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ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

  • 1.  ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-12-2019 10:28 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-12-2019 10:27 AM
    Hey everyone, 

    I am an assistant project engineer in the NY metropolitan area, mainly focusing on high-end residential as well as low to mid-rise residential & commercial new design. I am not part of the decision making for which programs my company buys or uses, so this question is more hypothetical than anything. But, I have been looking into the differences between some softwares and found out that there is not very good reviews to be found using a simple google search. I was wondering if anyone feels particularly strongly about one of the basic calculation packages (ENERCALC vs. Tedds, vs. Struware) and why?

    In my first company, we relied heavily on hand calcs and some excel sheets, but neither were used company-wide. They did have an out-dated version of Tedds software that was no longer purchased. I tinkered with the software just to learn its functionality & purpose but was hesitant to use the outputs. I now use ENERCALC at my new firm. It has a lot of functionality, but there are bugs associated with running the program from the server when working remotely. Also, the output does not seem as detailed as I would like at times. I have never used Struware and have only come across the name in advertising within field-related magazines. 

    Looking forward to reading any feedback the community will have!

    Connor Dick EIT,A.M.ASCE
    Project Engineer
    Jersey City NJ


  • 2.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-13-2019 09:46 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-13-2019 09:45 AM

    Here in Canada we mostly use ENERCALC in consulting companies. I used to work at HATCH and we were using ENERCALC. So, I think ENERCALC might be better solution.

    Amir Eghtesadi Aff.M.ASCE
    Toronto ON
    1416 9852647

  • 3.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-13-2019 09:47 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-13-2019 09:46 AM
    Hello Connor:
    I have used Enercalc for over a decade and Canadian Wood Council suite for about 5 years.  Without getting into too much detail, Enercalc does a satisfactory job of component analysis, but does NOT keep track of the system.  Enercalc has not evolved much either:  Their shearwall analysis only uses SEGMENTED approach, so you cannot do PERFORATED approach or combination.   And, their torsional analysis only analyzes rigid diaphragms, not flexible or combination.   

    The Shearwalls program by CWC attempts to do what Enercalc does not, but is somewhat unforgiving once you set up your blocks. 

    I have tried a few spreadsheet programs also without complete satisfaction.  You can try developing your own and I have a lot of ideas to accomplish this but never seem to have the time to  "sharpen the axe."  The real benefit to creating your own if you TEST it against manual calculations is the confidence you will have in YOUR solution.  The challenge is keeping it simple enough but not too simple and keeping up with code changes.

    Good luck

    Tim Twomey M.ASCE
    BESC, Inc.
    Mendocino CA

  • 4.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-13-2019 11:27 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-13-2019 11:27 AM
    Great question. I have used both Enercalc and Tedds and am currently using Tedds for my own business. My decision to purchase Tedds when I was first starting my business was based on the total number of different calculation types available, in addition to a 2d analysis program that is part of the standard package.

    Enercalc is a lot easier to use, but from what I remember there were some issues when running it on a server....please correct me if I am wrong.

    I am still using Tedds, since I am a sole proprietor and to switch to a different software package is costly. There are some issues with Tedds, especially when they send out updates. For example, I used one of their steel beam analysis calculation modules for awhile since the interface was short and to the point for the type of beams I typically design. Well when they sent out an update for 2019 that calculation module now has bugs, that don't allow me to calculate certain steel members. Very frusterating. Also the output is not the best since the way it is formatted uses a lot of paper. 

    Otherwise I prefer Tedds since it also has the flexibility of writing my own calculations and formatting the output in word.

    Erik Gibbs M.ASCE
    South County Engineering
    San Juan Capistrano CA

  • 5.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware
    Best Answer

    Posted 05-13-2019 05:37 PM
    Edited by Connor Dick 05-14-2019 08:40 PM
    I haven't used Struware, but have used the other two. 

