The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 94 (2016) > Issue 3 > Structural workflows and the art of parametric design
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Structural workflows and the art of parametric design

When considering lean design and construction in the building industry, we often draw inspiration from the manufacturing industry. But despite many positive moves in recent years, the construction industry – and building design in particular – is one which often requires bespoke, client- and site-specific solutions and not commodity production.

Nevertheless, by dissecting and interrogating the whole process of creating building structures, we can still draw efficiency and marginal gains at each step of the way.

As design engineers, our focus is often on day-to-day problem-solving in relation to a particular project or engineering challenge. Perhaps less frequently do we consider the same application of engineering to the design process itself.

This article will explore how we in AECOM are currently using technology to improve the efficiency of the design process, while at the same time empowering the structural engineer to be more creative, and take a more central role on multidisciplinary projects. Case studies range from large-scale stadium projects down to small, but complex, pavilions, and how the methods can be applied to other projects through a cultural shift that capitalises on the accessibility of digital technology.

Author(s): J. Leach, R. Nicolin and M. Burton (all AECOM)