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Pushing limits: Ashish Kumar, Bentley Systems

Ashish Kumar-Senior Sales Director, Product Sales Middle East & Africa-Bentley SystemsCreating an economical design project without sacrificing quality or safety is the goal of any engineering team. But, how one accomplishes this can be tricky and often requires innovative design applications. The engineering teams on two construction projects in the UAE needed to do exactly that – meet the budget and deliver a uniquely designed structure. The first is a library with an iconic design that will be a beacon of learning for the community, while the second is a multi-million square foot mall built on a man-made island that will bring in area residents and tourists. Using innovative software from Bentley Systems, both project teams met the goal of the stakeholders and put themselves in a good position to win more work.

A Cultural Centre Like No Other

Dubai-based Al Shafar Steel Engineering (ASSENT) needed to design a cost-efficient project while delivering an architectural design that met the needs of its client. The government of the UAE charged the organisation with designing the 66,000sqm Mohammed Bin Rashid Library in Dubai. The project was conceptualised in February 2016, the Year of Reading in Dubai, and hence, is designed in the shape of an opened book on a lectern. The seven-story library covers 60,386sqm of property and will host nine million visitors a year. The facility serves as a cultural centre, the largest in the Middle East, and will draw artistic and intellectual initiatives. It will also be linked digitally with libraries around the world to share and retrieve rare, valuable, and difficult-to-obtain sources of information.

To develop the imaginative steel elements on the project, ASSENT used Bentley Systems’ STAAD.Pro’s intuitive structural analysis and design software to model the forms. Using STAAD and the streamlined workflow that it facilitates, the team delivered the model to stakeholders ahead of schedule. As a result, ASSENT saved 15% of total structural design resource hours. “Bentley’s technology helps produce economical designs without sacrificing safety and quality,” said Abdelsalam Ahmed, design group leader with ASSENT. “STAAD allowed us to define a complex-shape model and efficiently collaborate with the design team.”

A Boost to the local economy

Located in Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago off the coast of Dubai, the Nakheel Mall is a 418,000sqm complex featuring 42ha of retail and dining space, and will act as an entertainment destination. It includes a hotel, Nakheel Mall on Palm Jumeirahmedical center, fitness facility, and movie theatres. It also includes a three-level underground parking structure that accommodates 4,000 vehicles. Located next to the Palm Tower and accessible via the Palm Monorail and near the Dubai tram and metro, the Nakheel Mall will boost the local economy when it is completed.

The multi-billion dirham luxury facility boasts a VIP entrance and rooftop fountains with waterfalls that plunge 65 feet into the mall. RASANA Engineering, the only steel contractor hired for the project, was asked to design the steel structure economically and safely, and, much like ASSENT on the library project, without sacrificing quality. To complete this task, RASANA needed interoperable structural design technology with advanced analysis capabilities.

Using STAAD.Pro Advanced for analysis and design of all steel structures, and irregular built-up structures, the project team initially modeled all structures in Trimble’s Tekla analysis and design software, and imported them into STAAD.Pro Advanced for further design and analysis. The direct integration of these two products improved project collaboration and eliminated rework. Indeed, the dynamic performance of STAAD.Pro Advanced accelerated the analysis process and helped RASANA deliver on-time, on-budget construction drawings.

“STAAD is the most trusted software for steel structures here in the UAE,” said Jebin Jacob, structural design engineer with RASANA Engineering. “The Design Review Authority only accepts projects that were designed in STAAD [and] we were confident that our design was 100% compliant with local requirements.”

Because the technology increased the analysis at a rate that is 100 times faster than normal analysis, STAAD.Pro Advanced helped to reduce costs on many of the steel sections. Moreover, RASANA improved its productivity and design efficiency, increased quality, and shortened the schedule. All of which resulted in a 15% savings in design time.

Jacob said: “The flexibility of STAAD allowed us to design this unique structure, which is an exciting focal-point for the community. Modeling with STAAD allowed us to efficiently define a complex model and share, design, and collaborate with the design team.”

Integrating STAAD.Pro Advanced reduced the time to design the project, which was originally budgeted for 7,900 design hours, but ended up needing just 6,656 hours. The flexible modeling environment enabled RASANA to better understand the behavior of the structure more quickly. The software optimised analytical modelling and allowed RASANA to efficiently define a complex model, streamline collaboration, and enhance information mobility among the team to meet project deliverables.

These high-profile projects are examples of what can be achieved when forward-thinking organisations team with technology partners that can help them meet their goals. In these cases, the design teams were met with critical challenges that needed to be resolved without increasing the budget or the time schedule. Bentley’s STAAD solution enabled both teams to meet their goals and, best of all, their clients’ expectations.

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