The Importance of Interoperability in Structural Engineering

Cadalyst | April 30, 2020

If data types and software products are not interoperable, software tools and engineering data become part of the problem instead of the solution.

In everyday life, we don’t give much thought to interoperability. But what if your make of car could only drive on a limited set of roads? What if you could only call people who use the same model of phone that you do? In addition to causing frustration, these situations would introduce delays, force you to implement kludgy workarounds, and prevent you from getting things done.

For the same reasons, interoperability is crucial for structural engineering. If data types and software products are not interoperable, software tools and engineering data become part of the problem instead of the solution. Structural engineers work against tight deadlines and rigid standards. Disjointed workflows waste valuable time, and open projects up to risk by introducing errors into design, analysis, fabrication, and construction.

Spotlight

LIRA-SAPR program provides an open platform for the modern design technology. It is based on Building Information Modelling and has a number of advantages at all stages of the life cycle of various structures, such as bridges, TV towers, mobile communication facilities, silos, bunkers, large-span stadiums and shopping centres, high-rise buildings.


Other News
CONSTRUCTION

Trimble and Hilti Announce Product Integration to Help Contractors Streamline Tool Tracking and Job Cost Allocation

Trimble | November 09, 2022

Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) and the Hilti Group, a global leader providing innovative tools, technology, software, and services to the commercial construction industry, announced today that the Hilti ON!Track asset management system will integrate with Trimble Viewpoint Vista, an ERP solution within the Trimble Construction One suite. The integration is Hilti's first North American integration with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, and provides a solution for unified tool tracking and more accurate, automatic job allocation, giving contractors one source of truth for tracking and managing their tools and equipment. Now instead of having to manually look, call or guess where tools are or how much to invoice based on their use, contractors can more easily track their tools and equipment in one place and automatically know how much—and where—they were used so that an accurate amount of equipment time can be invoiced. This eliminates the need to spend clerical time manually inputting utilization data, and even manually tracking it in the field. "Our research shows that each jobsite loses on average one day per month of productivity due to workers searching for tools. In addition, the contractors end up spending up to 90 hours per month tracking tools: in essence, productivity loss for both workers and contractors due to lack of an effective asset/tool management platform, Hilti ON!Track, the world leading asset management solution, helps eliminate this by tracking tools using field-ready active and passive tags, Bluetooth technology and Gateways. An integration between ON!Track and Viewpoint Vista maximizes the benefits of asset/tool tracking data by automatically providing contractors the information they need to track, allocate, bill and estimate for accurate tool and equipment use." -Michael McGowan, region head and CEO of Hilti North America. The tracking of tools and equipment use and costs in one centralized place better prevents equipment loss and theft. It also eliminates the need to manually enter tool use and costs, which are often subject to double entry and human error. "We know that contractors have a lot to manage already, and that equipment is one of their most important assets, This integration is yet another way we are automating and connecting data for contractors, which streamlines workflows and helps contractors more efficiently deploy their people and assets to build profitable projects." -Lawrence Smith, vice president and general manager of construction management solutions at Trimble. Tracking small tools—whether in repair status, on location or with employees and the associated costs—is one of the most ineffective parts of accounting and internal controls in a construction company, said Maria Lumke, CFO of Waterline Industries, a New Hampshire-based civil general contractor. We have tried many things, including inventorying vans, assigning tools to employees and assigning tools to jobs – to no avail. The product Trimble and Hilti have developed will be a revolutionary step for internal controls and accountability of tools in a construction company. Hilti ON!Track has greatly reduced the 'run to the store and buy what you need' when we already own and have tools nearby, said Keeley O'Brien, president and CEO of O'Brien Co., an Oregon-based general contractor. It takes mere seconds to transfer tools in the field, eliminating excuses about not having the right tools because no one knows where they are. It's made it very easy to inventory, track history, and locate tools and equipment. Connecting Hilti ON!Track to Trimble Construction One is another way Trimble serves stakeholders across the entire construction lifecycle, providing visibility into true project costs and correct resource allocations so they get the right information at the right time to make the right decisions. About HILTI: The Hilti Group supplies the worldwide construction and energy industries with technologically leading products, systems, software and services. With about 32,000 team members in over 120 countries the company stands for direct customer relationships, quality, and innovation. Throughout the United States and Canada, Hilti North America includes more than 3,800 highly trained account managers, engineers and other employees. The headquarters of the Hilti Group is located in Schaan, Liechtenstein and has been since its founding in 1941. The company is privately owned by the Martin Hilti Family Trust, which ensures its long-term continuity. The Hilti Group's strategic orientation is based on a caring and performance-oriented culture and the goals of creating enthusiastic customers and building a better future. About Trimble Construction: Trimble is developing technology, software and services that drive the digital transformation of construction with solutions that span the entire architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. Empowering teams across the construction lifecycle, Trimble's innovative approach improves coordination and collaboration between stakeholders, teams, phases and processes. Trimble's Connected Construction strategy gives users control of their operations with best-in-class solutions and a common data environment. By automating work and transforming workflows, Trimble is enabling construction professionals to improve productivity, quality, transparency, safety, sustainability and deliver each project with confidence. About Trimble: Trimble is an industrial technology company transforming the way the world works by delivering solutions that enable our customers to thrive. Core technologies in positioning, modeling, connectivity and data analytics connect the digital and physical worlds to improve productivity, quality, safety, transparency and sustainability. From purpose-built products to enterprise lifecycle solutions, Trimble is transforming industries such as agriculture, construction, geospatial and transportation.

