SkyCiv is thrilled to launch another upgrade for the Foundation Design module this 2024. Months after the release of the revamped UI, the FEA solver is now available for shallow foundation types, specifically the isolated and combined footings. This brings a powerful capability to the module and produces accurate results used in the design checks.


Key New Features

Users can analyze and design footings in the same configurations, with additional inputs including the modulus of subgrade reaction and the mesh size for the FEA model. From the old analytical pressure distribution approach, the module now adopts a finite element model for obtaining soil pressure and wood armer moments.

Adjust and Preview Mesh Size

Adjusting the mesh size enables users to customize the model’s level of detail. Additionally, users have the option to preview the meshed model before initiating the design check.

Advanced Soil Pressure Analysis

The updated module offers comprehensive insights into the distribution of soil pressure, derived from finite element analysis, thereby enhancing the precision of foundation design.

Wood Armer Moments

The design module now offers increased precision in flexural design checks, on both top and bottom faces of the concrete footing, derived from wood armer moment results. Both results for soil pressure and wood armer moments can be toggled across all load combinations, including envelope cases.

Advanced Configurations for Combined Foundations

Column offset input in the z-direction for combined footing was also added, making the module flexible and able to perform multiple configurations. Furthermore, this update fulfils one of the most frequently requested features of the software by enabling shear and moment loads in both directions.

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Design Report Updates

Aside from the added features on the interface, FEA results have also been reflected in the design reports, making them more reliable and accurate for engineers and designers alike. Screenshots of the service and ultimate load results were included in the soil pressure analysis, in which the specific coordinates of the maximum and minimum values were shown. In addition, a summary of wood armer moments was also added to the flexure checks, which show the governing moments and their corresponding coordinates and load combinations per direction.

Figure 3: Soil Pressure Report Sample

Figure 4: Wood Armer Moment Report Sample

Minor updates worth mentioning have also been incorporated into the report to make it more concise and professional. This includes the tabulation of self weights, the tabulation of eccentricities for each load combination used in overturning checks, the tabulation of soil pressure results, a summary of moment demand for each face and direction, and screenshots of the foundation model.

As previously mentioned, users can control the level of accuracy of the FEA results by adjusting the mesh size according to their engineering judgement. However, a limit is set by the software so as not to create a large file size that will clog the solving time. Furthermore, a progress bar has been added when running the design checks to inform users of the calculations’ status. Check it out and give it a try for yourself!

Video demo

Watch our video demo below to see SkyCiv Foundation FEA in action.


Demo of Foundation FEA with example of isolated footing.


Demo of Foundation FEA with example of combined footing.

Overview of the Major Update

The following are the additions & revisions from the previous version of the isolated and combined footing design on both the UI and design reports:

  • NEW: Integration of Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
  • NEW: Improved soil pressure analysis based on FEA results
  • NEW: Added wood-armer analysis
  • NEW: Added mesh size input, meshed plate model & plate ids preview
  • NEW: Added Modulus of subgrade reaction (isolated & combined footings)
  • NEW:  Added punching shear edge factor input to determine column classification (interior, edge, or corner)
  • NEW:  Added loading screen when solving the model
  • NEW: Enabled column offset in the z-direction for combined footings
  • NEW: Enabled input for shear loads & moments in both x & z directions for combined footings
  • NEW: View 3D FEA results in both x & z directions for soil pressure and wood-armer analyses
  • NEW: Toggle FEA results across all load combinations including envelope cases
  • NEW: Toggle FEA results for the top, bottom, or both faces for wood-armer analysis
  • Added FEA results screenshots into the design reports
  • Updated buoyant force calculation due to the effect of groundwater
  • Revised uplift check
  • Added sliding check for combined footing
  • Added overturning check for combined footing
  • Updated service load combinations for CSA
  • Updated one-way shear check of isolated footing for CSA
  • Used exact effective depth in punching shear checks (ACI and CSA)
  • Added punching shear area from “d” distance for Eurocode
  • Updated punching shear demand according to FEA results
  • Added plain concrete capacity in flexure checks of isolated footing
  • Considered the reduced area in flexure/moment resistance for CSA
  • Used unit length in calculating the reinforcement capacity
  • Updated bearing checks for CSA and ACI codes

Get Started with SkyCiv Foundation today!

We are very excited about the release of these updates to add more value to your subscription. Simply launch the Foundation Design and try it today! It’s easy to get started but if you need more help, then be sure to visit our documentation or get in touch with us!

Not a SkyCiv User? Sign up for a Free 14 Day Trial to get started today!

Jerome Carlo San Juan Product Developer
Jerome Carlo San Juan
Product Developer
BSc (Civil), MSc (Civil)

Wilross Papaya Product Developer
Wilross Papaya
Product Developer
BSc (Civil)