Unit Development: 
Basic Features: 
The SAP name has been synonymous with state-of-the-art analytical methods since its introduction over 30 years ago. SAP2000 follows in the same tradition featuring a very sophisticated, intuitive and versatile user interface powered by an unmatched analysis engine and design tools for engineers working on transportation, industrial, public works, sports, and other facilities. From its 3D object based graphical modeling environment to the wide variety of analysis and design options completely integrated across one powerful user interface, SAP2000 has proven to be the most integrated, productive and practical general purpose structural program on the market today. This intuitive interface allows you to create structural models rapidly and intuitively without long learning curve delays. Now you can harness the power of SAP2000 for all of your analysis and design tasks, including small day-to-day problems. Complex Models can be generated and meshed with powerful built in templates. Integrated design code features can automatically generate wind, wave, bridge, and seismic loads with comprehensive automatic steel and concrete design code checks per US, Canadian and international design standards. Advanced analytical techniques allow for step-by-step large deformation analysis, Eigen and Ritz analyses based on stiffness of nonlinear cases, catenary cable analysis, material nonlinear analysis with fiber hinges, multi-layered nonlinear shell element, buckling analysis, progressive collapse analysis, energy methods for drift control, velocity-dependent dampers, base isolators, support plasticity and nonlinear segmental construction analysis. Nonlinear analyses can be static and/or time history, with options for FNA nonlinear time history dynamic analysis and direct integration. From a simple small 2D static frame analysis to a large complex 3D nonlinear dynamic analysis, SAP2000 is the easiest, most productive solution for your structural analysis and design needs.


One Window, Many Views

SAP2000 offers a single user interface to perform: Modeling, Analysis, Design, and Reporting.



SAP2000 has a wide selection of templates for quickly starting a new model. SAP2000 includes parametric templates for the following types of structures: Simple Beams, 3D Trusses, 3D Frames, Storage Vessels, Staircases, Dam Structures, and Pipes.

Model Views

View and manipulate analytical and physical models with great precision. Easily define custom views and developed elevations to view and manipulate complex geometry with ease.

Object model views accurately display cardinal insertion points, local axes rotations, wall junctions, and geometry.

Grid Systems

In SAP2000, grids can be defined as cartesian or cylindrical. There is no limit to the number of grid systems in a model and they can be rotated in any direction or placed at any origin within the model.

Plans and Elevations

Plan and elevation views are automatically generated at every grid line to allow for quick navigation of the model. Users can create their own elevation sections by using our Developed Elevation feature.

Interactive Database Editing

Interactive database editing allows users to edit model data in a table view which simplifies the task of making changes to the model. Tables are easily exportable and importable from Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.

Meshing Tools

Engineers have many options when it comes to mesh generation in SAP2000. Simply select the area object and then select the rules for the automatic mesh generator to use.

Frames and areas can have refined meshes for analysis.



SAP2000 automatically create joints at structural object intersections or internal joints when meshing structural objects. Joint coordinates and information may be displayed on screen in the model window or in tabular format.


The frame element uses a general, three-dimensional, beam-column formulation which includes the effects of biaxial bending, torsion, axial deformation, and biaxial shear deformations. SAP2000 has a built-in library of standard concrete, steel and composite section properties of both US and International Standard sections.

Intermediate joints will automatically be generated where other members intersect with the frame to ensure finite element connectivity.


The cable element is a highly nonlinear element used to model the catenary behavior of slender cables under their own self-weight. Tension-stiffening and large deflection nonlinearity are inherently included in the formulation.


Tendons are easily drawn as independent objects, with geometry specified as straight lines, parabolas, circular curves, or other arbitrary shapes. Tendon loads, including all losses, are easily defined in SAP2000.


The shell element is a type of area object that is used to model membrane, plate, and shell behavior in planar and three-dimensional structures. The shell material may be homogeneous or layered throughout; material nonlinearity can also be considered when using the layered shell.


The solid element is an eight-node element for modeling three-dimensional structures and solids. It is based upon an isoparametric formulation that includes nine optional incompatible bending modes and is useful for modeling objects in which loading, boundary conditions, section properties, or reactions vary by thickness.

A link element may exhibit up to three different types of behavior: linear, nonlinear, and frequency dependent, according to the types of properties assigned to that element and the type of analysis being performed. The following link elements are available in SAP2000: Linear, Multi-linear Elastic, Multi-linear Plastic, Gaps, Hooks, Dampers, Friction Isolators, Rubber Isolators, T/C Isolators, Frequency-dependent Springs, and Frequency-dependent Dampers.