Read More

CONSTRUCTION

SafwayAtlantic by BrandSafway provides demolition, construction access for JPMorgan Chase HQ

BrandSafway | December 13, 2022

SafwayAtlantic by BrandSafway, was selected by AECOM Tishman to provide an eight-car personnel and material hoist complex for the 1,388-foot, 60-story JPMorgan Chase global headquarters at 270 Park Ave., New York. The common tower and hoist complex masts will have a total weight and impact load of 6,500 kips (6,500,000 lbs.) and hang from pinned connections pushed through steel plates welded to building columns on two floors. (No ground loading was permitted due to Metro North train tracks running below ground level.) Previously, AECOM Tishman selected SafwayAtlantic to provide services for the demolition of the old 52-story, 700-foot JPMorgan Chase headquarters, located at the same address. Demolition and new construction started in 2020, proceeding simultaneously, and both had ground-loading limitations and other challenges. “We have a long-time relationship with AECOM Tishman. We listened closely and worked hard to design new solutions for every phase of these unique projects, We custom- fabricated numerous solutions, including a four-car hoist for the demolition, shoring, ground protection, overhead protection, needle beam platforms to support three levels of scaffold during demolition, scaffold ties, edge protection, a debris shoot, the eight-car hanging hoist complex and the world’s longest hoist car.” -Keith Lynch, president, SafwayAtlantic. Virtually every step required out-of-the-box thinking, says Tanya Charlesworth, professional engineer and director of engineering for SafwayAtlantic. AECOM Tishman trusted us with creating first-of-a-kind engineering approaches, and the value to both our businesses is immeasurable. Even in congested urban environments and with extremely tall buildings, we can devise solutions that enable demolition and construction teams to work safely and efficiently. Shoring and debris removal The old and new JPMorgan Chase headquarters occupy the full city block between Park and Madison Avenues and 47th and 48th Streets. Metro North tunnels run underneath three sides of the building (only the Madison Ave. side sits wholly on bedrock). Further, these tunnels were completed in 1875 and some of the structural steel elements have thinned and delaminated. As a result, no loading is allowed on the street above the tunnels. Even then, the tunnels needed shoring to withstand the increased construction traffic. SafwayAtlantic engineered and custom fabricated shoring, some of it using high-strength steel to meet a capacity requirement of 130 kips. SafwayAtlantic also fabricated two ground protection platforms rated for 600 PSF and a 20 kip point load to support the trucks and debris bins that removed a total of 81,600 tons of debris. The platforms tied into the old building’s steel columns (to eliminate ground loading); and a ramp enabled trucks and debris bins to roll on and off the platform. Innovative solutions facilitate demolition To demolish the 700-foot-tall tower of the old headquarters, SafwayAtlantic erected Systems™ Scaffold around it’s 500-foot perimeter. Because scaffold legs cannot support 700 feet of weight, SafwayAtlantic installed needle beams on the 41st, 29th and 16th floors to create a cantilevered scaffold platform with a 300 PSF load rating. Other innovations that facilitated demolition included fabricating a steel debris shoot and fitting it inside an old elevator shaft. Instead of the traditional cable and orange netting on the exterior of the building, the contractor used BrandSafway’s RAPID-EPS edge protection system, a vertical debris shielding system made from lightweight aluminum panels attached to compression posts. The panels remove and reinstall easily as demolition progresses, which reduces waste compared to plastic netting. For contractor access to all levels of the old tower, SafwayAtlantic installed a four-car hoist. World’s longest hoist cars To facilitate moving the new building’s curtain walls (aluminum-framed, triple-paned glass panels for the building exterior), SafwayAtlantic worked with RAXTAR to design two dual-mast hoist cars that measure 25 feet long by five feet wide by nine-and-a-half-feet high. They can carry loads of up to 10,000 lbs. at speeds up to 300 fpm. They are the longest hoist cars in the world and feature Designed Access’s EZ call system, which provides call-to-floor buttons. A loading dock television display shows hoist location at all times, and cloud-based software books hoist times to reduce overall downtime on the job site. The hoist complex will also use six conventional hoist cars with a 7,000-lb. capacity, as well as a mast climber from Hydro Mobile, another BrandSafway company, affixed to the outer masts of the common tower and positioned above the hoist cars. Access crews use the mast climber to erect each successive story of the common tower. It improves scheduling efficiency and eliminates interference with construction crews using the hoist cars. Construction of the hoist complex began in March 2022, and it will remain in place until 2025, the scheduled completion date of the new headquarters. About SafwayAtlantic: SafwayAtlantic by BrandSafway delivers comprehensive world-class access solutions in New York, New Jersey and Chicago as well as on the West Coast. From new construction and skyscrapers to high-rise buildings and historical renovations, SafwayAtlantic safely and efficiently provides a full range of access products and services for complex urban-area projects. About BrandSafway: With a commitment to safety as its foremost value, BrandSafway provides the broadest range of solutions with the greatest depth of expertise to the industrial, commercial and infrastructure markets. Through a network of 360 strategic locations across 30 countries and more than 40,000 employees, BrandSafway delivers a full range of forming, shoring, scaffolding, work access and industrial service solutions. BrandSafway supports maintenance and refurbishment projects as well as new construction and expansion plans with unmatched service from expert local labor and management. Today’s BrandSafway is At Work For You® — leveraging innovation and economies of scale to increase safety and productivity, while remaining nimble and responsive.

