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The advise you were given would yield the minimum number of elements that I
would use for that size of foundation.  Yes, each node has three degrees of
freedom, but you'll be checking the foundation for it's six degrees of freedom.

"victor lee" <vlee1111(--nospam--at)> wrote:
>Evan Jorgensen and Bill Polhemus,
>Thanks for your comments.  Since I have access to only STADDIII (company
>provided), I will try to use it if I can.  Talking with STAADIII folks, they
>agreed that 99 time step pairs can be entered in the data.  If you want to
>input more steps, you have to create a file with "unlimited" steps, and then
>input a "Read" statement to access the data file.  Now if you input force
>function w/ time varying amplitude, any step size can be input.  Whether it
>works or not, thanks for pointing out.  Regarding the foundation, assuming
>60' x 60' x 5' Thick, I was advised to create solid elements, say 5' x 5' x
>5' (each node will have 3 degrees of freedom).  Any comments.
>Victor Lee