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Archicad for Structural Engineers

Valladares Pagliotti & Asociados (VPA) relies on Archicad for their structural engineering, integrating it with other software like SAP, ETABS, and MATLAB. They prioritize collaboration with architects to align structural solutions with architectural intent, enhancing beauty while ensuring safety.

In projects like Esmeralda House, they create strong structural elements, earthquake-resistant columns, and adjust slab thickness.

At Tierra Patagonia hotel, they face wind challenges, and Archicad streamlines planimetry generation. VPA has even developed its own software for structural engineering, tailored to Chilean regulations for reinforced concrete buildings, making up a significant portion of their projects. For more information on this click on the link below.

Generating a Structural Analytical Model

This feature set improves and streamline the collaboration between architects and structural engineers. In this workflow, ARCHICAD creates a Structural Analytical Model that mirrors the Physical Model. The two models are generated simultaneously, and any changes made to the Physical Model are automatically reflected in the Structural Analytical Model. The Structural Analytical Model serves as a simplified representation of the Physical Model and is shared with a structural engineer for analysis in programs like SCIA Engineer.

The engineer uses their analysis software to perform simulations and optimize the Structural Analytical Model. Afterward, the updated Structural Analytical Model is sent back to Archicad, which then updates the Physical Model accordingly. This bi-directional process eliminates the need for file conversions and prevents data loss.

Interoperability with structural analysis programs is achieved through the Structural Analytical Format (SAF), designed for efficient model exchange compared to an IFC-based approach.

Archicad 24 introduces additional features, such as Model Compare, Issue management, Change Tracking in Teamwork, and Model Check for both analytical and physical models, to support this workflow.

To create a Structural Analytical Model in Archicad:

Use the "Show Structural Analytical Model" toggle, accessible from the View menu or the Structural Analytical Model Toolbar.

Components Included in the Structural Analytical Model

The Structural Analytical Model comprises:

  • Load-bearing elements.

  • Elements containing a core.

  • Elements created using eligible Archicad tools (e.g., Beams, Columns, Slabs, Walls, Single-plane Roofs).

  • Elements enabled at the element level (via the "Structural Member" checkbox in Element Settings).

  • Elements existing in the model based on Renovation Status (hidden elements marked as "To Be Demolished" or "New" in the current view are excluded).

  • Element connections defined by Layer Intersection Group, influencing the Structural Analytical Model's geometry.

  • Layer visibility does not affect inclusion; even elements on hidden layers can be part of the Structural Analytical Model.

Default Position of 1D and 2D Members

By default, 1D Members are generated at the element's center of gravity, while 2D Members align along the core plane's center. These defaults can be adjusted individually in an element's Settings dialog using the Eccentricity control.

Automatic Adjustments by Generation Rules

The "Structural Analytical Model Generation Rules" are automatically applied during generation. These rules optimize the geometry of 1D and 2D Members and certain End/Edge Release definitions, ensuring compatibility with external analysis programs.

For more information click on the link below.

For general enquiries please contact TotalCAD at

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