Read More

MATERIALS,ENGINEERING TECH

TYLin Bolsters Water Sector Capabilities with Acquisition of Greeley and Hansen, an Award-Winning, Global Water Engineering Firm

TYLin | December 22, 2022

TYLin, a globally recognized, full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announced today it is expanding its water and wastewater capabilities in North America with the acquisition of Chicago-based Greeley and Hansen, a leading water infrastructure engineering firm known for creating some of the world’s largest and first-of-its-kind water and wastewater treatment facilities in the U.S. and Latin America. Greeley and Hansen will continue to go to market as Greeley and Hansen, A TYLin Company. Founded in Chicago in 1914, Greeley and Hansen is an award-winning global engineering, architecture, and consulting firm solely dedicated to providing sustainable engineering solutions for a broad range of water, wastewater, and solid waste challenges. With over 100 years of proven civil and environmental engineering experience in all phases of project development and implementation, the firm has grown to become a premier global provider of comprehensive services in the water sector. With more than 20 offices in the U.S. and Latin America, Greeley and Hansen is dedicated to designing better urban environments worldwide. “The acquisition of Greeley and Hansen advances our strategy to leverage our current water sector capabilities to help transform TYLin into a leader in the water market in the Americas, TYLin’s prowess in infrastructure, coupled with Greeley and Hansen’s strong industry-wide reputation in water and wastewater engineering technologies and construction, will make us a powerful force as we strive to improve the quality of life in the communities our clients serve.” Matthew G. Cummings, P.E, President and Chief Executive OfficerTYLI Group For more than a century we have made it our mission at Greeley and Hansen to improve urban environments by solving complex water, wastewater, and solid waste challenges with sophisticated engineering solutions, said John C. Robak, Chairman and CEO of Greeley and Hansen. Our bespoke engineering solutions and designs have created some of the world’s best and largest water and wastewater treatment facilities -- from Chicago to Colombia. As part of TYLin, Greeley and Hansen will have even more resources and scale, and an even greater ability to provide clients with the advanced technologies and innovative ideas we have been known for since our founding 11 decades ago. This coming together is very symbiotic. TYLin offers broader engineering resources and provides us with tremendous breadth, while Greeley and Hansen is an expert in water, providing TYLin with amazing depth.” As part of the acquisition, Greeley and Hansen’s Chairman and CEO John C. Robak will step down after serving as an advisor during the transition. He plans to continue his endeavors in philanthropy and civic engagement. Greeley and Hansen Chairman Emeritus Andy Richardson and President Paul Vogel will retire. TYLin’s newly expanded water sector will now be led by Greeley and Hansen’s Michael J. Hope, P.E., who was previously a Principal and Executive Vice President at Greeley and Hansen, leading client engagements and business development. Hope joins TYLin as President of Greeley and Hansen and Senior Vice President of TYLin. TYLin’s Abe Khademi, SVP, will continue to oversee the TYLin Water Sector in Canada and work with Hope to develop plans for a unified water team. In addition to being a very strategic business decision, the acquisition of Greeley and Hansen is also a solid cultural fit, said TYLin’s Cummings. Our firms have similar cultures and priorities. We both place immense value on our people, our portfolio of clients and projects, and the impact we are recognized for delivering to our clients and the communities we serve. These constants have driven our individual success and, together, will remain a key tenet to our future growth and success. In early 2022, TYLin reorganized its operations into market-facing sectors focused on the diverse segments of the buildings, transportation, and water sectors. In April, TYLin acquired Silman, a leading structural engineering firm to enhance its buildings sector. The acquisition of Greeley and Hansen supports the firm’s strategy to grow its global water practice. About TYLin Founded in 1954, TYLin is a globally recognized, full-service infrastructure consulting firm committed to providing innovative, cost-effective, constructible designs for the global infrastructure market. With 3,200 employees working in 65 offices throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe, the firm provides support on projects of varying size and complexity. TYLin is part of Dar Group, one of the world’s leading architecture, engineering, project management and energy consultancy groups. About Greeley and Hansen Founded in Chicago in 1914, Greeley and Hansen is an award-winning global engineering, architecture, and consulting firm solely dedicated to providing sustainable engineering solutions for a broad range of water and wastewater challenges. With more than 100 years of proven civil and environmental engineering experience in all phases of project development and implementation, the firm has grown to become a premier global provider of comprehensive services in the water sector. With more than 20 offices, Greeley and Hansen is dedicated to designing better urban environments worldwide. Greeley and Hansen’s first client — Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago — remains a key client today, 108 years later, along with a stellar roster of other world-class municipal water utilities and industrial clients.

