The goal of optimizing a structure is to find the most efficient option using reliable methods. Decisions are based on the quantities of materials determined for each option. In order to identify options and to be as objective as possible, a chart is created with a set of apparent design options and the criteria influencing each of the options. The criteria influencing each of these options refer to an importance factor unique to the project under evaluation. From this chart, a set of allowable solutions is chosen. The following are variables to be taken into consideration while optimizing a structure: There are many variables in considering an optimal structural system. An optimization study can result in significant project cost savings and schedule optimization.
The main contributor to this article was Ney S. Linares, P.E., Senior Structural Consultant at PEC Consulting Group. Ney has an M.S. in Structural Engineering and B.Sc in Civil Engineering from Washington University, Saint Louis, MO, and a B.S. in Physics from Bethany College, Bethany, WV. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.