Tekla Structures for Building and Construction Industry

Tekla Structures is a 3D building information modeling (BIM) solution that streamlines the delivery process of design, detailing, fabrication, manufacturing, and construction organizations. While integrating openly with architectural and other design parties, its strength lies in the contractor end of the process. The ability to accurately process extensive amounts of data enables the creation of detailed 3D structural models that can be applied to every stage of the building project. Shared among the project participants, the structural model brings more value to the building process and enhances its quality and efficiency.

BIM–in simple terms, is a method of creating, storing, distributing and communicating all the building information to everyone that is collaborating on a project by way of an intelligent 3D model that is in every detail an exact replica of the project being constructed, down to the very last nut, bolt and washer. Draftsmen are no longer required to create drawings but required for final touch output, as these are created automatically within the model and can be accessed at anytime.

One Real Model

Tekla Structures for Building and Construction Industry
Well-known for being innovative and for its leading-edge technology, Tekla developed the "One Real Model" concept where all can collaborate on a construction project by sharing the same information on one 3D model, which for the engineer, will handle the modeling of the structure the analysis and design (determined by local codes) and for the contractors/sub-contractors the detailing of steel Structures. This is Structural Building Information Modeling, which is taking gigantic strides in using the power of computer technology in the building and construction industry and providing benefits to all involved in collaborating on a project. Benefits that include, better cost estimation and control, consistent data integrity, massive increases in productivity, enhanced communication, major reductions in the amount of paperwork generated, and the elimination of possible errors during engineering, detailing, fabrication and the prevention of on-site clashes during erection, all of which greatly reduces costs in an increasingly competitive market.

The Benefits of Building Information Modeling (BIM) solution

It is the one and the same 3D model being used by everyone involved in the construction process and it is easier for everyone to visualize the structure because it is a real model. Updates are performed automatically and the detail drawings are produced directly from the model, without human intervention and without error. There is no redrawing work, as the 3D model takes care of that routinely. All detail drawings –single part, assembly, general arrangement and cast units are available at a mouse click, as all material takeoff lists, centre of gravity–single parts or assemblies, surface areas for painting or tiling, along with all the properties of every material contained in the model and everything is precalculated by the software. RFI’s (requests for information) greatly diminish because those that need information have access to the 3D model, even in the workshop, through the use of inexpensive TS Viewers where users can fly through the model or zoom into any section and access any of the required data mentioned above. Project management information is also available to so that at any time management can see what has been fabricated, assembled, transported and erected, along with the associated scheduling information. So, in this way it is actually becomes a 4D model. Anyone with the rights of access can view the progress of the project, the owner, architects, engineers, contractors, fabricators, in fact anyone in the supply chain. For collaboration within structural design, it provides tight integration within the single shared model and for collaboration outside of structural design open interfaces and standard protocols are used, allowing connections to many other software packages in use in the industry for the addition of H/VAC, piping or plant design, mechanical, electrical. Plumbing etc., to the same model. It is a totally open system that allows other design solutions and ERP systems supporting workflow processes to interface to this 3D model.

Through the use of a Building Information Modeling solution such as Tekla Structures everyone that is collaborating on a project are working with the "One Real Model." All the benefits are obtained, as previously explained under this heading, quality is maintained and the chance of errors is minimized throughout the project life cycle. Collaborators gain substantial increases in productivity and significant reductions in costs, thereby enabling more competitive bidding for projects while simultaneously allowing bottom-line margins to be maintained or even increased.

The unique 3D model thus defined covers all the materials and functions of the structure and offers full use of standardized data exchange tools. Once prepared, the model can be handled in many ways.

Real-time information sharing between all the contributors via a fast internet interface avoids unnecessary duplication of plansand drawings and ensures precision, coordination and synergy between the players whilst limiting the risk of errors and inconsistency. The model may be successively enhanced by the various participants in their respective areas of competence. It also boasts a fourth dimension–that of time–by memorizing the whole revision history and offering the possibility to simulate and thus anticipate modifications or alternative solutions in order to verify the visual, structural or functional outcome.
NBM&CW August 2007
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