Read More

CONSTRUCTION

LENNAR ANNOUNCES VISIONARY COMMUNITY OF 3D-PRINTED HOMES WITH ICON IS NOW UNDERWAY IN GEORGETOWN, TX

Lennar Corporation | November 11, 2022

Lennar, one of the nation's leading homebuilders, and ICON, a construction technologies company pioneering large-scale 3D printing, announced today that construction on the largest community of 3D-printed homes is underway and reservations will begin in 2023. Situated north of Austin in the city of Georgetown's master-planned community of Wolf Ranch by Hillwood Communities, a Perot company, the 100-home community combines innovative robotics, software and advanced materials to create homes that are technologically advanced, environmentally sustainable and architecturally striking. Each Lennar home in Wolf Ranch is co-designed by the renowned architectural firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. Prices are anticipated to start from the mid-$400,000s. "We are very pleased to partner with ICON and BIG in building a first-of-its-kind, printed home community that combines innovative designs with sustainable features at an affordable price, Given the housing shortage that persists across the country, it has never been more important to innovate in order to find new methods of construction that will enable greater design flexibility and greater production at affordable prices." -Stuart Miller, Executive Chairman of Lennar. Blending contemporary Texas ranch style aesthetics, the community of 3D-printed homes features elevated architectural and energy-efficient designs that highlight the benefits of resiliency and sustainability with the digital possibilities of additive construction. Delivered at speed and at scale using a fleet of ICON's Vulcan robotic construction systems, software and advanced materials, each home's full wall system - including interior and exterior walls - are produced with less waste and with more design freedom. "For the first time in the history of the world, what we're witnessing here is a fleet of robots building an entire community of homes. And not just any homes, homes that are better in every way… better design, higher strength, higher energy performance and comfort, and increased resiliency, In the future, I believe robots and drones will build entire neighborhoods, towns, and cities, and we'll look back at Lennar's Wolf Ranch community as the place where robotic construction at scale began. We still have a long way to go, but I believe this marks a very exciting and hopeful turn in the way we address housing issues in the world." -Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO, ICON. Construction at Wolf Ranch deepens a relationship that began with Lennar's investment in Austin-based ICON's series B financing round and offers a promising path toward an alternate method of delivering technology-driven homes that meet rising demand in desirable communities. In addition to state-of-the-art homes, Lennar homeowners in Wolf Ranch can enjoy all of the amenities offered in tree-covered hill country – including pools, recreational trails and parks within easy access of downtown Georgetown and a short drive to Austin. Lennar's investments are facilitated by LENX, which drives a focused strategy within Lennar to integrate technology solutions across the homebuilding industry. With a clearly defined strategy of investing in technology companies directly adjacent to Lennar's core homebuilding operations and a disciplined investment process, LENX provides hands-on mentorship and guidance from senior leaders of Lennar's management team and a marquee opportunity to provide products and technology to Lennar customers, allowing portfolio companies to scale at an unprecedented pace. The community will offer eight stunning floorplans with 24 unique elevations ranging from 1,574 to 2,112 square feet of thoughtful living space. The homes will offer three to four bedrooms and two to three baths. All homes will be powered by the sun with rooftop solar panels and will feature components from Lennar's Connected Home package including a Ring Video Doorbell Pro, a Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi deadbolt and a Honeywell Home T6 Pro WiFi smart thermostat. Plus, each home will come equipped with the Wolf Ranch security package. We are excited to welcome Lennar