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S-FOUNDATION

Foundation Analysis, Design, and Detailing


Training Course
Notice
While the instructors have tried to be as accurate as possible, they cannot be held responsible for the designs of
others that might be based on the material presented in this course and these notes. The material taught at this
course is intended for the use of professional personnel competent to evaluate the significance and limitations of
its contents and recommendations, and who will accept the responsibility for its application. The instructor(s) and
the sponsoring organization(s) disclaim any and all responsibility for the applications of the stated principles and
for the accuracy of any of the material taught at the course and contained in these notes.

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Table of Contents
Course Setup and Conventions .............................................................................................................................. 1
Units .................................................................................................................................................................. 1
Introduction ........................................................................................................................................................... 2
Product Capabilities and Course Scope .............................................................................................................. 2
S-FOUNDATION Usage Options .......................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
User Interface and Navigation ........................................................................................................................... 4
Windows ....................................................................................................................................................... 4
Visual Editor .................................................................................................................................................. 7
Tool Bar ....................................................................................................................................................... 10
Help ............................................................................................................................................................. 11
File Formats ..................................................................................................................................................... 11
Templates in S-FOUNDATION ........................................................................................................................ 11
Basic Modelling .................................................................................................................................................... 13
Footing Types and Tools .................................................................................................................................. 13
Creating and Editing Foundations .................................................................................................................... 13
Pile Foundations .............................................................................................................................................. 19
Grids ................................................................................................................................................................ 21
Model Organization ......................................................................................................................................... 24
Labels .......................................................................................................................................................... 24
Folders ........................................................................................................................................................ 25
Rules ........................................................................................................................................................... 28
Irregular Geometry .......................................................................................................................................... 30
Pad Offsets .................................................................................................................................................. 31
Footing Rotations ........................................................................................................................................ 32
Adjusting Pedestal Location ........................................................................................................................ 32
S-FOUNDATION Database and Objects............................................................................................................... 34
Database Structure .......................................................................................................................................... 34
Design Groups ................................................................................................................................................. 35
Pads in S-FOUNDATION.................................................................................................................................. 36
Pedestals in S-FOUNDATION ...........................................................................................................................37
Piles in S-FOUNDATION .................................................................................................................................. 39
Soil .................................................................................................................................................................. 40
Soil Profiles ...................................................................................................................................................... 40
Load Cases and Combinations ............................................................................................................................. 40
Adding Loads................................................................................................................................................... 43
Working with “Additional Loads” ..................................................................................................................... 43
Code Checking – Rigid Approach ......................................................................................................................... 44
Geotechnical Checks – Rigid Approach ............................................................................................................ 45
Structural Checks – Rigid Approach ................................................................................................................. 47
Pedestal Structural Checks .......................................................................................................................... 47
Pad Structural Checks – Rigid Approach ...................................................................................................... 50
Pile Structural Checks – Rigid Approach ...................................................................................................... 52
Flexible Foundation Analysis and Design.............................................................................................................. 57
All about the FEA Model .................................................................................................................................. 57
Elements ..................................................................................................................................................... 58
Rigid Body Constraints ................................................................................................................................ 59
Strip Lines ................................................................................................................................................... 60
FEA Results...................................................................................................................................................... 63
Surcharge Loading........................................................................................................................................... 66
Analysis Troubleshooting ................................................................................................................................ 70
Overturning Moments ................................................................................................................................. 70
Uplift ............................................................................................................................................................71
Bearing Capacity ..........................................................................................................................................71
Non-convergence ........................................................................................................................................ 72
S-FRAME Link .......................................................................................................................................................73
Importing from S-FRAME .................................................................................................................................73
Plan view ..................................................................................................................................................... 79
Export to S-FRAME .......................................................................................................................................... 80
Pile Foundations in S-FOUNDATION Professional and Enterprise ........................................................................ 81
Stepped Foundations in S-FOUNDATION Enterprise ........................................................................................... 89
Introduction to Automation ................................................................................................................................. 94
Wizards in S-FOUNDATION ............................................................................................................................ 94
Command History............................................................................................................................................ 97
Scripting ........................................................................................................................................................ 100

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Course Setup and Conventions
This course is delivered in 9 chapters, each of which focuses on a single topic or group of topics.

Units

Each chapter is further divided into smaller units, highlighting a specific area of study, method or concept.

Exercises
Throughout this course are numerous exercises, noted with the above heading. The exercises are designed for
you to do, not just read. By carefully following the provided steps you will take away as much as possible from this
course. In many cases, the model files are provided as a part of the course materials. When this is the case, the
first of the exercise steps reference the model by name.

Within the exercises, are a number of screenshots and diagrams, emphasizing a certain step or results. In some
cases, they indicate the correct data entry for a specific dialog:

In other cases, they may show the expected output of a process:

Compare the diagram to what you see on your model and, if the results vary, review the above steps again or
consult your instructor.

Good to Know: Scattered throughout the course manual in red boxes will be short “Good to Know” facts.

1
Introduction

Product Capabilities and Course Scope

S-FOUNDATION is a powerful tool for the modeling, analysis, and design of various footings and foundations.
This course covers all of the major features in S-FOUNDATION, providing a comprehensive understanding and
practical skillset to the engineer planning on using S-FOUNDATION commercially. S-FOUNDATION is available
in three different editions: Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. The major differences between the two
editions is the modelling and analysis capabilities of Pile Foundations and Stepped Foundations, which we will
discuss later in this course. Certain topics may be specific to these features and S-FOUNDATION Professional or
Enterprise.

S-FOUNDATION’s modeling capabilities include the ability to define the following components:

1. Various footing types (isolated, combined, strap, mat, and more)


2. Various footing components (pedestals, pads, baseplates, piles)
3. Single, and Multi-Layer Soil Profiles
4. Rebar layouts for pads and pedestals
5. Load cases and combinations
6. Pedestal loading
7. Surcharge loading
8. Finite Element representations of each footing

9. Steps and drops in foundations

Several features supplement S-FOUNDATION’s modeling capabilities, including links to S-FRAME, AutoCAD,
Revit, ETABS and STAAD.

Analysis and design in S-FOUNDATION takes two distinct approaches: Rigid and Flexible. In the rigid approach,
foundations are analyzed as though the pad is completely rigid – it is assumed that pad deflections are negligible
in determination of the forces and stresses used in the footing design. This approach is similar to the methods
that would typically be used to analyze and design a foundation by hand and offers the advantage of being very
quick to solve.

The second approach takes the flexibility of the pad into consideration in the analysis. This flexible method uses
finite elements. S-FOUNDATION automatically builds each footing’s FE model which is then solved using the
built-in S-FRAME FEASolver engine. In determining forces and stresses for design, results are read from the FEA
analysis instead of computed with closed-form solutions as in the rigid approach. While this approach may be
slower to determine a solution, it often offers more accuracy and allows for design of foundations with irregular
geometry (footprint, pedestal layout, or pile layout). Because S-FOUNDATION builds and manages the
underlying FE model automatically, the flexible approach requires little extra work or knowledge from the user.
Optionally, S-FOUNDATION allows both the rigid and flexible approach to be run in parallel, giving the user the
ability to compare results side-by-side.

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S-FOUNDATION runs a series of design code checks on the footings to one of a number of international concrete
design standards. These checks include:

1. One-way shear
2. Two-way (punching) shear
3. Flexural
4. Pedestal Axial Force – Moment interaction
5. Pedestal Shear and Torsion
6. Pile Axial Force
7. Pile Shear
8. Pile Deflection (Lateral+Axial)
9. Soil bearing capacity
10. Overturning
11. Loss of Contact
12. Sliding

Design results are displayed in an interactive report as utilizations (demand/capacity), along with many
intermediate calculation values and a quantity take-off. Graphical results are also available and take the form of
color coded footing objects based on utilization, and even deflection, force, moment and stress diagrams when
the flexible approach is used.

S-FOUNDATION also features automation and customization through a python scripting interface, automation
“toolbox” and an API. These features will be demonstrated briefly, but are not covered in this course in detail, as a
separate course is offered devoted entirely to these topics: C301 Customization and Automation in S-
FOUNDATION with the S-FRAME OpenAPI ™ .

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User Interface and Navigation

Windows
S-FOUNDATION offers a flexible windowed layout, where tools, options, inputs, and results, are grouped into 14
windows which allows the user to adjust the interface to suit them and their workflow. The S-FOUNDATION
Windows include:

1. Tool: options for the currently selected tool.


2. Spreadsheet: Modify geometry or loading through spreadsheets and view tabulated results data
3. Labels: Add descriptive text to objects in the Visual Editor
4. Folders: Organize your model into folders, or setup smart folder definitions
5. Settings: Control various program settings
6. Design Input: Specify input data for the foundation design
7. Design Output: View design results
8. Legend: Apply color coding to foundations based on design results
9. Command History: Manage the Undo-Stack, repeat actions and convert a process into a script
10. Script Editor: Automate and customize foundation design through Python Scripting
11. Script Output: View scripting output
12. Help: View comprehensive documentation on all of S-FOUNDATION’s features.
13. Help Search: Perform a keyword search through the help system
14. Solver Output: View messages returned from the FEA Solver during an analysis.
Each window is easily adjusted with a few simple commands:

1. Resize: Click and drag on the border of any window to make it larger or smaller in that direction.

Figure 1.

2. Auto Hide the Window to only appear when the mouse hovers over it

Figure 2.

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3. Close the Window to save space on the desktop

Figure 3.

4. Closed windows can be Opened again from the Window Menu

Figure 4.

5. Click and Drag on the Title bar to place the window elsewhere

Figure 5.

6. While Dragging a window, you can “dock” it next to another window, or on top of another window

Dock window above

Dock window to left Dock window to right

Dock window in front


Dock window below

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7. Windows placed in front of others can be switched between with the tabs at the bottom of the window.
Windows can be un-tabbed by clicking and dragging on the tab.

Figure 6.

8. It is also possible to dock a window to the edge of the screen

Figure 7.

9. Windows can even be placed outside the main S-FOUNDATION Window or moved to a second monitor

Figure 8.

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10. Window layouts can be saved from the Window menu, and you can return to the default at any time.

Figure 9.

Visual Editor
The main window in S-FOUNDATION is referred to as the Visual Editor, and it automatically uses the portion of
the interface not used by the other windows.

Figure 10.

The Visual Editor is where we use graphical tools to create or edit our model. Some results are also displayed in
the Visual Editor.

The top of the visual editor lists several tabs, depending on the current state of the program.

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These tabs may include:

1. Finite Element: View the finite element representation of the model


2. Physical Element: View the panels and members that make up the model
3. Object: View the Object Representation
4. Rebar: View only the rebar present in the model
5. Soil: View a rendering of the Soil Profile underneath each foundation in the model
6. Results – If you have run an Analysis, the Results tab will also be available.
The Model is manipulated in 3D space in the visual editor with the following commands:

Button Action

Left Mouse Button Click Item selection or placement

Left Mouse Button Click + Drag Select Multiple

Mouse Wheel Roll Zoom

Mouse Wheel Click + Drag Pan View

Mouse Wheel Double Click Zoom Extents

Right Wheel Click + Drag Rotate Model

Good to Know: Behaviour of the Pan, Zoom, and Rotate commands depend on the mouse cursor location. To
rotate about a certain object, just place your mouse on that object before clicking and dragging with the right
mouse button as usual.

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Objects in S-FOUNDATION have three different visibility states. They can be Visible, Selected, or Hidden.

• Visible – The objects are clearly visible in the Visual Editor window, but must be selected to interact with
them. It is possible to apply certain properties to visible objects, such as reaction loads. However you
cannot edit the existing properties.

Figure 11.

• Selected – The objects have been intentionally selected using the selection tool. Object dimensions are
shown. You can interact with a selected object.

Figure 12.

• Hidden – The objects are rendered transparent to avoid obstructing the view. Objects can be hidden if
they are not part of the group/folder selection. It is not possible to apply properties to hidden objects.

Figure 13.

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Tool Bar
On the left-hand side of the main S-FOUNDATION Window is the toolbar where all geometry, loading,
results, and rendering tools are located. These include:

1. Selection tool

2. Grid tool

3. Isolated footing tool

4. Combined footing tool

5. Continuous footing tool

6. Strap footing tool

7. Wall footing tool

8. Mat foundation tool

9. Spring tool

10. Load tool

11. Surcharge area tool

12. Surcharge load tool

13. Code Check Utilization tool

14. Soil Bearing Pressure tool

15. Rebar Utilization tool

16. Deflection Results tool

17. Panel Results tool

18. Strip Line Results tool

19. Isometric views

20. Zoom Extents


21. Plan View

22. Toggle Showing Hidden Objects

These tools are described in more detail in the coming chapters. Note that you may not see all of these
tools in every situation. Some tools are purely for post-processing, and as such do not present
themselves until after an Analysis/Code Check has been run.

