The new Singapore airport, Jewel Changi Airport, opened this spring. It features a unique design of the world’s tallest indoor waterfall with a translucent, ovoid-shaped gridshell roof spanning above it.
In an AECbytes project profile, Cristobal Correa, project director and Principal of Structures at BuroHappold, describes the software and AEC technology used for the Jewel Changi Airport:
"The engineering team used a number of advanced software applications and building information modeling (BIM) tools to optimize Jewel’s complex design. SAP2000 software allowed for experimentation with varying depths in the gridshell, as well as for rerunning analyses and adding material where needed. These analyses included elastic as well as inelastic behavior. OASYS GSA software-enabled independent checks of these calculations. The engineering team also used Rhino for BIM and Grasshopper for the rapid generation of design alternatives.
Using these software programs dramatically improved the project team’s workflow. For example, Rhino allowed for simple interchanges of data between BuroHappold and the designers at Safdie Architects. By creating scripts in Grasshopper, BuroHappold could then manipulate these shared files, generating geometrical files that identified structural steel elements and could also be imported into the SAP2000 software for analysis. After the elements were sized, they could be evaluated in Rhino.
Eventually, those Rhino files were used to create a 3D extruded model in Revit that would be used as the basis for structural drawings. It’s a complex back-and-forth, but advanced software eased the way."