Traditional Compliance - A Barrier to Efficiency in Construction

This presentation was made at CAASE18, The Conference on Advancing Analysis & Simulation in Engineering. CAASE18 brought together the leading visionaries, developers, and practitioners of CAE-related technologies in an open forum, to share experiences, discuss relevant trends, discover common themes, and explore future issues.

Resource Abstract

Regulatory compliance is of grave importance throughout the world, but many processes used to meet standards in construction do not facilitate the use of modern technologies. While they are put in place to ensure public safety, in reality they represent a high risk of human error that can be reduced through technology.

The construction industry is still struggling to embrace the technological step-change required to achieve true efficiency. This presentation demonstrates the improvements in accuracy and speed which can be achieved by changing to a computational method to assess wind-building interaction in construction. This method is well understood and documented thanks to the aerospace and energy sectors, so why aren’t we using it for building design?

A key part of the puzzle is the traditional compliance process. In New Zealand, building design is done in line with building code section B1 (structure) legislation, equivalent to the various construction laws across the States. Taking the example of assessing wind loading, B1 references loading and design standards which involves first consulting AS/NZS 1170.0 for load combinations, then working through AS/NZS 1170.2* to obtain wind loading on the required area of the building. This process is repeated for all areas of concern and the assumptions and estimates used can be significant sources of error. The workflow itself is also riddled with scope for error carryover from one section to the next. So why aren’t we leveraging the technology available to us?

The answer has historically been time and cost, with detailed CFD models sometimes taking weeks to complete and needing highly skilled (and remunerated) individuals to deliver the work. The information and accuracy that can be gained from these models is vast, but something faster and more user friendly is required to compete with the standards-based approach.

Luckily, tools are becoming available which reduce the complexity of CFD modelling for the user, and allow instant yet accurate building pressures to be computed in as much time as it takes to model a block. The scope can then be focused to individual cladding elements, or even expanded to whole cities...

* The 1170.X suite of standards can be considered equivalent to ASCE 7/IBC

Document Details

AuthorHorsfall. B
Date 5th June 2018
OrganisationBVT Engineering Professional Services


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