Concrete Wall Calculator

The SkyCiv Concrete Shear Wall Design software allows engineers to design shear walls to US and Australian engineering standards. A reinforced concrete shear wall is a structural element used to provide strength and stability to a building subjected to lateral forces such as wind loads and seismic loads. Reinforced concrete walls are typically used in high-rise construction projects. Shear walls may be subjected to a variety of design actions including in-plane shear, in-plane moment and axial loading. This can make the design of shear walls difficult for engineers, to make things easy these design actions can be be checked used in the below shear concrete wall calculator.

To assist structural engineers with shear wall design, SkyCiv have developed a Shear Wall Design Software for the following standards:

  • United States - ACI-318-19: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete.
  • Australian Standards - AS 3600-2018: Concrete Structures, Steel & Tendons.

You can switch between these standards in the top right of the concrete calculator for walls using the flag icon found at the top of the left side input panel. To run the Concrete Wall Design Software press the run button at the top right of the software.

Starting SkyCiv Shear Wall Calculator...

About the SkyCiv Shear Wall Design Software

What does the concrete wall calculator do?

The shear wall calculator completes strength and detailing checks based on the selected design standard.

For the ACI version the design checks are based on Chapter 11 of ACI-318 2019. Specifically the ACI-318 concrete wall calculation completes the following checks:

  • Compression Check: Checks the axial strength of the shear wall subjected to compressive force to ACI-318 Clause 22.4.2
  • Tension Check: Checks the axial strength of the shear wall subjected to tension force to ACI-318 Clause 22.4.3
  • In-Plane Shear Check: Checks the in-plane shear strength of the shear wall subjected to lateral loads to ACI-318 Clause 11.5.4
  • Detailing Check: Checks minimum longitudinal, shear and crack control reinforcement is provided as per ACI-318 Clause 11.7.
  • Calculates moment-axial force interaction diagram for combined axial and bending analysis of the concrete shear wall.

The Australian concrete calculator for walls completes strength and detailing checks to the simplified method described in Chapter 11 of AS 3600-2018. Specifically it completes the following shear wall calculation checks:

  • Shear Wall Stress Check: Calculates stress in shear wall to determine whether the wall is subject to compression across its entire section to comply with simplified design procedure as required by AS 3600 Clause 11.2.1.
  • Compression Check: Checks the axial strength of the wall subjected to compressive force to AS 3600 Clause 11.5
  • In-Plane Shear Check: Checks the in-plane shear strength of the wall subjected to lateral loads to AS 3600 Clause 11.6
  • Detailing Check: Checks minimum longitudinal, shear and crack control reinforcement is provided as per AS 3600 Clause 11.7.

What design standards are available in the software?

The design standard can be changed using the flag icon in the top of the left side input panel. The following design standards are currently supported:

  • ACI 318 Shear Wall Design Software
  • AS 3600-2018 Shear Wall Design Software

How to design a shear wall?

ACI-318 concrete wall design

Concrete shear wall design in ACI-318 is outlined in Chapter 11 of the design standard. A general outline of the process is detailed below:

  • Determine the relevant design actions for the shear wall subjected loads such as wind, seismic and gravity loads.
  • Use engineering judgement to create an initial estimate of wall geometry and reinforcement requirements.
  • Complete strength checks for all relevant design actions including axial, shear and flexural strength checks to ACI-318 Clause 11.5.
  • Complete reinforcement detailing checks to ACI-318 Clause 11.6 and 11.7
  • If necessary, revise wall geometry and/or reinforcement detailing to satisfy all strength and detailing requirements.

The design of concrete shear walls can be an iterative process, with design sometimes needing to be revised as the design of a structure progresses. SkyCiv's concrete wall calculator makes revisiting designs seamless by allowing users to generating a detailed calculation report for the concrete wall calculations.

AS 3600-2018 shear wall design

Concrete wall design in AS 3600-2018 is outlined in Section 11 of the design standard. A general outline of the concrete wall design process is detailed below:

  • Determine relevant design actions to be applied on the wall and evaluate the stress in the shear wall to evaluate whether it is subject to compression or tension.
  • Evaluate the applicable design procedures to be followed for the design of the shear wall. This is based on the following aspects:
    • Is the wall braced or unbraced.
    • Is the wall subject to in-plane loads and/or out-of-plane loads.
    • Is the wall subject to compression and/or tension across its section.
    • Height to thickness ratio and height to length limitations.
  • Complete strength checks to relevant design procedures. Depending on the design procedure to be adopted, the wall may be designed as a slab to AS 3600 Section 9, as a column to AS 3600 Section 10, or using the wall design directly to Section 11.
  • Complete reinforcement detailing checks to AS 3600 Clause 11.7.

Concrete calculator for walls FAQs

What inputs are required to design shear walls?

The concrete wall calculation requires the following inputs:

  • Material Inputs: including inputs for the concrete strength and yield strength of steel reinforcement
  • Geometry Inputs: including the length, width and height of the wall being designed.
  • Reinforcement Inputs: including inputs for longitudinal and transverse reinforcement.
  • Design Actions: including inputs for in-plane bending and shear as well as axial force input.

What results are provided by the in the concrete wall calculation?

The shear concrete calculator for wall provides the following outputs when run:

  • Compression and Tension Strength Ratio: the design ratio of the axial force acting on the wall section compared to the ultimate axial capacity.
  • Shear Strength Ratio: the design ratio of the in-plane shear force acting on the wall compared to the ultimate shear capacity.
  • Bending Strength Ratio (ACI Version): the design ratio of the bending moment compared to the bending moment capacity calculated from the moment-axial force interaction diagram.
  • Strength Capacities (ACI Version):
    • Compression strength capacity
    • Tension strength capacity
    • Shear strength capacity
    • Bending strength capacity (based on moment-axial force interaction diagram)
  • ACI-318 Version: Generates a detailed calculation report that includes all calculations and references to the relevant clauses of ACI-318.
  • AS 3600 Version: Generates a calculation report that includes checks for minimum longitudinal, shear and crack control reinforcement.

What limitations does the ACI shear wall calculator have?

The ACI concrete block wall calculator has the following limitations:

  • Design is limited to in-plane loading only.
  • The calculator does not include consideration for seismic detailing and analysis.
  • Design for concentrated reinforcement such as boundary elements or flanges is not included.
  • Slenderness effects are not included.

What limitations does the AS 3600 concrete calculator for walls have?

The AS 3600 calculation has been developed to use the simplified design method and therefore has the following limitations on its use:

  • Design restricted to walls subject to compression across the entire section. Walls subjected to tensile stresses are not currently supported.
  • Design restricted to in-plane loading only.
  • Design is restricted to standard rectangular walls without any openings.

Where can I get a concrete shear wall design example?

The report in the above calculator (available under a Quick Design Subscription) allows users to review the step-by-step calculations. This report acts as a shear wall design example as it refers to the relevant clauses in the design standards and lists the shear wall calculations every step of the way as outlined in the selected design standard.

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