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Civil Engineering Softwares

The analogous advancements in computing and sciences have made it possible for engineers to solve tedious calculations and steps in seconds, which in result have uplift the standard of the designs and developments. Computer systems and softwares have made it easy for all of us. 

Civil Engineering, dealing with the design, execution, supervision, development and construction of infrastructure including dams, buildings, highways, bridges, harbors, offshore structures and much more you name it and we have it. 

Civil Engineering includes playing with forces of nature, loads and stresses and strains that has so much calculations involved and so much tests and criterions are there which is hard to remember and hard to execute. 

There are a lot of softwares used in Civil Engineering various fields like structural engineering, highway engineering, geotechnical engineering, water resources etc. 

Following is a comprehensive list of softwares along with their uses, features and how you can download these softwares :- 

1. Autodesk 3ds Max 

3d Studio Max or 3ds Max is now being used frequently by Video game developers, TV Commercials, Animated Movies and architectural visualization studios. It is also being used for movie effects and movie pre-visualization.
3ds Max provides efficient tools, accelerated performance, and streamlined workflows to help increase overall productivity for working with complex, high-resolution assets.
3ds Max gives users the ability to construct digital three-dimensional models and, by applying lighting, materials and other features enabled by the program, to create photorealistic renderings and
animations of the 3d Objects.
You can download this softwares here : Click here

2. Bently WaterCAD V8i 

In most of civil engineering projects from Housing to hydraulic related projects hydrology is mostly involved in combination with fluid mechanics. Water distribution networks are of significance importance from satisfaction of end user point of view.

Design and modeling of water distribution have some long tedious empirical formulas like Hardy Cross Method and other such methods which solves the network diagrams of pipes and water distribution network.

This tedious and long term repetitive calculation can be avoided by using the computer as our helper. There are a lot of softwares available in the market that can do the water quality modeling solution for water distribution system for example EPA Net and Water CAD.

WaterCAD has a name and have got quality in it that can help you design and model the water distribution system upto optimum level without any problem.

3. SAP 2000 

SAP is an acronym of Structural Analysis Program, the complete name of the software is SAP2000. SAP2000 is a general purpose finite element program which performs the static or dynamic, linear or nonlinear analysis of structural system.

SAP was the first finite element program (to know more about finite element go here) that was written by Prof Ed Wilson at University of California Berkeley and was first conceptualized by Prof Ray Clough in the 1960’s. SAP used the stiffness matrix for the analysis and beginning elements were brick, plate, and shell.

With SAP2000 you can develop a computational building model with different kinds of materials, cross-sectional dimensions of various structural members like columns, beams, trusses etc and then place different sorts of loads point loads, uniform load, gradually varying loads etc on the building model that are needed and at last you test that model to ensure its survival, SAP2000 gives you accurate and precise ready to use reports and output presentable results.

SAP2000 is fully equipped with US, Canadian and International Design standards and codes like ACI concrete code, AISC building codes and AASHTO specifications.

Click here to download

4. Primavera P6

Civil Engineering has projects that include large number of activities, excess amount of resources in terms of labor, machinery, time and tools. All these activities are to be managed. Planning engineer first has to perform work break down Structure (WBS) and then allocate resources and time to it.
Primavera P6 is the latest software package that is used for comprehensive enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) solutions. Primavera was founded by Primavera Systems Inc. in 1983 which is then acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2008.

Primavera is not a project manager it only performs the calculation for you, project manager has to visualize the project activities, duration, their dependencies etc and then input all this into Primavera. Primavera will then perform network calculations by PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) after which the critical path, duration of project and estimated cost based on the cost and time of the activities is generated.

5. AutoDesk AUTOCAD software

CAD stands for Computer-Aided-Design, which means we design different civil engineering drawings with the help of computer. AutoCAD is a software package developed by a famous company AutoDesk. AutoDesk has been pioneers in developing the CAD software. AutoCAD is considered as the most widely used essential in engineering designs.

Civil Engineering includes many plans and drawings like architectural plans, elevations and sections along with 3d virtualization and rendering, structural drawings including detailed reinforcement plans and sections of beams, columns and other structural elements and components in a building or structure.

AutoCAD has many tools that will help you make your drawing professional looking and precise. AutoCAD’s GUI or Graphical User Interface has many ways to use an option, you can use your mouse and click a button from a toolbar or you can use your key strokes to activate a command. AutoCAD with the passage of time have become more user friendly and easy to use software. Your mouse has so many options along with you now.

6. CSI Bridge

Bridge is a very important and strategic infrastructure of an area connecting and joining the two cities or region by spanning space or some hurdle. The delicacy and fragility of its design tends the designer to be much more careful and take safety in to consideration. This is one of the reasons bridge design is comparatively a complex and deeper.

Introduction of computing in the design of structures have revolutionized the designing process and accuracy in the results and consequently safety and economy as an ultimate goal has been achieved. Softwares not only have a step by step checks and measures which minimizes the error and chances of failure.

Computer and Structures Inc. being founded in 1975 by Ashraf Habibullah a structural engineer and a software developer has grown and developed softwares like ETABS, SAP2000, CSI Bridge, and SAFE. These software are now used in most of the design offices and companies and its application can be found in renowned worldwide projects like  Word Trade center, Burj al Dubai etc.
CSI Bridge in today’s structural engineering market is a very handy and versatile tool that can perform all the tasks of bridge designing with ease. With CSI Bridge you can perform modeling analysis and design of bridge structures by just few clicks with such a short amount of time.