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Help
Perhaps the most important window in S-FOUNDATION is the Help Window. The Help Window allows you to
view more information and instructions on any of the features and tools in S-FOUNDATION. The Help Window is
context sensitive, meaning that the content automatically changes to display topics relevant to the tasks you are
performing.

The Help Window is viewed at any time by selecting it from the Window menu, or by pressing F1. It is also found
by choosing Help > Show Help Window.

Searching the Help System for Keywords is performed in the Help Search window. In the Help Search Window,
you have the option to search the S-FOUNDATION Help only, or to also include topics relevant to the API. If you
are not scripting or accessing the API through an external program, you should turn off the “Search API” option.

File Formats

S-FOUNDATION supports a number of file formats:

File Use
.sfrmx S-FOUNDATION Native file format (can be saved with, or without solver results to save
space)
.sfrmxbak S-FOUNDATION auto-save backup file
.sfrmt Structural Office Template File, used to define default settings on start-up
.tel S-FRAME File format used to import superstructure geometry
. xlsx Microsoft Excel used to export reports
.csv Comma separated values file. Can be created/edited in Excel or any text editor.
Some S-FOUNDATION extensions read input from CSV files

Templates in S-FOUNDATION

You can create Templates which define the default settings used during a “FileNew” command. Reusing
default setting templates saves time by not having to redefine your commonly used units, design codes, grid
systems and even commonly used Load Cases/Combinations, Objects, and more. It is possible to create multiple
templates, and you can tell S-FOUNDATION which template to load on start-up.

To create a new Template, set up your model with the objects and design settings you want in the Template
(these are loaded whenever you go FileNew).

Go to the Template preferences (FileOptionsTemplate) and choose the objects to include. Save the Template
by clicking 'Save As'. Remember the location of where you are saving the Template. Set the default units in the
default drop down menu.

Set the Template Path: click the ellipsis button and navigate to the template you just created. Load a template by
clicking on 'Load' and choose which template to load. Now click File menu > New and the template will be loaded.

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Exercise One
In this exercise, we practice using the S-FOUNDATION interface.

1. Open Model 001.sfrmx

2. Choose the default window layout, if it is not already, by choosing Window > Window Layout > Set
Default

3. Find the Script Editor Window (open through Window Menu), open it.

4. Close the Script Editor Window with the “X” in the top right corner. Reopen it again after you have
closed it.

5. Move the Folders window and dock it on the bottom half of the Script Editor.

Figure 14.

6. Resize the Visual Editor by dragging its borders, so that you have room to view the model

7. Select the Selection tool from the toolbar (the first icon). Notice that every time you select a new tool, a
description of the tool appears on the bottom toolbar in S-FOUNDATION.

Figure 15.

8. Toggle between the different tabs in the visual editor, then return to Object.

9. Right click with the mouse in the Visual Editor, and drag to rotate the model. Notice how S-
FOUNDATION rotates about the location of the cursor.

10. Double-press the mouse wheel to zoom extents.

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Basic Modelling

Footing Types and Tools

S-FOUNDATION supports six primary foundation types, which, when coupled with the numerous settings for
pedestals, rebar, piles, baseplates, soil definitions and more, allow modeling of footings for all kinds of structures.

The six foundation types are:

Isolated footing: a single pedestal on a pad

Combined footing: 2 pedestals on a pad

Continuous footing: 3 or more co-linear pedestals on a pad

Strap footing: 2 isolated footing connected by a beam

Wall footing: a single pad supporting a wall (can also include pedestals, and can be non-colinear)

Mat foundation: Polygon shaped pad, which can have a mixture of walls and pedestals

Note that none of the footing types are exclusively designated as Pile Caps or Pile Foundations, but rather that
any footing type may have piles added to it.

Creating and Editing Foundations

Defining footings in S-FOUNDATION is done with the 6 foundation tools. In this section, we explore various ways
to create and modify our foundations.

Exercise Two: Working with Isolated Footings


In this exercise, we create a number of isolated footings with various pads and pedestals.

1. Open Model 002.sfrmx


Good to Know: The coordinate system of each
2. Select the Isolated Footings tool, if it is not already selected footing is defined by the location of the joint at
3. In the Tool window, you can now see the settings that are used the top of the pedestal
when you create a footing. There are already some objects
defined for us to use. Make the following selection:

a. Pile Foundation = off

b. Rotation = 0

c. Soil Profile Selection = Hard Soil

d. Pad Selection = Pad 1

e. Pedestal Selection = Ped 1

f. Base Plate Selection = Rect

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Figure 16.

4. Hover your mouse over the Visual Editor and you should see a preview of the foundation you are about to
create. Click any grid intersection to place the foundation.
Good to Know: In S-FOUNDATION we are not
5. Click a second grid intersection to place another isolated limited to the Grid to place foundations, but it is
footing with the same properties (pad, pedestal, and more). the easiest way to start. The other options will be
6. In the Tool window, change the Pad, Pedestal and Base Plate explored in later chapters.
to match the following:

Figure 17.

7. Now place 2 more footings as you please. Notice that these are using a different pad, pedestal and
baseplate than before

Figure 18.

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8. Using the mouse, select one of the larger two footings you placed with the Selection tool ( ). Its color
will appear lighter when selected. Another option would be to right click the footing and select ‘Edit in
Tool’

9.
10. Figure 19.

11. In the Tool Window, change the Pad to “Pad 2.” You should see it update immediately to the larger size.

12. In the Tool window, switch the footing back to “Pad 1”. Good to Know: If you try to place a footing, but
13. With the same footing selected, change the rotation to only see a red outline, your footing is clashing
25 degrees with the location of another footing. Try making
it smaller or moving it to an open area.
14. Select a different footing and choose Edit > Delete to
delete it. Alternatively, you can right-click on the
foundation and choose delete, or just press the Delete key on the keyboard.

15. Press Ctrl + Z to undo the deletion.

16. Save your model

Great, you now know how to choose the parameters for your footing, place footings, edit them, and delete them!
Let’s now take a look at some of the other footing types.

Exercise Three: Creating Different Footing Types


1. Start a new S-FOUNDATION model (File > New)

2. Select the Combined Footing tool.

3. Click once in the visual Editor to place the first pedestal.

4. Click a second time to place the second pedestal. The rotation and pad length are automatically defined
by the second pedestal.

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Second Click

First Click

Figure 20.

5. Place a second Combined Footing with two clicks and note that the pad size defaults to the last footing
used. This setting can be overridden. If your second foundation does not share a pad size with your first
foundation, you may want to do this.

6. Check the Tool Window and set the ‘Pad’ assignment to ‘<Create New>’. To use an existing pad, choose
one from the dropdown.

Figure 21.

7. Within the Tool Window, choose an existing pad size. Now place a third combined footing. This time, the
pad is not sized automatically; instead, it is the same size as one of the earlier combined footings you
placed. This setting assumes identical pad dimensions, and pedestal spacing as the pre-existing
foundation you are referencing.

In this way you can choose to create a new pad that automatically fits, or use an existing one if you prefer
to use the same pad ID and keep them in the same design group (more on this later).

8. Instead of creating the third footing, press ‘Esc’ on your keyboard to cancel the command.

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9. Next select the Continuous Footing tool.

10. This tool behaves very similarly to the Combined Footing Tool, except that you may place more than 2
pedestals. Try creating a continuous footing now.

11. To place the last footing, simply double-click on the location of the last pedestal. Note that the joints in
a continuous footing must be co-linear.

Double-click here

Figure 22.

12. Next, select the Strap Footing tool. Delete some of the existing footings if you need to make more room
in the model.

Good to Know: You can press Escape in the middle of an operation to cancel it

13. Placement of a Strap Footing is almost identical to that of the combined footing. Place one now, and be
sure to space the pedestals far enough apart that the pads do not overlap. You may notice that if your
pedestals are too close together, the overlapping pads are colored red, indicating that it is not possible to
create the foundation.

14. Select the Wall Footing tool. Note the description in the Toolbar at the bottom of the screen. By default,
your Wall Foundation do not have pedestals if you simply click the joints you wish to include. Pedestals
are added to your wall footing by holding the ‘Shift’ key when you click your joint locations.

Figure 23.

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15. Create two wall footings, one with pedestals and one without pedestals. Unlike the continuous footing
tool, the joints in a wall footing do not have to be co-linear. To end your wall, you can double-click to
place the last joint. Note that if you do not want a wall on top of your pad while using a mat foundation
(i.e. you want your superstructure wall to extend directly into the pad), you can do so using the Wall
Foundation tool. Simply define the Wall Height as ‘0’. This strategy ensures that the rigid links are still
generated in a way to transfer forces accurately throughout the pad. The topic of rigid links is discussed
later in this course.

Figure 24.

One other item to note with Wall Foundations is that the pad definition is different than other types of
foundations. Wall Foundations do not have a Pad ID, like an Isolated Footing, Combined Footing, etc.
Instead, they have a Wall and Pedestal Strip Width. These dimensions define the width of the pads
underneath the pedestal and wall and can be adjusted after the fact in the DefinePads/Pile Caps
dialogue, or the Spreadsheet to define eccentric pads.

16. Finally, let’s create a mat foundation. Select the Mat Foundation tool and then click to define the vertices
of your polygon shaped pad, one-by-one. When you are done defining your polygon vertices, double
click on the last point.

17. The next step is to define the pedestals and/or walls on top of your pad. Click your mouse within the
perimeter of your pad to add pedestals. To add walls, press the ‘Tab’ button on your keyboard. Once you
have defined your pad’s perimeter, you can press, and hold the ‘Shift’ key to define a hole in your pad, by
clicking the points representing the perimeter. To finish adding pedestals, walls and/or holes double click
on the last joint you clicked.

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Figure 25.

18. Keep the Mat Foundation tool selected and expand the pad options with the little “+” icon. Here you can
choose from various pad shapes including Circular, Triangular, Rectangular, and various Polygon options.

Figure 26.

Congratulations, you have now created one of each footing type in S-FOUNDATION.

Pile Foundations

As previously mentioned in S-FOUNDATION, pile foundations are not a separate footing type; rather a Pad object
can have piles added to it to turn it into a pile cap. This section discusses pile foundation creation in S-
FOUNDATION Standard. Later in the course, we will discuss the more detailed Pile Foundation creation available
in S-FOUNDATION Professional and Enterprise.

Exercise Four: Creating a Pile Foundation


1. Open a new file and select the Isolated Footing Tool

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2
2. Change the pad dimensions to 4m

a. Expand the Pad “node” with the + icon

Figure 27.

b. Enter the dimensions of 4000mm by 4000mm

3. Choose to define the pad as a Pile Foundation by selecting the box near the top of the isolated footing
tool (the same option exists for the other footing types as well). Note that the “Pad” field is now re-
labelled as “Pile Cap”.

Figure 28.

4. You should now see more options appear for the pile selection and placement. Choose Standard Pattern
configuration, 5 piles and absolute spacing of 2m in the X direction and 1m in the Y direction. You can see
a preview of the settings at any time by bringing the mouse over the Visual Editor window. (note you
may need to adjust your pad dimensions to ensure that all of the piles fit with the new spacing).

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Figure 29.

5. Place the footing. Check the Rebar and FE views if you wish.

Grids

In previous exercises, we have used S-FOUNDATION’s Grid to place footings in our model. Grids are an essential
tool for setting up our model and editing our geometry, and in this section, we look at how we can further work
with grids in S-FOUNDATION.

It is common to think of a Grid as a 2D collection of straight lines, and that is exactly how they are defined in S-
FOUNDATION. S-FOUNDATION, however, also lets you work with Grid Systems. A Grid System is a collection of
Grids which can be “stacked” to offer modeling options in 3D space. Imagine a typical Grid in the X-Y plane:

Figure 30.

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If we now combine that grid with other grids which have lines at the same X and Y coordinates, but are in different
elevation planes, we have a grid system:

Figure 31.

When working with a structure, we may place grids on each floor elevation, or similar. For foundations, it is
unlikely that we will need grids at each floor, but rather we will need one for each elevation our footings fall on.

Exercise Five: Working with Grids


1. Start a new S-FOUNDATION file and create an Isolated footing anywhere on the grid

2. Locate and select the Grid Tool.

3. There are two modes to the Grid Tool: Create and View. Select the “View” mode. The View mode allows
for switching between existing grid systems (or hiding them altogether). Within the View Mode, you can
toggle different elevation grids that are part of the system.

4. Toggle between the different elevations that are part of the grid system using the “Line” option Arrows.
You should see the different elevations that make up the grid system

Figure 32.

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Next, we create our own Cartesian Grid, which requires three parameters for each direction (X, Y, and Elevation),
which are formatted A, B@C.