Users can create and apply hinge properties to perform pushover analyses in SAP2000. Nonlinear material behavior in frame elements (beam/column/brace) can be modeled using fiber hinges. This approach represents the material in the cross section as discrete points, each following the exact stress-strain curves of the material. Mixed materials, such as reinforced concrete and complex shapes can be represented.


Spring supports are link elements that are used to elastically connect joints to the ground and can be linear or nonlinear in nature. Nonlinear support conditions can be modeled to include gaps (compression only), multi-linear elastic or plastic springs, viscous dampers, and base isolators.


Automatic Code Based Loading

SAP2000 will automatically generate and apply seismic and wind loads based on various domestic and international codes. SAP2000 also has a sophisticated moving load generator that allows users to apply moving loads to lanes on frame and shell elements.

Supported codes include: UBC 94; 97, BOCA 96, NBCC 95; 2005; 2010, IBC 2003; 2006, Chinese 2002, ISI1893 2002, NEHRP 97, User coefficient, and User loads

Wave Loads

The wave-loading feature automatically generates loading on the structure resulting from waves, current flow, buoyancy, and wind. Multi-stepped static linear loading can be generated to simulate the wave moving through the structure. In addition, dynamic (time-history) loading can also be generated to include inertial effects as the wave moves through the structure.

User Loads

Define specific loads to model a wide array of loading conditions with SAP2000 built-in user loading options.

The Force Load is used to apply concentrated forces and moments at the joints. Values may be specified in a fixed coordinate system (global or alternate coordinates) or the joint lo cal coordinate system.



CSI Solvers have been tried and tested by the industry for over 35 years. The SAPFire Analysis Engine can support multiple 64-bit solvers for analysis optimization and perform both Eigen Analysis and Ritz Analysis.


SAP2000 can perform both linear static and multi-step static analysis. The linear static analysis of a structure involves the solution of the system of linear equations represented by K u = r. Certain types of load patterns are multi-stepped, meaning that they actually represent many separate spatial loading patterns applied in sequence. These include the vehicle, live, and wave types of load patterns.


SAP2000 dynamic analysis capabilities include the calculation of vibration modes using Ritz or Eigen vectors, response-spectrum analysis, and time-history analysis for both linear and nonlinear behavior.


Linear (bifurcation) buckling modes of a structure can be found under any set of loads. Buckling can be calculated from a nonlinear or staged-construction state. Full nonlinear buckling analysis is also available considering P-delta or large deflections effects. Snap-through buckling behavior can be captured using static analysis with displacement control. Dynamic analysis can be used for modeling more complex buckling, such as follower-load problems.


P-delta analysis captures the softening effect of compression and the stiffening effect of tension. A single P-delta analysis under gravity and sustained loads can be used to modify the stiffness for linear load cases, which can later be superposed. Alternatively, each combination of loads can be analyzed for full nonlinear P-delta effects. P-delta effects are included for all elements and are seamlessly integrated into analysis and design.


Pushover analysis features in SAP2000 include the implementation of FEMA 356 and the hinge and fiber hinge option based on stress-strain. The nonlinear layered shell element enables users to consider plastic behavior of concrete shear walls, slabs, steel plates, and other area finite elements in the pushover analysis. Force-Deformation relations are defined for steel and concrete hinges.

Time Dependent

Staged construction is a type of nonlinear analysis in SAP2000 that is allows you to define a sequence of stages wherein you can add or remove portions of the structure, selectively apply load to portions of the structure, and to consider time-dependent material behavior such as aging, creep, and shrinkage.

Staged construction is variously known as incremental construction, sequential construction, or segmental construction.

Power Spectral Density

Power-spectral-density analysis is available to determine the probabilistic response of a structure due to cyclic (harmonic, sinusoidal) loading over a range of frequencies. This is useful for fatigue studies, random response due to earthquakes, and other applications. Multiple loads may be applied at different phase angles, and may be correlated or uncorrelated.

Steady State

Steady state analysis is available to determine the response of the structure due to cyclic (harmonic, sinusoidal) loading over a range of frequencies. Frequency-dependent stiffness and damping (complex impedance) properties may be included for modeling foundations and far-field effects, including radiation damping. Steady state analysis can be used to measure the effects of multiple machines operating at different frequencies can be considered by combining the results of several analyses in the same model.

