ProtaStructure 2021 5.1.25 Now Available With New Features and Enhancements

December 28 / 2020

Prota is delighted to launch the second major release of ProtaStructure 2021.

This exceptional release highlights Prota’s innovations in 3D modeling, automated steel and concrete building design, intelligent reinforcement, and steel detailing together with advancements in BIM technology for coordination, fabrication, and construction.

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Here are some of the highlights of the latest release;


Custom Truss Editor Enhancements

Convert to Truss operation now better recognizes the frame member sections and automatically makes them default for groups like top chords, bottom chords, diagonals, and verticals.

Reset All Filters

All visibility and visual interrogation filters can now be reset at once by clicking the ‘Reset All Filters’ button on the Active Window Settings and Visual Interrogation dialog.

Top and Bottom Del-Z Values in Corewalls

If you assign Del-Z values to corewall panels before merging them, they will now be considered in the merged corewall as well. All the panels should have the same DelZ value and their top or bottom edge should not be inclined.

Release Notes in Update Window

Summary of Release Notes is now displayed on the update window. It will be activated after the 5.1.25 release.

Rod Sections in Profile Database

Circular solid steel sections (rods) are now a part of the ‘Built-up Steel’ profile database.


Snow, Rain, and Roof Live Load Cases

Snow, Rain, and Roof live load cases can be defined by using ‘Loading Generator’. Generally in codes, it is recommended to define different load cases for these loads and they are recommended to be included in the loading combinations with different coefficients.

Especially these definitions are important in steel structures where roof loading is prominent.

By checking these options, you can define individual load cases for "Roof Live Load (Qr, Lr in ASCE-based specifications)", "Snow Load (S)" and/or "Rain Load (R)" instead of "Live Load Case (Q)" to roof level slabs and elements (such as roof cladding, purlin, beam.). For example, if you check the Roof and Snow Load fields, a different set of combinations (in the form of Qr or S or R) will be generated for each of these load cases. Even if you assign loads for all of them, these three load cases will not be automatically considered in the same combination simultaneously. However, you are free to consider these at the same time by editing any combination.

Load Combination Generation Enhancements

Loading Generator wizard is revisited and significant improvements are made for Eurocodes, US codes, and similar codes. Also, user feedback is reviewed and implemented in the software. For Eurocodes, Partial factors for dead and live loads and combination values for accompanying actions for imposed loads and wind loads  are exposed to the user for further editing. These values are already automatically taken from the selected national annex.

Enhancements in Wind Load Calculation

Stability improvements are made and user feedback is implemented in the wind load calculation module. Calculations and generated load cases are now tightly coupled to selected wind code.

Code Support

Thailand Seismic and Wind Code Support

Seismic and Wind loads can now be calculated according to DPT Standard 1301/1302-61 and 2012 Wind Code.

Better Visibility in Wind Code Selection

Wind codes now can be explicitly selected on Settings > Codes. In the previous versions, the wind code selection was embedded in the wind load module.


Analysis Post-Processor Enhancements

Contour coloring is improved so that the spectrum of calculated values is now distinguished better.

Mesh Enhancements

Stability and performance improvements are made in the Meshing of Slabs with Column Outlines and Transfer Walls.

Improvements in Shell Wall Group Sum Operations

Group sum (section cut) operations in meshed rectangular and corewalls are significantly improved. The results are now created by the solver and the section cut definitions are exported to various other analysis software.

Automated Target Displacement Calculation for Pushover Analysis

Target displacement can be determined for static pushover analysis using the methods described in FEMA356, Eurocode 8, and Turkish EQ Code.

Drift Check for Multi-Storey Columns

Drift checks can now be done for the columns spanning more than one story. Previously these columns needed to be split at each story level.


Automated Wall End Zones (Boundary Elements) for Core-walls

Designing end zones (boundary elements) in shearwalls is a challenging task and different codes suggest different approaches. In ProtaStructure, you can automatically layout end zones by using a percentage of related wall leg.

Rectangular Walls

Rectangular shearwall end-zones are laid-out automatically without the need for ‘Polyline Column Editor’. In the building critical height- which is usually Hw/6 - the end zone lengths are automatically selected as 0.2Lw, and, 0.1Lw outside critical height. The length of the end-zones can be edited in the Column Reinforcement Design > Links section.

Corewalls with Known Shapes

End zones of the corewalls with known shapes such as E, C, L, T, or H can be laid out automatically using the Polyline Column Editor. The percentage of end zones concerning the wall leg can be specified by the user.

Corewalls with Irregular Shapes

For random shapes, full automation is not always possible. But we have developed tools to make it as easy as possible for you to insert the end zone rebars.