A The starting location for the grid lines in this direction


B The number of grid lines
C The spacing of those B lines, starting at A and incrementing in the positive direction

5. Choose the Create mode in the Grids Tool.

Figure 33.

6. Define a 1m grid, centered on the origin, 10m in width, with one grid at elevation = 0 and one at elevation
= 1.

Figure 34.

Hint: use the following settings for X, Y, and Elevation

X -5, 10@1
Y -5, 10@1

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Elevation 0, 1@1
7. Try cycling through your two elevations.

Grid line offsets can also be entered as absolute offsets. You can find more details on Grid Definition within S-
FOUNDATION’s Help Menu.

All grid data is stored in spreadsheets which are accessible through the Spreadsheet Window. While all the basic
features are available in the Grids tool, more advanced editing is possible through spreadsheets.

Figure 35.

Good to Know: Grid labels can be disabled through the Setting Window, under Show > Grids > Labels.

Model Organization

When working with a structural model, especially in 3D, staying organized is crucial. Fortunately, several tools in
S-FOUNDATION simplify this for the user and can save time when modelling large or complex structures.

Labels
Of all the objects and parameters we use in S-FOUNDATION, only some are visible in the visual editor. Similarly,
sometimes two different objects can appear quite similar. Labels let us add text to the visual editor to help
differentiate these objects or display other useful information.

Labels in S-FOUNDATION have their own window, and from there are subdivided into several groups:

1. Foundations
2. Joint
3. Member
4. Panel
5. Reaction load
Each label can be toggled on and off using the checkboxes. Here is an example of a Foundation with the ID and
Pad Name displayed.

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Footing ID

Pad Name

Figure 36.

The top level of each group (e.g., “Foundations” or “Joint”) of labels must be “On” in order to view any labels from
that group (e.g., ID, Name and Pad ID). In this way, you can save selections of frequently used labels, without
having to click many times to turn them all on and off.

Figure 37

Folders
The S-FOUNDATION folder system should be familiar to those who have used S-FRAME Analysis before,
although there are some new features available in S-FOUNDATION.

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Any S-FOUNDATION model can be organized into a series of folders, or groups. A folder is a collection of objects
(pads, pedestals, joints, members, etc.). Folders and objects have a
many-to-many relationship, which is to say that any object may be a Good to Know: The contents of the Folders in
part of more than one folder, and any folder may contain many objects. the “Model” group and the “Rule” Groups are
updated dynamically with each change in your
Folders are managed in the Folders Window. By default, this is in the model
bottom left of the S-FOUNDATION interface but recall that you can
show the window at any time from the Window Menu.

There are four top-level folders defined for you in S-FOUNDATION:

1. Model: Contains several folders that have been populated for you, grouping objects by type

2. S-FRAME Folders: Contains any folders that were defined in S-FRAME for a superstructure import (more
on this in later chapters)

3. S-FOUNDATION Folder: This is where you can define your own folders

4. Rule Folders: S-FOUNDATION can automatically generate folders containing objects that meet certain
criteria

Exercise Six: Defining a Folder


1. Open Model 003.sfrmx

2. Locate the Folders window and expand the Foundation Type folder

Figure 38.

3. Note the different folders automatically defined by selecting the “Isolated Footings” folder. The objects
in the folder are visible, while those not in the folder are transparent

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Figure 39.

4. While still in the isolated footings folder, hold down the CTRL key and select the “Continuous Footings”
folder too. You should now see that both are selected, and the visual editor displays the contents of both
folders at once.

Figure 40.

5. Leave these items selected and right-click on “Folders”. Choose “Create Empty Folder”.

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Figure 41.

6. Name your Folder.

7. Right-click on your new Folder and choose “Create Folder from Visible”. You have now saved a selection
of objects to a Folder. You can quickly return to this selection at any time.

8. Select the entire model again (you can do this by choosing “Model” at the very top of the Folders
Window).

9. Using the Selection Tool, click on a footing. It should turn white.

10. Select 2 or 3 other footings while holding down the Ctrl button. They are now all selected. To easily
return to this selection, let’s save it in a folder.

11. Right-click on “S-FOUNDATION Folder” and choose “Create Folder From Selected”.

12. Name your Folder. You now have saved your selection and can easily return to it at any time.

Rules
While the predefined folders and manual selections help to create simple groups, more detailed selections can still
be time-consuming and error prone. For this reason, S-FOUNDATION includes another feature called Rules,
which allow us to select all the objects which meet certain criteria automatically.

Rules have two uses:

1. Save objects into a folder

2. Select objects with the selection tool

Rules are defined and saved separately from the Folders and Selection tool. This is so that a single rule may be
used for either, or combined with others. The Define Rules dialog is found under the Define > Rules menu.

Exercise Seven: Defining a Rule Folder


One simple example of a rule would be to group all footings that have a rotation between 20 and 60 degrees and
fall on a certain soil type.

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1. Open Model 005.sfrmx. Note we have a number of different footings in this model.

2. Choose Define > Rules. The Rules dialog is now open.

3. In the type field, we can choose which object we wish to select with the selection criteria we will choose
in the next step. Choose Isolated Footings, and click Add

4. A property drop-down appears on the right side, select “Rotation” and click “Add”.

Figure 42.

5. On the right side of the dialog, specify Value must be greater than 15 degrees. Optionally give this rule a
more descriptive name.

Figure 43.

6. Add a second rule (still in the Isolated Footing type), this time for Rotation Less Than 15 degrees.

7. Click OK to save changes and close the dialog.

Now we have the two rules defined and ready to use.

8. To apply a rule to a folder right-click on the “Folders” folder and choose “Create New Rule Folder”

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Figure 44.

9. The rules that you have previously defined will be listed in drop-down list in the dialog. You can further
define Rule Folders by clicking the ellipsis button and creating combinations of rules.

Figure 45.

10. Add a new Rule Group in this section by clicking add.

11. Here we can create “And/Or” Rules Groups. These are essentially combinations of existing rules we have
defined that group all objects with Rule A and Rule B, or Rule A or Rule B. They are by no means limited
to only two rules as well.

12. Create a Logic Rule named “Rule Group 1” which includes all objects with Rotation > 15 or Rotation < 15
(all isolated footings).

13. Click Apply, and then Ok.

14. If we click on our Rule Group Folder again, we can select everything in Rule Group 1.

You have now created a group based on your own criteria that will be dynamically updated as you continue to
build and change your model.

To select based on this rule, choose Select > Rule.

Irregular Geometry

Thus far, we have built and modified footings with regular geometry, but S-FOUNDATION is capable of designing
more irregular cases as well.

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Pad Offsets
S-FOUNDATION gives us the ability to define footings where the pedestal (or pedestals) does not fall in the
center of the pad. This is specified as a “Pad Offset”, rather than a pedestal offset, as S-FOUNDATION uses the
joint at the top of the pedestal as the origin of the coordinate system for the entire footing. While this may seem
counter-intuitive at first, it is straightforward in use as we usually place our footings with this joint to ensure
connectivity and continuity with our superstructure.

Exercise Eight: Specifying a Pad Offset


1. Start a new S-FOUNDATION model

2. Select the Isolated Footing tool

3. Ensure it is in the “Create” mode and expand the Pad options within the Tool Window (this is done with
the + Icon

Figure 46.

4. Specify a Pad Offset of your choice (a little bit of geometry and common sense will tell you that it needs
to be less than half the pad dimension minus half the pedestal dimension). If you try and create an
“illegal” footing (pedestal does not fall within the pad), it will be shown in red in the visual editor and, in
some cases, S-FOUNDATION will not let you place it at all.

Note that the offset can be made with respect to the center of the pad, or edge of the pad, depending on
your preference.

5. Place the footing.

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Figure 47.

6. Note that you can also adjust the offset after placing the footing through the Pad dialog (which will be
explored further in a later section)

Be careful with offsets, as they may affect your rebar layout.

Footing Rotations
In addition to the various objects that make up a footing (pad, pedestal, baseplate, etc), a footing is also defined
by a joint - which gives it a location in 3D space - and a rotation.

Footing rotation may be specified by the user in the Tool window when creating a new footing or editing an
existing one.

Figure 48.

Note that the rotation applies to the entire footing, including the pad and pedestal.

Adjusting Pedestal Location


It is possible to move a pedestal after placement. Such an action will fall into one of two cases:

1. The footing only has one pedestal – moving the pedestal will move the entire footing

2. The footing has multiple pedestals – moving the pedestal will move only that pedestal. Other pedestals
will not be affected. The pad will move automatically to try and contain all pedestals, but will not
automatically be resized.

3.

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Exercise Nine: Pedestal Location Change
1. Start a new S-FOUNDATION Model

2. Place two footings: one isolated footing and one mat foundation with at least 3 pedestals

In S-FOUNDATION, strictly speaking, a pedestal doesn’t have a location or coordinates of its own. Instead, it is
just assigned to a joint. So to move a pedestal, we actually have to move the joint and the pedestal will follow.

3. To view the joints in the model, select the “Physical Element” tab in the visual editor. Here we can see the
elements (panels, members, joints, etc) that make up the model

4. With the Selection tool, click on the joint at the top of the pedestal of the isolated footing you placed. It
should turn a lighter shade of orange when selected.

5. The Tool window will now display the X, Y, and Z coordinates of that joint. Enter new coordinates and
press enter to apply the change.

6. Select a joint at the top of one of the pedestals on the mat foundation

7. Enter in new coordinates, but be sure the new coordinates fall within the pad and don’t conflict with
other existing pedestals. You may notice the pad move slightly depending on the new pedestal location.

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S-FOUNDATION Database and Objects

Database Structure

Like S-FRAME, S-FOUNDATION stores the structural model and details in a strict database structure. While a
complete understanding of the database isn’t required to effectively use the software, some familiarity can help
when learning software features and functions, troubleshooting, or working with design groups, for example.

Every object (pad, pedestal, rebar, etc) in S-FOUNDATION will contain a number of parameters used to define it.
Each of those parameters in turn, is also an object and will have parameters of its own.

The below diagram represents a simplified look at the S-FOUNDATION database for a single instance of an
isolated footing. The data for the pad has been shown.

Name
ID
Material Shape
Pad Thickness Width
Offset Depth

Pedestal
Shape Mode
Isolated Footing Top Bars Toggle
Base Plate
Rebar
X Strips Strip Width
Rotation Number of Strips
Multi-Layer
Y Strips
Soil Bar ID
Depths Bar Count
Hooks Bar Spacing
Back Fill
One Layer Pile Springs
Pad Ult. Bearing Cap.
Layers Layer Depth Length
Depths
Back Fill Soil Type
Radius
Pile Soil Springs Ult. Bearing Cap.
Pile Capacities
Soil Type

Each isolated footing would have the same data structure. So, for example, when we are working with the
isolated footing tool, the options visible in the tool window let us choose a Pad, Pedestal, Soil, Baseplate and
Rotation for that footing. At this step we are setting up the desired parameters for a new footing we are going to
place. To change the parameters for the pad, pedestal, and baseplate objects, we can either expand those
settings in the Tool window with the “+” icon, or open up the corresponding dialog under the Define menu (more
on this in the coming sections of this chapter).

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In S-FOUNDATION, once an object such as a pedestal is defined, it is automatically assigned an ID and can be
used multiple times throughout the model. Though there may be many instances of an object, that object with
that unique ID will contain the same data everywhere it is used, leading us to the concept of design groups.

Design Groups

To design a perfectly efficient structure, it would be necessary to design each foundation separately, as each will
have different structural demands. Obviously, while ideal, this would not be feasible from a documentation or
constructability standpoint. As such, it is common practice to group our footings together for the design process.
By grouping footings which have similar demands, we are able to adjust their properties at the same time and test
code compliance for the group.

Working with design groups is made simple in S-FOUNDATION through the database structure described in the
previous section. By re-using the same object multiple times, we ensure that any changes to its properties are
applied everywhere that object is placed. This means that we are in control of the number of objects and can
design a structure that is efficient, yet manageable in terms of the number of different pedestals, pads and etc.
that must be constructed.

What does this mean when working with S-FOUNDATION? Defining design groups is not something that we
must do explicitly; instead it happens automatically in the modeling process and is very intuitive. For example,
every pedestal that we place that has the same name and ID will be a part of the same design group, and they will
all have the same size, shape, and rebar at every stage of the design. If you place a second pedestal that is a
different size, it will be a separate design group automatically (with a separate ID). Your design groups don’t
necessarily have to differ at the start of your design; you can create two identical pedestals with different IDs (so
in different groups), just as a means of giving yourself more flexibility to adjust them separately later in the design
process.