7. MS Project 

Project Management in general or construction management in particular is a very significant and important part of any civil engineering projects that includes labour, activities that has specific duration and some resources like machinery or time as well. A project by  a particular definition can be defined as;
So for our ease different companies have made Project Management tools like Primavera by Oracle and MS Project by Microsoft. They have a very easy to use interface where you can solve the network diagrams on a single click and generate important reports like gantt chart etc. Also you can perform typical project management activities like Scheduling and Crashing of activities etc. 
In this post I am sharing with you very basic and easy to use software for project management i.e. Microsoft Project 2007 or MS Project 2007 it is a MS Office by part that comes with variety of diversity and functionality.


To facilitate the simulations for networks of junctions, pipes, pumps, valves, and storage structures, calculating flow or water, pressures, tank elevations and concentrations of chemical species, water age and source tracing, United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has developed a windows based software called EPA-NET. It was released back in 1993 but the stable version of it was published  by Lewis A. Rossman in the year 2008.

EPA-NET is mostly used to design water distribution system for a community or a town etc. EPA NET was started as a research tool that improves our understanding of the movement and fate of drinking – water constituents within distribution systems.

The following are some of few applications of epanet.
- Flow in pipes
- Pressures at junctions
- Propagation of a contaminant
- Chlorine concentration
- Water age

It can also model various types of vales to check and regulate the flow.

9. CSi SAFE 

SAFE stands for Slab Analysis by Finite Element Method. SAFE satisfies all the structural requirements of a structural engineer from framing layout to detail drawing procedure. SAFE provide all the engineering design process aspects in one place to the structural engineer.
SAFE is a sophisticated, yet easy to use, special purpose analysis, design, and detailing program developed specifically for concrete slab and basement systems.

SAFE couples powerful object-based modeling tools with an sensitive graphical interface, allowing the quick and efficient modeling of slabs of regular or arbitrary geometry with openings, drop panels, post-tensioning, ribs, edge beams, and supported by columns, walls, or soil. 

Design is flawlessly integrated with the modeling and analysis, and provides comprehensive reporting of the required reinforcement calculated based on a chosen design code.


HEC-RAS stands for Hydraulic Engineering Center, River Analysis system, as the name suggests, Hydraulic Engineering Center (HEC) has developed this River Analysis System (RAS). Hydraulic Engineering Center (HEC) is situated in Davis, California, USA.  HEC-RAS is a computer program/software that allows you to perform one-dimensional steady and unsteady flow river hydraulics calculation including modeling and analysis. HEC-RAS supports multi-tasking, multi-user network environment which means if in your office you have a networked environment you can share the calculations, models, results and reports.

HEC-RAS provides a rich Graphical User Interface (GUI) where it has various components like hydraulic analysis components, data storage, management, graphics and reporting components.

HEC-RAS supports one-dimensional analysis of river flow; that means if the cross-sectional shape changes, if bends are there or other two or three dimensional aspects are there, their hydraulic effects would not be included in the modeling and analysis.

11. Eagle Point Road Calc

Eagle Point is a software corporation that has been founded in 1983. The purpose was to deliver technical software and services to the construction market. Eagle point is an industry partner of Autodesk the company who developed AUTOCAD for engineers, architects in helping the required computer aided drawing services.
The mission statement of Eagle point corporation is to provide products and services for engineers and architects to use autocad drawings for further enhanced productive experience, like site development, road infrastructure, contour development etc.


Acronym of Extended 3D Analysis of Building Systems, is a software by a Computers and Structures,, Inc. (CSI); a Berkeley, California based engineering software company founded in 1975. ETABS is an engineering software product that can be used to analyze and design multi-storey buildings using grid-like geometry, various methods of analysis and solution techniques, considering various load combinations.

ETABS is for linear, non-linear static and dynamic analysis, and the design of building systems.  The need of special software was there for analysis and design of building and structures, and thus CSI comes forward with the TABS series.

ETABS can be effectively used in the analysis and design of building structures which might consists of structural members like beams, columns, slabs, shear walls etc, With ETABS you can easily apply various construction materials to your structural members like concrete, structural steel, Reinforced Concrete etc. ETABS automatically generates the self-weights and the resultant gravity and lateral loads.

13. Staad Pro Software

Structural Analysis and Design (STAAD) is also some time referred as STAAD Pro. For Professional. As the name suggests it is a design computer program that deals with the designing of structure beams steel or concrete or any other material; generally STAAD and ETABS runs parallel with each other in design; it is used to do framing of the architectural drawing that is obtained from the architect, to determine the loading combinations; then the position of beams columns is decided after which their dimensions and steel requirement is calculated and checked by STAAD. STAAD works both ways if you give dimensions and steel percentages, it will analyze your structure and at the end even give you recommendations for the improvement in design.

STAAD was developed by Research Engineers International in 2005 which was bought by Bentley Systems. From construction market point of view STAAD pro is one of the most widely used software for the analysis and design of structures.

It is used for both static and dynamic analysis as well considering the earthquake shaking etc. STAAD is well integrated with other softwares as well; like RAM connection and STAAD foundation design software.

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Civil Engineering Softwares

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