The research is focused on optimising structural form for sustainability and efficiency. The optimisation is conducted for the permanent structure but the point of interest is to also include constructability and temporary works. The optimisation uses the parametric design tool Grasshopper, which runs within the CAD software Rhinoceros 3D. It is conducted over layered stages. The inner layer takes a given form and geometry and is used to optimise the structural elements using finite element analysis (e.g. cross sectional parameters). The second layer looks to vary the geometry, for example modifying the columns location on a floor plate. The third layer is for the overall form of the structure, for instance comparing using an arch with a cable and net structure. 


Figure 1: Slab optimisation through columns position

The objective of the project is to produce good practice guidelines that the industry can use when designing structures. The focus is on producing a digital design process where software are interfaced together to produce a pragmatic optimised solution encompassing all the necessary constraints, outputting detailed drawings that can be used by industry. The objective is to design sustainably whilst still being able to produce a unique structure answering a unique set of requirements. The project is run in collaboration with Robert Bird Group.


Laura Bellamy 
Dr Andrew Phillips