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Structural Evaluation

The goal of this research by Lukáš Kurilla is to raise interest of architects in structural behavior of design in its conceptual phase. Therefore, this research deals with the development of a middleware – a bridging tool between the finite element (FE) solver (OOFEM) and the architectural modeller (Rhino3D), which will provide architects with an interactive FE analysis directly in the architectural modeller.

However, architects are not typically trained to use expert FE analysis software directly. FE analysis is too complex and professional for users without sufficient structural knowledge. Thus, there is a problem of correct modelling and interpretation of analytical results. Therefore, it is important to deal with methods of FE analysis simplification for conceptual structural design that will make FE analysis more accessible for architects.

In this research, three methods of possible FE analysis simplification were developed. The first one Rating system, evaluates the design as a whole with two scalar values, and thus informs architects about structural efficiency and identifies potential structural problems. Then, to uncover the identified structural problem in more detail, the second method – Levelling system, defines three levels of results simplification. This enables architects to extend their structural knowledge and understand the problems. The last method Design tracker, allows architects to store and compare design alternatives created during the design process. Comparing alternatives supports architects’ decision-making and allows them to understand the impact of a change in the design on its structural behavior.

The results of this research can be used to teach architects at universities as well as in practice for interdisciplinary cooperation between architects and structural engineers, especially in the conceptual design phase.

 

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