Tekla Structural Designer 2017 release notes

Last updated November 20, 2017 by Tekla Structural Designer Development Team tekla-product-development-tsd-team-ug@trimble.com

Tekla Structural Designer 2017 release notes

This release of Tekla Structural Designer 2017 (version should be installed to ensure optimum function of the program.   It includes a number of significant new features together with several enhancements and issue resolutions as detailed below.

If you are upgrading from a version earlier than Tekla Structural Designer 2016i SP3 (version you can find details of enhancements and fixes included in all previous releases in Tekla User Assistance (TUA) and Tekla Downloads.  You will find all the main releases listed here while those for Service Packs can be found by searching TUA using “Service Packs” as the search term.

Licensing & Installation


  • New Licenses - Tekla Structural Deisgner 2017 will require the activation of a new license.  You should already be in possession of your Product Activation Key (PAK) as these are usually distributed prior to the software release.  Please contact your local Service Department now if you do not have your PAK.  To minimise any down time we advise that your PAK is activated before installing Tekla Structural Designer 2017. 
  • Server Licensing - for Server licensing there is a new version of the Tekla License Service which features full Windows 10 support.  Please note that this must be installed on your license server to ensure licensing functions fully and correctly.  Just follow our simple online Setup Guide to ensure your installation and licensing goes smoothly.


  • Previous Versions and file compatibility - to aid with transition, this release will install alongside existing versions and does not replace them.  Files from all previous versions can be opened in Tekla Structural Designer 2017 however note that once saved they cannot then be opened in an older version.  If you wish to retain this option we therefore recommend using the File > Save As… option to save a new version of the file in Tekla Structural Designer 2017 and retain the original.
  • Section Databases - in this release Section databases include new and updated properties required for new features and enhancements.   A message that a new database is available will accordingly be displayed in the Process Window when this release is installed and run for the first time.  Your local section database should then be upgraded as follows;
    • Open “Materials” from the Home Ribbon, select the “Sections” page in the list of options, click the “Upgrade” button, then click this button again in the subsequent “Upgrade Database” dialog.  Repeat this process for the other databases (Material, Reinforcement...etc ) to ensure all your databases are up to date.
    • Existing US Head Code models including angle or double-angle sections should also be updated as follows: open “Materials” from the Home Ribbon, select “Model” in the list of options, expand “Sections” and select all angle and double-angle sections then click the “Update from Database” button.

Issues with Associated Bulletins

  • Steel Design - All Head Codes - Composite Beams - this issue is not a program error, but an instance in which Tekla Structural Designer default behaviour differs from that of Fastrak Building Designer and which engineers transitioning from this program may be unaware of.   It relates to all Head Codes and the Construction Stage design of composite beams.   By default the Restraints (LTB) > “Top flange continuously restrained” setting is On for composite beams and does not automatically take account of deck span direction.  If the engineer overlooks this default setting an unconservative design could result.  The case this might most commonly affect is; primary beams with metal decks for which the deck span direction is parallel. The issue is fixed in this release. For more information please see Product Bulletin PBTSD-1703-01 (12530).
    • The issue is addressed in this release:- new properties are added for composite beams to allow the the engineer to specify at creation the default restraint condition for specific slab spanning conditions/types.  These are displayed and can be edited in the Properties Window when composite beams are created - the “Lateral Restraints” property group now contains three settings for “Top flange cont. Rest” On/Off;  perpendicular metal deck, parallel metal deck & precast deck.  When a slab is applied to composite beams, the deck type and span direction are detected and the top flange restraint condition automatically set appropriately per these new settings.
  • US Head Code - design of steel columns with eccentricity moments to AISC 360-2005 and 2010 ASD and LRFD - the combined forces check did not correctly consider eccentricity moments about the minor axis.  In addition in some circumstances the combined forces check was performed over an incorrect out of plane strut length.   This issue only occurred for a less common condition where the out of plane strut restraint position did not coincide with an in plane strut restraint position.  Both issues could potentially produce an unconservative result.  The issues are fixed in this release. For more information please see Product Bulletin PBTSD-1703-02 (51679).

New Features & Functionality


Foundations - New Design of Piled Mats

  • The Head Codes currently supported by this new feature are: Eurocode, US, BS and IS.  Piles can now be added to foundation mat slabs and their capacity designed.  A powerful and easy to use graphical editor automatically creates a regular Pile Array using specified spacings and set out location.  Piles can also be added and edited on an individual basis and can be inclined as well as vertical.  The engineer has the option to include mat ground bearing springs or not  - to work in conjunction with piles - via a simple tick box in the mat panel properties.  The feature uses the same pile catalogue as isolated pile caps but note that it is now important to set up the Vertical and Horizontal Spring Data which are automatically utilised in the piled mat analysis.   A comprehensive new Help Topic guides the engineer fully on the piled mat modelling and design procedure  - see Help > Engineer’s Handbooks > Foundation Design Handbook > Mat foundation design > Typical piled mat foundation design procedure.
  • All piles associated with a mat are checked for bearing capacity when the mat panel is checked.  The Review View includes new graphical status and utilization displays for piles following a check.  The design details for any individual pile can also be displayed via the usual right-click context menu.  In seismic design where they exist Piles are also checked for RSA combinations.
  • Report and drawing options are fully updated to output comprehensive and detailed piled mat information: a new “Piles” report item is added (Concrete > Slab/Mat Design per Plane > Piles) to include individual pile design details in reports; Tabular Data > Design Summary for Piles is added; Piles are included in the Material list options; GA drawings show pile locations for piled mats and include an automatic table of pile locations

