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Interactive FE-based form exploration and evaluation for architects

Kurilla L and Block P.
Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2015

This research aims to provide architects with an interactive Finite Element (FE) analysis during the conceptual design phase through the development of a "middle-ware", a bridging tool between an FE solver and the architectural modelling environment. Architects are typically not trained to use expert FE analysis software directly. Therefore, simplified FE modelling, as well as concise presentation and interpretation of analysis results would be beneficial in early stages of the design process. Simplified result interpretation should help architects to identify structural problems and guide them towards structurally improved designs. This will allow them to not just independently evaluate a theoretically unlimited number of design alternatives, but also to find better structural solutions. To develop a means of simplified structural evaluation, a review was carried out of existing form finding, evolutionary structural optimization and other optimization methods and tools. The resulting Structural Evaluation Assistant (SEA) method, which uses the Von Mises criterion, informs architects about different levels of structural efficiency and feasibility. This paper shows how the SEA supports FE analysis result interpretation and the architect’s decision making during design process. It does so by generating a score for the whole structure, and visualizing all structural design alternatives in order to compare them during the design process. Compared to other FE-based tools, a strong emphasis is placed on the visualization and interpretation of the results. The developed evaluation assistant supports the architects' decision making and improves their structural intuition during the design process.


    author    = "Kurilla, L and Block, P.",
    title     = "Interactive FE-based form exploration and evaluation for architects",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2015",
    year      = "2015",
    editor    = "",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "",
    publisher = "",
    address   = "Amsterdam",
    month     = "August",
    doi       = "",
    note      = "",

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