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Blog July 20, 2023

ProtaStructure Suite Offers a User-Friendly Interface for Seismic Joint Design


Welcome to a comprehensive guide on seismic joint design using ProtaStructure Suite, an innovative software by Prota Software Inc. This blog will demystify the calculation details of seismic joint conditions based on European Standard EC8 Clause Whether you are an engineer, architect, or construction professional, this blog will equip you with the knowledge needed to ensure structural safety during seismic events.

Understanding Seismic Joint Design:

Seismic joints play a crucial role in protecting buildings during earthquakes, allowing them to move independently and mitigating potential damage. ProtaStructure Suite offers a user-friendly interface that automatically lists story displacements for a given building model in both X and Y directions. Users have the flexibility to set second model displacements manually or use the “Second Model” option to import data from another model.

Scenarios for Seismic Joint Design:

ProtaStructure Suite considers two scenarios for seismic joint design:

1-Buildings Belonging to the Same Property:

When two structurally independent units belong to the same property, the seismic joint condition is determined based on EC8 (2) b. The distance between the buildings should not be less than the square root of the sum of the squares (SRSS) of their maximum horizontal displacements at the corresponding level.

2-Buildings Not Belonging to the Same Property:

For buildings or units not belonging to the same property, the seismic joint condition is based on EC8 (2) a. The distance from the property line to potential points of impact should not be less than the maximum horizontal displacement of the building at the corresponding level.

User-Friendly Interface:

ProtaStructure Suite’s “Seismic Joint Design” interface empowers users to set conditions from EC8 directly. The “Storey levels are same” and “Buildings belong to same property” options are available to customize the analysis. Additionally, users can adjust the minimum distance referred to by multiplying it by 0.7 if floor elevations are the same for adjacent buildings.

Calculation Details:

To calculate the seismic joint, users input the story displacements of the current model (δ1(i)) and the second model (δ2(i)). Since the buildings belong to the same property, calculations are performed based on EC8 (2) b. The calculated seismic joint is reduced by 0.7, adhering to EC8 (3), and should not be less than 8.2 mm. A suggested seismic joint of 10 mm is recommended.


This blog has provided an insightful overview of seismic joint design using ProtaStructure Suite, ensuring structural integrity and safety during seismic events. Empower your projects with this advanced software and make seismic joint design a breeze. Remember, when it comes to seismic resilience, ProtaStructure Suite has you covered.

Ready to enhance your seismic safety measures? Buy ProtaStructure Suite now!

Note: For the full calculation details and comprehensive insights, refer to the original document.