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Beam me up

NCE IT - New software gives structural engineers an added dimension

Once the beams for a steel-framed building have been sized up, it is usually the task of the structural engineer to analyse the loading from each beam and come up with the most efcient size for the job.

The beams are automatically sized up using parametric RAM software before the engineer gets his calculator out to analyse the results.

But under new software from Fabsec, beam sizes are fed into the new FBeam 2006 to give the most efcient dimension.

'Before, when we did early scheme design RAM software would dene the size of the beams and we would then analyse the results, ' says Iain Russell, senior engineer at Leeds-based BWB consulting, which is using the system on a £90M mixed-use scheme in Wakefield, Yorkshire.

'The new software gives us all the analysis we need, automatically, for vast quantities of steel work. All in all it's saved us about a month, ' says Russell, adding that the software would prove particularly useful on steelframed buildings with a lot of wide spans that require steel to be fabricated to exact specications, rather than using standard sections.

Once the steel sections are specied the software can then calculate the exact thickness of intumescent coating to provide a re resistance of two hours.

The system also makes it easy to redesign steelframed buildings to the exact specications of tenants, said Russell.

'As the scheme progressed and tenants came on board they wanted changes, but using FBeam the structure has been easy to redesign, ' he adds.

Find out more from design@fabsec. co. uk

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