Grafik: Jonathan Rebien Olesen

Automated design tool for smooth cooperation in construction projects

Wednesday 05 Sep 18


Flemming Vestergaard
DTU Civil Engineering
+45 45 21 41 14


Erik Falck Jørgensen
Senior ICT Officer
+45 93 51 09 00

Learn more about computational automation of the calculation processes

One of the programmes Jonathan Rebien Olesen has worked with is Dynamo. He has published an article about his work on Dynamo's online forum. The article can be seen here.

Computational automation can help ensure that engineers are involved earlier in the building design process than is the case today. This makes it possible to test promising design paths without dead-locking projects or losing the design freedom.

The construction industry uses predominantly manual calculations at the early stages of building design and planning.

Engineers are usually not involved in the calculation processes until the design has been finalized. This means that engineers and architects, for example, do not have much to do with each other in the initial phase—which can be quite long, i.e. before a concept has been decided. This can lead to costly design changes later on, delays, and inflexible workflows between architects and engineers.

A new Master’s thesis from DTU Civil Engineering investigates the possibilities for developing a tool that makes it possible to present engineers and designers with an early indication of promising potential solutions without dead-locking projects and without loss of design freedom. This can be done by means of computational automation of the calculation processes.

Reduced costs, easier communication, and optimized choices

Automating the process of choosing between several possible solutions in this part of the project can help to cut costs, save time, avoid errors, and reduce material consumption. Moreover, the tool can facilitate communication between engineers and other professional groups involved in the project. This combination is one of the main motivations for the thesis, which was written by Jonathan Rebien Olesen, MSc Eng in Architectural Engineering.

“The method allows for the early identification of a number of optimized design options. It is also possible to involve the engineers earlier in the design process than we usually see today. It facilitates the communication between the different professional groups involved in a construction project and makes it possible to automatically evaluate and calculate multiple possible designs,” explains Jonathan Rebien Olesen.

The tool, which Jonathan Rebien Olesen has developed as part of his Master’s thesis, makes it possible to optimize static models in the modelling program Revit and the calculation program Robot Structural Analysis, while at the same time creating a user-friendly interface through the visual programming tool Dynamo.

The thesis focuses on optimization of steel structures in the early design phases, but the method can also be used in a large number of other contexts.

The thesis has been written in collaboration with Sweco, a firm of consulting engineers, which this year alone has been a partner in several final projects from DTU in the field of computational automation of building projects.