All steps of the project delivery process should reflect a commitment to high quality design and efficient use of technology to speed construction and reduce conflicts in the field. The structural systems design and documentation is a critical component to using BIM and IPD methods.
Our approach to structural engineering centers around the latest building information modeling (BIM) technology – not only for the engineering design, but to document our systems with the most sophisticated detailing software in the industry – Tekla Structures.
Structural engineers at Reuther+Bowen utilize design software to analyze and design the building superstructure. At the same time, our BIM software is used throughout to facilitate open integration with other team members and for the seamless production of structural steel shop drawings at the conclusion of design. Different disciplines can share models, visualize how structures work together, perform clash checks, and create reports to address coordination items.
This innovative approach to structural engineering design and the documentation process has many benefits. Fabrication can begin almost immediately when the bids are awarded and material is available. This will almost eliminate the traditional shop drawing preparation and review period – resulting in a shortened construction schedule, reduced up-front costs and significantly less risk for change orders during construction. Another advantage is that at project inception the engineer is already considering the efficiency of the structure – not only for beam and column sizes, but more importantly on the connection design, fabrication, and other costs. Connections are designed around actual design loads instead of often used overly-conservative theoretical loads. The net effect will reduce material and energy consumption on the project in the form of eliminating unnecessary bolting, welding and excess material – making this a more “green” approach to design while still providing a structure that meets or exceeds required code loadings. Our integrated building information modeling (BIM) approach and the resulting simplification and coordination of the structure will reduce time, material, labor, energy consumption, and the overall construction cost of the project.