Structural Floors


Instructions from Video:

A structural floor is a system of framing members that are inserted at the same time. Select Insert>Structural Floor>Structural Floor by Perimeter

Although the structural floor is considered a single object, each member in the floor can be stretched or shortened individually. You can also add or remove members for greater framing flexibility and accuracy.

Select a floor system in the catalog panel to the right and then right-click and select Edit Element.

Editing Structural Floor Properties

At the top of the dialog is an option to Regenerate components when updated. When checked, this erases and rebuilds the auto-generated framing components if the floor edge is modified (for example, stretched). When unchecked, the members remain intact when the floor edge is modified. Note that enabling this setting does not rebuild members that have been manually added to the floor system.

Structural floor properties include settings for the joists, sheathing, sill plate, and rim joists and those components are listed on the left. Their associated properties are listed in the middle and a diagram is on the right.

Click General Properties.

Joist Direction. The angle at which the joists run. In Envisioneer, the right of the drawing screen is 0 degrees, the top is 90 degrees, the left is 180 degrees and the bottom of the screen is 270 degrees.

Joist Spacing. The spacing between joists centerline to centerline.

Style. The behavior of joists that rest on a bearing line. The Stagger option overlaps the joist ends. The Hold Back option pushes the joist ends away from the bearing line.

Distance. The overlap distance when joist ends are staggered or the distance between joist ends when they are held back along the bearing line.

Select Sheathing.

Include. Select Yes to include sheathing, or No if you do want to include sheathing.

Sheathing. Click on the field and then click the browse button to select a sheathing material from the catalog.

Phase. Click in the field and then click the browse button to assign a phase to the sheathing. The phase can be used as a sort key in quantity reports.

Usage. Click in the field and then click the browse button to assign a usage to the sheathing. The usage can be used as a sort key in quantity reports.

Joists/Sill Plate/Band Joist(s)/Rim Joist(s)/Opening Header(s)

These framing components are arranged into individual folders. Click New to add a member to a selected folder or click Copy to copy an existing member. Click Delete to remove a selected member from the configuration.

Parameters include:

Name. A unique identifier for the member.

Member. Click in the field and then click the browse button to select a member from the catalog.

Rotation. The orientation of the member’s profile.

Phase. Click in the field and then click the browse button to assign a phase to the member.

Usage. Click in the field and then click the browse button to assign a usage to the member.

Alignment. The point on a member that you want to use as a reference point when editing it. Choices are Top, Center and Bottom.


Edge Offset. The offset of the opening’s edge members from the line that you draw when cutting an opening. You can enter a positive or negative value to offset the members to either side of the line.

Joist Projection. The distance that the joists project into the opening edge.

Click Ok to exit the dialog box.

Move the cursor on the drawing screen area and click anywhere inside the model. The floor is automatically inserted.

To view the framing members, select View>View Filter>View Filter or select the View Filter icon.

In the View Filter dialog box, under the Elements on Location tab, select the plus sign beside Floors in the Element Name list. This will expand the floor elements.  Open the eye, to turn on the visibility beside Structural Floor Framing. For visual ease in the example model, Appliances, cabinets, interior lighting and plumbing fixtures eyes will be closed and then click OK. The individual joists are now visible.

Changing the Boundary of the Structural Floor

Left-click to select the edge of the inserted structural floor. Since the floor is sitting lower than the surrounding walls, you may need to cycle select or hide the wall edges to be able to do this. You can tell that a structural floor is selected if red arrows are displayed at the floor’s grip points.

Along each edge of the structural floor system, there will be a red arrow that points to the plate along the edge of the floor and a solid blue grip. Each corner will have a hollow blue grip. The structural floor can be moved and reshaped by moving the grips. For example, by holding down the left mouse button over a solid blue grip, it can be picked up and the edge moved to a new position. In our example since Structural Floor by Perimeter was used it went in the garage as well. By moving the grip back, it removes floor framing from that area.

Inserting a Bearing Line in a Structural Floor

To insert a bearing line:

  1. With the Structural Floor System still selected, right-click and select Structural Floor > Insert Bearing Line.
  2. Select two points to draw a line through the floor joists. The joists are automatically cut along the bearing line. The joists ends on the bearing line will be either overlapped or held back depending on what is specified in the floor’s properties.

Moving the Framing Base Point in a Structural Floor

By default, framing in a structural floor is marked with a blue triangle. You may want to shift the base point to start the joists from a different point. This may, for example, facilitate the application of sheathing.

To move the framing base point:

  1. Click on the edge of the structural floor to select it.
  2. Right-click and select Structural Floor > Move Framing Base Point. The current framing base point is marked with a light blue triangle.
  3. Either drag the light blue triangle to a new location or click on any point in your drawing and enter a precise move distance in the Commander and press Enter. The base point is moved, and the framing adjusts accordingly.

Adding Members to a Structural Floor

You can customize the framing of a structural floor by adding members to it. These manually inserted members become associated with the floor and behave as though they are part it.

To add members to a structural floor:

  1. Insert members using the Members tool or Advanced Members For this example 3-3 1/2×11 7/8” beam were inserted using the Advanced Member tool.
  2. Select the inserted members, then right-click and select Add to Structural Floor System. A dialog box confirms the number of members added.

If needed you can disassociate a member from the floor using Remove from Structural Floor System.

Removing a Member from a Structural Floor

To delete a member from a structural floor, simply select it and press Delete on your keyboard.

To disassociate a member that you have manually added to the floor using the Add to Structural Floor System option, select the member, then right-click and select Remove from Structural Floor System. The member will remain in the drawing but will no longer be part of the floor system.

The structural floor tool is a quick and easy way to define all of the framing elements required for a floor system. The ability to be able to edit and add and remove members from it makes it very versatile. I hope this makes your work easier!