It is a well-known fact that the so-called stressed skin design results in ca. 10–20 % mass and cost savings in a typical steel hall structures. The potential of this design method is however, too often disregarded due to e.g. rather complex and limited existing design rules and instructions. In this paper, a method for determination of generalized elastic parameters is proposed, so that the stressed skin can be modelled in the general finite element software using existing elements and material parameters. With the proposed method, structural designer can take advantage of the stressed skin design in the context of basic design tools as Autodesk Robot or RFEM.