Utilising parametric techniques to achieve efficiency in structural projects

The engineering community can achieve efficient structural designs for their projects through the use of 3D modelling, scripting and analytical software.

Optimising structural solution.
Optimising structural solution.

Julian Lineham CEng MICE shared these review methods at the Structural Engineers Association of Colorado's new Project Presentation series on 25 April 2017. He used various case study projects from Colorado, USA, Mexico and Dubai to show the benefits of using such techniques.

He demonstrated how parametric workflows allowed the use of multiple geometries in order to iterate towards efficient structures that minimised steel tonnages or repeated designs. For example on a long span exterior plaza roof canopy in Mexico City, the process saved 30% of the originally estimated steel tonnage.

On some of the projects, the method saved three to four months of construction time. Others included very complex double curvature geometric facades that were rationalised into varying grid spacing, allowed a back-up structure to be located efficiently for additional support. The techniques are not budget dependent as some of the project had limited budgets whilst others had generous financial resources.

Julian encouraged the local engineers to explore these new methods to increase efficient use of materials which in turn, allows savings in time and money.