Wind Loading

  • A new Simple Wind loading option is added as an alternative to using the sophisticated Wind Wizard.  This allows the definition of a “Simple Wind” load anywhere in the model simply by defining a location, width, height and pressure distribution.  Without any need for wind panels, the load is then decomposed to automatically detected rigid diaphragms as a single horizontal point load per diaphragm (note decomposition to semi-rigid diaphragms is not supported).  The feature works in conjunction with the new capability of diaphragms for lateral loads listed below.  A comprehensive new Help Topic guides the engineer fully on the use of this new feature  - see Help > User Guides > Loading Guide > Working with Simple Wind and Help > Engineer's Handbooks > Wind Modeling Handbook > Simple Wind.
  • Wind walls can now decompose directly to rigid diaphragms.  A new “Decompose to” option for this is added to wind wall panel properties with a drop down allowing selection of: Nodes (the default), Members or Rigid Diaphragms (note that this is only available for rectangular panels).  When the Rigid Diaphragms option is set, the wall panel validation does not check for supporting members and panels can be placed anywhere, even unconnected from the model.  This removes the need to include members to support wall panels such as where load spans onto the edges of flat slabs.   In conjunction with the new capability of diaphragms for lateral loads listed below, this means slabs do not need to be meshed in 3D in order to take lateral loads directly.
  • An added benefit of this enhancement is that it allows the use of the Wind Wizard with a very simple arrangement of wall panels, for more complex geometries such as where floors step back on upper levels, possibly on multiple elevations.  Such models can  now be enclosed with wind walls by simply ’boxing’ the structure using full height wall panels following a bounding rectangle.  The Wind Wizard loads are then decomposed directly to the rigid diaphragms as in the case of a Simple Wind load described above (each wind zone applied load can be thought of as a Simple Wind load of the same size).  This works best in models with minor in-plan irregularities and a single rigid diaphragm per level.

New Floor Diaphragm features

  • Lateral panel loads can now be applied directly to slab panels and thereby to the slab diaphragm without requiring slabs to be meshed in 3D.  The feature will be especially useful for flat slab models for which the engineer already has a total single load value from wind per floor.  This load can be applied in any location and orientation as a single horizontal panel point load.  Horizontal panel line loads can also be applied along slab panel edges, or anywhere within a panel, should the engineer prefer.  Lateral loads can be applied in this manner to panels set to both rigid and semi-rigid diaphragms.
  • A new semi-rigid diaphragm option is added for 2-way spanning slab panels.  When set the panel is automatically meshed with semi-rigid elements (having in-plane stiffness only) in the 3D analysis model, but is still meshed with shell elements (having both in-plane and out-of-plane bending stiffness) in FE Chasedown analysis.  Where a level is set to be meshed in the 3D analysis model the semi-rigid setting takes precedence.

Analysis and Design Process Performance Enhancements

Especially for very large concrete models analysis and design times are significantly reduced.  Examples of this are:

  • A very large model in which the Analyse All process time reduced from 85 mins to 54 mins (37% faster).
  • A large model with many combinations in which the concrete beam design/check phase process time reduced from  326 mins to 80 mins (75% faster).

Slab Punching Checks - New Punching Shear Reinforcement Design & General Enhancements

