BRASS-PIER™– Version 4.0-November 2021

This program is current to the AASHTO Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges, 17th Edition, 2002.

BRASS-PIER™ is a system of computer programs developed to assist in the analysis and design of reinforced concrete piers for bridges. The system analyzes a transverse (normal to the centerline of the roadway) cross-section of a bridge.

BRASS-PIER™ presently consists of the following components:

  • Deck Analysis and Loading
  • Pier Analysis and Loading
  • Ultimate Strength Design/Analysis of Concrete Column Sections (PCA Column Design)
  • Pier Support (Footing) Analysis and Design


The Deck Analysis and Loading Component will apply dead and live loads to a bridge deck section (one-foot-wide transverse strip) and distribute the loads as reactions to the girders.

The reactions output from the Deck Analysis and Loading component may be used as uniform load per foot for longitudinal girder analysis. The longitudinal girder reactions at the pier are then used by the Pier Analysis and Loading Component. An understanding of how BRASS-PIER™ and a longitudinal girder analysis system such as BRASS-GIRDER(STD) ™ work together to determine loads to the pier is paramount to utilizing BRASS-PIER™ to its fullest extent.

The Pier Analysis and Loading Component, using the dimensions and loads input, will apply the resulting forces to the pier and determine the resultant actions in the pier (shear and moment in the cross beam, axial load and moment in the columns). The PCA Column Design Component when supplied the cross-section properties and applied loads will determine the required column reinforcement. If the actual column reinforcement is input, the program will determine the adequacy of the section to resist the applied loads. The Pier Support Component takes the forces at the bottom of the columns and performs one or more types of footing design.

The Deck Analysis and Loading Component can analyze bridge decks supported on two or more girders, up to a maximum of 20. The Deck Loading Component has three purposes. The first is to assist the engineer in the analysis of the deck itself. See BRASS-GIRDER™ for complete information. The second is to assist in the analysis of the longitudinal girder system with the distribution of the dead load of the deck to the girders. The third is to assist in the analysis of a frame pier with the distribution of live load to the girder bearings and hence to the pier. The deck analysis/rating must be done in BRASS-GIRDER™ not BRASS-PIER™. The dead-load distribution section of the Deck Analysis and Loading Component will calculate and apply dead load to the deck using the dimensions of the deck, curbs, etc. and any superimposed loads input.

System Requirements

Operating System                            Microsoft Windows™  7, 8, 8.1 or 10
Microprocessor                                Pentium IV or higher
Microsoft .NET Framework          4.7.2
Memory                                              16 MB required, more is better
Hard Disk Space                                Approximately 11 MB
Disk Drive                                            DVD drive