The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 94 (2016) > Issue 3 > Integration of hand calculations with computational output – a good practice summary
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Integration of hand calculations with computational output – a good practice summary

The design of structures using computer software is prevalent throughout the industry. It provides quick analysis of structures that can be readily incorporated into Building Information Modelling (BIM) systems such as Revit. However, while the use of such software is essential in the present-day design office, it should be recognised that hand calculations and sketches are an important part of an engineer’s toolbox in establishing a “feel” for the structure that they are designing.

Without an engineer’s inherent understanding of what a structure can and should be doing, which is generally established through years of training and experience, it is quite possible for design and analysis software to produce serious errors that would otherwise be easily caught by the use of common sense and hand calculations.

This article aims to provide a “good practice” summary for engineers in the early stages of their career, while also serving as a reminder for those with more experience.

Author(s): A. Wright (Titon)