  • The Head Codes currently supported by this new feature are Eurocode and ACI.  Additional punching shear reinforcement in the form of stud rails - vertical studs held together by a flat bar - can now be specified, checked and auto-designed.  This applies to both column and point load checks for both flat slabs and foundation mat slabs.  The arrangements of rails can be either circular or orthogonal.  The command to run punching shear checks - found on the Design and Foundations ribbons -  is now changed to “Design Punching Shear” to reflect the new functionality.   The right-click context menu for a selected punching check now features three design options; “Check Punching” (checks the current configuration), “Design Punching” (auto-designs additional punching shear reinforcement as required) and “Edit Reinforcement” (opens the interactive punching shear reinforcement editor).  
  • Design results - the design checks for and incorporates the effect of openings.  Limiting parameters for bar size, areas and spacing are thoroughly checked to the relevant clauses of ACI and the Eurocode.  In addition to the new capabilities: the overall punching check process has been improved especially for the ACI design code; the process uses less repeated calculation steps and some minor inconsistencies have been solved; stress values are now calculated at each peripheral node (following ACI 421.1R-08 guidance) rather than on a single maximum value.
  • Interactive editor - a comprehensive and intuitive interactive reinforcement editor incorporates a dynamic graphical display which immediately updates following changes to arrangement parameters.  Different reinforcement arrangements can quickly be configured and checked via the “Check…” button which displays full design details for the current settings.  When Ok’d the current settings optimized by the engineer are applied to the model.
  • Auto-design control - extensive new settings for bars size and spacing ranges are added to control auto-design - see Design Options > Concrete > Punching Shear.  For autodesign of studs one of two methods can be selected; to minimise either the number of rails or the size of studs.  
  • Reports & Drawings- full details of the new design are included in the report item for punching checks.  A new dedicated detail drawing for individual punching checks is produced by selecting “Generate Detailed Drawing” from the right-click context menu for a selected punching check  - this shows the punching reinforcement, key dimensions and includes a tabular quantities summary of stud rail size, spacing and number.  Punching shear reinforcement details, including an overall tabular quantities summary, can also now be included in the Slab/Mat Detailing drawing for a level.  Information on these drawings is controlled via new layer options - see Draw > Edit > Layer Configurations > Slabs and Mats > Punching Check Detail and ...Slab/Mat Layout > Slab/Mat Detail > Reinforcement > Punching Reinforcement.  Additional new controls are also found in Draw > Edit > Options > Slabs and Mats > Punching Check Detail.
  • Property Sets - punching check property sets can now be created which include all the new settings for punching shear reinforcement.  These can be created both from existing checks (via the right-click context menu) and via the ‘New…’ command in the “Manage Property Sets” dialog from the Home ribbon (3823).
  • The net effect of all the new features and enhancements is that checks in the new release will tend to be less conservative than in previous releases in the majority of cases - this can be summarized at a general level as follows:
    • Where previous releases gave a pass without requiring any punching shear reinforcement, in this release it is expected that:
      • More check positions will fall into this category.
      • Only in a small number of more extreme cases will checks previously in this category swap to requiring punching shear reinforcement - mostly for the US head codes.
    • Where previous releases gave a fail due to the slab being too thin - for which no amount of punching shear reinforcement would assist - in this release it is expected that:
      • Fewer check positions will fall into this category.
      • Only in a small number of more extreme cases can a check previously in a passing category swap to this fail category mostly for US head codes.
    • Where previous releases gave a warning stating additional punching shear reinforcement was required, in this release:
      • The major enhancement - the required reinforcement arrangement is now designed where previously this was beyond scope

Slab Design - New Pass/Fail Contours plus Numerous Design Enhancements

  • New Area of steel required “Pass/Fail” contours show the extent of panel failure zones for the currently specified panel reinforcement.  The new option is activated by selecting the new “Pass/Fail” option on the Results Ribbon in the “AsReq” control group.  In conjunction with recent enhancements to panel patch size and location editing (first implemented in 2016i SP3), this greatly simplifies the optimization of panel patches.  The feature simultaneously deals with lots of different panels which may be of different thickness and have different reinforcement.
  • The following additional slab design enhancements assist with and simplify workflow:
    • Slab Panels & Patches - a new Auto-design option is available in the properties of all panels and patches for selection of reinforcement bars  “starting from current” - Properties > Select bars starting from > Current.  Starting from current means that current reinforcement is checked and only increased where and if necessary.  This prevents failed panel and patch design on Duplicate Levels.  Previously for duplicate levels reinforcement was designed at one level and then checked at all others.  If the forces on checked levels were higher - a rare occurrence but possible - patches and panels could fail.  For duplicate levels the design procedure is now: design first level (using current autodesign setting) which updates the reinforcement at all levels; next design all other levels using the new “starting from current” setting.
    • Slab Patches:
      • Design details now put the focus more clearly on the patch surface.   Where a patch checks both top and bottom surfaces, output is only given for the opposite surface when UR > 1.0.
      • There is a new option in slab patch properties “Consider patch surface moments only”.  When unchecked (the default) patch design operates as it did in previous versions and both surfaces are checked.  When checked the patch checks only its surface while panel design will consider the opposite surface, except where a patch exists in it.  The option can be used at the engineer's discretion for example where large sagging and hogging moments occur in close proximity requiring overlapping patches to both top and bottom surfaces.
    • Slab Panels
      • Panel design can now ignore both top and bottom moments within a patch area, not just those of the patch surface.  This prevents peak moments within a patch - which are already checked by a patch with averaging (when set) - governing panel design.  This works in conjunction with the patch “Consider patch surface moments only” as described above, ensuring both surfaces are checked for all scenarios/ patch arrangements.
      • A design option is added to control the minimum reinforcement spacing used during auto-design - Design > Options > Concrete > Slab > Reinforcement layout > “Min spacing (slab auto-design).  This only affects panel design.  Its aim is to allow panel design to more readily select bars at a wider spacing which in turn allows patch design to more readily pass by reducing min spacing check failures in the patches.

New Design of Steel Composite and Non-composite Westok Cellular Beams To EC3 & EC4. 

  • Eurocodes EC3 and EC4 have no detailed guidance for beams with large and/or multiple openings.  To enable such design Tekla Structural Designer implements the latest NCCI guidance from the SCI together with proven historical approaches used for many years.  The scope and functionality are essentially the same as the current design for BS 5950 allowing both design check and auto-design.  Design of composite beams can be undertaken for both conventional steel decks and precast concrete planks.
  • Westok cell beams can still be exported/imported via a bidirectional link to Cellbeam, the Kloeckner Metals UK | Westok proprietary cellular beam design program.

