“I think RISA is the best FEA software on the market suitable for projects with complicated geometries. The simple interface and graphic display capabilities, in particular the ability to spin the model about any axis, are what makes RISA most useful.”
Afshin Kianpour learned an old engineer can learn new tricks.
Lead Project & Design Engineer
For years, Kianpour used proprietary spreadsheets and calculations developed over many projects to perform the analyses of the residential and commercial projects he’s designed.
This is because there was no commercial software available to model an entire mixed material building. With RISA’s latest release, this masonry and wood building was easily modeled and designed all in one software: RISA-3D.
When tasked to design the Town & Country Center in Riverside, Calif., Kianpour discovered a better way.
Kianpour used RISA-3D for the analysis and design of the 22,040 sq. ft. retail center, and in the process found out what he had been missing.
Kianpour used RISA’s spreadsheet capabilities for the first time and came away impressed.
“The spreadsheets are awesome,” Kianpour said. “I’ve worked with (other software) and the advantage of using RISA is the spreadsheet format and the flexibility.”
“You can easily manipulate the data and all the coordinates and loads. If you change your mind or want to revise a load on roof members, for instance, you can easily do it in the spreadsheet. In the other programs, you have to do it one-by-one. It’s not as flexible as RISA.”
For this project, Kianpour used RISA to study all three buildings under seismic and wind loads, design masonry walls at different angles and heights, and design wood beams and girders as well as steel columns.
The design of the Town & Country Center specified wood to be used for the roof girders and contained highly irregular layouts for the masonry shear walls.
Each a seperate challenge but all solved using RISA.
The stability of RISA was a factor unrelated to design of the structures but important to the overall work flow
“I remember a couple designs I did with (other software)…the project was not as big (as the Town & Country Center) but we had problems,” Kianpour explains. “But we didn’t have those problems with RISA. RISA never crashed during the post processing or modeling (phase) or (while) performing the analysis.”
This structure would’ve required hand calculations and spreadsheets (or multiple software models) previously.
With RISA’s new wood shear wall and diaphragm design this project was completed quickly and easily – all in just one model. Although there have been individual software programs for wood, RISA has the first multi-material, full model design approach.
You can combine wood roof systems with masonry walls such as the T&C project. Having one model saves the engineer time and eliminates errors by maintaining one central source of information.