Billington Structures uses Tekla software for Ingenuity Project

The complex triangular structure of Interserve’s new office building, Ingenuity House, meant that all parties involved in the challenging project had to be fully committed to working within a 3D environment and to BIM Level 2, to ensure that it was delivered on time and within budget. Structural Steel Specialists, Billington Structures, used Tekla software to model the steel frame and temporary bracing, and to fully detail all connections to Level of Definition (LOD) 5/6. Consequently, this project went on to win the Public Vote Award in this year’s Tekla UK Awards.

Ingenuity House, as named by its owner and Billington’s Client, Interserve, is a 5-storey, 12,000m2, highly sustainable, office building located next to Birmingham International Airport and Birmingham International Railway Station.

The building consists of large (up to) 3,000m2 truncated triangular floorplates, which are arranged around a central internal atrium, a suspended ground floor and an apron podium structure. The whole structure is then capped off with a lightweight steel atrium roof frame, consisting of trussed radial rafters, inwardly cantilevering from the main roof and propped by a central compression ring in the permanent state.

The complex geometry of the building meant that working in anything other than a 3D environment would have been extremely difficult and time consuming. Tekla Structures and Tekla Structural Designer were both used on this project by Billington not only to model and design the steel frame, but also to carry out a structural analysis in the temporary state.

Approximately 1,700 tonnes of structural steel was supplied and erected by Billington, including a roof level truss, which supported the roof and fourth floor above the feature recessed entrance area (weighing 30 tonnes). In addition, approximately 50 tonnes of extensive temporary bracing and props were also designed and supplied by Billington to control temporary state deflection and facilitate the erection of this unusual and complex structure.  

Billington identified a number of risks at construction stage; such as temporary stability issues and horizontal sway deflections. Following the identification of risks, a detailed set of temporary state structural analysis models were carried out to assess the potential movement of the structure during construction.

The result allowed Billington to design and specify a complex layout of temporary bracing to maintain dimensional stability throughout the construction phases. All of the non standard temporary elements were modelled directly in the Tekla 3D model.

Fabrication drawings were automatically produced by Tekla software and with minimum editing, they were ready to be issued to the factory; together with .nc1 files produced directly by Tekla for reading by automated cutting and drilling machines. With this information issued to the shop floor and material arriving in line with previously created orders, the fabrication process became a much more efficient service.

The automated export facility within Tekla was also used to create export files for the cold rolled supplier, which automatically populated their fabrication process, making the exchange of information between the two quick and easy.

Billington Structures’ Technical Director, Simon Thrift, says: “One advantage of using Tekla is having the ability to import and export information in multiple formats with ease, to suit third party needs. Providing the model in various formats enabled all parties to approve and coordinate within the design team efficiently.

“Having discussions with the Main Contractor during the early stages to agree the erection sequence was essential. This process was aided by the ease in which the Tekla model could be viewed and manipulated, by using the Tekla BIMSight Viewer.”

Models created with Tekla Structures contain precise, reliable and detailed information needed for successful BIM and construction execution; it creates more accurate ways of working and streamlines collaboration between all parties. While Tekla Structural Designer is a revolutionary piece of software that gives you the power to analyse and design buildings efficiently and profitably.   

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Jill Willoughby

Jill Willoughby
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