    Every company I've ever worked for (15 years in building design east of the Mississippi) used Enercalc.
    PROS for Enercalc: It's easy to use and does a lot of the basics. I have used it in a server; we had two licenses for 6 engineers. It's more cost effective than Tedds (not sure about cost effectiveness of Struware).
    CONS for ENERCALC: It can be a bit of a black box as to what it's doing, more so than most other software I've used. And, because it is so easy to use, I've had more problems with "garbage in, garbage out". You should always verify design output by hand, but in some cases I thought Enercalc made it too easy (because of their automatic "defaults") to hit one wrong button and get a completely garbage result.  

    We looked into Tedds again briefly a couple of years ago, because I'd used it a couple of times and loved the functionality and customization abilities. But, it was so much more expensive than Enercalc, and we already had many spreadsheets in Excel, that we decided for the customized cases we'd just use an Excel spreadsheet.

    In my opinion, if you're designing a low or mid-rise average commerical structure in a low-seismic, you could design those using the following four programs: RAM, RISA/STADD, Enercalc/Tedds/Struware and Excel. It matters what other software you are using, and what you'd need to use it for, as to which software combination is the right choice.

    Stephanie Slocum P.E.,M.ASCE
    Engineers Rising LLC

  • 6.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-15-2019 07:40 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-15-2019 07:39 AM
    I have not used any of these programs.
    I use my own Excel Templates for many simple calculations.
    I also use a 3-D Structural Analysis program called Multiframe, which is particularly useful for complex structural forms such as cross-vaults, hyperbolic paraboloids, and networks domes.  I have tested it extensively over a period of 25 years.  The computational core is rock solid.  I also find it convenient for simple calculations. 
    Multiframe has recently been acquired by Bentley and it seems uncertain how much Bentley is going to support it.  However, I am still using it and will continue to do so as long as it is available and supported.  Bentley mainly wanted it as part of the ship design software Maxsurf.  But they do not seem to be promoting as a stand-alone program.  However, it is available and I can heartily recommend it.

    Wayne Place
    Architecture Professor
    NCSU College of Design
    Raleigh NC

  • 7.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-13-2019 09:29 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-13-2019 09:29 PM
    Hi Connor,
    If you're working on small residential projects, Enercal is your best bit. Say you're designing a post. Else, for that project that needs more  details, Tedd or Struwar is a good choice. However, I used Enercal very often. Else -if , you're projects range form two story to 9 story or even 66 story, you need to work on other structure softwares besides those mentioned above.

    Sayed Maqsood
    Currently Looking for Employment
    Alameda CA

  • 8.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-15-2019 10:04 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-15-2019 10:03 AM
    TEDDS is Fantastic.  Just get in and use it.

    Denis Brown P.E.,M.ASCE
    Design Solutions (qld)
    6107463 20126

  • 9.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-14-2019 08:56 PM
    Thanks everyone for the responses - really appreciate all the feedback. 

    It seems like most people are in agreement that ENERCALC is the most used program for simple calculations of individual members, yet there is a lot of room for improvement. Tedds seems like it could potentially fill that void, but price and user interface concerns are still weighing it down. Not too sure about Struware/Strucalc (they both seem like different programs that try to provide similar functions) since nobody seems familiar with these programs.

    Connor Dick EIT,A.M.ASCE
    Project Engineer
    Jersey City NJ


  • 10.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-15-2019 07:40 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-15-2019 07:40 AM
    I have been using TEDDS for more than a decade and it has evolved over times by adding calculations of new structural elements and design. TEDDs calculation is a logical flow and its easy for any reviewer to review the result and inputs used, transparent. hence it has become an industry standard in this part. the library is extensive for UK and euro code and with a decent spread for US in both metric and imperial system.  have used Enercal, but since it pertains to US mostly, we rely upon TEDDS for all the engineering calculations and reviews.

    Shyam Sundar Rajaram C.Eng,S.E.,M.ASCE
    Principal StructuralEngineer
    Qatar Design Consortium

  • 11.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-15-2019 08:04 AM
    I have used Tedds and Struware's Code Search program, and I'm very fond of both. I have not used enercalc.

