The Concept version 4 spreadsheet compares conceptual designs to Eurocode 2 for 13 forms of reinforced concrete construction, then ranks them in order of cost, programme or embodied carbon. It is intended to be used for selecting the most appropriate scheme for an RC frame, and as a “first stab” at determining member sizes. Final working designs should be carried out via conventional means, such as by using The Concrete Centre's RC Spreadsheets.
Cost, programme and carbon evaluation is dependent upon unit rates for materials, formwork and cladding etc. Default rates based on available information have been used but the user should check that these suit current requirements. The user may also input their own values to suit their specific project. For basic assumptions, see the NOTES sheet in the software.
Concept V4 will automatically choose the best cost-optimised scheme from the following forms of reinforced concrete frame, or allow the user to investigate their preferred options.
- Flat slabs
- Post-tensioned flat slabs
- One-way slab, wide beam One-way slabs (X and Y)*
- Ribbed slab (X and Y)* (c/w downstand beams)
- Troughed slabs (X and Y)* (level soffit)
- Precast hollowcore and in-situ beam (X and Y)*
- Two-way slabs
- *Spanning in X and Y direction
Alternatively, the automatic choice can be over-ridden, allowing alternative solutions to be investigated.
As it is spreadsheet, much of the program's work and data is available for inspection, avoiding the 'black box' scenario. The engineer can then proceed with verification and detailed design via conventional means such as The Concrete Centre’s RC Spreadsheets.
Printed outputs include floor plans, sections, isometric stick diagrams, cost comparisons and material quantities. A construction cost summary can also be produced, based on default rates for construction costs or those put in by the user.
How to use the software
- Open the file concept.xls using Microsoft Excel.
- The spreadsheet uses macros, so you must ‘enable macros’ when asked.
- If you cannot enable macros you should change your security setting within Excel as follows:
- Click Tools-Macro-Security and set the security level to ‘Medium’ and restart Excel.
The welcome sheet gives instructions for use, but the following should be noted:
- Cells containing blue text are for data entry.
- Values in red or with a red background indicate errors.
- Do not copy and paste from one cell to another – this may cause errors.
- To get started, press ‘Start’ in the welcome sheet, and then use navigation area to proceed though the design stages.
- Windows 2000 or later
- Excel 2000 or later
- 128MB of RAM (minimum)
- 450MB processor (minimum)
- Tekton font is recommended to be used
- For optimum display, please view at 1024 x 768 resolution and minimum of 16 bit colour
All advice or information from MPA - The Concrete Centre is intended for those who will evaluate the significance and limitations of its contents and take responsibility for its use and application.
No liability (including that of negligence) for any loss resulting from such advice or information is accepted by MPA-The Concrete Centre or its subcontractors, suppliers or advisors. Users should note that all MPA-The Concrete Centre software and publications are subject to revision from time to time and they should therefore ensure that they are in possession of the latest version.