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Pads in S-FOUNDATION

In S-FOUNDATION, Pads can be created and edited in the “Define Pads” dialog, under the Define menu. The
dialog is composed of four sections

Parameters of selected Pad 3D Live Preview of Selected Pad

List of all pads in the model Rebar Detailing Parameters

All of the parameters of the selected pad that were shown earlier in the database diagram can now be selected
and modified in the centre section of the Define Pads dialog, including:

1. ID
Good to Know: The “Ellipsis” button
2. Name
(three dots) is used as a short cut to
3. Pile Cap access the “Define” dialog for various
4. Shape and Dimensions objects.
5. Thickness
6. Material
7. Offset
8. Rebar

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The Offset setting of the pad is worth noting. While it may be instinctive to think of the pad as the “anchor” for
our local coordinate system, in S-FOUNDATION, the footing is placed based on the location of a joint, which
connects to the pedestal. As such, the pedestal is always located at the origin of our local coordinate system and,
instead of specifying a pedestal offset relative to the pad, we do the opposite.

For example, the below pad has an offset of +1000mm in the X (red) direction and +500mm in the Y (blue)
direction.

Pad Centre

500mm

1000mm

Figure 49

Pedestals in S-FOUNDATION

Similar to pad, pedestals can be created and edited in the Define > Pedestals dialog box.

Figure 50.

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Here, the user can specify:

1. Pedestal Dimensions
2. Shape
3. Material
4. Rebar
a. Configuration (rectangular, circle or spiral)
b. Vertical Bars
c. Extensions (hook and embedded length)
d. Horizontal Bars
Pedestals in S-FOUNDATION are detailed and code-checked using the S-CONCRETE design engine. For those not
familiar with S-CONCRETE, this means that realistic rebar configurations are automatically detailed as the user
changes various pedestal parameters.

For example, in the below image on the left is a 700mm by 500mm pedestal. In the image on the right, the user
has modified the depth to be 600mm and S-FOUNDATION has automatically added the additional horizontal
rebar and hook, connecting it to the vertical bars. The user remains in complete control of all rebar parameters,
but the S-CONCRETE technology makes placing the bars and considering different layouts fast and
straightforward.

Figure 51.

Pedestals are also code-checked using S-CONCRETE technology. This will be discussed in later chapters.

In the event that you do not wish to define pedestals, but rather have your columns/walls from your
superstructure connect directly to your pad, we recommend that you enter a pedestal height of zero, and make
the pedestal geometry equivalent to the geometry of your column/wall. This will ensure that the rigid links used
for the Finite Element Model are still set up to distribute loads to the area of your column/wall correctly for
punching shear checks.

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For more details on how you can connect columns in your superstructure to your foundations, we encourage you
to look at S-FOUNDATION’s Help System topic “Modelling Column Connections”.

Piles in S-FOUNDATION

Piles may be created and edited in the Define > Piles dialog.

Figure 52.

Recall that piles may be added to any pad type in S-FOUNDATION.

Within the Define > Piles dialog, the user may specify:

1. Pile name
2. Dimensions
3. Shape
4. Material
5. Rebar
a. Configuration
b. Vertical Bars
c. Horizontal Bars
d. Extensions (hook and embedded length)
The layout and spacing of piles is specified in the Pad/Pile Cap settings.

39 | P a g e
Soil

S-FOUNDATION gives users the option to define their own custom soil types or use the default Soil Types. The
Soil Dialog (DefineSoil), allows you to define and edit soil profiles referenced by foundations.

The user can specify properties like the Density, Saturated Density, Modulus of Subgrade Reaction, Frication and
Adhesion and Settlement parameters of the soil.

The foundation modulus of the soil is used to determine the stiffness of the ground springs that are generated
under your pads for Flexible (Finite Element) Analysis.

Soil Profiles

To accompany the Soil Dialogue, S-FOUNDATION also lets users specify Soil Profiles.

Soil Profiles define the soil conditions at various depths under your foundations. You can specify which Soil
definitions exist under your foundation, and at which depth.

Additionally, the Soil Profiles Dialogue allows you to define the Elevation of each layer of soil with respect to the
foundations, as well as the water table elevation. Parameters for Bearing Capacity calculations, Pile Soil Springs
and Settlement can also be specified in this dialogue.

There are certain design checks that are only performed when you have multiple layers of soil (Soil Settlement).
In the event that you try to run one of these checks on a model with only a single layer of soil, you may receive a
message from the software indicating that said check was not run.

Load Cases and Combinations


S-FOUNDATION offers several tools for defining and editing substructure loading. When running standalone,
these tools are necessary to accurately and realistically represent the loading. If we have imported an S-FRAME
model, the loading will already be defined, but we can use these tools to view the existing loading, and control the
application of loads not present in the superstructure, like soil weight and foundation weight. S-FOUNDATION,
like S-FRAME, allows for loads to be stored as load cases, then grouped with factors into load combinations.

There are two primary types of loading in S-FOUNDATION:

1. Reaction loads: Applied to the top of each pedestal, as if coming from the superstructure.

2. Additional loads: Applied the pad and pedestal as appropriate to account for self-weight, soil weight,
buoyancy

a. Surcharge loading: Applied to the pad to account for additional surcharge loading. Considered a
part of the additional loading

40 | P a g e
Exercise Ten- Defining Load Cases and Combinations
1. Open a new file

2. Choose Define  Units and, change the display units to ‘Imperial (Customary)’. Do the same for the
Model Units. Model units adjusts the units within the file, and the changed number is saved, so if you run
an analysis, and then change the model units, you would need to reanalyse. Display Units are just as they
sound, for display only, and do not require a reanalysis, as the underlying numbers are not being
changed.

Figure 53.

3. Define an Isolated Footing. The location and geometry of the footing is not important for this exercise.

4. Open the Define Design Load Cases… dialog. Here you can specify the load cases that will be applied
to your foundations.

5. Click the ‘Add’ button to create a new load case. The Design Load Case tab contains details such as
whether or not the load case is considered for Structural, or Geotechnical checks, Acceptable Utilization
ratios, and whether to include self weight.

6. Switch to the Reaction Loads Tab. Here you will find a tabulated list of loads applied to each foundation.

Figure 54

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This load case does not have a name, but it is given an ID of ‘1’ since it is the first one we have defined.
There are no default loads applied to your foundation, but you can enter your loads into this dialogue.
You will notice that if you open this dialogue in a model with several pedestals, or walls, there will be
several rows of Reaction Loads, one for each joint. You can verify the Joint associated with each load, by
looking at the ‘Joint’ column.

7. Change the name of this load case to ‘Axial Only’, and change the Fz value to ‘-250k’ (downwards). Click
‘Apply’.

Figure 55.

8. Switch to the ‘Design Load Case’ tab, and edit the name of the load case if you wish. Create a new Load
Case, and name it ‘Live’, click Apply.

9. In the Reaction Loads tab, add an Fx of ‘25k’, Fz of ‘-130k’, and My of ‘15k*ft’. Click Apply, and close the
window.

10. Add a Load Combination (DefineDesign Load Combinations) and give it the name ‘Combination A’. To
change the name from the default, expand the ‘Name’ property, and toggle “Auto-Name”.

Figure 56.

We will use the following load case factors:

1.25 Axial + 1.5 Live

To apply these factors, continue using the ‘Design Load Combinations’ tab, under the ‘Design Load Case’
drop down select which Design Load Cases you would like to contribute, and assign them a factor.

Figure 57.

42 | P a g e
11. Click Apply, but leave the dialog open.

12. Expand the ‘Run’ properties under the Design Load Combination tab. The first two listings say
‘Geotechnical’ and ‘Structural’ and refer to the checks that S-FOUNDATION runs. If the corresponding
check box is toggled on, S-FOUNDATION will run code checks according to this load combination. If you
have a load case that doesn’t need to be run for either the geotechnical or structural code checks, and
you would like to save time in the analysis, you may want to consider toggling of these checks.

Figure 58.

This same information can be found in the Design Input Window, under the ‘Case/Combination’ tab.

You can view loads, graphically, that are applied to your foundations by selecting the Reaction Loads

Tool in the toolbar.

Adding Loads

We have already seen how to add loads through the Define Dialogue, but there are certainly many more ways to
perform this task. In S-FOUNDATION you can add loads to your footings using the following methods:

• Define Dialogue
• Reaction Load Tool
• Spreadsheet
• Importing .TEL file with reaction loads
• Scripting
We have looked at a few of these methods already and will investigate more of them later in the course.

Working with “Additional Loads”

Until now all of the loads we have been discussing could be thought of as reaction loads from the superstructure.
These reaction loads are being applied to the top of the center of the pedestal and transferred to the rest of the
footing through the pedestal. Of course, these are not the only loads that can be considered when running an
analysis/code check. S-FOUNDATION can consider additional loads as well:

• Soil Weight

• Buoyancy (if the water line is above the bottom of the footing)

• Surcharge Loading

As the user, you have the control over whether or not you would like to consider each of these loads. You can also
choose to only run certain code checks for certain load cases in the Design Input Window under the Substructure
Loads tab. This may be helpful if, for example, a given load combination contains factored loads to be used for

43 | P a g e
structural checks, while another load combination contains the serviceability loads, to use checked for
geotechnical issues only. One thing to note, by default, the Substructure Load Factors are set to zero. If you
choose to enter a Self-Weight factor >0, you will also be able to enter the factors for Soil Weight and Buoyancy.

The load combinations Substructure Load factors are determined based on the load case factors, and the cases
involved in the combination. For instance, in the case of the previous exercise, when we combined 1.25 Axial Only
+ 1.5 Live, each load case was accounting for Foundation Weight, Soil Weight, Buoyancy, and Surcharge Loads
with a factor of 1.0. Since there were two load cases, and both of them were factored, the sum of 1.25*(1.0
Foundation Weight) + 1.5*(1.0 Foundation Weight) = 2.75. In simpler terms, the Load Combination Factors are
controlled by the values defined for each load case, as well as the load case factors for the particular combination.

Figure 59.

Clearly, in practice, we would rarely want to load our model with >2x the self-weight of any object. As such, we
should avoid combining more than one load combination with a self-weight factor.

Code Checking – Rigid Approach


Once our footing geometry, soil profiles and foundation loads have been defined it stands to reason that we
would be interested to know how it will fare in a code check. When we refer to a code check, we are talking about
how a particular design requirement is scored on a pass/fail basis according to a particular design code. Currently,
S-FOUNDATION is capable of checking against the following codes:

ACI 11
CSA 04
EC2 04 (recommended design values)
EC2 04 (UK annex)

In order to make use of the code checking results, however, we must first understand what they mean, and how
they are calculated.

As we will see later, the general result which governs the pass/fail status of a code check is called the utilization
ratio. This ratio is calculated as:

 =  ⁄
Simply put, if the demand exceeds the capacity your utilization ratio will be greater than one. This indicates a
failed code check.

44 | P a g e
It is important to understand where these demands and capacities come from if we want to bring our foundation
to a passing status. There are two ways to calculate demands, either through using closed-form calculations or
through finite element analysis. The capacity is always calculated according to the design code provisions.

In this section we will be focusing on code checking using the rigid approach (rather than FEA). This method
assumes a completely rigid pad when determining both capacities and demands.

Geotechnical Checks – Rigid Approach

The rigid pad approach is a great way to determine utilization ratios for Geotechnical Code Checks, giving us an
idea how our foundations interact with the soil beneath them. This approach assumes that the four corners of
your pad will not have any deflection relative to one another. You can run geotechnical code checks on:

• Isolated Footings
• Combined Footings
• Continuous Footings
• Wall Footings
• Mat Foundations
The rigid pad calculation method will not provide geotechnical code check results for strap footings. These
foundation types require the flexible approach.

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The Geotechnical Checks in S-FOUNDATION are:

Soil Bearing

Soil Settlement

Overturning

Loss of Contact

Horizontal Sliding

In S-FOUNDATION you will notice that the Design Input window allows you to toggle whether or not you would
like to run any one of these checks according to a rigid pad approach. This can be found under the ‘settings’ tab.
More details on each of these checks can be found in S-FOUNDATION’s Help System.

Figure 60.

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S-FOUNDATION calculates the demand on our foundation from the total load. This load consists of a
combination of pedestal, pad and soil weights, buoyancy forces, and loads from the superstructure. The
capacities of each object are calculated using the Allowable Stress Design method.

S-FOUNDATION is not limited to just shallow foundations for geotechnical checks. You can also run geotechnical
vertical and lateral bearing capacity, and uplift checks on pile foundations using the rigid pad approach to
calculate the demands. The capacity is user defined and includes compressive, tensile and lateral resistances.
You can enter this information when defining pile caps:

Figure 61.

Structural Checks – Rigid Approach

Much in the same way that we can run geotechnical checks, S-FOUNDATION can also run code checks on the
foundation itself. This is useful when sizing or detailing our pedestals, pads, and piles.

