Steinbicker & Associates, a full-service structural engineering firm with offices in Dayton, Ohio and Orlando, Fla., has announced a new free online tilt-up panel reinforcing estimating tool.

According to Mark Remmetter, P.E., Managing Principal of Steinbicker & Associates' Dayton, Ohio office, the purpose of the estimating tool is to provide owners, developers and contractors with an easy-to-use method to estimate panel thickness and the required amount of steel reinforcing for a typical tilt-up panel on a specific project.

"Not only does this tool help contractors and subcontractors who are actively involved in the tilt-up industry, but it also is a great help to those just getting started with tilt-up," says Remmetter. "They can use this tool to get an approximation on how to best bid a tilt-up job and get a better handle on some of the costs associated with a project."

The estimating tool can be accessed by going to www.sai-engineers.com and clicking on the "Resources and Estimating Tool" link at the top of the page. Some basic information is requested which then allows the user to login and take advantage of the estimating tool. To get an approximation for panel reinforcing, users simply enter the panel width, opening width, panel height, panel structural thickness (a minimum recommended thickness is suggested by the tool), wind speed and wind exposure category. The tool then provides a reinforcing estimate measured in pounds per square foot based on the gross panel area.

Jon Schuchmann, P.E., Managing Principal of Steinbicker & Associates' Orlando office explains that this tool should greatly assist contractors and subcontractors in bidding tilt-up projects. "The estimate can be used as a pricing tool, allowing users to check various panel thicknesses and corresponding reinforcing amounts to predict an efficient combination of thickness and reinforcing. This number can greatly fluctuate depending on several factors, so this estimating tool assists users in quantifying the number."

Of note, the tool is to be used for estimating purposes only and it is not intended to be used to determine rebar layout or quantities for final design loads. Final tilt-up panel reinforcing design requires the services of a professional structural engineer experienced in the design of tilt-up concrete panels.

For more information about the estimating tool or to discuss professional engineering services, contact Mark Remmetter, P.E. or Jon Schuchmann, P.E..

Visit www.sai-engineers.com and click on the "Resources and Estimating Tool" link at the top of the page.