by Susan Smith
Projects recognized by Bentley Systems in their 2009 Be Inspired Awards include a bridge in Vietnam, a light rail system in Arizona, roofs in Worcester and Wimbledon, and the modernization of Chicago's O'Hare Airport.
In this annual program, Bentley highlights outstanding examples of its software in use on infrastructure projects of all kinds around the world. This year's program includes awards in 17 categories, from buildings and roads to team coordination.
A Roof in Worcester
The roof design of the Worcester Library and History Centre in Worcester, United Kingdom, draws on two local influences: the nearby Malvern Hills and the historic Royal Worcester kilns. Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, architectural lead on the project and winner of the 2008 Stirling Prize, used parametric modeling in Bentley's GenerativeComponents software to develop the roofscape, earning an award from Bentley for innovation in generative design.
The roof's angular funnel shapes, reminiscent of the kilns, assist in providing ventilation through building-integrated natural ventilation controls. Areas at the top of the funnels were glazed to allow daylight into the structure. The modeling approach resulted in a reduction in the weight of the roof, allowing a corresponding reduction in the size of the columns supporting it.
Challenges arose as the team sought to develop a complex roof form that was consistent with sustainable design goals. Richard Priest, an architectural software engineer with Feilden Clegg Bradley, says that at one point, the design of the ventilation baffles had to be changed, involving numerous iterations of modeling that would have been difficult if modeled manually. The layout of the entire roof changed; by rearranging the structural center points of the funnels, the model readjusted itself to the new layout.
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