Friday, December 7, 2007

Live and Dead Load Spreadsheet

I posted an e-mail to the list with a Live and Dead Load Spreadsheet calculator. I don't know if it was received but it was 102Kb in size. I forgot to zip it and did not know if it made it to the list. First, if it had and you find it useful then here is just a quick note on the spreadsheet. The Tables page lists all the materials and the square foot weights I used in the spreadsheet. Nothing is protected and you may change the values as you wish. The spreadsheet was saved in Excel 97-2003 format, but writtin in Excel 2007. There was some issue regarding a minor error due to the length of some of the references. If you have not received the spreadsheet and would like one or have found any problems with it please e-mail me and I will be happy to send you the Office 2007 version that I originally wrote.
You may change any of the table settings - the name of the materials (i.e. if you use pine instead of fir) and the unit weights. There may be some tables that do not apply as this was stripped out of the new MultiLat version I am creating. I needed it for a small project and decided to separate it for those times when I may be using another program such as Enercalc or StruCalc and only need the live and dead load of the materials. The additional tables may reference the work I am doing for the 2006 IBC MultiLat version.
Also, I wanted to thank Bill Allen for his information on Indirect functions. I've treated my lookups slightly differently as you will see on the Live and Dead load spreadsheet. Bill taught me a new trick and I really appreciate it. FWIW, I use the Index and Match functions to do what I think is the same thing that Bill does with the Indirect function. I also use the same Data Validation features to create the embedded pull-down menu's rather than using the older ActiveX tools. This is a very nice feature that displays your pull-down menu arrow as you move the cursor over the cell. I think this is a new feature in the 2003 version of Excel that did not exist in the 97 Excel.
Thank you all for your much needed contributions to our profession (and I do not say this lightly as it is one thing to know what you can do but another to help others learn to use these powerful tools) and to create analysis tools that you are willing to share with your professional peers. This says a lot for those who are willing to help others with time saving tools. Please, though, let me add this warning. As hard as we try to make the tools we design as free of defect as possible, the ultimate decision as to the adequacy of the tool must be left to the user. Never start with the assumption that the tool we give away is accurate - a great deal of labor goes into creating the tools and your feedback will alert us of any problems we have missed. The ultimate decision making is your experience and professional abilities to determine when a solution is not within the realm of being accurate. Never simply trust what is give away or even that which is sold - errors do occur and for this reason these tools should never be used by anyone who does not have a solid engineering background especially in the area that these tools address.
With this said, may all of you have a joyous and safe holiday season. Again, than you Yo Ratanapeanchai for your contribution and Bill for what you have taught me.
Best regards,
Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
Structural Engineering Consultant