Precast column design

Added September 16, 2020 by Tekla User Assistance

Software version: 
Tekla Structural Designer 2020

Precast column design

Precast column design

Specific aspects of the precast column design workflow in Tekla Structural Designer are described below:

Note: The current Tekla Tedds calculation makes no allowance for any shear checks.

Section shapes

Whist a variety of different section shapes can be defined in Tekla Structural Designer, the Tekla Tedds calculation only supports the design of rectangular and circular column sections.

Concrete type

While you can apply both normal and lightweight concrete in the column properties, column design using lightweight concrete is currently beyond scope.

Nominal cover

The default nominal cover value set in Design Settings> Precast> Column> Reinforcement Settings is automatically passed through to the Tekla Tedds calculation. The nominal concrete cover is the distance between the surface of the reinforcement closest to the concrete surface (including links and surface reinforcement where relevant) and the nearest concrete surface.


Default reinforcement in the Tekla Tedds calculation

Regardless of the column size imported from Tekla Structural Designer, the initial default reinforcement for all stacks in the Tekla Tedds calculation is as follows:

  • Rectangular columns: a 2x3 formation of 25mm dia rebars with 8mm shear links.
  • Circular columns: 6x 25mm dia rebars with 8mm shear links.

Note: Tekla Tedds has no concept of multiple stack columns and Tekla Structural Designer has to associate separate Tekla Tedds calculations with each stack. It is the responsibility of the engineer to ensure that rebar on adjacent stacks are of appropriate quantities and sizes to ensure correct detailing can take place at the construction stage. It should be noted that Tekla Structural Designer does not hold any reinforcement information relating to precast members. Reinforcement is completely managed by the Tekla Tedds calculations.

The maximum number of bars which can be entered in either direction for rectangular columns is 10. For circular columns, the maximum total number of bars is 20. Please note that these restrictions will have an effect on the maximum allowable column size for the design workflow.

There is a basic minimum distance calculation within the Tekla Tedds document relating to bar amounts to avoid unrealistic values of rebar from being selected. This amount is to be the minimum of:

  • K1 x bar dia
  • 20mm
  • k2 x max aggregate size
Note: For values of coefficients k1 and k2, refer to clause 8.2 of the Eurocode.

The number of link legs shown in the Tekla Tedds calculation will increase or decrease depending on the number of reinforcing bars assigned within the document.

Note: The link legs are displayed to indicate required confinement reinforcement for vertical bars in compression, but have no effect on the overall design process.

Lifting Checks and Splice Design

Lifting checks and splice checks are disabled by default. This has been done to ensure a rapid design of grouped columns can take place. If these checks are required then simply enable the switches within the Design Options dialog within the Tekla Tedds calculation.

Note: The lifting check is performed against the unreinforced area of the column, hence there is no input for the shear link centres within the calculation. (Bending checks (for splice design) do include reinforcement allowances within the design process.)

Analysis forces transferred from Tekla Structural Designer

The following values in the Tekla Tedds calculation are populated from the Tekla Structural Designer model.

  • Axial load, 1st case (Max value)
  • Axial load, 2nd case (Min value)
    • Where tension exists in the column, the lowest compression value is populated into this parameter and the tension value ignored. A warning will be displayed in the process log within Tekla Structural Designer.
  • Moment about y axis at top
  • Moment about z axis at top
  • Moment about y axis at bottom
  • Moment about z axis at bottom
Note: Tekla Structural Designer populates values from all design combinations. For columns subjected to low axial loading, the moment capacity will not be as high as a column subjected to larger axial loading. Low axial load and high moment can easily be a critical combination for concrete column design.

Other precast column properties

The following properties which are common to both cast-in-place and precast columns, are not transferred to the Tekla Tedds calculation, but require consideration as they impact the overall performance of the model.

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