Tekla Structural Designer Delivers for GRAEF, Where Others Fall Short

It was a leap of faith but our pilot was a hospital – a pretty big project for trying a new software program. We had a lot of confidence in Tekla Structural Designer and what it could do and it didn’t disappoint,” said Kilbert. “In terms of efficiency alone, we’ve seen about a 5 percent savings in time, which may not sound like a lot but it significant considering the margins that engineering offices run at these days. – Dan Kilbert, PE, LEED AP and healthcare market leader at GRAEF.

Today, most engineers use a number of different analysis and design tools but with the rise of 3D modeling and increased collaboration, this is proving to be more and more difficult. An engineer may use as many as five analysis and design tools on a single project. One tool is used to create a model for steel frame design, another for concrete slab design and the list goes on. After the various models are created, they are usually combined into a new BIM model, from scratch – wasting time and increasing the potential for errors.

Adding to the problem has been the lack of interoperability between software programs, many of which claim to easily integrate with others but in reality, fall short. This inability to easily move a model from analysis and design tools to a BIM software program and share it with other stakeholders throughout the design, fabrication and construction process, often diminishes the benefits of using a 3D model in the first place.

Dan Kilbert PE, LEED AP and healthcare market leader at the consulting engineering firm GRAEF, tried several different analysis and design software tools, all of which promised to integrate seamlessly with various brands of BIM software, but none of which delivered.

“We were using multiple analysis and design tools, but couldn’t successfully pass the model from those tools to BIM software being used by architects,” said Kilbert. “On several projects, we tried to pass an analytical model to our BIM software, but it was very fickle and if we were to pass it back to make adjustments, the link between the two programs would often break. It was hard to get that working, so we would end up doing things the old way of hand sketching or handing it to a technician to have them draft or model it.”

Tekla Structural Designer was developed specifically to help design engineers maximize collaboration with other project parties, including technicians, fabricators and architects. Its unique functionality allows engineers to integrate the physical design model seamlessly with Tekla Structures and other leading BIM software, and to round-trip without compromising vital design data.

“Other tools have tried to master BIM integration the way that Tekla Structural Designer does, but they’ve fallen short,” said Kilbert. “The interoperability and collaboration it enables is bulletproof and has been a huge time saver.”

Easily Manage Changes

Effective change management is critical for staying on task and budget, especially on complex projects.

Changes in Tekla Structural Designer can be easily managed for reduced response time at any stage of a project, and applied across the entire model to instantly assess impact and automatically get a re-design in seconds.

“It was a leap of faith but our pilot was a $100M+ hospital – a pretty big project for trying a new software program. We had a lot of confidence in Tekla Structural Designer and what it could do and it didn’t disappoint,” said Kilbert. “In terms of efficiency alone, we’ve seen about a 5 percent savings in time, which may not sound like a lot but it is significant considering the margins that engineering offices run at these days.”

Ensure High Quality Deliverables  

Tekla Structural Designer includes all the critical information needed to fully automate design to an engineer’s chosen building code so less time is spent processing analysis data.

Because Tekla Structural Designer is fully automated, engineers can easily create and compare a range of design schemes and determine the most cost effective material or solution for projects.

Transform Your Business

From seamless BIM integration to a quick comparison of design schemes and cost effective change management, Tekla Structural Designer has the all the features engineering businesses need to win more work, increase efficiently and maximize profits.

“Tekla Structural Designer has brought significant value to our business,” said Kilbert. “We’ve phased out other programs and intend to exclusively use Tekla Structural Designer for analysis and design.”

Dan Kilbert

"As structural engineers, we are under an ever increasing set of demands to produce work faster, at a lower cost and with the highest quality possible. Technology is helping us meet this demand and stay on top of a highly competitive market."
Dan Kilbert, PE
LEED AP, Principal
Graef