The structural checks can be broken into three components:

• Pedestal Structural Checks


• Pad Structural Checks (including pile caps)
• Pile Structural Checks

For some structural checks and foundation types, closed-form solutions may not exist and the rigid method may
not be able to report code check results. For example, when code-checking a mat foundation, the rigid method
can check punching shear, pedestal checks and geotechnical checks, but due to the arbitrary layout of pedestals,
one-way shear checks and flexure checks are not supported. Fortunately, for these situations, the flexible
approach is available.

Pedestal Structural Checks


In S-FOUNDATION, the pedestal is represented by a single centerline beam element, which is connected to the
pad. When an analysis is run, the member used to represent the pedestal is loaded, and those loads are used by

47 | P a g e Good to Know: An S-CONCRETE license is not


required to utilize the S-CONCRETE design
engine within S-FOUNDATION
S-CONCRETE’s Design Engine to perform the pedestal structural checks. You can choose to divide the pedestal
into multiple sections to get a more accurate representation of changing moments along the pedestal’s height.

Figure 62.

As you can see in the above graphic, if our moment is increasing along the pedestal height, the demand on the
concrete section at the top of the pedestal will be much different than the bottom. This is why users may want to
enter multiple ‘integration points’ or ‘sections’ as they are referred to in S-FOUNDATION, where the force results
can be extracted and used for structural checks by S-CONCRETE’s Design Engine (in the above diagram, 5 of
these points are shown with red x’s).

The user can enter the number of ‘sections’ within their pedestal from the Design Input Window, under the
Settings tab.

Figure 63

The S-CONCRETE Design Engine will perform structural checks on the pedestal, by treating it like a column.
Utilization will be calculated for each of the sections along the height of the pedestal.

S-FOUNDATION supports pedestals that are circular, rectangular or polygon shaped. S-CONCRETE however,
only supports columns (remember the pedestal is treated as a column by S-CONCRETE) that are circular, or
rectangular. Therefore if you have a polygon shaped pedestal, S-CONCRETE will simplify this polygon into a
circular shape and code-check it as the largest circle that fits entirely inside the polygon.

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Figure 64.

By translating the polygonal pedestal into a circular shape that fits within its perimeter, the code checks will be
conservative.

S-FOUNDATION performs the following pedestal structural checks:

• Biaxial bending

• Biaxial shear

• Axial force (compression and tension)

• Torsion

Once again, you can tell S-FOUNDATION whether or not we would like to perform these checks from the Design
Input window, under the Settings tab.

Figure 65.

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Pad Structural Checks – Rigid Approach
Unlike the pedestal checks, S-FOUNDATION’s pad structural checks are differentiated into rigid and flexible
approaches. In this section, we will be focusing on the rigid approach, but more information on the flexible
method, which uses S-FRAME’s finite element analysis capabilities, can be found later on this course.

Not surprisingly, the rigid approach to pad structural checks assumes a completely rigid pad; there is no relative
deflection between any of the joints in the pad. With this approach both the capacity and the demand on the pad
are calculated using methods in the selected design code, similar to how they would be calculated by hand.

The pad structural checks include:

One-way shear

Two-way shear (punching shear)

Flexural Checks

When considering Pile Caps, S-FOUNDATION will check punching shear for both pedestals and piles. Any circular
pedestals and piles will be considered as square sections with an equivalent area during punching shear checks.

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Just as with other foundation component checks, the option to choose whether or not to run a particular check is
available in the Design Input Window under the Settings tab.

Good to Know: Rigid Footing Analysis uses a


simpler calculation method, and requires less
analysis time to complete than Flexible Footing
Analysis

Figure 66.

S-FOUNDATION can also display Soil Pressure ‘contours’ that are displayed according to the calculations
performed during the Rigid Analysis.

Figure 67.

This allows you to view results that are easy to verify by hand, since they follow the same approach.

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Pile Structural Checks – Rigid Approach
Piles in S-FOUNDATION are treated similarly to pedestals, in the sense that they make use of S-CONCRETE’s
Design Engine for Structural Checks. The following is assumed when code checking piles:

• Checks are performed only at the face of the pile cap


• Piles are assumed to be pin connected to pile caps
• Pile groups have bi-symmetrical distributions
• Similar to polygonal pedestals, polygon shaped piles are converted into the largest circle that fits entirely
inside the polygon when code checking with S-CONCRETE’s Design Engine
Once again, the pile is treated by the design engine as a column. The structural checks include:

• Biaxial bending
• Biaxial shear
• Axial force (compression and tension)
• Torsion
Now that we’ve got an understanding of how S-FOUNDATION calculates the utilization ratio for code checks
using the rigid pad approach, it’s time for us to learn how to actually run a code check ourselves. To do this, we’ll
go through a simple example and then examine the results.

Exercise Eleven: Running a Code Check – Rigid Approach


We’ll start with a blank model so that you can get more practice defining foundations. We will then analyze and
code check that foundation according to the ACI 11 design code, using the rigid pad approach.

1. Open a new file in S-FOUNDATION and define a single Isolated Footing (edit the geometry if you wish).
Note, in this exercise, we are using metric units. If you wish to use other units, you are welcome to do so.

2. Define a -1000kN Reaction Load in the Fz direction in a Load Case.

Figure 68.

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You can also verify/edit the loading through the Reaction Loads Spreadsheet:

Figure 69.

As we can see, this load consists of a 1000kN axial load in the ‘z’ direction. For the purposes of this
exercise, this load will be sufficient.

3. Next, let’s set up the code check input parameters. Open the Design Input window and go to the Settings
tab. Here we can define the design code, checks we will run, geotechnical factors of safety and more.

4. Switch the Code to ‘ACI 11’.

Figure 70.

This will be the design code used to determine both capacity and demand.

5. Turn off the Flexible checks. We will only consider rigid behavior in this example.

Figure 71.

6. In the Settings tab, under the ‘Geotechnical’ section, set the Factors of Safety for Sliding, Overturning
and Loss of Contact to be 3. The remaining Factors can stay as the defaults.

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7. Choose Run  Analyse and Code Check. Note that if you are using a Foundation with only one layer of
soil, the Soil Settlement code check will not be run. You will be presented with a dialogue informing you
of this. To get around this, you can toggle off the Soil Settlement Check, or you can define a new Soil
Profile with multiple soil layers.

8. Once the analysis completes, the results will be displayed in the visual editor. Use the Tool window to
view the different results (Note that the Results tool is automatically selected for you).

Figure 72.

9. Switch to the Design Output window.

10. This window contains a summary of all of the checks, and the governing case/combination, foundation
and object. In this example, as we only have a single load case and footing, there aren’t many results to
browse.

Figure 73.

You can even click on the text in the ‘Object Column’ for a particular code check, and you will bring up the
corresponding dialogue for that object. This allows you to quickly redesign failing objects, or refine
inefficient footings.

11. Single click on any of the code checks. You’ll notice the Visual Editor updates to show those results.

12. Now double-click on any of the checks, we can “drill down” into the results and get more detailed
information like the calculated demands and capacities.

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Figure 74.

13. Examine the results for Pedestal one by double clicking as necessary. You’ll notice the results for the
pedestal at each station (or section) along the height of the pedestal. Remember that these results are
used by S-CONCRETE’s design engine for the code check. Also, since we only have an axial load on our
structure the shear and torsion in the pedestal is zero.

14. Click on the Quantities label to view a quantity take off of the concrete and rebar in our model

Figure 75.

Now that you’ve seen the steps of how to run an analysis and code check on an isolated footing using the
Rigid Pad method, try to define a combined footing with more than one load case. Practice looking at
the results.

You may have noticed that S-FOUNDATION, by default displays results in what we refer to as a ‘Tree Layout’.
This means that the higher level information is displayed on top of the tree, and we must drill down into the
results for more detailed information.

You can also display ‘Flat Layout’ which will display the capacities and demands for the governing code checks,
again on a higher level basis.

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Figure 76.

If you do drill down into one particular code check’s results to the ‘Details’ level, you can also control how the
information at this level is displayed.

Figure 77.

The default is to have details level information displayed in expandable properties for Object Information,
Demand and Capacity.

Figure 78.

You can expand any one of the properties to see additional information.

If you prefer to have all of the information displayed in a spreadsheet format, you can also do that by toggling on
‘Spreadsheet View’, which is only accessible through the ‘Details’ level.

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Figure 79.

Flexible Foundation Analysis and Design


As discussed earlier in the course, S-FOUNDATION is capable of running two approaches to code-check the
foundations. One of them, which we’ve already examined, assumes a rigid pad, while the other allows a flexible
pad. The flexible pad method utilizes a Finite Element model to calculate the forces, or demands, on the
foundation. These demands are then compared to the capacities, which are calculated from code-based, closed-
form solutions, to again determine the utilization ratio and pass/fail status.

All about the FEA Model

Typically, finite element modeling requires significant background and expertise in order to achieve reliable,
accurate results. However, in S-FOUNDATION the Finite Element Model (FEM) is automatically created and
managed for each foundation you create. Whenever you edit this foundation, the underlying FE model is updated
to reflect these changes. As we noted before, you can view the FE model of your foundation by selecting the
Finite Element view tab on the top of the Visual Editor Window.

Figure 80.

This FE model is made up of several different elements to represent each component of the real object.

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Elements
To better understand the different elements within our FE model, let’s first review the components of our physical
foundation model. For an isolated footing, this contains two major parts:

• The pad

• The pedestal
Good to Know: The Finite Element Model of
your foundation is created and managed
automatically by S-FOUNDATION

Figure 81.

The physical elements of the foundation need to be represented correctly in the analytical FE model. As we can
see, the two models do not look similar when we examine the same physical components.

Figure 82.

Let’s look a little closer at the pad first. To represent the concrete pad, a shell mesh is generated. Shell elements
are used, as they can resist both in and out of plane loading (much like the pad itself). The shells each have a
material and thickness, defined by the user. Another panel is generated to represent the footprint of the pedestal
which contains rigid body constraints, as discussed in the next section. You may also notice that the shell

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elements lie in the center of the slab. This is because S-FRAME uses centreline modeling, and most analytical
objects (except for certain cases of stepped foundations) are modeled in the center of the physical object they
represent. Another item of note is that each of the joints within the pad (represented by the pink dots)
automatically has a ground spring added to it, which is representative of the soil supporting the structure. The
spring stiffness is automatically calculated by S-FOUNDATION depending on the modulus of subgrade reaction,
the ultimate bearing capacity and the tributary area of the joint.

The pedestal is represented by a single centerline beam element. This member is given section properties
representative of the physical pedestal, and the member itself extends from the center of the pad to the top of
the pedestal.

If we have a Finite Element wall in our superstructure, we can add a wall footing to the base of the wall, and the
2D element mesh of the footing will be automatically connected to the wall, ensuring mesh compatibility.

Rigid Body Constraints


The connection between the analytical representation of the pedestal and the pad is important, and there are
considerations that need to be made when modelling. Chances are, you have already noticed that the FE model
has a member representing the pedestal, and it only connects to the pad at one joint. Is this type of connection
representative of how the real-life structure would behave? Does the load applied to the pedestal end up
transferring to the pad at one finite point? Not exactly, the forces would be distributed about the width and depth
of the pedestal cross section. This is why we have a system of rigid body constraints connecting the analytical
pedestal to additional joints in the pad to better represent the physical shape of the pedestal.

Figure 83.

The system of links comprises of a pedestal panel, a master node at the centre of the column, and rigid body
constraints constraining the nodes at the edges of the pedestal panel to the master node. The point of these rigid
body constraints is to distribute the force transferred in the pedestal to the joints in the pad.

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The use of rigid links is not limited to representing the width, and depth of the pedestal however. You may also
notice the light blue portion of the pedestal at its base, where it connects to the pad.

Figure 84.

This rigid link, as you can see, extends from the center of the pad to the base of the pedestal. Remember that S-
FRAME uses centreline modelling, so even though our physical pedestal may end at the top of the pad, the
analytical representation of the pad is modeled at the center of its thickness. Therefore, we must extend our
pedestal to this point. A rigid link is used so that the pedestal will not bend in this section of the member. Rigid
links automatically discount their self-weight to avoid over-counting.

Strip Lines
Strip Integration Lines are generated automatically along with your FE model and are used to integrate FE results
at a predetermined location. These strip lines are placed based on the rebar layout in the pad. If you open the
Define Pad/Pile Cap dialogue, you will see reference to X and Y Strips, which can be manipulated by the user.

Figure 85.

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From the graphic above, you can see that the number of strips, their width, and the rebar placement within those
strips can be defined. It is also possible to define Uniform Rebar throughout the entire pad, and patch rebar at the
intersection of two strips (patches can also be defined independently of strips). Additionally, a Strip integration
line will be automatically placed at the center of each strip region.

Figure 86.

