As a structural designer with CoBuilt, the burden of creating connections that are project specific, feasible, and economical is yours. In order to build a structure from top to bottom with us, it takes a bit of know-how, some want-to, and dash of creativity.

The “ole standard” when it comes to beam and column bracing.

As technology advances and performs more functions automatically, there is a tendency to accept a program’s defaults as your own because “it works”. At CoBuilt, we know that what works is not always the optimal solution. This Case Study focuses on how CoBuilting a project offers the most innovative solutions in structural steel supports.
As our designers get to work ensuring the best possible structural configurations, they are encouraged to think outside the box and past the computer. This is where the know-how, want-to, and creativity come into play. With the understanding that piece count is a driver of cost, we wanted to know what could be done to lessen the quantity of loose pieces. The structural designer on this project took it to task knowing that removing hundreds of angle braces could significantly lighten the load.

During the optimization phase of the CoBuilting process, we discovered that rather than providing a standard beam to column angle brace, we could significantly reduce the piece count, both shop and field labor, and cost to our client by implementing a field bolted gusset to gusset connection.

The program won’t run the calcs!

Our first obstacle in creating this connection was the limitation of the software. Even the best programs don’t like to bend the rules. In order to determine the length, thickness, and weld required for these gussets, we had to break out the trusty notepad and hand calculate the requirements in order to ensure structural stability and strength.

All parameters are met. Connection passes.

While this connection was created and used on a small portion of the project, the potential for cost savings at this project site is substantial. On a similar structure on this site, this connection would be able to eliminate 991 pieces of angle on one support structure alone and pass cost savings of $.15 – $.20 per pound – an overall savings to our client of nearly $60,000.

Working with CoBuilt means having a partner that doesn’t shy away from innovation, that seeks to expand outside the norms, and that is creative when it means putting our clients interests first.

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CoBuilting is a smart, efficient process developed to quickly manage all phases of design, coordination, approval, and fabrication. And while we do rely heavily on technology, there is simply no substitute for human ingenuity.

This mock-up was fabricated in CoBuilt’s state of the art facility in Memphis, TN prior to releasing the full structure to fabrication. We have tremendous confidence in our designers, but for something like this we just had to see it in person.

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