Foto © Stijn Van Driessche
A project that is representative of the structural analysis projects that we typically perform with the BuildSoft Diamonds structural analysis software is the Fonteynbrug Residence in Mechelen. Stéphane Beel Architects designed this new build project on the banks of the river Dijle on behalf of Apart Real Estate. It comprises 16 flats spread over five floors, with cantilevered volumes on the four sides of the building. The necessary parking space is provided in 2 underground levels.
Fonteynbrug Residence, Mechelen, in progress (© Apart Real Estate)
Diamonds structural analysis model of the Fonteynbrug Residence superstructure, Mechelen
The entire supporting structure of this apartment building with cantilevered volumes was designed and built using reinforced concrete. Diamonds was used to calculate the necessary reinforcement quantities for the continuous central core and the walls, columns, floor slabs and beams on the different floors. Close collaboration with the contractor (Algemene Bouwonderneming Hooyberghs) ensured optimal execution of the work. For example, suppose the contractor proposes adaptations that allow the construction work to be carried out more quickly (such as working with prefabricated elements). In that case, we examine how these adaptations can be realised from a structural point of view.
Bottom and top reinforcement of floor slab in Fonteynbrug Residence - theoretical sections as calculated by Diamonds
Bottom and top reinforcement of floor slab in Fonteynbrug Residence - translation of theoretical sections into a practical reinforcement network
In this kind of project with multiple cantilever volumes, Diamonds’ wide range of tools to calculate deformations of beams and floor slabs comes in very handy. Thanks to the time-dependent analysis of deformations, Diamonds makes it easy to check deflections realistically against the requirements imposed by the Eurocodes. That is not just about limiting overall deflection, as dictated by aesthetic requirements. It is also about limiting the additional deflection of connecting elements such as non-load-bearing partitions, cladding, or glass to avoid damage and cracks to these elements. Because Diamonds determines the deflection before and after applying each new load, the time-dependent calculations can quickly deliver the additional deflections due to the application of new loads.
Such time-dependent calculations consider how loads change over time and also take into account the time-dependent effects of cracking and creep of the concrete. Of course, the actual reinforcement quantities used during construction play a crucial role in this regard. Therefore, when performing a time-dependent calculation of deformations with Diamonds, we are not limited to taking into account the reinforcement sections that follow from our structural analyses. We can also specify a practical reinforcement for all reinforced concrete elements – to make this time-dependent analysis of deformations as realistic as possible.
Total deflection of floor slab in Fonteynbrug Residence - taking into account cracking and creep of concrete, and evolution of loads as a function of time
Additional deflection of floor slab in Fonteynbrug Residence due to use load - taking into account cracking and creep of concrete
When everything revolves around the structural analysis of reinforced concrete structures, the choice for BuildSoft’s Diamonds analysis software is a no-brainer. For many years, BuildSoft has been a pioneer in advanced structural analysis for concrete structures, making this kind of analysis very accessible to a vast user community. Thanks to its unique combination of analysis power and user-friendliness, Diamonds remains for us the best possible software for the analysis of concrete structures."