We’re excited to announce that HERA’s long-anticipated Composite Design Software is now available for our members.

In 2019, our Steel Research Panel identified it was important to develop electronic tools to support AS/NZS 2327 to allow our membership to better exploit the benefits of this standard. Responding to that feedback, we are pleased to release the latest addition to our software portfolio – a composite beam design tool that assists engineers to design to ASNZS2327:2017.


The value of composite beams

Modern multi-storey building design often involves a compromise between cost and functionality, which drives these building designers to find ways to maximise space and minimise costs, while also meeting stringent building code and performance requirements.

10m span composite beams being loaded to failure at Cambridge University, United Kingdom.

These requirements usually involve delivering maximum open space with minimal structural intrusion. As a result, engineers are required to find ways to improve strength and stiffness while optimising for reduced costs and overall floor space.

Composite floor beams are an important structural element that engineers use to help achieve this goal.


Fire design for composite beams

Fire design rules for composite beams are provided in AS/NZS 2327. This software makes use of the assessment procedure in the temperature domain.

Based on the fire limit state load combinations from ASZNS1170:0 the software will determine the limiting temperature of the steel beam flanges and web as well as the shear studs to ensure that the composite beam will have sufficient moment and shear capacity to meet the Fire Limit State demand.

These limiting temperatures are quoted in the design report to enable the designer to then determine if the actual steel temperatures for their specific fire design will be within these calculated limits.


Unlocking the benefits to make steel the first choice for specifiers in multi-storey construction

AS/NZS 2327 is the first joint NZ and Australian design standard for Composite structures – Composite steel-concrete construction in buildings.

That’s why this collaboration with our international partner SCI, to develop software assisting the design of composite beams and slabs in both normal and fire conditions, has been so important. While this software does perform composite slab design, we recommend the deck manufacturer’s design tools are used to ensure an optimised design.

To get access to the Composite design tool, please click here.

If you’d like to know more about our activities in developing standards and electronic design tools to ensure our New Zealand steel sector remains competitive in the global market, please contact our Structural Systems  Manager, Kaveh Andisheh.