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Simulation in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction

Monday, November 20th, 2017

The following article is excerpted from SIMULATION IN ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION. To read more, download the full white paper here.

PRODUCT, NATURE, AND LIFE IN AEC

These are extraordinary times for civil engineering. Innovative structures such as hyper-loops, undersea hotels and made-to-order 3D-printed buildings, which were just concepts a few years ago, are no longer considered to be in the realm of fiction. These novel structures need to be designed for either transporting people through natural surroundings, protecting them from natural surroundings or allowing them to interact with natural surroundings.

click-to-tweetTweet: These are extraordinary times for #civilengineering @aeccafe @3DSAEC https://ctt.ec/kUB7t+

The commonalities that underlay these structures consist of intricate linkages between product, nature and life. The same is true for conventional civil engineering structures, including buildings, bridges, tunnels and dams.

The following image shows an innovative steel lattice structure, one of the Sun Valley structures constructed for Shanghai Expo 2010.

A steel lattice structure constructed for Shanghai Expo 2010. Image courtesy- Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design Group.

A steel lattice structure constructed for Shanghai Expo 2010. Image courtesy: Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design Group.
We need to think about product, nature and life together, not only for creating innovative designs, but also for providing optimal functionality, ensuring safety and safeguarding sustainability for ecological well-being.

Product, nature and life, therefore, need to play a conjoined role during planning for large engineering projects, such as city developments, large transportation projects, as well as dams and irrigation works.

How can we include product, nature and life in the design processes for civil structures? This will need to be done through realistic simulations that take into account precise geometry and material properties, realistic representations of physical and natural processes, and rational predictions of experiences by people.

click-to-tweetTweet: How can we include product, nature & life in the design processes for civil structures? #CivilEngineering @aeccafe @3DSAEC https://ctt.ec/UodMh+

Such simulations, in addition to the obvious need for ascertaining structural safety, also need to include the construction processes and sequences along with reliable estimates of construction and maintenance costs.

COMMON INDUSTRY CHALLENGES

Large construction projects often exhibit cost overruns and delays due to unforeseen events or design changes during construction.

As is well known, a judicious balance between cost, time and quality needs to be maintained in any construction project in order to have the resulting product as profitable, safe and sustainable as possible.

In a construction project, the architects and structural engineers first need to come up with a conceptual design that is appropriate for the intended function of the structure. Potential structural loads need to be identified, and the conceptual design needs to be guided by the efficiency of how these loads get transmitted within the structure and distributed to the foundations.

Any errors or inappropriate design choices at this stage can have significant time and cost implications on the final outcome. If the structural components are pre-fabricated, then these and the final structure need to be designed based on the ease of manufacturing the pre-fabricated parts, which can often contain specially designed new materials.

Also, the transportation of these parts and the final assembly processes need to be considered. A complete study on how early design choices affect the construction process, time and costs is, therefore, necessary.

Moreover, such studies need to be done quickly and also need to provide comprehensive data in order to enable architects and engineers to make proper comparisons between different conceptual designs.

Once the conceptual design has been chosen, engineers need to come up with an appropriately detailed final design. As the construction gets under way, some parts of the structure may need to be altered from their original design.

In these circumstances, one needs to be able to quickly identify the implications of any structural modifications on the safety and reliability of the final product. Also, the final design needs to be updated and information on the ensuing modifications needs to be accurately and promptly passed along to the engineers at construction sites.

ROLE OF SIMULATION

In architecture, virtual or graphical simulation models can help in arriving at conceptual designs, taking into account wide ranges of criteria, such as layout, positioning, landscaping and lighting. Also, realistic rendering can be used to help make depictions lifelike, adding to their value for clients.

In engineering, virtual representations can be used to idealize structural geometrical configurations. These configurations can then be used in computational analyses to predict structural deformations and stresses resulting from applied loading and support conditions.

