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Seismic Design Spreadsheets


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#1 dastuff

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

Hello Fellow EB'ers,

I designed and uploaded two seismic design spreadsheets that I used to pass the test. The first spreadsheet solves for the Equivalent Lateral Force Procedure (§12.8.1 in the ASCE 7-05). This procedure is used to solve for Buildings (Chapter 12) and Non-Building Structures (Chapter 15). It can be found here: http://www.wikiengin...signSpreadsheet

The second spreadsheet solves for Seismic Forces on Non Structural Components (cable trays, HVACS, cabinets, veneers, etc.). This equation is from Chapter 13 in the ASCE 7-05. It can be found here: http://www.wikiengin...signSpreadsheet

It is very difficult to make code spreadsheets 100% efficient (the ASCE code has exceptions for a lot of the variables). But at the very least this will give you some background into the different seismic practices & equations and also help you find where all the variables are coming from. I linked to the pages on my own wiki since I wrote up a detailed walkthrough on each to help you understand them (also I will update it if any mistakes are found). I recommend printing them out and attaching them to the front of your ASCE 7 or IBC for the Seismic Test as examples.

If you have any questions regarding either spreadsheet I'll do my best to answer them here. Also if anyone has any other spreadsheets that helped them on the test I'd love to expand the spreadsheet section of the wiki.

Thanks & Enjoy! :)

#2 ptatohed

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:53 PM

da, those spreadsheets are really rad. You did a great job at putting them together. My only concern is that those studying might rely too heavily on the spreadsheets (which are obviously not allowed on exam day). I hope they also know how to do the look-ups and calcs by hand. Again, great job. Thanks for doing that!

Edited by ptatohed, 01 February 2012 - 06:53 PM.


#3 dastuff

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 07:14 PM

da, those spreadsheets are really rad. You did a great job at putting them together. My only concern is that those studying might rely too heavily on the spreadsheets (which are obviously not allowed on exam day). I hope they also know how to do the look-ups and calcs by hand. Again, great job. Thanks for doing that!

As ptato said, I do not recommend using the spreadsheet itself as a study tool. I recommend you print it out and use it as an example. It will also show you where all the variables and equations come from.

I agree if you are simply plugging things into a computer I would not consider that studying ;)

#4 darius

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:43 PM

The program is good if you do have knowledges about seismic. What i see is missing the seismic design category. Based on that you choose your resisting system. And another option is when you have regular and less than 5 stories structure you choose Ss=1.5
Overall is a very good tool if you know when and how to use it. Congrats and hope it helps. Good luck

#5 dastuff

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:29 PM

The program is good if you do have knowledges about seismic. What i see is missing the seismic design category. Based on that you choose your resisting system.


Hi Darius,

For this spreadsheet "Site Class" = "Seismic Design Category"
I'll make a note to update the verbiage on the next go around.


And another option is when you have regular and less than 5 stories structure you choose Ss=1.5


Can you point me to that reference? I always use the USGS numbers but I don't really design regular seismic designs. Thanks!


Overall is a very good tool if you know when and how to use it. Congrats and hope it helps. Good luck


Thanks! As I mentioned before it was specifically made to teach people how to work through it so hopefully it's helpful for non-structural types as well. Although you will need a copy of the ASCE 7 nearby to make sense of everything.

#6 darius

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:28 PM


The program is good if you do have knowledges about seismic. What i see is missing the seismic design category. Based on that you choose your resisting system.


Hi Darius,

For this spreadsheet "Site Class" = "Seismic Design Category"
I'll make a note to update the verbiage on the next go around.


And another option is when you have regular and less than 5 stories structure you choose Ss=1.5


Can you point me to that reference? I always use the USGS numbers but I don't really design regular seismic designs. Thanks!


Overall is a very good tool if you know when and how to use it. Congrats and hope it helps. Good luck


Thanks! As I mentioned before it was specifically made to teach people how to work through it so hopefully it's helpful for non-structural types as well. Although you will need a copy of the ASCE 7 nearby to make sense of everything.



look up at asce 7-05 section 12.8.1.3
and site class are based on soil properties
seismic design category is base on occupancy and response acc
take care




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