Sometimes it feels like ‘innovation’ is the most overused word in the English language, ‘literally’! To progress, society just needs changes that bring improvement and it doesn’t matter if they are quite subtle and evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. So for our 2019 UK Steel Construction Day we will be showcasing a number of projects, ideas and processes that drive towards improved steel construction in very different ways.
The Government is investing heavily in Transforming Construction, with the now familiar stated aims to provide better quality construction at reduced cost more quickly and with a preference for offsite solutions (partly to combat future labour shortages). The work on ‘platforms’ being undertaken by Bryden Wood has been widely recognised and we are delighted that Kevin Masters will update us on the work they are doing to help bridge the gap between construction and manufacturing. With related aims we have been fortunate to secure funding from Innovate UK for a BCSA led project looking at offsite integrated modules. The outcome of this project will be generic design and client guidance, aimed at achieving transformation of a significant proportion of everyday steel buildings. The event will be timely for us to present outcomes as this project will be drawing near to a close in November.
It is clear that to achieve real improvement new technical solutions alone will not to be sufficient. Client buy-in and willingness to try something different is also going to be needed. Pete Winslow from Expedition, currently seconded to WSP, will tell us how significant savings, in material and overall cost, can be made if a client is willing to spend a little more on design. His example concerns a roof of complex form and the benefits of wind tunnel testing to determine design loads more accurately.
Prof. Matthew Gilbert, University of Sheffield will introduce layout optimisation techniques and how these can be applied to a range of structural design problems, he will look at the opportunities for these techniques, but also the potential pitfalls.
Significant improvements in sector performance will only ever be achieved by solutions that have widespread application. Until now, the component method is the only method used in Connection design and has been the basis of all Connection design software in the market. Theodore Tsirozidis will discuss how IDEA StatiCA UK have developed a new software ‘CBFEM’ which encompasses complex connections often used in modern structures. The software follows a different approach for calculating internal forces, by decomposing the whole joint into separate components.
Despite focussing on improvements and technical solutions, we should always leave room for iconic one-offs to stir our emotions. One such highly publicised project is the new bridge at Tingtagel, which we will hear about from Matthieu Mallié of Ney and Partners. The bridge includes some interesting choices of steel driven by demanding design requirements.
For more information on the event and to register visit our website
See the programme for the day
Sponsors of the event include: