Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Zegard T., Hartz C., Maurek A., Baker W. (2020)

Advancing building engineering through structural and topology optimization

Revista : Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Volumen : 62
Páginas : 915–935
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Traditional building design is often done in a (pseudo-) sequential manner: the architect defines the form, the structural engineer defines the material and member dimensions, and the mechanical engineer defines the openings, clearances, and additional spaces that ensure proper operation of the building. The design process should ideally be linear, where each discipline receives a complete design from the previous. In reality, however, upstream revisions are usually substantive: significant work in the schematic design and design development phases are due to resolving upstream issues. That said, within the conceptual design and initial phase, the process is mostly linear. This work presents a set of tools that move towards an integrated design optimization, where the building’s form and structure are optimized together and not as separate stages in the design. This approach often results in a higher impact/gain in efficiency, safety, cost-savings, and ultimately results in innovative designs. This industrial application manuscript provides specific details on the implementation and experience gained from the development of various topology optimization tools for use in building engineering. These are all accompanied by examples of their use in applied building projects or more general structural engineering problems. Part of the success of this effort is attributed to the environment in which these tools are implemented, which is friendly to architects. In contrast, commercial tools for this purpose tend to cater to engineers instead.