Area Specific

General & Modelling

  • Program Updates - a new check for available updates is now built into the program, the results of which are displayed at the top of the Process Window.  When notified in this manner the engineer can install available updates in the usual manner; either via the Common Software Manager (also known as the Update Service) or directly from Tekla Downloads (3815).


  • Perimeter Load - a brand new Panel Load option automatically creates a line load around the perimeter of a floor with a single click.  The load is applied by activating the new “Perimeter Load” button in the Panel Loads group of the Load ribbon, then clicking on any slab panel of a level (in either a 2D or 3D view).  A line load is then created around the entire exterior perimeter  of the slab area(s) on the level.  The perimeter load can be created either as a single entity (the default) so its value can easily be edited en masse, or - by checking the “Create as line loads” Properties Window option - as a series of discrete line loads which can be edited/deleted on an individual basis as required.  The load can be applied to flat slabs and both two-way and one-way slabs supported on steel or concrete beams (13537).

Analysis & Results

  • Non-linear Analysis - Tension Only (TO) Bracing - a new analysis process implementing “Relaxation Factors” makes the solution for non-linear models incorporating TO bracing even more robust.  While the new process is highly sophisticated and complex (and probably unique in commercial analysis and design programs), it is exceedingly simple to use.
    • In simple terms, Relaxation factors control an amount of nominal compression TO braces can undergo while remaining active during analysis iteration.  This improves convergence for rare problematic models/ loading situations in which otherwise most or all braces may experience compression and become inactive, causing instability and preventing solution.  When converged TO braces will still have only either zero or tension force.  The process is entirely automatic by default and it is anticipated the factors will not require manual editing for most circumstances.  However controls for the new factors are available in Analysis Options and in individual TO brace properties. 
    • The Relaxation factors are not activated by default as it is anticipated they will not be required for the majority of models.  In addition, since the solution process is necessarily more complex, their use can increase the analysis time to a degree.  They are activated simply by enabling this option via Analyse > Options > 1st/2nd Order Nonlin-Linear > Relaxation Factors  (12732, 12753, 12824, 12926, 13194).
  • Composite Steel Beam Inertia - a new option is added to use either the long or short term composite inertia in the 3D analysis model.  Using these resulting global analysis results can then be more realistic.  Note however that they will not exactly match with those reported in Design details, since these are local deflections and include contributions from both the composite and non-composite stages, while only a single value of inertia can be used in the 3D analysis.  This has no effect on the design process for composite beams for either strength or service (3784).
    • Note that for consistency with previous program behavior this setting is not active by default. It is activated via Analyse > Options > Composite Steel Beams.


  • Steel & Composite Steel Beams - Camber - a number of enhancements are made in this area including;
    • A new more efficient approach is implemented for design for camber specified as a proportion of dead and/or live load deflection.  Now a single governing load combination is set by the engineer from which the camber value is calculated.  This value is then used in design of other combinations should they exist.  Camber is therefore a single value regardless of the combination being checked.  The total deflection check calculates and uses the camber at the location of maximum deflection.
    • Validation checks for and requires the nomination of the governing camber combination when necessary - a new column and tick box for this setting is located in the Combinations dialog main combinations list.
    • To make the design clearer the camber value is now reported in the tooltip information for a beam and at the top of the design summary results.
    • A new “Show cambered” option is added to the Loading & Analysis Summary view to display the deflection including camber when a load combination is selected (3792).
Head Code Aus
  • Steel Design - Cold Formed Design - design of Cold Formed hollow sections to the Australian steel code is now enabled.  The following steel member characteristics can be designed; column, beam, brace, all truss members.  Cold formed steel grades are added together with new order files.   Validation is enhanced to ensure only compatible combinations of steel grade and section size can be selected.  A new property “Stress relieved” is added (the default setting for which is off) to support design of stress relieved cold formed members. 
Head Code India
  • Pile Caps - design of Pile caps is now extended to the Indian design code in accordance with IS 456:2000 and IS 2911 (Part1): 2010.
    • Auto-design is supported for both the pile cap (size, depth and reinforcement) and pile selection (includes driven, bored or continuous flight auger)
    • Design covers; pile capacity; pile cap bending, shear and punching shear of column and piles
    • Individual pile cap detail drawings can be created and pile caps are also included in the automated Foundation Layout drawing for a base level.
  • Slab Design - punching shear checks are now carried out for both flat slabs and foundation mats in accordance with IS 456: 2000 (Cl. 31.6) and SP 24: 1983 (Cl 30.6.2).
  • Concrete Beams - Seismic Design of cantilever beams is now performed in accordance with with IS 1893(Part1) : 2002, Clause
    • Vertical base shear is calculated on cantilever beams by considering the seismic coefficient (10/3Ah) and the seismic weight on the beam.
    • The Design Details report includes calculations of seismic weight, loading centroid, shear and moment for the horizontal cantilever projection.
  • Concrete Shear Walls - Seismic Design - design is enhanced to calculate the Moment of resistance (Muv) provided by vertical reinforcement in accordance with IS 13920 : 1993, Clause 9.3.1, Annex A and details of this are included in the Design Details report.
Head Code US
  • Steel Design - Single Angles, Double Angles and Tee sections (WT, MT & ST) - where subject to bending (with or without axial load) these sections are now fully designed to AISC 360-05 and AISC 360-10 for both LRFD and ASD.  Specific checks now handled are any and all of; Flexural Classification; Shear Major/Minor or both; Flexure Major/Minor or both (Yielding, Local Buckling and LTB); Combined forces - bending about either or both axes combined with axial tension or compression.  This applies to the following characteristic types; Beam, Truss Member Top and Bottom.  Design of single and double angles for which the flexural classification is slender remains beyond scope.  However this affects only two of the standard rolled sections sizes.
    • New section properties are added to the section database for Single and Double Angle sections to enable their design.   A message that a new database is available will accordingly be displayed in the Process Window when this release is installed and run.  Both the Global section database and model section database (existing models from earlier versions only) can then be upgraded as follows;
      • To update the Global database: open “Materials” from the Home Ribbon, select “Sections” in the list of databases and click the “Upgrade” button, then click this button again in the subsequent Upgrade Database dialog.  Repeat this process for the other databases (Material, Reinforcement...etc ) to ensure all your databases are up to date.
      • To update the Model database (only required for existing US Head Code models including angle or double-angle sections): open “Materials” from the Home Ribbon, select “Model” in the list of options, expand Sections and select all angle and double-angle sections then click the “Update from Database” button.
    • Design settings - member properties are updated for these sections to include settings for “Restraints (LTB)”.  For single and double angles new “Compression” settings are also added to specify the nature of end connection, the spacing of intermediate connectors for double-angles and the Truss condition. 
    • Note that for double-angles the value for intermediate connector spacing defaults to zero and so the engineer must review this and enter a non-zero value.  Validation will check for this and issue a validation error if a non-zero value is found in a model.  This will likely be the case for existing models produced in earlier versions in which the new settings did not exist.  For such models it is necessary for the engineer to review and update the properties of all members to which angle and double-angle sections are applied.