Subsequent to such simulation analyses, the predicted data values can be visualized and examined. Based on these data values, engineers can ascertain the strength, stability and safety of the proposed structure, and can then finalize the structural design.

In construction, the finalized design is then used for material estimation and ordering, planning the construction sequence and managing the construction process using appropriate simulation tools.

As one can see, simulation helps in all three phases of any civil engineering project—conceptual and architectural design, engineering design and construction. Although individual tools are available to simulate these three phases separately, the use of such tools may result in potential loss of information when passed between different phases of the project.

click-to-tweetTweet: Simulation helps in all 3 phases of a #civilengineering project: conceptual/architectural, engineering, construction @aeccafe @3DSAEC https://ctt.ec/eme9O+

Civil engineering projects, hence, need simulation tools that seamlessly connect the architecture, engineering and construction phases. One such simulation tool is available from Dassault Systèmes.

Structure Design for Fabrication on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform from Dassault Systèmes has been specifically developed to provide engineers and architects with a unified capability to virtually represent conceptual designs, perform engineering analyses, analyze construction sequences and manage construction projects all together, while keeping track of individual components. It provides a unique representation of the project as a whole, one which several users can remotely access in order to obtain information according to their individual needs. Any change in any component can be reflected throughout the project, including the effects on project schedule, and also likely implications on the structural loading and response.

In addition to Structure Design for Fabrication, Dassault Systèmes also provides solutions using Abaqus® simulation software for complex simulations and analyses, including for pre-stressed and reinforced concrete, for simulating the altered behavior of damaged structures, for geomechanics analyses for tunnels and foundations, and for seismic response analyses of complex structures.

Related Resource

Learn all about SIMULATION IN ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION. Download the White Paper.

“Future Testing” for Civil Engineering

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

The ideas presented in earlier posts on Future Testing (excerpted from Replacing Problem-Solving with Future Testing) can be applied to the discipline of engineering.

Future Testing for Engineering Firms

Traditionally, engineering firms review the architect’s conceptual designs and independently develop their engineering drawings. This is a wasteful step, which duplicates work and can misinterpret the architect’s intent. This disconnect between the designs also makes it incredibly difficult to test new ideas or incorporate changes from the architect.

Future Testing bridges the digital gap.

click-to-tweetTweet: #FutureTesting bridges the gap between architects’ conceptual designs & engineering drawings @aeccafe @3DSAEC https://ctt.ec/K1b7n+

It provides the ability for all stakeholders to collaborate on and visualize a virtual mockup of the project from start to completion in digital form, improving speed and building trust that the desired outcomes will be met.
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Understanding the “Future Testing” Cycle

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Every building and infrastructure design is unique. Whether a project is an artistic work or a more utilitarian design, it has unique requirements for piping, ductwork, structure and other elements that must be designed and coordinated in context.

These elements are typically left to later detail design stages of the project. Modernizing craftsmanship with Future Testing allows the 3D digital model from the architect to be extended and enhanced with detailed construction information. It’s then used to virtually construct the building and learn from that experience before doing work in the physical world.

These innovators use precise digital models to simulate the construction and the sequence of steps needed to build it, and iterate on this “digital mockup” multiple times to learn and improve.

In this way, Future Testing makes the first-time building a unique, “one of a kind” structure as efficient as if the company had made it for the 100th time!

click-to-tweetTweet: #FutureTesting makes each 1-of-a-kind structure as efficient as if it’s made for the 100th time @3DSAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/2UOfq+

Future Testing also allows AEC companies to incorporate downstream feedback on constructability by collaborating on the virtual model with makers to build in downstream efficiency. Then, as they gain real-world experience executing the project, they continue to update the models with better ways of working, and run simulations to prove them out.

This way of working shortens the feedback loop so they can apply new methods to the current project, learning as they go and “leaning out” the process at every phase.
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To Create Next-Level Designs, Architects Turn to Adaptive Tools and Strategies

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

For Morphosis Architects in Los Angeles, the flexibility to innovate is at the heart of their work.

