Structural Engineering Lab: Cloud/Grid-Based Virtual Laboratory for Non-Linear Probabilistic Structural Analysis
The major objective of the virtual laboratory is to make use of existing advanced ICT tools from different application domains like CAD systems, facility management systems (FM), energy simulation, moisture calculation, fluid dynamic analysis, structural analysis, cost calculation tools, Building Information Modellers (BIM) and Building Automation Systems (BAS), which are all strong in their core business but mostly stand-alone, loosely integrated applications, and:
Almost all of the ICT building blocks and the system interoperability and management methods are planned to be generic. Hence, they can also be used in other domains or serve as templates and best-practice cases.
The main targeted use cases of energy and emission reduction are the early design phase of the planning of new buildings and facilities and the retrofitting phase for the existing building stock. Another important use case is the design of new products, concurrently considering their own energy be¬haviour and their interaction with the embedding facility, simulated by a set of virtual building environments, such as the use of a façade element for different building typologies, different climatic conditions and different user behaviours.
A further challenging issue is the consideration of stochastics. The virtual lab has to be complemented by an adequate (semi-)stochastic component to represent the stochastic nature for the product and the facility life cycle. The semi-stochastic approach could be capturing the real variability of the life cycle, and hence improve energy-efficient design of products and facilities. Today, stochastic life cycle considerations in AEC are only common in civil engineering domains, like offshore platforms, nuclear power plants, large span bridges, hydroelectric power plants and dams or other outstanding structures featuring high- risk consequences, where the main life cycle aspect is structural safety.