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Civil Engineering/Modell precast panels with ETABS


QUESTION: Dear Mr. Babak,
I am trying to model precast panels for multistories building with ETABS. The building consist mainly precast panels as main vertical load bearing members, flat slab and cast-in situ lift shaft wall.

I do not know how to model connections between panels and the floors as it should be pin connections as it is connected with other panels through floors by dowels (the panels sit on the floors underneath and support the floors above). The distance between dowels are 1.0m.

Best regards.

ANSWER: Dear west

Could you explain me please how would you manage the lateral loading?


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QUESTION: Dear Mr. Babak,

The lateral load will be transferred to the lift shaft (cast in-situ) through the flat slab (cast in-situ too).


ANSWER: Dear West

Then the proper and efficient way to model the vertical panel connection to the horizontal slabs is to define a node( or few close together nodes) on the middle   of the panels and constrain them ( not in bending but in shear and vertical direction)  to related nodes on the slab. May be you would have some trouble with vertical forces which have to be arrange with sufficient nodes.


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Tks for your support. My question is mainly in ETABS modelling. How could we release moment in this case. We could find restraint release for support but how could we do wt release moment of a node (joint) connection mesh of panels and mesh of floors above and underneath of panel.

panel meshing
panel meshing  
Dear West

There are several ways to do it. I suggest you to define fine grids and then draw panels and mesh them as your very requirements. I appended a picture which depict what I want to clear.
Although don't hesitate to ask if further if any doubt or problem persists.


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Babak Esmailzadeh Hakimi


I can answer questions in Structural Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, Project Management and Project Control topics!


I am experienced in the area of earthquake engineering in electrical power industry, i.e. Lifeline Earthquake Engineering. My focus has been on structural seismic design of power installations. Recently I have got involved in project management in the category of constructional engineering.

Sinam Consulting Engineers Co.

Bs degree in Civil Engineering from Ferdowsi University ,1988, Mashhad Iran, Ms degree in Earthquake Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, 1993, Tehran, Iran

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