“Our work is a constant search for innovation,” comments Kerenza Harris, leader of Advanced Technology at Morphosis, in a recent video interview with Dassault Systèmes.

click-to-tweetTweet: “Our work is a constant search for innovation” #architecture
#design @M0rphosis @3DSAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/xu1pE+

That innovation can be found in a number of areas, from the rough initial design idea and throughout the design process as the idea evolves and becomes more sophisticated and better defined.
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The New Paradigm Poised to Disrupt the AEC Industry: “FUTURE TESTING”

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

An advanced process in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) allows project stakeholders to anticipate issues and opportunities early, therefore reducing risk, taking advantage of innovative ideas, and gaining an edge on the competition.

We call it “Future Testing” and it enables AEC teams to:

  • Reduce waste and costs
  • Identify opportunities early
  • Learn lessons in the virtual world first
  • Apply new methods and alternatives

click-to-tweetTweet: Has #FutureTesting replaced problem solving
in #AEC? @3DSAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/IR44V+

The time is now for AEC companies to replace Problem Solving with Future Testing. Those that don’t take advantage of the opportunity will fall behind. Those that adopt Future Testing will build confidence and trust with their customers by showing they can anticipate issues and opportunities in advance, and adapt to inevitable changes as they occur with speed and precision.

Industry leaders are learning to uncover opportunities for innovation, and avoid issues, by experiencing the build process in a digital, virtual environment before the windows of opportunity close due to limitations of what’s already been constructed.

They’re moving beyond the era of firefighting by anticipating and avoiding problems through simulation.

In addition, they’re employing a Future Testing Cycle to learn from physical and virtual work and improve and simplify construction processes as they go.

The benefits of Future Testing apply not only to the owner, but also to architects, engineers, suppliers, contractors, and the whole team. This approach gives every constituent confidence in the process and the outcome because they’ve experienced it virtually.

click-to-tweetTweet: Has #FutureTesting replaced problem solving
in #AEC? @3DSAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/IR44V+

Learn all about Future Testing through real world examples from CADMAKERS, SHoP ARCHITECTS, SMEDI, A. ZAHNER COMPANY, and HARDSTONE CONSTRUCTION in our Dassault Systemès white paper: Replacing Problem-Solving with Future-Testing: The New Paradigm Poised to Disrupt the AEC Industry.

 

Kengo Kuma Associates’s AEC Hackathon Experience

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Kengo Kuma & Associates (KKAA), founded by celebrated Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, specializes in designs that use natural materials. The firm’s distinctive style gives the impression of an organic structure, while the process to generate such intricate designs is purely digital.

click-to-tweetTweet: kengo kuma specializes natural materials while the process to generate #AEC #designs is digital#3DEXPERIENCE @3DSAEC https://ctt.ec/eF59o+

KKAA representatives were enthusiastic participants in the AEC Design Hackathon at Design in the Age of Experience 2017, along with a wider group of progressive, world-renowned architectural firms.
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Construction Excellence through Virtual Construction

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Guest post by Dong Liming, EPC Consultant, Dassault Systèmes


Dong Liming, EPC Consultant, Dassault Systèmes

In the past few years, one important component of Dassault Systèmes’ leading construction experiences – Optimized Planning – hasbeen adopted by pioneering construction firms. The power of digital technology has already given these companies outstanding achievements, both in terms of the projects they have built and the awards they have won.
Any discussion of digital construction should start by introducing the technology on which it is based – Dassault Systèmes’ DELMIA digital manufacturing technologies powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, users can quickly analyze, plan, and reorganize product, process, and resource information and integrate new technologies such as virtual reality, networked computing, rapid prototyping, databases, and multimedia. It enables the simulation of product and process, manufacture of prototypes, and rapid execution of a complete manufacturing and construction processes. And now we are bringing our many years of experience and success in manufacturing to the AEC industry.
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Zahner Works – Emerson College at Los Angeles

Thursday, August 17th, 2017
Guest post by A. Zahner Company (Originally published on the Zahner Works)
Zahner is a customer of Dassault Systemes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Emerson College LA is designed by Morphosis with a series of custom facade systems design-engineered, manufactured, and installed by Zahner. The new Emerson College campus in Los Angeles provides a landmark for film and performing arts students of the Boston-based college to study in an immersive environment. The innovative design by the esteemed architects at Morphosis provides an integrated and efficient experience for both visitors and students.