    I'll just add some quick notes on Tedds because it's already been covered. You get a strong sense of what's going on at the cost of longer outputs. I find it very effective for beam designs (steel and wood typically), spread footings, and retaining walls.

    Struware's Code Search program is very nice. I use it for almost every project. Its wind, and snow calcs are especially useful, and you can see the back end of what's going on if you'd like. The outputs are  thorough, but condence (each topic is a single page, e.g. Wind MWFRS, Wind C&C, Base Snow, Snow Drift). You can also copy some of the sheets if you have multiple cases (e.g. multiple snow drift cases) which is convenient. The whole software is easy to navigate through, making it a great tool to utilize at the start of a project to get your loads in order.

    I haven't used any of their other programs, which I know isn't the most helpful, but since there wasn't much of anything on Struware here, I thought I'd give at least some input.

    Paul Chabot EIT,P.E.,M.ASCE
    Structural & Forensic Engineer
    Metro Detroit Area MI

  • 12.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-16-2019 09:58 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-16-2019 09:58 AM
    While in school, I used Maple exclusively.  There is literally no better mathematical calculation software.  When I started my career years ago Excel was the most popular tool for calculations and still appears to be.  We knew that Excel had many issues (just an extremely poor choice for calculations) so we began looking for alternatives.  We considered Maple, but although nothing can touch it in regards to pure mathematical prowess/power, it was not practical or easy to use for hand style calculations.  At that time, we had a senior engineer who was using TEDDS, so we started using TEDDS.  After a month, we stopped using TEDDS.  TEDDS simply couldn't do the basic things that we were looking for not the least of which was the use of creation of you own tables which was totally ridiculous.  There were other issues with its ability to do math (not very complicated math).

    In the end, we settled on MathCAD v15 for our structural engineering calculations.  While they actively market Prime, MathCAD is far superior in the flexibility of formatting and presentation of calculations.  MathCAD v15 can do everything that we need and more.  We have some sheets with drop down menus, charts, graphs, tables, graphical output, etc.  We can import data from Excel sheets or export information to Excel sheets.  Using this method we can take results from our structural analysis software and perform calculations such as cold-formed steel design which is not included in the modelling software we use.  MathCAD can solve equations symbolically.  We are completely paperless.  We use MathCAD v15 for simple one line calculations (less than 1/2 a page) and for very complex calculations (our most complex calculation package is more than 40 pages long).  Our junior staff (new hires) take it up instantly.  It has virtually no learning curve for simple math calculations.

    I've never heard of Enercalc, but it appears to be a pre-baked design solution.  Not very flexible.  For example, I have created two concrete beam calculation sheets.  One does calculations using the conventional stress-block method and the other using a non-linear analysis based on the Hognestad parabola.  We can easily modify these two sheets for different design codes or design codes changes.  You can't do that with a pre-baked solution.

    Carl Lankinen M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    RJ Burnside & Associates Limited
    Guelph ON
    (519) 823-4995

  • 13.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-16-2019 11:24 AM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-16-2019 11:24 AM
    Try Mathcad.  You put in the formulas as they appear in the source document.  Doing this gives you a better understanding of equations and the methodology.  The output looks exactly like hand calculations with the advantage of full recalculation when a variable is changed.

    Donald Lee M.ASCE
    Struct Engr
    Don Lee Engineering
    Lakewood CA
    (562) 860-7896

  • 14.  RE: ENERCALC vs. Tedds vs. Struware

    Posted 05-16-2019 01:50 PM
    Edited by Tirza Austin 05-16-2019 01:49 PM
    ​In the past, I used Mathcad extensively. Mathcad is very flexible, great and very easy for programming (type in the variables and the standard formulas). Needs knowledge of the engineering formulas and design. Presently, I am not sure how far the Mathcad Library is developed. Mathcad is an option for designers who master all the calculations steps.

    Georges Aklian P.Eng,M.ASCE
    Director Civil Structural Energy
    Laval QC, Canada
    (514) 3802958 x2288