As the Strip integrating lines are used to determine the demand for the code-check routines, having one line per
strip or region of the pad, we are effectively testing code compliance for each region. The reported utilization will
be the maximum, or governing, result. In S-FOUNDATION, the user can specify the Strip Integration Line
Demand Source as either Average (across width), or Maximum (across width). This can be done in the event that
your foundation contains Strips, or Patches, even if those strips or patches do not contain any additional rebar. If
your foundation only contains Uniform Rebar, the Strip Integration Line results will show the maximum result
across the width. For more information on Strip Integration Lines, we encourage you to read the help system
topic ‘Strip Line Demands For Design’. For your information, S-FRAME will always use “Average” across width for
Strip Integration Lines.

When running a flexible footing analysis, we also have the option to view the Strip line results directly. This can be
done by clicking the ‘Strip Line Results’ Tool, after running a Flexible Analysis.

Figure 87.

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Figure 88.

You can adjust the number of stations along your strip line in order to get a better representation of the result
diagram shape. This can be done from the Tool Window, by clicking ‘Custom Strip Line’, and changing the Length
Stations.

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FEA Results

We’ve looked extensively at acquiring results from S-FOUNDATION using the Rigid Pad assumption. Let’s now
proceed to run an analysis and code-check of our footings using the flexible approach. Remember that this
approach makes use of the S-FRAME FEA Solver.

Exercise Twelve: Running a Flexible Footing Analysis on a foundation


Let’s run a flexible footing analysis on our model, view the FEA results, and run a code check.

1. Open a new S-FOUNDATION model

2. Define a combined footing with the default geometry that spans 5m between pedestals. Switch the view
to Finite Element

3. In the Design Input window, under the Settings TabFinite Elements Footing Element Size change
the Element Size of the pedestal to 0.20m. Note that the FEM model updates automatically and
instantly.

4. Create a new load case to include a 75kN joint load on the top of one of the pedestals in the lateral
direction (aligned with the long direction of the pad), as well as two -1000kN joint loads on each pedestal
in Fz.

Figure 89.

5. Toggle on the Geotechnical (Flexible) and Pad Structural (Flexible) checks.

6. Run an Analysis. You will notice that the solver runs through several increments. What this means is that
the Nonlinear Analysis breaks your loads into 10 even increments, then applies and solves them one by
one. Non-linear analysis allows us compression only soil properties and considers P-Delta effects and
geometric non-linearity. A more detailed discussion of Non-Linear analysis is outside the scope of this
course.
Good to Know: It is possible to switch
7. You will be automatically brought to the Code Check Results tab. between the Sparse, and Skyline Solvers
Note that in some situations, you may experience a Utilization of used by S-FRAME/S-FOUNDATION
Infiniti for certain checks. In the case of a Flexure check, this could from the Finite Element Analysis
be due to the fact that you do not have any Top Layer of Rebar, but Properties. The default is the Sparse
Solver.

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given the rigid links representing your pedestal width, some positive moment may exist in your pad,
where there is no steel to resist it. In these situations, if you wish to ignore the effects of potentially
negligible moment without adding top rebar, you can specify a Tolerance in the Design InputSettings
tab, which defines a minimum Flexure Demand which is assumed to not be negligible. This setting should
be used at the discretion of the Engineer.

8. Switch to the Panel Result tool

9. Explore the results for the contours and strip lines. Also examine the different load cases.

Figure 90.

The deflection option will show the deflected shape of our finite element model. The panel result option
will display a color coded display of multiple result types. As discussed, the Strip Line result type will
display results diagrams along the design strips.

10. Display the Force Contour for ‘Fx’. Fx is the force acting on the X-face, perpendicular to the X-axis. Also,
notice that the results are in units of force/unit length. The length in question is along the face of the cut
(perpendicular to the force direction).

What is the maximum positive Fx value?

11. It is also possible to view Rebar Utilizations on a per-strip-basis. This can be done by using the Rebar
Utilization Tool.
This can be a good way to highlight potential areas of concern that could use further refinement
(remember rebar can be adjusted on a per strip, or even patch basis).

Figure 91.

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12. FEA results can require significant storage space. To save your model file without the results, choose
FileSave As, and change the file type to “Structural Office File without Solver Results”…

Figure 92.

Give this file a name and save it.

13. Check your file location, and view the file size, and you will see how much smaller this file is.

Figure 93.

Now that we have seen the results we can get from S-FOUNDATION’s Flexible Pad analysis, we can see how
those are used to complete code checks. In the flexible pad analysis, the demands are generated from the Finite
Element Analysis, while the capacities are still determined using calculations from the specified design code.
Using the same model as in the past example (do not use the Small SFRMX for this), let’s view the code check
results for the analysis we ran. If you need to re-run the analysis you may do so, just make sure to toggle on the
flexible checks (for comparison purposes we will also run the rigid checks as well). We can view the code check
utilization factors graphically, which is useful when you have a model with multiple footings, or numerically as we
had done in the rigid code check section.

If we compare the Soil Bearing results for the rigid and flexible checks, we will notice that while they are close the
two do not produce identical results.

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Figure 94.

The capacity in both cases is identical, given that it is calculated using the code specified process in both
situations. The flexible method does allow us to see a bit more information in the minimum and maximum soil
pressure points. Since we are assuming that the pad is not rigid, the pressure is not evenly distributed, and can
vary throughout the pad, as we’ve seen from our contours.

Surcharge Loading

Aside from reaction loads from the superstructure, foundation self-weight, soil weight and buoyancy, there can
also be external loads applied to your foundation. In S-FOUNDATION these are referred to as Surcharge Loads
and are applied as a force per unit area. This type of loading can be used to represent loading applied above the
soil covering the foundation, or directly on the foundation (vehicles, equipment, material stockpiles, etc.)

To define these surcharge loads, you must first define the area which it will be applied to, and then define the load
afterward. For those who are familiar with S-FRAME, it is a similar process to defining area loads on an area load
panel. Surcharge areas can be defined as the entire footing (except the pedestals), or you can define a custom
area manually.

Exercise Thirteen - Defining Surcharge Loads on a Foundation.


1. Define a Mat Foundation panel with a minimum of four pedestals, each spaced at least three meters
apart.

Figure 95.

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2. Select the Surcharge Area tool from the toolbar.

3. In the Tool window, under the Create Method, set the method to “General”. This will allow us to define a
custom area for the surcharge load to be applied to by creating a polygon shape.

4. Define a six-sided (or more) shaped polygon by clicking points on the pad to define the perimeter.

Figure 96.

Note that despite the fact a pedestal lies within our surcharge area, S-FOUNDATION knows not to
include this within the area; a hole is automatically created around the pedestal. A few points about
defining Surcharge Areas:

• Areas can be any shape


• Areas can overlap one another and contain holes
• Areas can exceed foundation dimensions
• Area may intersect multiple foundations

The Default Surcharge Area creation method automatically creates a surcharge area in the shape of a foundation
pad and generates holes in the surcharge area for each pedestal in the foundation, similar to the General method.
5. The next step is to apply a load to this area. Select the Surcharge Load tool directly below the Surcharge
Area tool. In the tool window, you can define the load case this load will exist in, as well as the magnitude
of the load itself. Define a load of 1.75 kPa.

Figure 97.

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6. With that information defined, click on the surcharge area to apply the load to the area. You should
notice a purple 3D rendering of your surcharge area appears. This indicates that the load has been
applied. You can confirm this, by turning on the Surcharge Load Pressure Label in the Labels window.

Figure 98.

7. The next step is to run an analysis on our foundation. In order to account for the Surcharge Loading
however, we must run a flexible pad analysis which uses the Finite Element Solver in S-FRAME. The
reason for this is that the Surcharge Load is applied as pressure loads to the shells in the finite element
model, which fall within the Surcharge Area. For this reason, we want to ensure that the Flexible checks
are toggled on in the Design Input window.

8. Run an analysis.

9. View the results , and you will likely notice some areas of higher demand under where you applied
your surcharge loads. How would we go about dealing with these higher demands? It may be inefficient
to define a higher density of Uniform Reinforcement for the entire slab if the demands are only high in
one section. S-FOUNDATION does allow us to define ‘Patch’ rebar for this type of circumstance.

10. Right click on your Mat Foundation and select “Define Pad/Pile Cap…”. This can also be done by going
through the Design Output Window and choosing the Object you’d like to adjust.

Figure 99.

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This will open the “Define Pads/Pile Caps” dialogue. With this dialogue open, you can see your FEA
Contour Results, and you can also adjust your pad’s dimensions, and reinforcement. *Note*- if you wish
not to see any FEA Contour results in this dialogue, you can change the Result shown to ‘None’.

11. From the Rebar properties, you can define the number of rebar patches you would like in your pad.
Enter a non-zero value.

Figure 100.

12. Select the patches tab near the bottom of the screen, and from here you can enter the location of
the patch using the ‘Min and Max’ dimensions. You can also specify the demand source. As you
enter the patch dimensions, you will notice that the diagram of your results is overlaid by your newly
defined patch.

Figure 101.

13. In the adjacent “Patch Rebar” tab, you can define the bar size, and spacing within the patch itself.

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Analysis Troubleshooting

Just as you would see in S-FRAME, S-FOUNDATION will output Solver Diagnostic Messages should there be any
issues that occur during the analysis. There are many causes of these messages, and in this section, we will
explore their meaning, and solutions. It should be noted that these messages do not necessarily indicate a failed
analysis, but they should be reviewed, and understood in order to have confidence in the results. The following
are a list of some of the more common analysis issues which can occur in S-FOUNDATION:

• Overturning
• Uplift/Loss of Contact
• Bearing Capacity
• Non-Convergence of Analysis

Overturning Moments
One of the more common diagnostic messages which occur in S-FOUNDATION is caused by rigid body motion in
the form of overturning. You may notice this if you apply a lateral load to the top of a pedestal, and no vertical
load. When you run a Flexible Footing analysis, you will get the following message after the solution is complete.

Figure 102.

This dialogue describes many possible causes of instability. Ultimately, it is the instability which causes the
diagnostic message, but the solution can be as simple as increasing the size of the footing in some cases.

If the model does not solve due to rigid-body motion in overturning, the solver will apply artificial rotation springs
automatically to each foundation. This allows the analysis to complete, but the cause of the issue should still be
investigated. Often this can be determined by viewing the results, to see if the problem is isolated to a certain
portion of the substructure.

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Figure 103.

As a user, you can control the stiffness of these springs. Should you not want the solver to apply any artificial
constraints, you can set the spring stiffness to be zero. This setting can be controlled in the Design Input Window,
under the Settings Tab.

Uplift
Our foundations can also have rigid-body motion in the vertical translational direction, or uplift. To model the soil
bearing more accurately, you can run a non-linear analysis on your foundation and make use of compression only
springs. These springs will only provide resistance if they are compressed, and will be deactivated in tension. For
this reason, if our reaction load is in the positive Z-Translation degree of freedom the springs will be in tension
(and deactivated), and the substructure will not be supported. This leads to instability, and the solution cannot be
completed for a flexible footing analysis. As described in the previous section, one possible solution is to increase
the size of your footing (and therefore its weight). You may also want to examine your support reactions to see if
this loading is correct.

When running a linear analysis, you may get uplift errors if only a portion of your pad goes into uplift. In linear
analysis, the springs provide both compression and tension, and the solver will notify you if they are in tension as
the results are likely not reliable (it is not appropriate to rely on the soil being in tension for stability of the
footing).

Bearing Capacity
Given that the soil profile can be defined by the user, it is certainly possible for the pressure at the bottom of a
footing to exceed the maximum allowable pressure of the soil. In the DefineSoil Profiles dialogue, you can set
Ultimate Soil Bearing Capacity under your foundations. In the settings, a Factor of Safety for Bearing can be set
to calculate the Allowable Bearing Capacity used during the Soil Bearing Capacity Check.

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Figure 104.

The Ultimate Capacity is used by S-FOUNDATION to determine the maximum compressive force the nonlinear
spring can resist before failing. If this capacity is reached, the spring will become deactivated and no longer
provide resistance. Should you encounter this behavior check the soil profile properties, and reaction loads to
ensure the information is correctly entered. You may also want to consider using a larger footing to distribute the
force across a larger area.

Non-convergence
The accuracy and analysis time for Nonlinear Static analysis depends on the number of load increments you
define in the design input window, under the Settings Tab.

Figure 105.

The solver breaks up each load into equal “pieces” based on the number of increments you request; each “piece”
of the load is one increment. The more load increments you have, the more accurate your results, but the longer
the analysis takes. When the solver is running through the analysis, each incremental load is solved in iterations,
until the incremental results converge. If the solver reaches the maximum number of iterations for a load
increment, it will mark the load case as “Not Converged”. You can increase the number increments or iterations
manually. As a best practice, it usually helps to increase the number of increments first, as it breaks the analysis
into smaller segments.

