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Design | Perfecting the steel/concrete interface


Doubtless, software design of fixings provides a fast approach with much flexibility and hopefully a good result. However I am still puzzled by the way we have produced complicated design codes that make simple design almost impossible without extensive software use and a degree of specialisation beyond what I consider healthy. The result is, perversely, design by numbers with less attention paid to engineering feel and the ability to design across a range of materials and situations. My early design experience was gained just before desktop PCs became available, so I had to understand the codes and the maths of the calculations. This meant I got a good mathematical feel for what was happening, though I realise that this was often empirical rather than deeply theoretical. Now I find that new designers often feel unable to design anything without having undergone some software training and then can only give an answer by using that software; the ability to do a preliminary hand calc has dissapeared. I wonder how we can maintain that section of our design workforce who have a good feel for design rather than just accepting the anodyne results from an abstract piece of software? There isn’t time often to coach this in the design office due to constraints of programme and billability.

Posted date

12 April, 2018

Posted time

3:13 pm