Structural analysis software is the most significant construction advance in the last 10 years.
It means theoretical models - the starting point of any construction project – can be simulated more quickly and with greater frequency and accuracy.
While engineering intuition, sketching and calculations are central to the construction process, structural analysis software connects imagination to ideas and ideas to construction more confidently; it allows for a more performative and productive testing process. Projects such as Herzog and de Meuron’s bird’s nest and Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim in Bilbao would not be possible without it.
Alvin Huang & Alan Dempsey’s DRL 10 Pavilion for the Architectural Association used structural analysis software and was conceived, designed and fabricated in eight weeks. The process included over 60 analysis models fed simultaneously ‘upstream’ to the architect and downstream to the manufacturer to automate the production.