Buidings › Complex structures

Meeting new challenges of complex building configuration, structural lightness and minimal environmental impact.

The design of building structures is a key component of our profession. From drafting the initial sketches to 3-D modelling, carrying out the design calculations and writing the technical specifications, the Egis structural engineers maintain the same demanding approach. Our goal is to propose a structural design that enriches the project architecture via the exploration of alternatives, the development of details and the continual reinterpretation of requirements.

Our intent is to accompany our partners by proposing a wide range of structural materials, including steelwork structures, timber frames, tension membrane structures, structural glazing, etc., as well as complex forms requiring cutting-edge 3-D modelling techniques. Our goal is also to continuously improve our design expertise.

Complex structural configurations and parametric design

Via the direct link between the spatial projection of a structure and their in-house design calculation softs, the Egis structural engineers can determine, as early on as the sketch design phase, the challenges and consequences of a given free-form building morphology. Employing parametric design tools, we analyse, optimise and provide a sound basis for building configurations respecting the architectural design and even enriching the project by proposing a more systematic geometric expression of the design. This design approach makes it possible for us to adapt very quickly to changes in the architectural project, which can be frequent in the initial design phases.

The choice of materials: steel, timber, glass and more

The selection of materials is of prime importance, both in expressing the architectural design and in ensuring the project’s technical performances and environmental impact. Our expertise covers the employ of steel for its slenderness and timber for its lightness, two materials allowing the greatest structural liberty. The diversity of our references also attests to our research capacity (walls in structural glazing, titanium sky canopies, polycarbonate domes, etc.) and to our ability to analyse proposals from both a structural and environmental standpoint, employing life-cycle assessment and carbon accounting techniques.

Advanced 3-D modelling

Our engineers delight in designing projects that incorporate large spans and complex forms as well as structures that are lightweight, flexible, tensile, arch-shaped (vaulted), etc., all of which imply a leading-edge 3-D modelling capacity. Preventing overall instabilities, performing seismic design calculations, and handling issues such as vibratory comfort all fall within our capabilities. A comprehensive procedure for managing and accounting for the results of wind tunnel tests has also been set up to understand the effects of wind on complex structures.

Tensile structures

Fabric structures, composed of energy-saving building materials, can be used as a result of the lightness of constructions. New materials such as PTFE and ETFE installed in a double-curved steel grid and composed of sheets or cushions ensure efficient energy performances for building envelopes while remaining an integral part of the structure. Egis is well-versed in designing fabric, tension membrane and cable structures (form finding, sizing, and cost estimating) as well as in supervising their installation to ensure sustainability.