What if one designer could wield the power of 1,000? And we could exponentially accelerate innovation to create designs once considered unachievable–buildings thought unbuildable?
HOK’s engineering team has developed a parametric modeling and optimization tool called HOK STREAMTM that dramatically speeds up the design process. This tool combines several modeling and structural analysis programs and processes to generate a single, streamlined solution for optimizing a structure based on expertise specific to that project type, across multiple disciplines.
Here’s how it works: Early in the design process, during the development of preliminary concepts, design teams need to determine which ideas are viable and worthy of further exploration. This process historically has taken a few weeks. Today, though, HOK’s integrated architectural and engineering teams are using STREAM to simultaneously review thousands of design adjustments. We now can quickly visualize the impact of myriad variations to a building’s aesthetics and engineering systems.
By blending the architectural logic and poetry with engineering design optimization, HOK’s teams are creating more imaginative, cost effective and sustainable design solutions delivered up to 70 percent faster than previously possible. These integrated teams have used STREAM to create innovative solutions that already have generated millions of dollars in design and construction cost savings.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Landside Canopies
Early in the design of the landside modernization at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, HOK’s architectural and engineering team relied on STREAM to help quickly create and optimize dozens of design alternatives. The design team was given four weeks to demonstrate the viability of building two feature canopies over the active roadways, with a focus on cost effectiveness and minimizing disruptions to the airport and its passengers. To start, hundreds of ideas were considered at a charrette attended by designers from several disciplines (architecture; MEP, structural and civil engineering; lighting design and others). Starting from some simple architectural sketches and other more defined geometric models, HOK used STREAM to create and evaluate analytical models for each option. This allowed a detailed comparison of structural behavior and constructability for hundreds of iterations of each design scheme within just a few hours. The investigated design concepts included tension fabric structures, mono-column systems and undulating diagrid forms. With a conventional design approach, by comparison, this process would have taken 2-3 weeks for each concept.
The design team used this process to provide the airport with four preferred design options and quantified the pros and cons for each scheme. The client selected one of those options, and the team used STREAM to finalize the concept design. The entire process took just three weeks. The result was a significantly better design that minimized disruptions to airport operations while saving millions of dollars in construction costs. This project is currently in construction, with steel erection on the first canopy nearing completion.
Other Ongoing and Recent Projects
HOK is actively using STREAM on a wide variety of project types, including airports, sports venues, tall buildings, mixed-use developments, laboratories, hospitals and large-scale sculptures. Recent and ongoing project work includes the LaGuardia Airport Terminal B, the halo video board structure at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Emory Sports Medicine Complex, the Salt Lake City International Airport Passenger Terminal, the Structural eXterior Enclosure system and many others.
Video and article courtesy of HOK
For more information about STREAM, contact Regional Leader of Engineering Matt Breidenthal.