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RE: wood design programs

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To my knowledge, RISA-3D can do rigid diaphragms (as long as they are not slopped), but not flexible ones.
Adrian, MI

From: Bill Allen [mailto:t.w.allen(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, May 08, 2009 11:24 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: wood design programs

Woodworks will not do all of the things you want it to do.


I believe the latest version of RISA 3D incorporates a wood wall element including shear walls. I don't believe it addresses diaphragms yet but it is in the works. I have no idea how well it works. Programming wood behavior and design is tricky and I believe, contrary to published statements by SEAOSC's Past President, Martin Johnson, wood design requires quite a bit of REAL engineering. This is not a knock on my colleagues who design steel and concrete structures, but there is a reason why wood design has not made it into computer programs very successfully (yet). I do believe if anyone can do it, it will be Bruce Bates.


The best program that will do exactly what you want it to do?

Microsoft Excel.



T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E.


Consulting Structural Engineers
V (949) 248-8588 F(949) 209-2509

-----Original Message-----
From: PFFEI(--nospam--at) [mailto:PFFEI(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 3:35 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: wood design programs


what is the consensus on a good wood design program for lateral force design. i am looking for something that can do rigid diaphragm analysis, perforated shear wall design, accomodate irregular geometries and torsion, system offsets between levels, and model steel elements that could be part of the system.  is woodworks a good program or is there something better.


thanks for your response.


paul franceschi, s.e.