Enhancements & Fixes

General & Modelling

  • Bearing Wall Modelling Enhancements:
    • A new modelling method only creates a wall panel junction where slabs connect at levels - in the same manner as stacks are created for columns.  This prevents panels being created where not required which could produce excessive numbers of panel elements (especially for small floor spacings)  and/or unstable arrangements of panel elements.
    • Bearing walls can now be directly supported by slab panels without supports being created.  The slab level must be meshed in the 3D analysis as for other transfer-slab situations such as concrete walls and/or columns being directly supported by a slab.  There is a new property “Automatic Generate Support” associated with this; when ticked the bearing wall checks for a supporting slab or beam and creates/removes supports automatically as required  (12197, 12757).
    • For walls with multiple panels, each panel is now listed separately in the Properties window allowing their (material) Grade, thickness and alignment to be edited individually.  An ‘All panels’ properties group also allows editing of these properties for all panels simultaneously.
  • Portal Frame Modelling Enhancements and Fixes:
    • A new ‘Bases’ page is added to the configuration dialog allowing the following to be specified:
      • A (below-ground) base level  - columns extend the specified distance below the level in which the frame is created. 
      • Base fixity - this can now be defined with options of; “Pinned” (the default), “Spring” and “User”.  When “Spring” is selected the engineer can choose between “Restrained” or “Spring” - and enter a stiffness for the latter - for each of; vertical and horizontal translation, in-plane rotation.  With the “User” option the engineer edits the supports directly by selecting them individually and amending their settings via the Properties Window.  These settings are then retained following any subsequent edits of the frame.
    • Valleys - a support is no longer created at valley beam locations and valley beam stiffness can now be specified in the configuration dialog.  Both vertical and horizontal translation and in-plane rotation fixities can be set with the same “Restrained” and “Spring” options as for column bases discussed above (note that these are not used in the analysis model however).
    • UDA’s can now be applied to all columns and all rafters of a frame in a single option via new options displayed for the selected Frame(s) in the Properties Window.
    • A haunch size column is added to the “Haunches” page of the configuration dialog facilitating rapid verification and editing of the haunch size.
    • After editing the column section size via the Properties Window for a selected portal frame the solver model was not updated with the new section size automatically.  To address this the solver model could be manually updated (using the “Rebuild Solver Model” command via the context menu produced by Ctrl+Right-click on “Structure” in the Structure tree ) - this is no longer necessary (52598).
  • BIM Integration - General - Foundations  - all types of Foundation objects (Pad & Strip bases, Pile caps + Piles, Foundation Mats + Piles) are now supported for both export and import for the majority of options/functions.  A new “Foundations” row for these is added to the Integration Filter page of the import/export wizards.  Enhancements to specific options/functions are:
    • Tekla Structures & Revit* Export - enhanced for export of Foundations (Pad & Strip bases, Pile caps + Piles, Foundation Mats + Piles).
      • *Note that export/import of these objects to/from Revit requires installation of an update to the Integrator for Autodesk Revit to be released later this month and will be found in Tekla Downloads for Tekla Structural Designer.
    • IFC Export - enhanced for export of; slab openings; walls and wall openings; Foundations (Pad & Strip bases, Pile caps + Piles, Foundation Mats + Piles).
    • Structural BIM Import:
      • Enhanced for import of Foundations (Pad & Strip bases, Pile caps + Piles, Foundation Mats + Piles) for first time import and update of an existing model (round-tripping).
      • An Internal Error occurred when updating a model containing pre-cast slab items where no data existed for these in the slab attributes (10827).
    • Revit Export - Braces - a Structural BIM Export Internal Error “Object reference not set to an instance of an object” occurred for models containing braces with the ‘Active’ property unchecked and which were not excluded from export (12979).
  • Parapet Posts - this member characteristic can now be used for members supporting wind walls which span onto them.  Previously this would produce a validation error stating that the wind wall was unsupported.  The load of walls spanning onto such parapet posts is decomposed to the member supporting the post (usually a column) as a point load and moment (11105, 11652, 12985).
  • Revisions:
    • A Revision Attribute can now be assigned to changes when “Track Changes” is activated for a revision.  The “Changes” page of the Project Wiki is enhanced to include a drop list of User Defined Attributes (UDAs) one of which can be selected as the Revision Attribute and manually applied to changes.  There is also an option tick box to automatically apply the selected UDA on each change.  The value of the Revision Attribute is automatically set to the revision name.  A new column is added to the changes list to display the Revision Attribute name and value (3854)
    • A new column is added to the Project Wiki > Changes list to display both the current and previous values of a change (3853).
  • Foundations - US Head Code - the plan dimensions (Lx and Ly) of spread (pad) footings now use the “Dimension” unit (Settings > Units > Dimension and Model Settings > Units > Dimension) the default for which is feet and inches for US Customary units.  This unit is also carried through to the design details and drawings.
  • Find and Select - selecting via the Home > Find command now fully selects the located object, rather than just highlighting it in the scene.  This allows the object to be deleted if required having been located by using the keyboard [Delete] key.  This functionality also extends to the grid line “Show references…” command available via the context menu when a grid line is right-clicked over (3877).
  • Structure Tree - Frames - Frames are now listed in numeric / alphanumeric order rather than as formerly in order of  creation making it easier to locate a particular frame.  This ordering now applies to all items in the Structure tree (except for levels and sub-models) (12643).
  • Slabs - 2D Text - this now includes the slab name in brackets after the slab panel item name (3852).
  • Program opening - a program error would occur on startup if some printers were installed in Windows but none was set as the Windows default printer (52632).
  • File opening - a file could fail to open in which concrete member design group data was missing or incorrect.  File opening and checking routines are improved to better cope with this circumstance (13550).
  • View Configurations - Sub Models - a program error would occur when attempting to open a Saved View Configuration of a Sub Model (13541).
  • Steel Beams:
    • Graphical View - where steel members connect the solid graphical render of the section geometry is terminated a short distance from the connection to make it more clear.  In some circumstance this did not occur making the connection less  clear.  This issue affected only the graphical view not the analysis model (13528).
    • Westok Cellular fabrication - a beam with a Westok Cellular fabrication could not be created directly with this settings made in the Properties Window prior to creation due to an “Invalid Operation” error.  The issue only affected Tekla Structural Designer 2016i and only occurred when Westok fabrication was selected first.  It could be worked around by selecting/changing the beam construction type first.  Such a beam can now be placed regardless of the order of selection of these properties (52500).
    • Composite Beams - Member View - a program error would occur when attempting to open the Member View (via the right-click context menu) when the Transverse Reinforcement was set to “Mesh” but the Mesh type was still = “500” rather than an actual mesh type (Mesh A, B or C).  This was an unusual circumstance which was difficult to achieve however the Open Member View process is enhanced to cater for it (52565).
  • Edit:
    • Move - a process error could occur when moving concrete walls set to mid pier when the move had a vertical component (13167).
    • Copy Loads - Plane Loads - slab patch loads were not correctly copied to the new position when multiple load were included in a single copy operation (13574).
  • Status Bar - Analysis & Design Status:
    • Edits to reinforcement information in the Properties Window for slabs and mats ( top bar and bottom bar size and spacing ) formerly caused the analysis and design status to be reset from a green tick to unknown.   Since this data has no impact on analysis or frame element design such edits no longer invalidate the analysis or design statuses (51233).
    • Mat Foundation slabs - for a selected mat foundation slab editing of any item in the Properties  Window under the "Soil Parameters" heading - other than Allowable Bearing Pressures (which do not affect analysis) -  causes the Analysis Status to change to "Out of Date" (52240).
  • Review View - Show\Alter State - Steel - Cold Rolled and Cold formed sections can now be reviewed and edited via this Show\Alter State command (previously only steel sections could be reviewed).  A “Materials Type” filter is added to the Properties Window allowing selection of; Steel, Cold formed or Cold rolled (52111).
  • Free Form Trusses - a program error could occur when attempting to edit a Free Form truss via the right-click context menu command to edit the truss as a whole (“Edit ST X” where “X” is the truss number).  This option is only intended for trusses produced using the Truss Wizard hence it is now removed from the context menu for Free Form trusses, preventing such an error (52311).
  • Concrete Columns - Section - for a Parallelogram the edit section “Mirror horizontally” and “Mirror vertically” commands now function correctly (52462).


