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Virtual prototyping by structural engineer Tristram Carfrae

The ability to fully test buildings prior to construction is critical to design success

We’re in a situation now where we can model things in the virtual world before building them.

Essentially, every building is a prototype, but now all that experimenting can be done virtually. You can check acoustics, fire engineering, light, heat, comfort levels – and even people’s behaviour. You can work out if there’s going to be condensation, and if there is, the engineer can analyse ways to redesign the structure.

Eventually we’ll have even more information about a building and how it will perform.

Tristram Carfrae is a principal with Arup. He is internationally regarded as a leading structural engineer and designer of stadia and lightweight long-span structures.

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