View of Emerson College at Los Angeles from across Sunset Boulevard. Photo © A. Zahner Company.

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Here’s How Syntegrate’s BIM Expertise Made the Admiralty Station Project Possible

Friday, August 11th, 2017

The Admiralty Integrated Station & Sha Tin to Central Link project is the expansion of an existing station on the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system.

As one of the interchange stations on Hong Kong’s busy MTR network, Admiralty Station will need to accommodate 2 new railway lines, the Shatin to Central Link (SCL) and the South Island Line (SIL), making it the first 4-line interchange in the Hong Kong MTR system. This project was further complicated by a demanding construction schedule.

Syntegrate, a consultancy specializing in the application of computer-based technology in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry, was responsible for implementing Building Information Modeling, or BIM, on this project. The team utilizes BIM Modeling and Management software tools and provides specialty services to assist in master planning, architectural design, project management, construction, and operations of the built environment.

click-to-tweetTweet: Tweet: Syntegrate utilizes #BIM from planning through #construction & operations#3DEXPERIENCE @3DSAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/naw98+

Throughout the expansion of Admiralty Station, which involved construction directly beneath the existing metro lines, the daily operations of the trains had to continue without interruptions. Therefore, in addition to the demanding construction schedule, the operational constraints imposed by the existing station meant that it was necessary to formulate and accurately execute a highly detailed construction plan.

Syntegrate responded to this challenge by utilizing CATIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. They visualized construction procedures and periodically incorporated up-to-date as-built models into the BIM environment. With this innovative approach, they produced accurate quantity take-offs, optimized the flow of logistics, and verified construction processes for all stakeholders.

As a result, Syntegrate delivered the following value to the project:

  • Successfully assisted the main contractor to develop constructible method statements throughout construction
  • Effectively used the as-built data in the BIM system to analyze and precisely coordinate subsequent construction
  • Improved construction strategies, safety measures, and work procedures through the use of BIM
  • Produced accurate calculations of resource levels and construction costs to assist in planning
  • Visualize and optimize upcoming work to improve space utilization on a very constrained site

With Syntegrate’s help, the 3D model enabled construction workers on-site to foresee subsequent processes.

The project stakeholders could also anticipate issues and opportunities early so they could make adjustments in a virtual environment to reduce risk.

click-to-tweetTweet: 3D model enabled #construction workers on-site to foresee subsequent processes #3DEXPERIENCE @3DAEC @aeccafe https://ctt.ec/6b12p+

Related Resources

Syntegrate

BIM Level 3 White Paper

Dassault Systèmes AEC Industry Solutions

Top 3 Issues Facing Architecture

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Guest post by A. Zahner Company (Originally published on the Zahner blog)

Recently, we issued a survey asking architects, engineers, artists, and contractors to describe some of their pain points regarding collaborative construction processes today. Our hope is that by identifying the biggest issues we face in our industry, we can begin a dialog to find the best solutions.

We selected a number of answers to these questions and shared them below. Each of the responders had strong insights into what problems our industries face, and what we found may surprise you (including the fact that architects love the color black — who knew?!)

click to tweetTweet: Top 3 Issues Facing #Architecture: @azahner Survey | @3DSAEC
https://ctt.ec/fhca7+

Without further ado, here are the Top 3 Issues Facing Architecture + Design Communities, according to you:

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