Target Force

During nonlinear static analysis, cable and frame elements can be automatically strained to achieve specified target axial force values. This is most commonly used to tighten cables to pre-specified tensions, but it can also be used to jack structures to a specified force using frame elements, as well as other applications.

Load Combinations

SAP2000 allows for an unlimited number of load cases and combinations. Load combination types include: linear additive, envelope (min/max), absolute add, SRSS, and range combinations. Combination components can include other combinations.

Model Alive

For small to medium sized structures, analysis can be performed on the fly as you build and modify the model. For each change you make to the geometry, properties, or loading, the structure instantly responds with the new deformed shape, moment diagram, or any other plot of results. It’s like working with a live model, and it is a very powerful tool for conceptual design and for testing "what-if" scenarios.


Steel Frame

Fully integrated steel frame design includes member size optimization and implementation of design codes. SAP2000 allows users to interactively view design results at any frame member, change the parameters or section properties, and display the updated member results.

See supported design codes 

Concrete Frame

Fully integrated concrete frame design in SAP2000 includes: required area of steel calculations, auto selection lists for new member sizing, implementation of design codes, interactive design and review, and comprehensive overwrite capabilities.

See supported design codes 

Aluminum Frame

Cold Formed Frame


Deformed Geometry

Users can display deformed geometry based on any load or combination of loads, as well as animations of modes.

Force Diagrams

Shear and moment diagrams display internal shear forces, moments, and displacements at all locations along the length of a frame element for any load case or load combination. SAP2000 gives the option to scroll along the length to display values or scroll directly to the maximum value location.

General Displacement

Arbitrary displacement measures can be defined using generalized displacements. These are linear combinations of joint translations and rotations, and can be used to calculate averages, drifts, and other quantities of interest. Generalized displacement output can be obtained for all types of analysis cases and combinations.

Section Cuts

The resultant (free-body) forces and moments across any cut in the structure can be defined using section cuts. A section cut can have any shape, and can be used to compute story shears, connecting forces, design forces in shear walls, and for many other purposes. Section cut results can be obtained for all types of load cases and combinations.

Virtual Work Diagrams

In SAP2000, virtual work diagrams can be used as an aid to determine which elements should be stiffened to achieve the most efficient control over the lateral displacements of a structure.

Influence Lines

SAP2000 uses influence lines to compute the response to vehicle live loads. Influence lines are also of interest in their own right for understanding the sensitivity of various response quantities to moving loads. Influence lines may be displayed in the user interface for the displacement, force, or stress response of any element in the structure.

Tabular Output

SAP2000 has the ability to display tables for all input data, analysis results, and design results. Tables support sort, cut, copy and paste for use in other programs. Print or save tabular data to Access, Excel, Word, HTML, or TEXT.

Video Animations

SAP2000 has the ability to generate video (.avi) files to visually display a set of analysis results that vary over a particular time period, such as in a time history analysis.


Quick Report

Pre-formatted printed reports are now available at the push of a button. These reports include all pertinent model data and the results of analysis and design. Data is presented in tabulated format, along with graphics, table of contents, and a cover sheet displaying project information and your company name and logo.

Advanced Report Writer

The Advanced Report Writer is a robust utility that can be used for creating sophisticated reports of the SAP2000 model. These reports are fully customizable; companies can define and save complex template files to standardize the analysis and design report generation.


Load Optimizer

The load optimizer is a tool in SAP2000 to compute the optimal load application to achieve desired structural response. Loads may be applied linearly, nonlinearly, or in staged-construction. Goals and limits may include displacements, forces, moments, and more.

Section Designer

Section Designer is a utility that is built into SAP2000. It allows users the ability to create specialized sections of any arbitrary shape and material, including rebar layout. All sections properties, biaxial interaction diagrams, and moment curvature diagrams are automatically calculated.


Supported Formats

SAP2000 supports many industry standards for importing and exporting data. Autodesk Revit Structure, Tekla Structures, AutoCAD (DXF/DWG), CIS/2, IFC, IGES, and SDNF are all supported. SAP2000 also supports exporting of a model to an Microsoft Access database. If users are using other analysis packages, SAP2000 can import files from FrameWorks Plus, STAAD, and STRUDL.