Improving engineering agility

As Macobo’s Structural Design team leader, ing. Liesbeth Torfs is closely involved in highly diverse projects. She’s more than happy to comment on some of the recent and current projects that her team has worked on. "Crematorium Stuifduin (Lommel, Belgium) is a beautiful example of a challenging project in which all partners (including a2o architecten, Groep Vanhout and Macobo) collaborate intensively on a central BIM model", according to Liesbeth Torfs.

"But the structural design of this building is quite a challenge as well," Liesbeth continues. "Fortunately, the advanced 3D structural design analysis capabilities of BuildSoft's Diamonds software have come in extremely handy. Starting from a 3D model of the entire concrete structure, including foundations, Diamonds has enabled us to come up with a practical reinforcement plan in a very short time. The ability to define reinforcement nets for slabs and walls is a convenient feature that significantly increases our productivity. It does not only visualize where additional reinforcement is required to achieve a good design, but it also informs us on the amount of additional reinforcement that is needed locally.

The considerable spans and cantilevers that are typical for projects such as Crematorium Stuifduin, primarily impose special requirements related to maximum deformations of the building structure. That's why Diamonds' capability to calculate cracked deformations of concrete elements, while considering the effective amount of reinforcement, has become part of our standard design procedure for concrete building structures. Our experience shows that in this way we can deliver a quality structural design that satisfies all building requirements in an economically sound manner.

Calculation times are also a definite plus of Diamonds. Because Diamonds allows us to recalculate a structural design in just a matter of minutes, we firmly improve our agility as an engineering team. Much more than in the past, we are involved in the design process from the early stages – getting more opportunities to deliver input."

"Challenges can be very different from one project to another," concludes Liesbeth Torfs. "Diamonds' great ease of use is essential to us in our day-to-day tasks as structural engineers. If a new colleague strengthens our team (and in a fast growing company like Macobo, that happens frequently), it only takes a few days at the most to get up to full speed with Diamonds. I don’t know of any other structural design analysis software that makes this possible."


MACOBO-STABO is a multidisciplinary engineering office created from the merger of the engineering firms JAN VAN AELST, STABO and MACOBO. Today we work together as one entity in the disciplines of Stability, Building Techniques, Sustainability, Acoustics and Safety.

MACOBO was founded in 2008 by ing. Davy Macquoi and has organically grown from customer needs. With our family of around 125 in-house construction professionals, our mission is to serve the construction sector with a wide range of the most current architectural studies, which are well coordinated with each other and carried out by the best engineers, using the most modern technologies. As a result, we facilitate the construction process for all construction partners, we promote a profitable project for our customers and we guarantee a sustainable construction for society.

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