Interactive Beam Reinforcement Design

Interactive Beam Reinforcement Design

To design an axis interactively either double click on it in the Axes Table, or click the “Interactive Design” button on the “Design” tab as shown in the GIF below.

An interactive beam design editor will be displayed which consists of two pages.  You can switch between the pages by clicking the "Rebars” and “Beams” tabs.

Usage of the Axis and Beam Data Editor

Click on the “Beams” tab to display the “Axis and Beam Data Editor” containing geometric data for the beams in the current axis. The distances between the axes and the column dimensions are contained in this table editor.

The columns in the “Axis and Beam Data Editor” are explained in detail below:


The labels of the axes that the current axis crosses appear in this column. “Axis Name” is restricted to a maximum of 4 characters.

Span & Clear Span

This field shows the axis-to-axis span length of the beam. The values in these fields represent the distance between the axis on the current row and the axis on the next row.


These fields in the “Beam” column contain the labels of the beam in consecutive order. The typical labelling convention of beams in ProtaStructure is as follows:

<Storey-No> <Type Char> <Beam-No>.<PostFix>

The format of the Beam Labels generated by the Graphic Editor can be customised using "Member and Steel Bar Templates" on the Settings menu.

Here “Storey-No” can range from 1 to 99 while “Beam-No” can range from 1 to 9999. Beam “Type Character” is the character that is used to specify beam member group. This character is specified in the "Graphic Editor Settings" form. For example, "B" is usually used for beams. Rarely, a prefix character (other than the type character code) may appear to the left of the type character to denote the type of beam.

The “postfix” is a character for discriminating between beams having the same number. For example “1B23A” is a beam on the first storey, having 23 as beam number and “A” as postfix. “11B20” has the beam number 20 and is on the 11th floor.

Beam Section Dimensions: bw and h

Section dimensions of the rectangular beam are contained in these fields. bw” represents the width of the beam and “h” the height.

Top Reference Level of Beam

These two fields, “delZ-I” and “delZ-J” hold the reference level value of the top of the beam for I and J ends respectively. Especially for the axes having beams with different top levels, the changes in z-coordinate are calculated using the values in this column.
Beam top reference level will be transferred from ProtaStructure Analysis Module automatically.


This field indicates:
  1. the condition for the left and right support of the current beam. 
  2. end axis of left and right of the current beam. 
  3. The support type and the label of the support of left and right of the current beam.
  4. The existence of upper column of left and right of the current beam.

The Axis and Beam Data ‘Interactive Design’ Button

The “Interactive Design” button on the “Beams” tab of the “Axis and Beam Data Editor” can be used for viewing the moments and shear forces selected from the analysis results for the selected beam.

If the “Interactive Design” button is clicked or the “Enter” key is pressed when a beam is selected, a dialog containing the maximum moments and shear forces obtained considering all loading combinations will be displayed.

The displayed effects are:
  1. The maximum moments creating tension at the top edge of the beam, in left support, span and right support regions,
  2. The maximum moments creating tension at the bottom edge of the beam, in left support, span and right support regions,
  3. Maximum Shear force, Vd, for both supports,
The tension steel area (As) and compression steel area (As’) are calculated for all moment values provided in the corresponding fields.

By checking the "Edit Manually" option at the right bottom corner, these values are editable. In other words, the form can be used for calculating the steel for any given design moment. Editing moments fields will dynamically re-calculate and update the required steel areas.

The most critical shear forces for all combinations are transferred to the Beam Reinforcement Design module. These values are used for the shear design. The shear values, “Vd” fields, are also editable and any change in the shear force will update the shear reinforcement (links).
Only the shear force value at the supported end of the cantilever beams will be taken into account during the shear design. Links based on this shear force value (Vd) will be used throughout the span of the cantilever beam.
The dialog will be closed and any modifications will be saved if the “OK” button is pressed. The “Cancel” button will also close the Reinforcement Design Dialog, and the changes will be discarded.

The contribution of the bent-up bars (if they exist) in the shear resistance of the beams are ignored.

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