Select and Position Structural Assemblies
Having the tentative structural bays determined at the subsystem level, at the structural assembly level (activity number 3) the engineer selects, specifies, positions, and validates each assembly with respect to local load conditions, supports and constraints given by the ASM. The DKM can also suggest feasible structural assemblies on demand. At this level, structural assemblies have not been populated yet with structural elements and connections. Structural assemblies already positioned at the subsystem level are modified, repositioned, or even removed by the engineer. Structural assemblies can also be added by the engineer or the DKM. For example, local space and/or storey factors (e. g. applied loads, availability of supports, layout constraints in spaces below) may even lead to partitioning a given floor assembly into two or more assemblies. At this level, structural assembly specifications consist of supporting element types organized by function, material, shape and size. This organization facilitates structural element grouping at the structural element level. For the typical
bays, floor framing directions are specified and secondary element types, spacing and dimensions are determined. For evaluation, approximate assembly cost and weight can be obtained by the DKM for the bay dimensions given. At this level, ensuring element uniformity and compatibility within an assembly is cumbersome because of slight variations that may exist in architectural supports and constraints within and between stories (even within a single structural zone). ASM spatial verifications on adjacent bays combined with constructability knowledge from the DKM can be used to guarantee element uniformity and compatibility within a structural assembly.