  • Polygon Load - a polygon load with a concave perimeter (i.e. with an internal angle > 180 degrees) can now be created (13561).
  • Seismic Wizard - Mat Foundations - program operation is changed to ensure mat foundations are excluded from the Seismic mass.  Previously this was possible and could result in negative mass being calculated.  Now the the level in which mat foundations lie is automatically set in the Seismic Wizard control “Ignore seismic in this floor (and below)”.  In addition Validation now checks that this is the case and issues an error if mat foundations exists in a level which is not set in this manner in the Seismic Wizard (13274).
  • Combination Generator - US Head Code - the service factor for the combination “ASD12 - 0.6D + 0.6W” for all dead load types is corrected to 0.6 where it was formerly 1.0 (52573).


  • Validation Tree- once this has been expanded it now remains so following edits to the model - such as those addressing validation issues - where formerly it would be collapsed.  This facilitates working from the Validation tree list when addressing a number of validation issues without requiring re-expansion of the list (3886)
  • Validation - the Status window of the Project Workspace is now automatically selected following validation if it is not the currently active window (3682).

Analysis & Results

  • Results View - Ribbon Settings - when viewing the Grillage or FE Chasedown analysis results in a scene view, if the view regime is changed - e.g. to the structural view - and then back to the Results view, the Results ribbon retains all the original settings ensuring that Chasedown results being reviewed are still visible.  Previously the Ribbon setting reverted back to 1st Order Linear results (13531).
  • Chase Down Analysis:
  • Two-way Steel Deck - a chase down analysis would be run when not required for models containing two-way spanning Steel Deck slab items but no concrete members or slabs which could prevent completion of the Analyse All and the Design processes.  A chase down analysis is no longer performed in these circumstances allowing analysis and design to complete (13529).
  • Chase Down analysis could fail to complete for some models containing sloping 2-way slabs (13346).
  • FE Decomposition - where both rigid and semi-rigid diaphragms existed in a floor Decomposition Status warnings could occur related to the large stiffness differential between semi-rigid and two-way slab FE elements.  This had no effect whatsoever on the decomposition results and so the warnings could be ignored.  Warnings are no longer issued in this circumstance (13304).
  • Solver Warnings - in the circumstance of unstable nodes (usually due to analysis model mechanisms) the Solver warning message "Node {x} in dof {y} cannot be fixed" is changed to "possible unstable dof" to make the issue and potential solution clearer (52533).



  • Concrete Beam Design:
    • Torsion - an option is now added to Links/Stirrups page of the Interactive Design dialog for concrete beams to specify additional links for torsion.  A ‘Torsion’ tick box is added to the Links/Stirrups specification table which, when checked, applies the torsion design provisions of the model Head Code  (3756).
    • Concrete beams which were otherwise identical were not added to the same Design Group for models imported from Revit in which the name of the beams in Revit was different.  The Structural BIM import now caters for this circumstance and such beams are now placed in the same design group (13517).
  • Concrete Wall  Design:
    • An incorrect design status could result where end-zones were not used but the program was still checking the minimum horizontal reinforcement ratio provided in end-zones.  This could result in an overall fail status with no details of the reason for the failure (13557).
    • Interactive Design - Lateral Bars - when attempting to edit the horizontal bar spacing value the cursor would move to the start of the entry box after entry of the first number, requiring manual repositioning of the cursor to enter a desired value.  This entry box now behaves correctly in the same manner as that for column interactive design (13409).
  • Slab Design:
    • Punching Checks - Slab Openings - where a slab opening intersects a punching check perimeter patch reinforcement is now included in the punching shear calculations (52903).
    • Slab Patches - Beam Patches - it was not possible to create a beam patch when there was no attached slab at both the start and end of a supporting beam span.  Beam patches can now be added in this circumstance (13525).
    • In the following unusual circumstance an incorrect design moment was used in slab design; a steel column that had previously been concrete supported by a single slab meshed in the 3D analysis model.  In this circumstance out of date chase down analysis results were used - these are now automatically deleted ensuring up to date results are used (13576).
  • Steel Beam Design:
    • Lateral Restraints - where Design Groups were enabled for Steel Beams (not the default) user-defined bottom flange restraints at supported member locations were set to Off for some beams in a group when a single beam of the group was checked via the context menu “Check Member” option (13491).
    • Continuous Beams - Deflection check - the governing UR for the deflection checks given in the Design summary was always that of the final span of a multi-span continuous beam, not the the maximum UR where this occurred in a different span.  Where deflection governed design this could produce a discrepancy between the design details summary and the tooltip maximum UR which reported the correct value (13546, 13563).
    • Rarely a design process could occur where a negative sub beam length was calculated between flange restraint positions preventing the completion of LTB checks.  In this circumstance errors were listed in the Process Window and an error status assigned in the Review View  (13308, 13309).
  • Design Status - for models containing mid-pier walls placed on top of other mid pier walls the Design Status displayed in the Status Bar (at the bottom left of the main program window) was not updated correctly following a successful design (13445).
  • Floor Vibrations - a program error would occur if a 2D floor view was toggled to 3D while creating a Floor Vibration Check.  The Add Check command is now disabled in this circumstance so an error no longer occurs (13305).
  • Wind Drift Checks - these checks are no longer performed when any of the Gravity Design options are run (52589).

