A pioneering Scottish engineering design specialist has become one of the first independent consultancies to exploit the advantages of IDEA STatiCa, the first software in the world which can design and check all steel connections and joints regardless of complexity.
Applied Engineering Design (AED), which has offices in Edinburgh and Bath, is one of the few smaller firms to offer clients the revolutionary system which designs and checks welded or bolted connections, 2D or 3D joints, anchoring or footing of all topologies.
IDEA STatiCa streamlines fabrication for clients and provides clear pass/fail checks according to EC/AISC/CISC standards as well as importing data from the most widespread FEA and CAD programs.
AED is using the technique on a major project for the multi-billion pound Battersea Power Station development in London, which is providing 4000 new homes on the south bank of the River Thames.
Together with its client Icon Fabrications, AED has been tasked by the Robert Bird Group with creating a high-level temporary roadway at the site which is capable of carrying heavy construction traffic. Once its use as a site connection is finished, the structural beams and columns will be encased in concrete and flats will be built on top of the deck.
Tim Hetherington, Director of AED, said: “It is a particularly complex commission and we have become early adopters of IDEA STatiCa because its advanced design and check process is both powerful and quick enough to be a useful tool in our everyday work as structural engineers for fabricators.
“I had become aware of the limitations of commonplace software and I had been looking for an alternative. IDEA STatiCa is very expensive, which is why it is largely used by bigger consultancies, but I have been persuaded by the value that it adds to our offering.”
AED has also employed the software on work for the new £12.5 million Laidlaw Music Centre, which is being constructed at the University of St Andrews. The building will house a performance venue, a rehearsal space and a high-tech recording facility.
IDEA STatiCa’s advanced steel connection designs have also been introduced by AED into the steel podium for a new Edinburgh flats development at Waterfront 3, where the unique capabilities of the software have enabled the use of innovative connection types, delivering better value for AED’s clients.
AED was founded in 2008 and now has offices in Edinburgh and Bath. It has a turnover of £650,000 and employs 10 people. It undertakes most of its detailed design and coordination work in house.
The company serves individuals and businesses in sectors including industry and commerce, sport and education, infrastructure and property maintenance.