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S-FRAME Link

Importing from S-FRAME

In this chapter we will examine S-FOUNDATION‘s ability to import full S-FRAME Superstructure models, where
the structure has already been analysed and the support reactions are already determined. We will look at how to
manage the imported load cases and combinations, and explore a practical example of creating a variety of
foundation types on the supports of the imported structure.

In the image below, the load case reaction results are shown. S-FOUNDATION will use these to design
foundations for the superstructure.

Figure 106.

The S-FOUNDATION link is found under S-FRAME’s run menu.

Exercise Fourteen – Importing a .TEL File


A test model has been created that can be imported to S-FOUNDATION by following the steps below. The test
model contains 5 columns that are suited to isolated footings, a shear wall that is suited to a wall footing and 4
columns that are suited for a mat foundation.

1. Open model 4 Storey Building.tel in S-FRAME.

2. Run a linear static analysis on this building with load cases and combinations.

3. Check the reaction results to ensure they are present and reasonable. Examine the existing load cases
and combinations

4. After analysis, select Run  S-FOUNDATION

5. The model will now appear in S-FOUNDATION Save this file.

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Figure 107.

6. The structure as it appears in S-FOUNDATION

Figure 108.

7. Open the Design input window

8. Select the Case/Combination tab

9. Check to see that the load cases and combinations have been brought in from S-FRAME. Here you can
see the type of Load, either an Individual Load Case or a Load Combination that was named in S-FRAME

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Figure 109.

10. Using the check boxes choose whether to run a Geotechnical or a Structural Check on a particular Load
Case or Combination. By unchecking the box the Solver will ignore the load case or combination for the
either the Geotechnical Checks or the Structural checks.

11. These fields can be changed to choose a maximum allowable code utilization factor. To be more
conservative for specific load case or combination for the Structural or Geotechnical checks reduce the
Code Utilization factor.

Within the Design Input window select the “Substructure Loads” tab.

Figure 110.

Note that Load Cases/Combinations and their associated factors, which have been imported from your S-FRAME
model cannot be adjusted in S-FOUNDATION. You can however define your own load cases/combinations within
S-FOUNDATION itself.

12. The Foundation Weight shows the factor that has been applied to the mass of the structure. S-
FOUNDATION automatically applies the same factor to the foundation weight, as S-FRAME was using
for the self-weight of the superstructure

13. Additional Load Factor can be included or excluded by checking or unchecking the boxes.

a. Soil Load factor

b. Buoyancy

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Exercise Fifteen: Adding footings to an S-FRAME Import
1. Select the Isolated Footing tool.

2. Define a footing with a pedestal as follows:

a. Height: 700mm

b. Shape: Circle

c. Radius: 400mm

Figure 111.

3. Drag the mouse around the four steel columns in the front of the structure. S-FOUNDATION will
automatically locate the support joints and place footings on them.

Good to Know: Grids that are created in S-FRAME are also


brought into S-FOUNDATION.

Figure 112.

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4. Create an isolated footing on the single column as shown in the picture above.

Figure 113.

5. Select the wall foundation tool set the ‘Base Plate’ to ‘None’, since the foundation will be supporting a
concrete wall.

6. While holding down ‘Shift’, click on the two joints that are located at each end of the wall (remember to
double-click on the second joint to tell S-FOUNDATION that it is the last one). Holding Shift while
defining your Wall Foundation allows you to generate Pedestals at the clicked locations.

Figure 114.

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7. Click on the Finite Element view tab and take note of the connections between the notes of the S-FRAME
wall and the foundation that has been created.

Figure 115.

8. Find and select the mat foundation tool

9. Select the circular Pedestal that was created for the isolated footings. (By default the name is PS
800*800*700).

10. Add a Mat Foundation to the four concrete columns. Start by defining the perimeter of your pad. Once
complete add the pedestals. S-FOUNDATION will suggest automatically connecting each supported
joint in your superstructure, however this can be overridden.

Figure 116.

Take a moment to look at the different views of the structure in graphical editor now.

11. The all the footings may now be code-checked, using the reaction loads from S-FRAME as an input.

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Plan view
By selecting the plan view icon you can view your model from above and it will show the location of the supports.
Looking at your model in Plan View will make the superstructure transparent, so that you can see your supports.
The plan view can be an easier way of viewing your structure’s footing locations, and for choosing and applying
foundations. The plan view on your screen should now look the same as the image below.

Figure 117.

1. Isolated footings
2. Wall foundation.
3. Mat Foundation

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Export to S-FRAME

S-FOUNDATION supports linear and non-linear analysis of the substructure. To run a more advanced analysis
(vibration, time history, moving load, buckling), or to run an analysis of the entire model (superstructure and
substructure), we can export the model to S-FRAME. This can be done in several ways;

1. The foundations can saved in a .Tel file singly for merging into a model file that is already saved in S-
FRAME. In this case, the pedestal loads will not be transferred as it is assumed the model will be
connected to a superstructure for loading.

2. The entire superstructure and the foundations can all be sent to a .Tel file together.

3. The foundations can be sent to a .Tel file with the support reactions included with them as joint loads
applied at the top of the supports. These are the same loads that are applied when running the analysis in
S-FOUNDATION. An analysis can then be performed inside of S-FRAME also.

These options are found inside S-FOUNDATION under File Export S-FRAME: Superstructure and
Foundations, Foundations – Superstructure, and Foundations Standalone.

Exercise Sixteen - Export to S-FRAME


In this exercise you will export the entire model into S-FRAME.

By following the path shown in the image below and selecting Superstructures and Foundations you will activate
the link with S-FRAME. The entire model will then appear in S-FRAME.

Figure 118.

Within S-FRAME, you can run a more accurate analysis than would’ve been possible with the simplified support
conditions we had defined previously (fully fixed). The Finite Element model now accounts for soil conditions, and
footing flexibility and better mimics the real-life behavior of the structure as a whole.

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Pile Foundations in S-FOUNDATION Professional and Enterprise
As discussed in earlier sections of this course, S-FOUNDATION is available in three different editions: S-
FOUNDATION Standard, S-FOUNDATION Professional, and S-FOUNDATION Enterprise. The major
differentiator between these three editions is how piles are modelled. S-FOUNDATION Standard can model Pile
Foundations, with each pile represented as a single spring at the interface of the pile cap, and pile. For more
comprehensive pile modelling/analysis, we recommend looking into S-FOUNDATION Professional or Enterprise.
This section will be focusing on S-FOUNDATION Professional and Enterprise. If you currently use S-
FOUNDAITON Standard, contact S-FRAME Software and we can provide you with more information.

When defining pile supported foundations in S-FOUNDATION Professional and Enterprise, it is important that
one pays careful attention to the accuracy of their soil properties, and soil profiles. In S-FOUNDATION, Soil
Properties (DefineSoil…) represent the physical parameters of the soil material. This includes density, subgrade
modulus, cohesion properties, and pile spring formulation methods. More information on these properties is
available in the Help System of S-FOUNDATION.

Figure 119.

S-FOUNDATION has 3 default soil properties, and you can add your own if desired. These soil properties will
become the building blocks of our Soil Profile which we will see shortly.

In the Define Soil Dialogue, under the Pile Lateral/Axial properties you will notice that there is a “Method”
dropdown associated with each soil you have defined. The various options are related to different methods for
calculating the capacities of soil spring curves (P-Y, Q-Z, T-Z, etc.). More information is available in S-
FOUNDATION’s Help System under the “Engineering” Topics.

Once your soil properties have been defined, you can then use that information to make up your Soil Profiles. Soil
Profiles represent the soil strata underneath each foundation, and this information is used to generate the
nonlinear ground springs representing your P-Y, Q-Z and Y-Z Curves at various points along your pile. Soil
Profiles can be comprised of just a single layer of soil, if desired, or multiple layers. Settlement checks are only
available when using multi-layer soil profiles.

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We will look at these Pile Foundation Capabilities further in the next exercise.

Exercise Seventeen – Defining a Pile Foundation with S-FOUNDATION Professional or Enterprise


1. Open a new file in S-FOUNDATION

2. Review the Soil Properties in the model by going to DefineSoil… Add a new Soil Type by clicking the
‘Add’ button and entering the desired Soil Category. Choose “Sand, Well Graded”. Click ‘Ok’.

Figure 120.

3. Review the properties of your newly defined Soil, and observe the Method chosen for the Pile Lateral and
Axial spring formulations.

4. Press the ‘Edit Soil Profiles’ button to start defining your Soil Profiles. This can also be accomplished by
exiting the ‘Define Soil’ dialogue, and then going to DefineSoil…

5. Since we have a blank model, our Soil Profile list is currently empty. Select the ‘Add’ button to define a
new soil profile that can be assigned to our soon to be created footings.

6. Give the soil a name and select the type ‘Multi-Layer’.

Figure 121.

7. Enter a Water Depth of 10m, and a Termination Depth of 25m. The table on the right side of the screen
will automatically update based on the values we enter for each depth.

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8. We will now define the various layers of soil that represent our soil strata. Let’s assume that we have a
layer of our newly created “Well Graded Sand” between a depth of 0m and 1m. We can select this Soil
Type for that layer from the ‘Soil Dropdown’ in the Soil Profile table. We can enter more piles, if desired,
by increasing the Soil Layer Count.

Figure 122.

9. Based on this Soil Profile, S-FOUNDATION will automatically create springs at various points along the
depth of the pile. The soil springs will be representative of the soil conditions at that particular depth. If
you wish to enter the Nonlinear Ground Spring properties manually, simply uncheck the ‘Auto-Calculate’
toggle in the “Pile Springs” properties. Your calculated (or manually defined) soil spring curves can be
reviewed using the tabs at the top of the ‘Define Soil Profiles’ dialogue.

Figure 123.

10. Click ‘Apply’ and then ‘Ok’ to accept the changes and close the dialogue.

11. Select the Mat Foundation Tool, from within the Tool Window, ensure your newly created Soil Profile is
selected. Expand the ‘Pad’ properties and select the ‘Shape’ of your Pad to be a Circle. The dimensions of
the circle are as shown below.

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Figure 124.

12. Place your Pad at a grid line intersection within your model and define a single pedestal location to create
it. To place your piles, click the ‘Tab’ button on your keyboard twice to enter the Pile Mode (you can look
at the description of the tool for this action).

Figure 125.

When the Pile Mode option is ON, you will notice a new property has been added to the Mat Foundation
Tool Window. Create an arrangement of five piles for the circular Pad you have created with the default
properties of the pile as shown in the figure below. Remember to double click to finalize your Circular
Mat foundation.

Figure 126.

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You can always modify your arrangement for piles by right clicking anywhere on the pad and selecting
the ‘Edit Graphically’ option to modify, add or delete piles, pedestals or walls.

Good to Know: When the Edit Graphically option is On, you


can delete a pedestal, wall or pile in the same way you define
them by holding the ‘Ctrl’ button.

13. Review the Finite Element, and Soil view tabs to visualize the various components of our model.

Figure 127.

14. Using the springs tool, with the Finite Element tab selected, you can see the ground springs on each joint
in your pile. The spring values can be reviewed in S-FOUNDATION’s Spreadsheet Window.

Figure 128.

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Good to Know: To access the Spreadsheet Window, please
ensure it is active (Window  ‘13: Spreadsheet’)

15. Using the Reaction Load Tool, apply a 1000kN compressive load on your pedestal, and a 75kN lateral
load.

Figure 129.

16. Save your model.

17. In the Design Input Window, toggle on the checking of all flexible checks. Another useful setting for pile
analysis is available in the Design Input Window, under the setting tab. If the ‘Finite Elements’ property is
expanded, you have the option to configure how many joints are created along the length of the pile, and
where those joints are located.

18. Run an analysis on your model.

19. Review your results. You will notice that we do have a failing code check for Punching Shear which can
be investigated further. There are also a number of code checks being run on our piles that can be
reviewed with the built-in tools of S-FOUNDATION.

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Figure 130.

20. In the Design Output Window, select the Pile Results option. Here you can review the analysis results
specific to your piles themselves. This includes deflection, soil resistance, forces and stresses.

Figure 131

21. An additional option for reviewing the pile specific results graphically is to go to use the ‘Member Results’
tool in S-FOUNDATION.

Figure 132

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22. In this particular case, our piles are sized, and spaced adequately to meet the demands on the
foundation. If that were not the case, we could always adjust the layout of the piles, the pile
size/reinforcement and more. Additionally, if pile deflection is a concern for us, S-FOUNDATION
includes a wizard which can automate the design of the piles in order to meet deflection criteria.

It should also be noted that additional customization of your pile caps, and piles can be accomplished through S-
FOUNDATION’s DefinePads/Pile Caps dialogue, under the ‘Pile Cap’ tab.

Figure 133

For example, we can adjust the number of piles, the layout of the piles (Standard Pattern, Row, or Custom), the
spacing, and the offset of the piles relative to the centre of the pile cap. The offset field is only editable when
using the “Custom” pile configuration.

