Are there any facade surfaces in RFEM for the transmission of wind loads to the main structure?


In RFEM, there are no special facade surfaces for distributing wind loads. However, you can create such a load distribution element without any influence on the resistance of the main structure using the standard tools of RFEM. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. Define the isotropic linear elastic "facade material" with the average stiffness of the adjacent elements of the main structure without the weight, thermal expansion property, and stiffness modification.

    Figure 02 - Material of Facade Surfaces

  2. In the facade areas, describe the surfaces made of the facade material with the "Orthotropic" stiffness type. To ensure that there is no opposed load at the surface corners transferred to the main structure, the thickness and torsional stiffness must be defined near to zero. We recommend to apply the average thickness of the adjacent elements of the main structure / 1,000 as the thickness, and to divide the related torsional stiffness k33 by the factor of 1,000 as well.

    Figure 03 - Properties of Facade Surfaces

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

    Figure 04 - Possible Definition of Connection Between Facade Surfaces and Elements of Main Structure

  4. To ensure that the surfaces with the line releases do not slip in the wall plane, it is necessary to apply the surface support to the facade surfaces in the plane degrees of freedom x and y.

    Figure 05 - Support of Facade Surfaces

This option allows for the distribution of compression loads acting perpendicular to the facade surfaces as well as of wind pressures from the RWIND Simulation calculation to the main structure. In this case, it is necessary to use this modeling of the facade surface in connection with the 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 RWIND Simulation
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