TR.16 Entities as Single Objects
In the mathematical model, beams, columns, walls, slabs, block foundations, etc. are modeled using a collection of segments, which are known by the names members, plate elements, solid elements, etc. Hence, the bottom chord of a truss may be modeled using 5 members, with each member representing the segment between points where diagonals or vertical braces meet the bottom chord.
Often, it is convenient to cluster these segments under a single name so that assignment of properties, loads, design parameters. etc. is simplified. There are presently two options in STAAD for clustering entities - Group names and Physical members.