From within the Pile Cap tab, you will notice a table containing details on each pile in your pile cap. Pile Head
Fixity allows you to specify the connection between the pile and the pile cap, and how it transfers forces, and
moments.

If we wish to define a pile cap that has non-vertical “battered” piles, this can be accomplished from within the Pile
Cap tab as well. To do this, you must enter the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma angles for each pile.

The Alpha angle defines the rotation of the pile about the Global Z axis. You will only notice the Alpha angle take
effect if your pile is already angled in one of the other directions.

The Beta angle defines the rotation of the pile about the pile’s local y axis. This defines the angle of inclination of
the pile.

The Gamma angle specifies the rotation of the pile about its local x axis (its own neutral axis). If you have a
circular pile, the Gamma angle you entered will not have any effect on the pile’s appearance, as it is just rotating
the pile about its own axis. With that said, all of the ground springs associated with the pile will also be oriented

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to reflect the batter and adjusting the Gamma angle will adjust the pile spring’s orientation. The pile spring’s
orientation can be reviewed using the spring tool.

Stepped Foundations in S-FOUNDATION Enterprise


Just like pile foundations, stepped foundations are not a separate footing type but rather a modification to a Pad
object that turns it into a stepped foundation. Stepped foundations are only supported in S-FOUNDATION
Enterprise. They are only definable with the Mat Foundation tool and are compatible with all other foundation
components such as pedestals, walls, and piles. Both steps and drops are supported.

Exercise Eighteen – Defining a Stepped Foundation with S-FOUNDATION Enterprise


1. Open a new file in S-FOUNDATION

2. If the stepped foundation will have piles, define the required soils and soil profiles as described in Exercise
Seventeen

3. Select the Mat Foundation Tool, from within the Tool Window expand the Pad properties and select the
Shape of your Pad to be ‘Polygon’. Change the Thickness of the pad as required, it is ‘500mm’ in this
example.

Figure 134

4. Change to Plan view from the toolbar for easier viewing and drawing.

5. Use the mouse to define the pad of the foundation by left clicking at the desired location of every point
(blue joints). Double click the first or last joint to finish drawing the pad.

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Figure 135

6. In the tool window, set the step Direction to ‘Down’ which means that a positive offset value defines a
downward offset. In this example we want the top of the step be 200mm below the top of the pad, and
the bottom of the step to be 250mm lower than the bottom of the pad. Therefore, we will input ‘200’ and
‘250’ in the Top and Bottom fields respectively.

Figure 136

7. Return to the visual editor window and hold Alt to go into step mode. Just as defining the points of the
pad, use left mouse button clicks to define the points of the step. Alt does not have to be held down after
the first point is defined. Double clicking the first or last point completes the step definition.

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Figure 137

8. Switch to the Grid tool by clicking on it in the toolbar and input ‘500mm’ for Grid Snap Minor in the Tool
window. This allows snapping to points every 500mm while still only having a visible grid every 1000mm,
reducing clutter.

Figure 138

9. Switch back to the Mat Foundation tool by clicking on it in the toolbar and press Tab to switch to wall
mode. Confirm you are in wall mode by reading the status bar text at the bottom of the screen:

10. In the Tool window, expand the wall information and set the Height of the wall to ‘1500mm’

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Figure 139

11. Use the left mouse button to define the start and end points of the walls

Figure 140

12. Multiple steps can be defined on a single pad and steps can even be defined within other steps. To define
a step up, return to the Tool window and set the step Direction to ‘Up’, the Top offset to ‘200mm’ and
the Bottom offset to ‘0mm’. Again, use the left mouse button to define the step points.

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Figure 141

13. In the Tool window, expand the pedestal information and set the Height of the pedestal to ‘750mm’. Use
the left mouse button to define the locations of the pedestals.

Figure 142

14. Once the pedestal locations are defined, double click a pedestal to finish the foundation and insert it into
the model. Once the foundation is inserted into the model, it is ready to be loaded and analysed.

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Figure 1433

Introduction to Automation
Engineering by nature is an iterative process, often requiring consideration of multiple alternatives, optimization,
repeated simulations, and other repetitive tasks. This can be time-consuming. S-FOUNDATION gives you the
opportunity to automate these potentially tedious and time-consuming tasks with several unique and powerful
automation features, built right into the software. The same tools also allow for customization, introducing
features and capabilities that don’t exist in the standard product.

Wizards in S-FOUNDATION

A new customization/automation feature in S-FOUNDATION is the use of Wizards. These are a great way to
expand the functionality of the core product in a way that is focused on your requirements. *Note* to take
advantage of these automation capabilities, you may want to open the ‘Script Editor’, and ‘Script Output’
windows.

Wizards can help streamline or standardize a process, making it fast and easy for the casual user. S-FOUNDATION
includes a number of wizards, but it is also possible to define your own to speed up your work or share with
colleagues.

Under the hood, S-FOUNDATION’s Wizards are Python scripts. A script is a series of text-based commands that
give instructions to S-FOUNDATION to perform certain tasks. Python scripts can be created by S-FRAME
Software, or by you, and then saved with a special header. The files used for these extensions are easily shareable
across an organization and can be useful when trying to ensure consistency companywide.

If there is a particular process that you and/or your colleagues run into regularly, it may be a good candidate for
automation with these capabilities. A wizard can be created, shared, and then the end users can potentially have
a normally slow process done quickly using custom dialogues with default parameters, units, etc. Essentially it
allows you to increase the functionality of your software without having to wait for a new version.

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You can add your own Script by placing the ‘.py’ file into the following folder: <C:\Users\Public\Documents\S-
FRAME Software\S-FOUNDATION 2017\Tutorial Scripts>. This folder can also be accessed by right-clicking on the
Wizard/Design options in the Run menu and click Open Location…

With the above folder populated with scripts, you then make use of them through S-FOUNDATION by using the
Tools Menu.

Figure 144.

As you can see there are some pre-existing wizards in this list. These were generated by S-FRAME Software, just
to give you an idea of how they can be used. Remember that behind the scenes, these are Python Scripts, but
that using them is straightforward and requires no knowledge of how they were made.

Figure 145.

As we can see, the above example ‘Add Footings’ gives us an easy way to start defining an isolated footing. If you
wanted to do something similar but not supported by this extension, you could even open the wizard as Python
code and modify it yourself!

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Figure 146.

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Command History

Command History is a good option to capture a particular process for use in automation, without having to write a
script. The Command History features are found in the window of the same name (by default this window is
hidden but can be made visible from the Window Menu).

Figure 147.

This window records every action (transaction) you make in S-FOUNDATION including:

• File New
• File Open
• Unit Changes
• Inserting a Model
• Updating Objects
• Deleting Objects
This can also be seen as the “undo stack”, as you can move up and down it by choosing Edit > Undo or Edit > Redo.
Similarly, double clicking on any transaction will take you to that step.

Exercise Nineteen - Using the Command History Window


We are going to take a look at a very simple example of how the record playback functionality can be used. Feel
free to repeat this exercise with a more advanced operation once you are done.

1. Open a new S-FOUNDATION file.

2. Insert an Isolated Footing somewhere in the model.

3. Create a new load case, and then add Fx=100kN; Fy=30kN; Fz=-2000kN, apply the loads to your
foundation

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4. Change the Depth of the existing pad to 4000mm in the DefinePad/Pile Cap dialogue.

Figure 148.

5. Open the Command History Window (you may have make it visible through the Window Menu). Here we
can see those exact modeling steps we went through to get to this point.

Figure 149.

6. You may be wondering how much goes into each command listed. Well, you will be able to see that a lot
can go into one, single command. Let’s see what happens if we if we right-click on the ‘Insert Joint, Base
Plate,…’ transaction, and select ‘View Command Details’, we can get more information, and notice that a
footing is made up of many components (Joints, Pedestals, Pads, Soil Profiles, etc.).

Good to Know: Command History is


a great way to start a script that you
can then edit manually

Figure 150.

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For example, by selecting the Pedestal object associated with our Isolated Footing Command History
allows us to see details including:

• Name
• Material
• Dimensions
• Rebar Configuration
• Etc.
7. If you right click inside the Command History Window, and go ‘Export script’, you can actually produce a
Python Script (.py) that will perform the same actions you just made with your mouse, but you do not
have to write any code yourself.

Figure 151.

8. Save the file somewhere you can find it. Notice it has generated a Python script for us, without us writing
a line of code. You can view the script itself, if you’d like, from the Script Editor Window. The python
script is saved independently from your .SFRMX file, meaning you can access it on its own.

9. Open a new S-FOUNDATION file.

10. Click on the Script Editor Window (you may have to toggle the visibility of this window through the
Windows Menu).

11. Your window may already have the recently exported python script in it, however if it does not, you can
open it by browsing to the file location with the ‘Open Script’ button.

Figure 152.

12. Open your Python Script from this exercise and examine the code. You may notice that the editing we
did is represented in the code. For example, here we can see that the new reaction load we defined is
accounted for.

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Figure 153.

13. Click the Run Script button


14. You will see that S-FOUNDATION generates the exact same isolated footing that we defined earlier with
the simple click of a button. Now this is obviously a very simple task that does not necessarily require use
of this feature, but it is a great way of demonstrating how easy it is to produce a script without any
knowledge of Python Scripting. The ‘.py’ file you exported can be shared among your colleagues, and
clients and with very complex procedures this is a great way to ensure that an action is done quickly and
consistently.

Scripting

Important Note: The full features of the Python scripting interface and the S-FOUNDATION API fall outside the scope
of this course and are covered in more detail in the C301 course.

Now that we have seen the value in automation through the use of Wizards and Record/Playback functionality,
you may be interested to know where all this originates. S-FOUNDATION has an Integrated Development
Environment (IDE) which exposes the Open API to Python scripts. This allows you, the user, to access all settings,
model objects, analysis and code check engines and results.

Python scripts can be used for an incredibly diverse range of purposes such as (but certainly not limited to):
• Opening S-FRAME superstructure models and analysis results to insert them into the S-FOUNDATION
model
• Dynamically creating and inserting the following into your model:
o Foundations
o Materials
o Rebar
o Joints
o Members
o Panels
o Loads
o Load Cases/Combinations

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As you have already seen, there is no reason to be an expert in Python scripting to use S-FOUNDATION, or its
potential for automation. With that being said, there are some sample scripts that we can take a look at to see
how these scripts work and interact with S-FOUNDATION.

Exercise Twenty - Editing a Python Script


1. Open a new S-FOUNDATION model

2. Using the Script Editor Window Open the Python Script you exported with the Command History tool.
We are going to edit the input parameters of this python file to observe its effect on the end product.

3. Find the section of the script which governs the pad creation.

Good to Know: The units are set


based on the template used by S-
FOUNDATION at start up. For more
information on Templates, please
see Page 16.

Figure 154.

4. We are going to change the Pad dimensions within this window, and then run the script. In the line that
says pad1.Shape.Width, set the value to 5500. In the line immediately below that set the value to 3500.
It is also possible to adjust your rebar strip width, etc. from this window.

5. Save the script with a new name, and then press the ‘Run’ button in the Script Editor window. If you pay
careful attention to the Pad size while the script is running, you may notice it start with the desired
dimensions, but then the Pad size changes to 4,000mm by 4,000mm. This is because we recorded an
entire process where we first defined an isolated footing, and then updated the dimensions to 4,000mm
by 4,000mm. S-FOUNDATION will perform these in the same order that was performed by you when
you made/edited the foundation. If you wish to not update the foundation’s geometry after creating it,
you can remove the text representing the command associated with the foundation size update.

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Figure 155.

Figure 156.

6. Now let’s try adding top layer reinforcing to the pad. This requires a little bit more work, but with clever
use of copy/paste we can make it easy.

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7. Find the portion of the code that tells S-FOUNDATION how to define the bottom layer of uniform rebar.
If your script still contains the command which updates the geometry size to 4,000mm by 4,000mm, we
recommend updating this portion of the code, as this will be the last command performed, and will
govern the final product of the script.

Figure 157.

Copy the lines indicated above, and paste them directly below. Note that this section of code defines just
the Bottom Layers of X and Y Uniform Rebar right now.

8. Focusing only on the newly pasted lines of code, change any reference to “Bottom” to “Top”. Once
completed, save the script with a new name, and click run.

Figure 158.

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Figure 159.

Figure 160.

9. We can see from the above graphic, that there has now been top rebar added in the X direction. The top
layer currently is just a copy of the bottom rebar layout but can always be adjusted from within S-
FOUNDATION’s GUI, or within the script used to generate this model.

Congratulations, you just edited your first python script! This only scratches the surface of what is capable when
editing scripts or defining our own. For more examples and instruction, we recommend our C301 course.

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