Which types of structural framing systems and materials are most commonly used in the US for residences? For office buildings?
What factors determine why these are the most used materials?
For low-rise residences, timber is typically used due to the ease and speed of timber construction. Simple stud walls and timber flooring are used. These buildings also pose less risk to occupants in case of collapse during earthquakes. For office or high-rise buildings, concrete and steel structures are used, either as combined structural systems or separately. Steel is used for general gravity framing due to its quicker construction times, but concrete shear walls are often used for the lateral systems due to their higher rigidity. They almost become a necessity in earthquake-prone regions such as California.
Why do different teams of designers and subcontractors link and share their models during the design process?
What are the advantages of linking models?
Are there any disadvantages to linking models?
Linking models allows for better coordination and collaboration during the design process. Seeing the different disciplines' models come together can greatly reduce time spent corresponding and discussing inter-disciplinary problems, especially if not all parties have the same expertise to conceptualize certain needs and issues of other disciplines. However, this requires a certain amount of transparency and trust between all parties, and can also result in too much focus on small details especially if done too early in the process.
How do you think design coordination was done before we started using digital models?
What advantages does doing this coordination digitally have over previous methods?
What strategies can design teams use to find and avoid clashes prior to the start of construction?
What can be done besides sharing the models digitally?
At what point in the project development process should design coordination start?
Is it ever too early?
It can never be too early. The best projects happen when all members of the AEC team are on board and ready to collaborate right from project conception. However, this requires a lot of proper guidance and vision so that the team is not bogged down by rework and chaos. Furthermore, at every stage of design, the level of detail required from each member of the team also needs to be clearly defined, whether it is a full model or simply high-level input. Coordination does not always have to mean sitting down together for clash detection sessions right from the get go.