong-WallTM shear wall.

Part 2 to follow.

Steve Pryor, S.E.
Technical Manager, Lateral Force Resisting Systems
Simpson Strong-Tie