ECtools for ACI code



Design of concrete shear wall and concrete frame systems according to ACI 318-14, ASCE 7-10 & ASCE 41-13 in SCIA Engineer 16.

SCIA Engineer 16 features a comprehensive solution for the modelling, analysis and design of concrete shear wall and concrete frame systems according to the latest US standards.


SCIA Engineer & Earthquake Concrete tools, better known as ECtools©, combine to provide a proven solution for the design of reinforced concrete structures. Together the programs provide a streamlined concrete design workflow that supports the requirements of ACI318-11, ASCE/SEI 7-10, FEMA 356 as well as EN1998 with an emphasis on the lateral design requirements. This integrated design is the product of the long term collaboration between SCIA and Penelis Consulting Engineers SA. Together, the two companies have developed a practical and proven solution whose results are fully verified against actual buildings, while being used globally for:

  • Seismic Design of new Reinforced Concrete Buildings
  • Check/Review/Verify the Design of new Reinforced Concrete Buildings
  • Seismic Assessment & Retrofitting of existing Reinforced Concrete Buildings

Code Based Design

The design of concrete shear wall and frame systems is performed according to ACI and Eurocodes within SCIA Engineer and includes the following features: General building setup meeting the requirements of ACI 318-14, ASCE 7-10 and EN1998.

  • Definition of seismic response spectrums according to IBC and Eurocode
  • Definition of Seismic Force Resisting Systems including appropriate factors (R, Ω, Cd)
  • Ability to define vertical and horizontal irregularities in accordance with ASCE 7-10
  • Torsional sensitivity within dynamic analysis including the application of torsional amplification
  • Flexural design of all 1D elements and 2D wall elements including:
    • Biaxial Moment - Axial Force interaction, while applying the cracked sections design concept with parabolic stress distribution for concrete.
    • Design of required minimum and maximum reinforcement for all 1D elements per ACI 318-14
    • Design and automatic layout of reinforcement (boundary conditions) for 2D concrete cores per ACI 318-14


Advanced Modeling & Analysis

The integration of ECtools and SCIA Engineer provides users with advanced modelling and analysis capabilities, which ultimately lead to the efficient design of concrete structures. Some of these features include:

  • Automatic recognition of concrete frame elements and concrete cores
  • Application of required seismic joints at each level
  • Inclusion of static analysis results (wind loading) for complete design of lateral resisting elements
  • Capacity design of joints (the weak beam - strong column rule)
  • Capacity shear design of all members for ductile behaviour (capacity shear forces)
  • Automatic creation of all lateral (including seismic) load combinations
  • Amplified deflections and story drift according to ASCE 7-10 12.8.6 • Inclusion of P-Δ effects according to ASCE 7-10 12.8.7

Output & Documentation

Full and comprehensive output included directly in SCIA Engineer’s Engineering Report. The output includes the following items:

  • All overall building design parameters and results including story drift, story shear and load combinations
  • Beam and Column output with member properties, dimensions and designed reinforcement
  • Automatic creation of beam and columns schedules as Excel spreadsheet
  • Creation of cross section details (beam & column) including reinforcement directly in detailed output
  • Shear wall output with member properties, dimensions, boundary conditions and designed flexural and shear reinforcement
  • Interactive interface for reviewing loading, results and reinforcement for columns, beams and walls

Pushover Analysis

ECtools utilizes the award-winning analysis engine SeismoStruct NL© to predict the large displacement behaviour of space frames under static or dynamic loading, taking into account both geometric nonlinearities and material inelasticity. Unlike other seismic engines, the SeismoStruct Pushover engine uses fibre model analysis, which represents the state of the art in nonlinear analysis of R/C buildings. Additionally, it is fully verified and documented by leading academic institutions in EU and US as well as practicing applications. The key features and benefits include:

  • The use of fibre element analysis, as opposed to a point hinge approach
  • The ability to model nonlinear R/C walls and cores. There’s no need to create a new model with equivalent frames and point hinges, or provide the layers for a “manual” fiber analysis of shell elements (close to impossible for cores).
  • Geometry & materials from elastic FEA modelling of SCIA Engineer
  • Sections and reinforcement from the design in ECtools
  • Smart algorithm to transforming wall - shell (2D) elements into an equivalent frame FE model appropriate for nonlinear analysis
  • Automatic shift from force control to displacement control parameters, with implementation of target displacements
  • Pushover curves as per FEMA356
  • Performance based design criteria compared against FEMA356 limits.