Staad Pro -1

We have used Staad Pro for many years here at Origin Structures. For those who don’t know, Staad Pro is an engineering modelling software that allows engineers to build 3D models and test a structure under loading conditions, It is a good general purpose structural engineering tool and also includes extra facilities such as dynamic loading. The programme also allows the engineer to do design of steel and concrete and also foundation design can be performed in its sister programme, Staad Foundation.

We have been giving Staad Pro training through a partnering company called Cadserve, based in the north-east of England and are always happy to discuss training requirements.

We have also been helping a client in Yorkshire, Spanlite UK, to automate their design process using the programming facilities of Staad Pro. Spanlite specialise in the manufacture of cold-rolled steel buildings and they asked if we could develop spreadsheet-software that would automate their designs for them. Using OpenStaad, we have written VBA routines that allow non-engineers to use a spreadsheet that “talks” to Staad Pro and produce a design for a full portal building. Design times that were taking several weeks in out-sourced consultancies can now be done in-house in a matter of minutes. We have further extended this to include trussed frames.


The spreadsheet and VBA routines carried out a full-design check to the Eurocode Standards.

Straw-Bale House, Edinburgh

This project was a straw-bale house that had already been built outside of Edinburgh and for which calculations were required to satisfy building control requirements. The building was interesting in that the structural timber was formed by two main A-frames that supported rounded-timber floors and roofs.


Shop Refurbishments

We often get asked to get involved in the refurbishment of business premises around York. This was on we helped out with in the city centre. Walls were to be removed inside an existing concrete framed building. We modelled the building in 3D to help with the analysis of the existing and proposed layouts.



new walls

This second one was a proposed refurbishment for a building in Bridlington which a developer wanted to convert to a Costa coffee house.

Costa Colour upper floor roof layout



Highdyke Timber Frame

A client in Cumbria wished to extend their house using a timber-framed construction in a traditional style. Timbers would be exposed and jointed using hand-crafted joints. We designed the frame and joints and provided detailed drawings of the joints to enable each member to be individually made from 3D drawings.general arrangement


Timber Support Bracket

We worked with a client who was pioneering a new thermally improved support bracket for timber I-joists. We carried out stress analyses on different options and were able to optimise the quantity of metal that was used to carry the same forces.

bottom piece 04-02-13

Wild-life observation centre, North Cave

Some years ago we were asked to help design a wild-life observation centre at North Cave in East Yorkshire. We came up with a reciprocal roof structure which provided an unobstructed viewing from inside the shelter. The timber frame allows consecutive roof members to rest and dove-tail into adjoining members around a central point.


Walls were then formed with plastered straw-bales. We tried to use as little steel as possible so that all joints were hand-made.