and ICON's cutting-edge home construction technology to Georgetown, Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder said. The Georgetown community prides itself on honoring our past and innovating for our future, and we are eager to see the future being built right here. Hillwood Communities is honored that ICON and Lennar chose Wolf Ranch to launch this exciting initiative and we look forward to the positive impact it will bring to the homebuilding industry," said Fred Balda, president of Hillwood Communities. "This innovative approach aligns with Hillwood's long history of elevated design and the thoughtful development approach we take to ensure a higher standard of living for the residents of our communities." About Lennar Corporation: Lennar Corporation, founded in 1954, is one of the nation's leading builders of quality homes for all generations. Lennar builds affordable, move-up and active adult homes primarily under the Lennar brand name. Lennar's Financial Services segment provides mortgage financing, title and closing services primarily for buyers of Lennar's homes and, through LMF Commercial, originates mortgage loans secured primarily by commercial real estate properties throughout the United States. Lennar's Multifamily segment is a nationwide developer of high-quality multifamily rental properties. LENX drives Lennar's technology, innovation and strategic investments. About ICON: ICON develops advanced construction technologies that advance humanity. Using proprietary 3D printing robotics, software and advanced materials, ICON is shifting the paradigm of homebuilding on Earth and beyond. About BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group is a Copenhagen, New York, London, Barcelona, and Shenzhen-based group of architects, designers, urbanists, landscape professionals, interior and product designers, researchers, and inventors. Led by Bjarke Ingels, the studio is currently involved in projects throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East. BIG's architecture emerges out of a careful analysis of how contemporary life constantly evolves and changes. BIG believes that by hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, architects can find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms. About Hillwood: Hillwood, a Perot company, is a premier commercial and residential real estate developer, investor and advisor of properties throughout North America and Europe. Through its Communities division, Hillwood has delivered more than 40,000 single-family lots in more than 100 master-planned communities across 13 states and Costa Rica. These communities continue to raise the bar in terms of quality, innovation and the unmistakable sense of community that sets each property apart. Before laying the physical groundwork for any new residential development, Hillwood Communities takes the time to focus on the ideals that draw people together — and the everyday interactions that strengthen those bonds. By purposefully designing its walkways, gathering spaces, and structural amenities to spark spontaneous encounters and foster shared interests, Hillwood Communities believes in the power of community. About the City of Georgetown: Georgetown is a welcoming, vibrant city that has been ranked No. 1 in Southern Living Magazine's "South's Best Cities to Live in" and is home to the "Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas." Georgetown has a rich history, with Victorian storefronts and a cultural district with a wide selection of restaurants, wineries, shops, art galleries, theaters, and museums, as well as Southwestern University, tied for the No. 1 National Liberal Arts College in Texas in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking. Outdoor recreation includes 40 parks, 16 miles of hiking and cycling trails, and Lake Georgetown. Georgetown is the fastest growing city in the U.S. with a population of more than 50,000.

Read More

Spotlight

LIRA-SAPR program provides an open platform for the modern design technology. It is based on Building Information Modelling and has a number of advantages at all stages of the life cycle of various structures, such as bridges, TV towers, mobile communication facilities, silos, bunkers, large-span stadiums and shopping centres, high-rise buildings.

Resources