PANDA is a new type of structural design software, aimed at transforming the way structures are sketched.
Because a structure is such a complex object, and every structure is unique, there are no real incentives to produce optimal structures. Rather, every structure is adapted from a similar one, previously built — this is true for most structure, but of course not for unique, special ones, like the gerkin, or the Burj Kalifah.
Ideally, every structure would have an optimal choice of layout and material.
Thanks to PANDA, this is possible: it designs every possible option for a structure in broad strokes, but doing a full code-compliant analysis, and then assesses the outcomes for cost and carbon. The engineers can then pick the best options and develop them into actual designs.
We found this approach can save 30% of the embodied carbon, and crucially 15% of the cost of structural frames.
PANDA is the result of nearly five years of development, a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and Price& Meyers, a London based structural engineering firm.