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I need some feedback on Multi-Lat(tm) and opinions on some ideas I have. Please read if you do wood design Wind and/or Seismic.

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I’ve been working on the Multi-Lat™ spreadsheet again (download it at: http://www.structuralist.net/yabbse/index.php?board=19;action="">)  and have added some features that are not readily apparent when you use the spreadsheet.  I am considering posting a project that I am currently working on as a model to base a tutorial and Discussion Forum on (I intend to take off the title block and client name). The Multi-Lat™ Tutorial and Discussion Forum is located at http://www.structuralist.net/yabbse/index.php?board=19 .

First, this is not a solicitation – Multi-Lat™ is free and always intended to be created for our professional peers (included in the design of the original spreadsheet is Jim Lord (who I think retired from engineering) and David Merrick, SE who expanded the rigid diaphragm design). I realize that most offices have created their own tools but there are many of you who are small offices or sole-proprietorships and have a need or a budget for freeware. Although there are many reasons to stay away from freeware, I think that Multi-Lat™ has gone through enough evolution to be as accurate (maybe more so) than many of the other products you would pay for. What is lacking is documentation and this is where I need some help. I don’t have the time to write a manual, but I can offer example problems and analysis output. >From there, I would rely upon my Structuralist.Net BBS Forum to answer your questions or explain special uses – even how to modify the spreadsheet. A lot of work went into it and I think it can be of great use to many of you if you understand some of the basics that will take about an hour to learn (or less if you are a quick study).

 

I would like some feedback on this idea. I will have the latest copy of the spreadsheet available for download on the forum. I intend to post the drawings as DWF files (developed by AutoDesk and accessible through a free viewer available at:  http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?id=2787358&siteID=123112&wac=IL13872 ) and show the results of the analysis in PDF format (free viewer at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html ). I have limited storage space on the site and because of this can’t afford to post the full spreadsheet. Furthermore, I’m using AutoCad ADT 2005 and it would be difficult to find a universal format other than their DWF.

 

I would like some feedback from those of you who have looked at the spreadsheet and may be using it, or using it but without understanding some of the more useful features it can provide, or who have stopped using it because of the lack of documentation and any other problems you might have had. Please let me know – especially if there is a problem with accuracy.

 

Finally, I will be making further modifications to the software to allow for use with the 2003 Existing Building Code – General Application for lateral load distribution to flexible (if tested as such) diaphragm. The difference is that for now the spreadsheet assumes a uniform dead load for the weight of wood walls. It will not allow the user to input loads for heavier walls made of masonry, concrete or adobe without going into the spreadsheet coding and changing the default wall dead load values.

 

Some years ago I wrote a spreadsheet called Equake™ and this designed according to the UCBC Appendix Chapter 1. I have a need to restore this program for some work in my area but wish to embed it into a version of Multi-Lat™. If any of you have a copy of Equake™ that has been converted to Lotus 123 or Excel, please let me know as I will have to do some searching for one that I created or rewrite the sections for General Application and Special Procedure (URM). I created the program in Lotus, and then converted it to Quattro and this is where I left it.

 

Thanks in Advance for any information you can share with me. I use Multi-Lat™ regularly now and think it is a powerful and useful tool that I and Dave Merrick are happy to offer to others as freeware. We would be pleased if others are willing to improve it and offer it back to us so that I can incorporate the improvements into a master spreadsheet – of course all credit is give to the source.

 

Respectfully,

Dennis S. Wish, PE

Dennis S. Wish, PE

California Professional Engineer

Structural Engineering Consultant

dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net

http://www.structuralist.net

 


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