Method 1: Inserting End Zone Rebars Manually

1. Simply right-click on the short edge of a wall leg when a triangular indicator is shown.

2. Select ‘End Zone Link’ and drag on the screen.

3. Fine-tune the end zone options on the window and click OK to create the end zone links and longitudinal bars.

Method 2: Inserting End Zone Bar Automatically

You can use the ‘Insert All Links w/ End Zones’ button on the ribbon bar to create all ‘End Zone Links’ and ‘Horizontal Web Links’ automatically. Currently, this command only inserts the end-zone links and horizontal web links, but it will be enhanced to place longitudinal bars and tie-bars as well.

Pad Footing

Pedestal Under Steel Columns

In ProtaStructure, concrete columns are visually extended into foundation depth by default. This extension does not change the analytical model but it affects the detailing of the column. However, steel columns are not extended downwards. When you insert a pad footing or a pile cap under a steel column, there is a new option to add a pedestal underneath the column. The pedestal itself is not designed.

Foundation Settings: Use Top Bars

The new pad footing design module in ProtaStructure 2021 supports the design of top bars in the footing. You can turn on/off the calculation of top bars for all footings using the Settings > Foundation > Use Top Bars option. You must update the design of existing pad footings for this setting to take effect.

Foundation Settings: Minimum Footing Depth Setting

You can also control the minimum footing depth that will be considered in the design using the Settings > Foundation > Min. Pad Base Depth option. You must update the design of existing pad footings for this setting to take effect.

BIM Integration

IFC Import and Export Enhancements

IFC Import and export operations are improved based on user feedback. Since IFC content and interpretations can vary among structural and architectural software, the problematic cases are resolved as different IFC files are received from our users.

Improvements in ETABS Export

ETABS export functionality is revised and user feedback is implemented. Following items are supported now:

- Equivalent Static Forces are now exported to Diaphragm Master Joints.

- Corewalls are assigned separate PIER definitions in addition to rectangular walls.

- Section modifiers for shell members are now exported consistently with the ones in ProtaStructure.

Improvements in SAP2000 Export

Groups and Section Cut Definitions for rectangular walls and corewalls are now automatically communicated to SAP2000 for convenience.


Shearwall Web bar Layout Options for Ductile Detailing

ProtaStructure now supports different shearwall web bar layout options for ductile detailing. The conventional practice is to wrap the horizontal web bar outside end-zone longitudinal bars, which is the first option. Second and third options provide better confinement by putting web bars completely in the core or crank them into end zones. These kinds of detailing options are suggested by some of the seismic codes.

Beam Elevation Sorting

Beam elevation drawing can now be sorted to axis label and story in ProtaDetails.


Self-Weights in Beam Load Analysis Checks Report

Beam self weights are now included in the Beam Load Analysis Report.

Story Materials in Pre-Analysis Checks Report

Default material assignments for different stories are now summarized in the pre-analysis checks report.

Imposed Load Reduction Factors in Pre-Analysis Report

Live load reduction factors are added to the story table in the pre-analysis checks report.


Transfer of Sag Rods to ProtaSteel

Sag-rods that are inserted in ProtaStructure are now transferred to ProtaSteel as well. Sag-rod macro is also available in ProtaSteel.

New Multiple Selection Window

Multiple selection window is re-developed to handle object filtering and grouping. This increases usability and reduces the need for the ‘Selection Filter’ command.

Hollow Section Base Plate Connection Macro

You can now insert base plate under CHS, RHS, and SHS hollow profiles. Shear key functionality will follow soon.

Zoom Fit to Macros and Other Objects

You can now zoom fit to macros (and other objects) by hitting ALT+Z on the keyboard and typing in the object ID numbers separated by a space character.

Manual Connection Macro Command on Right-Click Menu

Manual connection macro commands are now added to the right-click menu. You can launch the ‘Manual Macro Wizard’ or create a manual macro using existing settings.

Manual Connection Macro Wizard

Creating manual connections is much easier now in ProtaSteel. You can launch the “Manual Macro Connection Wizard” by selecting the “Manual Macro > Define New Manual Connection” command on the right-click menu. You can then follow the steps in the graphical UI to define the manual connections.

A New Manual Connection Placement Type: On Object

A new manual macro placement type, ‘On Object’ is introduced. This type helps you to create custom connections that need to be defined on another object rather than the interaction of multiple profiles.

Viewport Label Settings

Viewports can be assigned custom labels in the drawing module. You can use [Name] and [Scale] keywords to use the view name that the viewport is generated from and the scale information. You can reach the Viewport Label parameter by Double-clicking the viewport > Viewport Property Editor > Label Settings.

Annotation Grouping for Anchor Bolts

Unnecessary annotations are prevented by grouping the anchor bolts in connection detail drawings.

Shear Stud Insertion by Distance

Shear studs can be inserted at equal distances or a custom distance pattern.

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