June 3-5, 2020 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

Structural Analysis

Thursday, May 23, 2019
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Structural Analysis

Track Name: AEC Next
Session Date: May 23 2019 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Session Credits: 1 AIA LU

1:30pm - 1:50pm Application of 3D Laser Scanning in Structural Engineering: Trials and Triumphs

Application of the 3D laser scanning technology in evaluation of existing structures will be discussed and several case studies will be presented. The case studies will cover a wide range of utilizing 3D laser scanning in challenging projects where the conventional evaluation methods were not capable of completing the task. The current state of research and development in the field will also be discussed along with further potential applications of 3D imaging techniques for structural assessment and evaluation.


1:50pm - 2:10pm Structural Optimization of Buildings Using Structural Analysis Software Programming Interface

Gonzalo is developing high impact machine algorithms to optimize structural design beyond what a traditional engineer could achieve. The addition of an Open Application Programming Interface (OAPI) in commercial structural analysis software is allowing KPFF-Consulting Engineers to implement structural optimization algorithms to find the most cost-efficient solutions for different seismic structural systems. Reducing material and labor by achieving the most cost-effective solution has a huge impact on the cost and schedule of a Project. For example, a 14-story steel moment frame hospital building in Sacramento with a total area of 800,000 sq. ft. with a 2 PSF weight reduction represents a savings in steel material cost of $4,000,000 Combinatorial algorithms are used to run thousands or even tens of thousands of unique gravity and lateral system configurations to find the most economical solution that meets the Project design requirements. Clients are able to consider multiple strategies at once, and understand the cost and impacts of architectural, MEP, and construction decisions. Material layout, depths, and structural footprint are established and acutely refined for any input of seismic loads, boundary conditions, or other design constraints. In our pilot project, KPFF used this software to consider three major lateral options: a conventional steel moment frame (SMF), a SMF with viscous dampers, and a SMF with base isolation. A total of 20,000 models were automatically produced and analyzed over the period of a weekend using algorithms in Excel and ETABS OAPI capabilities. The data from the structural models simulations was analyzed in Tableau (a data visualization tool). From this data, the team could view all possible solutions that satisfied the design requirements and filter by material cost, size, or total pieces, in order to find the most economical solution. The advancements in structural analysis and data management software are changing the way structural engineers optimize their design. Developing algorithms to conduct parametric studies using thousands of models at once is a giant leap forward that will improve our practice. Engineers are in the business of optimization. This new capability will help clients reduce cost and enable the design team to make the best decisions from the very beginning.


2:10pm - 2:30pm Making the Invisible Visible - Innovative Structure Monitoring Technologies to Validate and Visualize Buildings’ Structural Health at All Times

Construction waterproofing deficiencies and the structural health of buildings are barely visible until the building failure becomes detrimental that causes loss in a vicious cycle. Innovative monitoring technologies and industry standards enable building owners, operators, and scientists to predict future damages and/or limit liability through knowledge of what was once invisible - hidden in the walls, roof and foundation of a building - empowering the industry to develop safer, healthier and more sustainable buildings. This presentation will allow the audience to gain a better understanding of innovative structure monitoring technologies and relevant standards currently available for quality assurance, risk mitigation and innovation support in the construction industry. Jason will highlight the benefits that innovative structure monitoring technologies bring to the construction industry. Selected case studies of mission-critical buildings (i.e. healthcare facility) and innovative structures (i.e. mass timber building) will be illustrated to elaborate on significant technologies applied to structural parts in all types of buildings, before, during or/and after construction. In addition, real-time data analysis and data visualization tools (i.e. Virtual Tour of UBC Tallwood House and the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre at Red River College) have been developed to assist construction firms, architects and engineers, building managers and owners, research & development institutions, and quality assurance programs; allowing the construction industry to validate designs, materials, and methods to produce and innovate more efficient and durable buildings.


Jason Teetaert

SMT Research Ltd.

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