Knowledge-based engineering applications for supporting the design of precast concrete facade panels

DS 87-6 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 6: Design Information and Knowledge, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Montali, Jacopo; Overend, Mauro; Pelken, P. Michael; Sauchelli, Michele
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; 2: Laing O'Rourke Plc, United Kingdom
Section: Design Information and Knowledge
Page(s): 131-139
ISBN: 978-1-904670-94-0
ISSN: 2220-4342


Precast concrete facade panels, despite guaranteeing higher environmental performances, quality and quicker installation, are still designed starting from a conceptual, relatively constraint-free solution, in which details are included as the design develops. This traditional approach does not reduce risks in decision making, but rather, it increases the likelihood of devising a solution which is difficult to manufacture and/or unable to meet performance requirements, thus leading to inefficient use of time and human resources. This paper illustrates how a specific digital, knowledge-based engineering (KBE) application can support the design of single-leaf, non-loadbearing precast concrete panels. The application includes knowledge about preferred design and manufacturing constraints, and supply chain availability of a specific facade manufacturer. The result of this study is a digital application that informs design teams about the “tenderability” of the chosen solution, its approximate costs and expected performance. Future work will include additional functionalities, the development of specific metrics for assessing the impact in real-world projects and subsequent validation.

Keywords: Early design phases, Product architecture, Design for X (DfX), Constraint modelling, Visualisation

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