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Bridges & Structures


Distribution discontinued

Subject: ACTION: FB-Pier Computer Program And User's Manual Date: April 30, 2001
From: /s/ Original signed by:
James D. Cooper
Director, Bridge Technology
In Reply Refer to: HIBT-20
To: Directors of Field Services
Division Administrators
Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers

With this memorandum, we are announcing the availability of the computer program FB-Pier 2.0 and companion user's manual (FHWA-IF-01-010).

The University of Florida, Bridge Software Institute (BSI), with the support of the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, has developed the FB-Pier program. This program was previously referred to as "DEEP" or "DEEP Foundations" which was based on the Florida Pier program. The program is a non-linear, finite element analysis, soil-structure interaction program. The program is a complete substructure design program that includes both geotechnical and structural aspects of foundation and pier design. Program design and analysis features include single pile/shaft, pile/shaft groups, pile bents, sound walls, retaining walls, signs, and high mast lighting structures. Analysis capabilities include combined axial, lateral, and rotation resistance of the piles/shafts, pile cap, and pier components. The structural model includes both linear and non-linear (concrete cracking, steel yielding) capabilities, as well as biaxial interaction diagrams for all sections. The latter models (linear or non-linear) are available for prestressed piles, composite piles, drilled shafts, composite shafts, H-piles, pipe piles, and various concrete sections, reinforced and/or prestressed generally used for bridge piers. The new release also allows for different pile types within a group.

All initial installations of the software will be a limited use, 30-day demo version. The program can be unlocked by licensing the software. The FB-Pier program is copyrighted. Our office will be distributing 10 program licenses to U.S. Federal and State departments of transportation (DOT) and U.S. Federal government agencies. The licenses are either a fixed license version, which is locked to run on a single machine or a floating, network license where the program can be installed on any number of computers, but only allows a fixed number of machines to run the program concurrently. Any combination of the fixed and/or floating licenses up to 10 may be requested. More information about FB-Pier licensing can be found in Attachment A. Other organizations and individuals interested in the program can contact the BSI at http://bsi-web.ce.ufl.edu/ or by phone at (352) 392-9537 x1514.

Primary distribution of the FB-Pier software will be through the BSI web site at http://bsi-web.ce.ufl.edu/. License requests for U.S. Federal agencies and State DOTs and must be made through our office. The license request form can be found in Attachment B. This attachment also details the steps required to license the software. A CD setup disk can also be requested from this office for computers without access to the internet. General information and technical assistance regarding the use of this software will be provided by this office and the BSI.

Two 2-day pilot workshops to instruct structural and geotechnical engineers on the use of FB-Pier have been scheduled at North Carolina and Florida. The availability of future FB-Pier training workshops will be determined at a later date.

Please forward the above information to the appropriate structural and geotechnical contacts within your office and the State DOTs. Contact Jerry DiMaggio at (202) 366-1569 or Michelle Cribbs at (202) 366-8792 for further information.

Attachment A

FB-Pier Licensing Details

License File

FB-Pier operates using a license file to determine its status. All shipped versions run in Demo mode as the default. The program can be "unlocked" into various modes including full version and student version, networked or stand-alone. This unlocking can be done by hand, through phone contact with the Bridge Software Institute (http://bsi-web.ce.ufl.edu/) or automatically through an internet connection to the BSI web server.

The program requires a license file to be installed. This license file is linked to the computer on which it is installed.

NOTE: You must have administrator rights on Windows NT or Windows 2000 to install FB-Pier or the license file on a server.

The following describes the modes and processes required:


A stand-alone or fixed license version is locked to run on a single machine and only that machine. The license file is installed on the individual machine.

Network Version

A network version is a floating license version that allows a fixed number of machines to run the program at any one time. For example, a three-seat installation allows three computers to run the program at the same time. The program is actually installed on any number of machines. For example, you can install the program on 20 computers in your network. However, only three of the 20 can use the program at the same time.

This installation requires a network server that shares a directory with all the computers wishing to run FB-Pier. The shared directory is where the license file is installed. All client machines must have read and write permissions for the shared directory in order for the program to run.

There is a separate install program for installing the license file on the server.

If your network installation has multiple servers, you will need to purchase multiple server versions.

Updating the license

Any installed version can have its permissions changed by entering encrypted numbers into the license file. This is done by choosing the Control->Update license option from the main menu. The update can be done by hand or automatically through the Internet.

Hand/Phone License Update

This option is for installations that do not have an Internet connection. To do this installation, call the BSI support number (352) 392-9537 x1514 and you will be stepped through the process. Numbers from your computer need to be given to the BSI representative and they can Fax or E-mail the encoded numbers you will need to type into the program.

Internet License Update

This option requires the computer on which you are installing the license file be connected to the Internet. Then, all numbers are communicated through the Internet and the license updated automatically. The computer can either be a stand-alone system or the network server for a multiple seat license.

Transfer License

There is a built in function that allows you to transfer you license to another machine. This allows you to move the license file from your current server or workstation to a new machine.


The license file (both for servers and individual workstations) is locked to a machine based on hardware components contained in the machine. If you change or modify your hardware (drives, motherboards etc) your installation may not function. To do this, you should first transfer the license, then modify your hardware, and then re-install the license on the machine.

Distribution discontinued

Attachment B

FB-Pier 2.0
State Departments of Transportation and U.S. Federal Government Agencies
License Request Form

City, State, Zip:  

Licenses Requested: Fixed _________
Floating _________
Installation: BSI web site __________
CD __________
  1. Submit the completed form to Michelle Cribbs by email at michelle.cribbs@fhwa.dot.gov or by fax at 202-366-3077.
    1/16/2013 Update: please email all requests to Silas Nichols

  2. Create an account at the Bridge Software Institute (http://bsi-web.ce.ufl.edu/ => member log in => create an account => create account or by phone at (352) 392-9537 x1514) and download the demo software.

  3. The BSI will validate the license request with the FHWA and email the license ID to the email account given during registration.

  4. Unlock the demo software by running FB-Pier and selecting "update software license" from the control menu. Follow the instructions as given update license wizard for the selected license type and updating method.

Updated 2/19/03 with new BSI phone numbers

Updated: 06/12/2015
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000