Vedad Alicaffiliated with the university
The collaboration between engineers and architects is improved by new computational techniques by simplifying the steps from design to analysis - allowing for better building and structural design.
When designing a building engineers and architects are faced with complex problems, where very little is known at the start. The design of a building starts by assignment to a team consisting of engineers and architects, who need to figure out a load of questions: What is the use of the building? Where should it be located? How many people should it serve? Does it need to be large span? What budget do we have?
To solve all these problems a design process is started and through the process it is made clear which design objectives are important and which can be neglected. Architects usually perform the first stages in this process. They focus on the buildings geometry, massing and overall form, while postponing the buildings performance aspects, such as structure, acoustics, and energy, to later stages. This can cause difficulties later on when engineering consultants are involved, and lead to buildings that are subpar and wasteful. This research focuses on developing new methods and simulation tools for engineers who are involved in the first stages of the design process. The tools should to provide support for creative and interactive work with new designs and shapes that give good performance.
The combination of a new computational method (isogeometric analysis) with techniques commonly used for the design of efficient large span structures has been studied. One such technique is the simulation of hanging models. Hanging models were used for instance by Antoni Gaudí for the design of La Sagrada Família, in Barcelona. This combination of methods makes it possible to explore efficient shapes for large span shell structures and vaulted structures in an interactive way on computers.
The new computational method makes it possible to perform an analysis directly on the geometry from a drawing program. Previous computational methods required a very time-consuming process to convert the drawings into a model suitable for analysis. Reducing this step allows engineers to focus on design and analysis aspects of their work, rather than wasting time on creating suitable computer models. The engineer’s feedback to the architect can be through an interactive dialog that in turn leads to designs where structural and architectural intentions are in harmony, and where buildings have a greater possibility of achieving good performance.
Recent research outputs
Research output: Thesis › Doctoral Thesis (compilation)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Paper in conference proceeding