Techno Consultants Ltd.
News & Views


New Version of Fasten5950 Issued on 19 January 2003

All users of Fasten5950 to note that they can now upload and use the new version Fasten595020030119.  This version now conforms to the latest provisions of the revised code BS 5950-1:2000.

The new version now includes data useful for detailing purposes e.g. maximum and minimum sizes of bolts and washers, lengths of standard bolts and the lengths of threads on each length, etc.  A home page with hyper buttons have also been added for ease of navigation in this template.

The earlier version of this template to BS5950:1990  is still available for download.  However, this version is now to be used for historic purposes only. 

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UnitsCalc for Conversion of Measurements in Various Units

UnitsCalc is an Excel 97/2000 template for the conversion of measurement units used by Architects & Engineers.  It includes 33 conversion tables for various unit quantities e.g. distance, force, energy, power, etc.

UnitsCalc was initially developed in Excel 2000.  It has now been tested and tweaked to work in Excel 97.  This means that it can be used in both versions of Excel.

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New Version of WeldCalc Issued on 24 April 2001

All users of WeldCalc are strongly recommended that they upload and use the new version WeldCalc010424 of this program and stop using the earlier version WeldCalc010114 issued on 14 January 2001.

The earlier version used contained an sign error in the following formula for unsymmetrical bending, which is as follows after correction:

The old version gives incorrect results when values of Ixy  and My are not zero i.e. unsymmetrical bending is involved and the weld group is subjected to moment My.

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Software Innovation for Reinforced Concrete Detailing

We are pleased to mention the availability of a powerful tool for the design and detailing of Reinforced Concrete to BS8110.

Developed by Chris Buczkowski, it is as an Excel Spreadsheet Workbook. On 21st May 2000, it has been made available for download as shareware from

In the last 12 months, we have been encouraging Chris in his neat and persistent work to complete and release this package. Designers and detailers working on Reinforced Concrete projects in the building trade will find it an invaluable aid in their work to achieve compliance to BS8110.

As good design is essentially a challenge in detailing, this workbook represents an innovative advance towards using software and in particular spreadsheets for design tasks into the future.

In everyday use, the workbook is usually left opened on the designer’s desktop. Used as a quick reference, it helps in saving valuable design time and fine-tuning of RC details.

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Omission of the Millennium

We are somewhat amused to report an omission that apparently has gone unnoticed in our profession over the years. In all civil and structural engineering literature to which we have had access, this omission is the Product of Inertia for general shape and right angle triangles. For the two shapes shown in the figure, the value of this property about the shape centroid is:

for a general shape triangle , and for a right angle triangle.                       

wpe1.jpg (4512 bytes)

Needless to say it is an important property for the calculation of stresses in unsymmetrical sections using the following equation:

We came across this omission when developing and testing our software for the general analysis of unsymmetrical sections. Without this property, the software was failing to calculate correct stresses even for a rectangular section.

Incidentally the Product of Inertia Ixy for equal and unequal angles about their centroid is not zero. It needs to be included in the stress analysis of such sections by use of the above equation.

We hope authors of the relevant design books will make a note and include this property in their future publications.

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True Arrival of Digital Age in the Building Trade:
Volo View Express for Improving Productivity

Autodesk the Vendor of AutoCAD has made Volo View Express available for free. This represents a major step in moving from the present paper mode to the new digital mode of operation in the building trade. To improve productivity and keep up with the competitive pressures, it is also an essential aid to designers, site personnel and modern clients.

A few mouse clicks allows the designers to view drawings being developed in the office and those received from other project team members. They can view up to date drawings while say answering queries or discussing project details on the phone with the client and others. Likewise, site personnel can also employ Volo View Express to read and print drawings made available to them on a CD. In addition, these days, drawings are being sent via email or direct telephone links with ease and rapidity. On their receipt, even clients can use Volo View Express to read and examine project drawings. In short Volo View Express is a versatile aid for improving productivity in project design, construction and management.

In the past few weeks we have been using Volo View Express extensively. We find it is a versatile and powerful tool in our day to day design work. Its use comprises of the following:

  • Display 9 Named Views: Top, Bottom, Front, Left, Right, Southwest Isometric, Southeast Isometric, and Northeast Isometric. The Top view brings the display to normal AutoCAD user view.
  • Zoom in and out to various parts of the drawing
  • Switch layers On/Off individually
  • Select view of any Paper Space and Model Space Layout
  • Open and display more than one drawing at a time
  • Tile or cascade all open drawings
  • Print any part of the drawing at a desired magnification
  • Add comments and sketches and save them as Mark Up files (not as a part of the actual drawing)
  • Change screen background to Black or White, a feature useful for copying drawing parts and pasting them into other documents, for example, MS Word
  • Send Command in the File menu to transmit drawings to any Email Address
  • 3d Orbit command to change view of drawing from any point in the model space
  • View DWG/DXF files with compatibility up to AutoCAD 2000

Using Volo, clients, individual engineers, small firms and site personnel can keep, view and print drawings via storage on CD’s or their hard disks. Large firms are likely to use their networks for this purpose. In all cases, use of CD’s will play a central role. They are compact, easy and cheap to produce, store and post. The information stored on CD’s cannot be altered from contractual viewpoint. In short use of Volo or other similar software and CD’s will soon lead to the issue all project drawings and documents from the present paper mode to the new digital mode.

For further details and download visit:

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Software Sections

Masonry           Reinforced Concrete
Structural Analysis              Units Conversion               Steelwork