Sibenik, G., Kovacic, I., & Petrinas, V. (2021). Automated model preprocessing for structural analysis. In Proceedings of the 38th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC). 38th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, Dubai, International. https://doi.org/10.22260/isarc2021/0023
Numerous modelling and structural analysis workflows reflect the heterogeneity and vague standardization in the construction industry; hence their automation is not straightforward. Procedures like redefining geometry from scratch or assigning loads one-by-one, are mostly performed manually, are time-consuming and error-prone, reflecting traditional workflows in digital BIM environments. BIM tools for structural analysis, compared to finite element method tools, aim to automate and interrelate structural design, analysis and documentation. This paper investigates the potential and obstacles for automation of structural analysis workflows. We focus on automation of model preprocessing, the procedures which interrelate structural design and analysis. Through literature review and a practical use case analysis, automatable procedures were identified and formalized. They were further verified in the experts' panel discussion. The results indicate that defining floor levels, loads and load combinations, supports and joints are standard model preprocessing procedures. In special cases, e.g. special grounding conditions or heavy machinery, manual overriding of automatically assigned values might be required. Lack of clarity and traceability in the structural analysis of a complete building model, and the lack of confidence in background processes in BIM analysis tools, are identified as the main obstacles for automation. Finally, we deliver a prototype of the automated procedures with structural analysis software RFEM Dlubal, which exemplifies implementation. The automation of preprocessing is especially important for design optimization and time-dependent structural analysis during construction or demolition. This research contributes with an improvement proposal of BIM-based structural analysis thus enhancing the overall digitalization level of the building design process.
Information Systems Engineering: 50% Modelling and Simulation: 25% Computational System Design: 25%