Realistic simulation in architecture and civil engineering

Realistic simulation in architecture and civil engineering
Product, nature and living environment in architecture, engineering and construction
The development  of technology and modern systems provide a great deal of opportunities and create an environment that allows visualization and creation of virtual reality. Innovative technologies, with the support of modern software solutions, turn ideas like underwater hotels, hyper-loops and 3D printed objects into physical objects. When developing the ideas and their physical realization, a special emphasis must be expressed on protecting the environment, natural and cultural goods and not endangering of the living population in the environment. Communities created in this way require interaction in the environment-product-user relationship. The first thought was on buildings such as modern hotels, city resorts, but objects that have a direct impact on nature should not be ignored such as bridges, dams or tunnels. One of the modern lattice structures is shown in Figure 1 which was presented at the Shanghai Expo 2010.

One of the modern lattice structures is shown in Figure 1 which was presented at the Shanghai Expo 2010.

The development of new products and materials from the very beginning is adapted to the environment and conditions of exploitation, while at the same time maximizing the functionality and safety of the product itself. Exploitation conditions and the environment can change over time, which requires some flexibility and the possibility of certain modifications. These changes must, as far as possible, be foreseen during the development itself, so that they can be realized when adequate conditions are created.
Complex tasks require real simulations, which should include simultaneous precise geometry of the model, material properties, and give realistic representations of product behavior during physical and natural processes. Through the development process, it is necessary to accurately predict and evaluate the costs of making and maintaining.


Large-scale construction projects as one of the biggest problems have overdraft costs and given construction deadlines. Consequences of these problems are unforeseen events and structural changes during the construction. As one of the basic requirements, the balance between cost is set, time and quality, any project in question. In this way, the final product is more profitable, safer and easier to maintain. During the construction period, architects and construction engineers should first present a concept and conceptual solution that meets the requirements set forth in advance. It is necessary to identify potential structural loads and adjust the construction so that the resulting loads are adequately distributed. Any error and potential defect in the development phase can lead to significant time delays and reconstruction costs. When forming a structure as a complex system with interconnected elements, it is important to take into account the method of assembly and the formation of the system as a whole. It is of utmost importance that the structure is formed identically to the given boundary conditions in the software (screw connections, welded joints, amplification etc.) in order to simulate the results of the simulation in real terms. All of the above facts require a broad study of the study, and the definition of project implementation flows. Precisely defined conditions in the early stage of development can significantly increase the quality of the product, its safety and extend the service life.  Also, it is important to provide logistical support during the process of assembly and joining elements.


In architecture, virtual reality and graphic models significantly contribute to a better conceptual design, taking into account a wide range of different criteria, such as scheduling, lighting and landscaping. Also, the virtual rendering (rendering) can be used to present the presented model as realistically as possible.
In engineering, virtual reality can be used to calculate structural and geometric configurations. These configurations can then be used in computer analyzes to predict the behaviour of the material, the arrangement of internal voltages and deformations that result from the given conditions. After these analyzes and simulations, the predicted data values can be displayed through diagrams and mathematically analyzed. Based on these data, engineers can define the mechanical properties of materials and determine the possibility of their application.
In construction, the final design is used for assessment and procurement of materials, planning operations and logistical support. If necessary, certain tools and accessories may be made depending on the dimensions of the product or construction.
As presented, simulations support all three phases of any construction project, conceptual and architectural design, engineering design and construction of an object. Tools for simulating and visualizing processes in the building significantly facilitate the implementation process, improve quality and significantly contribute to increased security. As part of its platform, Dassault Systemes has one of the software solutions to solve the problems.
Structure Design within the framework of the 3DEXPIRENCE platform is a specially developed module to enable engineers and architects to provide a unique possibility of virtual presentation of the conceptual model, and performing engineering simulations. The module creates, analyzes and connects interconnected applications into one whole, by which several users can simultaneously manage in accordance with the set requirements. Any changes in one of the components are updated in the system. For more complex calculations, the Abaqus software package has been developed, developed in the 1978 and has been upgraded to date to solve the most complex problems. It is used to solve metaphysical non-linear problems, such as elasto-plastic analysis, structural damage analysis, thermal analysis, and diffusion effects analysis, dynamic analysis etc.
For basic calculations of construction structures, there are a number of software solutions that satisfy static and basic dynamic calculations. However, for the calculation of complex dynamic problems, such as the dynamics of the entire earthquake construct, including contacts, which occur in dynamics and where the development of the cracks or cracks is required, the Abaqus software solution is used.
The first step in a series of operations is to create a 3D model. Creation of 3D models is supported through the CATIA solution in the 3DEXPIRENCE environment, after which the loads, limitations, network generation and definition of boundary conditions continue in SIMULIA software, all in the same 3DEXPIRENCE environment. One example is shown in Figure 2. The picture shows a bridge with ball bearings, on which the model was analyzed by finite element method. The analysis shows the field of the resulting deformations with the given loads. The value of deformations that occurred in the given conditions can be read from the scale shown through the numerical value and colour palette.

Display of deformation of bridges formed at the given values of real loads

Figure 2. Display of deformation of bridges formed at the given values of real loads



3DEXPIRENCE platform allows modeling and simulation of real conditions in which construction objects are located. Figure 3 shows an example of a 25-story building, which is constructed as a lattice construction. The picture visually shows the fields of stress and load.  The figure shows the vertical load under gravity force.

Display of vertical load under gravity force

Figure 3. Display of vertical load under gravity force



Abaqus as a software solution enables the simulation of dynamic loads displayed at a specific time.  Consideration is given to fatigue and damage to materials that over time develop. In this way, a realistic image of the behavior of the construction through its lifetime is obtained, which enables improved initial construction characteristics in order to extend the life span.

 Prikaz deformacija dobijenih simulacijom u Abaqus

Figure 4: Abaqus stimulation in deformation