Head Code Aus

  • Steel Beams and Columns - for certain sections design is currently beyond scope for beams and columns, however the design process was still run for such sections (although a Beyond Scope status was correctly assigned to individual checks).  The design process is no longer run for the following sections and a single “Section geometry beyond current scope” message issued in design details; Single angles, Double angles, Tees, User defined plated section, ASBs (52739).

He​ad Code BS

  • Composite Beams - Auto-design - when camber was applied auto-design could fail to select an economic section size where the camber value was > the deflection for some load cases.  While this circumstance produces a warning (for information only)  it does not mean such a section cannot be used provided it passes all other checks.  Auto-design will now select such sections (52588).

Head Code EC

  • Concrete Design - columns - the maximum reinforcement ratio for columns was limited to 4% regardless of the “user” value specified in Design Options (Design Options > Concrete > Columns > Reinforcement Layout > Maximum reinforcement ratio).  The Design Options ratio now governs and so the 4% limit can be exceeded at the engineer’s discretion (13565).

​Head Code US

  • Seismic Design - Concrete Members - Seismic Demand - the purpose of the check is clarified and further details reported.   The check is not a code requirement but instead is a user assistance feature designed to inform the engineer when the critical utilisation ratios (URs) for member design are produced by the seismic combinations, but the member has not been included in a Seismic Force Resisting System (SFRS).  It draws the engineer’s attention to the requirements of ACI 318 section  Previously a warning was issued for this circumstance but no further details of the check were provided.  The following additional information is now added to the design details warning for concrete beams, columns and walls; maximum URs; ratio of seismic/non-seismic UR; a tool-tip is added to clarify why the warning is reported (13363).
  • Concrete Beams - Flanged Beams - when the ‘consider flanges’ option is ticked the flange thickness is checked and is not considered when the slab thickness is insufficient (in accordance with ACI Section 8.12.4).  The design details now give the status of this check and confirm whether the flange is being considered or ignored (3765).
  • Concrete Columns - the design details bar limit check for minimum allowable clear bar spacing incorrectly referenced ACI 318-11:2011 Section 6.6.3.  This is corrected to Section 7.6.3 (13224).
  • Steel Composite beams:
    • Enhancements to connector layout and deflection checks improve both the design speed and practicality of the auto-design solution.
  • Steel Beam Design (composite and non-composite)  - Camber:
    • The term “precambered” is replaced by “cambered” in the design details for deflection checks for beams with camber applied (3864).
    • For multi-span continuous beams the camber value is reported for each span where it is different (3863).
  • Steel Column Design:
    • Columns in an SFRS - in some models a design process error preventing the completion of design could occur for columns which were set to be part of an SFRS (13532).
  • Steel Joists - Auto-design - in some circumstances for KCS joists auto-design was unsuccessful producing an error "failed to find acceptable section" yet a design check produced a pass status for a KCS joist.  Auto-design routines are improved to correctly select a passing KCS joist in this circumstance (13498).

Reports & Drawings

  • Report:
    • Views - view configurations added to reports are enhanced to better preserve the level of zoom active when the view configuration was created (13377).
    • Header/ Footer - new Report settings are added to control the visibility of borders and the location and underlining of field text in Report headers and footers; Report > Settings > Document Options >  Header/footer (13354).
  • General Arrangement (GA) and Beam End Forces Drawings
    • Composite Beams - transverse reinforcement was incorrectly shown for composite beams for which this was not specified.  This also affected the Scene Content “Plan” option for a 2D View of a level which superimposes the GA drawing on the model view  (13395, 13474).
    • Haunches are now included in drawings for both Portal Frames and beams with haunches applied (13562).
  • Slab Detail Drawings:
    • Drawing Settings - these are rationalised and re-organized with settings for “Slabs and Mats” now listed separately directly under Layer Configurations, Layer Styles and Options, rather than being grouped under the “Planar Drawings” heading.  A new heading “Punching Check Detail” is also added to all these areas with controls for this new feature discussed above.  In addition the Layer Configuration settings for Slab/Mat Detail Reinforcement are more clearly organised by grouping them into three main categories; Main Reinforcement, Patch Reinforcement and Punching Reinforcement.
    • Patches - Anchorage Length - this issue relates to the drawing settings for anchorage lengths: Draw > Edit > Options > Planar Drawings > Slab/Mat Detail > Patches > Anchorage Length > “Draw full anchorage lengths” and “Draw curtailed (indicative) anchorage lengths”.   Regardless of the settings made the anchorage length was incorrectly always drawn as 12 in rather than the full anchorage length or the bar diameter multiple depending on the setting made and where these were the greater.  The correct anchorage length is now drawn (13344).


The number in brackets after an item denotes an internal reference number. This can be quoted to your local Support Department should further information on an item be required.

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