Are there any facade surfaces in RFEM for transferring wind loads to the primary framework?


In RFEM, there are no special facade surfaces for distributing wind loads. However, such a load distribution element without any influence on the resistance of the primary framework can be created with the standard tools of the RFEM itself. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. Define an isotropically linearly elastic 'Facade Material' with the average stiffness of the adjacent primary framework elements without weight, thermal expansion property, and stiffness modification.

    Figure 02 - Material for Facade Surfaces

  2. In the facade areas, describe surfaces made of the facade material with the 'Orthotropic' stiffness type. To ensure that no opposing load at the surface corners is transferred to the primary framework, the thickness and torsional stiffness must be defined near to zero. We recommend to assume the average thickness of the adjacent primary framework elements/1000 as thickness and to divide the related torsional stiffness k33 by a factor of 1000 as well.

    Figure 03 - Properties of Facade Surfaces

  3. Define a line release between the facade surfaces and the primary framework elements so that only forces perpendicular to the primary framework elements can be transferred. All other directions must be specified without force.

    Figure 04 - Possible Definition of Connection Between Facade Surfaces and Primary Framework Elements

  4. To ensure that the surfaces released with the line releases do not slip in the wall plane, surface support in the plane degrees of freedom x and y must be applied to the facade surfaces.

    Figure 05 - Support of Facade Surfaces

With this option, it is possible to distribute pressure loads acting perpendicular to the facade surfaces as well as wind pressures from the RWIND simulation calculation to the primary framework. It should be noted that this modeling of the facade surface is to be used in connection with a linear method of analysis.


Load distribution Facade Trapezoidal sheet Casing


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RFEM Main Program
RFEM 5.xx

Main Program

Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements

Price of First License
3,540.00 USD
Compatible Programs Program
RWIND Simulation 1.xx

Stand-Alone Program

Stand-alone program for numerical simulations of wind flow around buildings or any other objects. The generated wind loads acting on these objects can be imported into RFEM / RSTAB programs for static and dynamic analysis.

Price of First License
2,690.00 USD