• Kiran Nair

Why is Structural Analysis A Crucial Part Of Structural BIM Services?

Structural engineers design and assess the structure to ensure that these are stable and efficient. They are responsible for generating complex structural systems along with finding solutions for the efficient use of all these structural elements and materials to ensure that the building along with all its systems is sustainable, safe, and durable. In general, the structural designs need to be integrated with the outputs made by the other disciplines like those of architectural, MEP BIM Modeling Services, etc. Structural engineering is a mechanism involving a varied range of competencies and skills that can be applied to all types of projects like those which involve minor slope strengthening along with large-sized structures of tall buildings. Structural analysis is a cumulative determination to ensure that the deformations occurring due to load in a structure will be satisfactory and lower than the allowed limits and that the failure of the structure would never happen. The analysis is a method to identify the behavior of the structure or member of a structure when it is subjected to different loads. The result of this analysis will verify the strength of the structure for its usage and so structural analysis becomes a crucial part of Structural engineering.

Some of the other roles and responsibilities of a structural engineer inc¬lude analyzing and supervising different on-site construction activities along with maintaining a dialogue with manufacturers and suppliers to address any of the production problems. Depending on the complexities of the task along with the needed combination of many different competencies and the abundance of multiple communication channels facilitates the need for a reliable data exchange platform. This means to maintain the quality of the end product there is a need for a tool that will help the structural engineer to check the parameters of the system under development and verify the reliability of the information transmitted. One such capable tool with a multitude of capabilities is Building Information Modeling.

BIM and Structural Analysis:

BIM models are 3-dimensional which include information about the geometry, semi-finished products, and materials of a building. This information is in diverse proprietary formats that are capable enough to add time (4-dimensional) and cost (5-dimensional) related information to them. With this, we can see the core idea of BIM Services India is dependent on providing an object-oriented digital representation of the buildings in the form of data-rich models along with empowering simulation and analysis of these models for the design, construction, and operation purposes. Most of the vendors provide BIM Software that has the ability which is needed for structural engineering which are material properties, geometry, and loading conditions for conducting an analysis. These three things can be directly retrieved from the BIM model along with storing, editing, and applying it through BIM software. Say, for example, Tekla structures allow its users to specify the location of connection nodes onto its objects and degrees of freedom along with having an option to model structural loads and load cases to objects, while Autodesk Revit supplements the physical representations of the objects that are commonly used by the structural engineers.

The BIM model is usually a visual communication tool for all the different stakeholders involved in the construction project and they can act as a tool for determining the material and cost along with creating a mechanism to avoid errors and collisions of individual components and subsections. Data exchange majorly implies a parametric description of the exact geometry of the building. Structural components are expressed by boundary surface models or the extrusion areas that result in a solid. Contrasting to this the structural model focuses on the mechanically corrected projection of the support structure. The geometry is simplified and narrowed down to structural components that are relevant to structural analysis. The hardcore description of the geometry is put to use only if it is necessary and the calculation time increases inevitably. Beams and Columns are counted as members, the 1-dimensional elements, while ceilings and walls are counted as plates and slabs, the 2-dimensional elements. These surface elements and members can be clubbed with one another in the 3D structural model. For calculating these idealized models numerically, it becomes necessary to join all structural components together along with verifying the transition conditions. But, due to the component reduction from solids to center lines and middle planes the automatic intersection might not always be available.

Additionally, the usage of Structural BIM Services can help reduce the number of requests for information (RFI) items generated from the contractors along with enabling the visualization of design for clients and other stakeholders of the project. BIM also has the mechanism to explore various other readily available alternatives and design scenarios. This BIM model developed by structural engineers can be integrated with other downstream activities for manufacturing and assembling structural elements along with picking out coordination problems arising between structural and other disciplines. BIM becomes a crucial part of having an effective solution for structural engineers to monitor the health and lifecycle performance of the structural elements, risk assessment of structures, and seismic retrofitting optimization.

Structural Analysis before generating design:

In the structural analysis process, we determine the response or behavior of a structure when some specified load or combination of different loads is applied. The response of the analysis means that we will be able to identify bending moments, support reactions, stresses, rotations, shear forces, strains, and deflection that the member would undergo because of the different types of loads applied. Analyzing a structure involves understanding and studying the structure from the point of view of its strength, stability, stiffness, and vibration.

In the mechanism of structural analysis, when any member or structure is loaded, it will undergo direct tension or compression or torsion or bending, and it might get deformed. The material of that member or that structure will have to resist the load. And this process to identify the bending moment, shear force, deflection, shear stress, rotation, and strain comes under structural analysis.

The structure that is going to be built is assumed to have a specific amount of lifespan. It is going to be designed in such a way that it is capable enough to take all the loads applied without having its failure during its entire lifespan. So, before the design, we need to find the behavior of the structure under different load conditions. This is analyzed for different load conditions like live load, gravity load, earthquake load, wind load keeping apart from the effects of the environment and nature.

For a structural engineer to start the structural design, they must have the forces and moments to load that a particular member and the structure must resist. Unless these are not identified the design cannot be started. So, Structural analysis always precedes structural designing in Structural BIM Modeling. Design analysis finds the feasibility of a particular structural concept and is important in the planning process for there could be a delay in other services without proper design. Not just this, it also has a heavy influence on the further planning reliability and associated costs for the essential modifications. Simply to say, the structural analysis that results in any of the following changes must be effective and authentic.

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