<< Did you know…? This pioneering company is a proud holder of CE certificate in EXC4 – Execution Class 4 which is the top level European certification both in Structural Manufacturing and Structural Sizing awarded by Lloyd’s Register. >>
Spanish construction company Estructuras Arqué is a family-run business which has specialised in the construction of metal structures for over 50 years. Their multidisciplinary team of experts have carried out more than 6,000 projects in Spain and abroad.
What is Spatial Systems?
This system was born from an idea of putting into practice the concept of parametric architecture applied in the design and manufacture of metal roofs and modular construction systems. The Spatial System design method lets users adapt their designs to the required architectural geometries within a BIM system, which allows them to control the entire process from design to planned assembly of the structure.
From Pen & Paper to IFC
But first, a quick History lesson. Around the 1960’s Computer Aided Design (CAD) brought countless benefits by replacing the traditional pen and paper processes used at the time.
Later, the increase in computational power and high speed internet created the perfect conditions for more sophisticated workflows, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), to appear in the early 2000’s.
BIM became essential for the growing construction industry as it streamlines collaboration across all stages from planning, design, construction to operation of built assets. AEC teams can work in a decentralised way developing and using BIM models sometimes for years which puts a lot more pressure on standardisation and interoperability.
Interoperability between applications in AEC has been typically achieved either with import/export plugins or with a neutral exchange file format such as IFC, which is a data model intended to describe architectural, building and construction industry data.
Cloud applications are the next step in solving the pains of data transfers between teams and ShapeDiver contributes to this effort by supporting IFC exports with GeometryGym or with our upcoming direct Revit integration [tentative release: Q1 2021].
The Spatial Systems App
The Spatial Systems app created by Estructuras Arqué brings together the best of cloud applications and IFC interoperability by providing easy access to structural design. With it, architects can quickly test various options and configure desired products according to the project requirements.
The tool gives a number of parameters for a variety of solutions. Users can define the dimensions and choose from a flat, curved or pitched shape. Fine tuning then allows to set the number of columns and space frame subdivision as well as profile sizing that complies with local regulations for structural integrity and maintainability.
Once the design is completed, users can request the final model in a variety of file formats. The choice of multiple download formats caters for different use cases in the construction industry.
IFC is especially important for engineers and contractors working with TEKLA Structures as they can import the model for analysis and manufacturing with traceability from model reception to delivery on site.
The product is supplied with identification of elements and assembly plans to mitigate any mistakes causing budget overruns or project delays. This way ShapeDiver seamlessly integrates and expands the current BIM workflows.
How Was This Built?
The parametric logic of this tool was built in Grasshopper and then uploaded to ShapeDiver for publishing online. The model was then embedded in the final web application with custom UI. The IFC export is powered by the GeometryGym plugin for Grasshopper.
No other tools can bring AEC teams together as cloud applications and for this reason they are a real game changer in collaboration between architects, engineers, contractors and property developers. The Spatial Systems app is a great example of how a design of steel structures is going to look like in the near future.
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