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Parametric Structures

Architectural and structural design process are closely connected but traditionally done in two separate steps in the design process. This requires effective coordination between the two disciplines and without the right tools problems often arise.

The thesis was done by support from structural engineers at Tyréns and in collaboration with a student from the department of architecture. The aim of the thesis by Daniel Wallin and Martin Wasberg was to investigate if the use of parametric design tools from both architects and structural engineers could be a way of making the design process more effective. This thesis also include testing the structural plug-ins of the parametric design tools and compare them with the outputs from traditional structural software and hand calculations.

The comparison was made for different cases followed by a collaboration project. The cases was targeting different structural features which in turn gave the knowledge needed to develop the collaboration project. The case studies consists of five cases where the first two gives an introduction to parametric modelling. The third case is a steel beam with fully restrained supports loaded by two point loads. It will compare the displacement calculations between the different software. The next case is a concrete slab with different supports along edges loaded by a uniformly load. The analysis includes calculation and evaluation of section forces. The final case is a concrete dome. It is built up by arches and five supports. The analysis of this case includes calculation and evaluation of the displacement.

The collaboration project is a concrete structure built up by a curved surface lifted by curved columns. The architect worked with the structure in parallel to this this thesis and targeted the development process whilst the authors targeted the structural parts and at the same time gave structural insight to the architect. The results show a difference between the parametric structural tools and the traditional FE software regarding deformation and moments. The hand calculations in the collaboration project show that the amount of reinforcement will not work with the given inputs and assumptions due to practical reasons regarding spacing.

The possibility to export models from the parametric environment to traditional engineering software’s enables a faster analysis, since the modelling capabilities is limited and time-consuming in these. The structural capabilities of the parametric tools are good enough for deciding initial geometry and properties but these will probably change when subjected to a more extensive analysis.

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