Canadian Consulting Engineer

Vancouver structural engineers develop free “Concept” app

Fast + Epp, structural engineers in Vancouver, have developed a free iPhone app that allows architects and engineers to assess the feasibility of a project before they do more detailed design. The app, CONCEPT, allows the user to calculate the...

November 25, 2013   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Fast + Epp, structural engineers in Vancouver, have developed a free iPhone app that allows architects and engineers to assess the feasibility of a project before they do more detailed design. The app, CONCEPT, allows the user to calculate the depth of structural members and browse project photographs for structural expressions.

Created in collaboration with app developers at Burnkit, the project was conceived by the firm’s internal ideas division. Concept’s depth calculator uses typical span-to-depth ratios for common steel, concrete, and wood members. The user simply indicates if the information they’re inputting is a roof or floor, with the internal calculator determining an approximate depth. Additional information is provided to qualify the load assumptions and tributary areas. Users are able to share search and calculation results by emailing them to co-workers and clients for discussion prior to the first design charrette.

“Most of the questions we were getting in project startup meetings focused on the depths of beams, joists and slabs,” said Ian Boyle, who led Fast + Epp’s in-house team. “Architects and their clients were trying to get a handle on the aesthetic implications of using wood, concrete or steel structural solutions. We’ve created an app that quickly answers most of those questions.”

Boyle says it seemed obvious to give architects, engineers and builders a tool they could use at home, on the bus to work, or in the middle of a meeting – simple technology with the potential to save both design time and money in the long run.

Fast + Epp are well known for projects such as Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Speed Skating Oval and the roof of the VanDusen  Botanical Gardens’ new visitor centre.

To download the free app, click here.


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