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Tekla Structures: Patented and Unique Technology for Effortless Pour Planning

Planning a concrete pour is always a dynamic task with multiple interdependencies. Changes further up the construction chain can have knock-on effects on concrete volumes, schedules, and more. Tekla Structures was designed for this challenge. Originally published on Tekla.com.

Before a concrete pour can begin, the formwork needs to be completed, embeds set in the correct places, and rebar installed. This means multiple sets of plans from several different stakeholders, which can make pour planning a challenge. Changes in any of the plans mean that the contractor needs to spend time on repeatedly re-calculating the details of the pour, creating unnecessary delays.

And even prior to that first pour, a concrete contractor must submit a complete and accurate estimate in order to win the project bid. By leveraging Tekla Structures, contractors can be confident that their bids more precisely reflect the actual volumes of concrete and associated materials needed to do the job correctly. This means more successful bids and increased profitability.

Tekla Structures is built to address this, with powerful features for helping concrete contractors to calculate quantity take-offs easily, plan sequences, and handle a wide range of other pour planning tasks.

Patented features for pour planning

Tekla Structures brings to you a patented technology by which touching concrete elements that share the same concrete grade are merged into what Tekla calls a pour object. This serves not only to extract accurate concrete volumes and surface areas, but the pour also acts as a management unit. This unit is a container of all the information related to the concrete pour, associated rebar, embeds, and formwork. Tekla helps you know all the quantities of all these elements needed to be in place before the concrete starts being poured.

The pour breaks feature is another Tekla Structures innovation that helps concrete contractors to work more efficiently. If a pour size turns out to be too big and cannot be completed in a given timeframe, it can easily be divided into several pours that better suit the plan. When a pour break is created in the model, all the quantities of the elements for the new split pour are automatically re-calculated and immediately become visible to anyone working from the model. All rebar, formwork, and embeds can be automatically re-associated to the modified concrete geometry. There is no need to worry about mathematical formulas, reports, or duplicated volumes – Tekla Structures takes care of it all automatically.

Online constructability reviews and project tracking save time and money

Tekla Structures also enables project teams to conduct constructability reviews online in 3D. These ensure that all the details in all the plans are aligned. Does the pipe fit through that hole? Are the embeds for curtain walls in the correct position? Spotting clashes and constructability issues from 2D drawings can be tricky – especially with an ever-increasing number of conflicting and outdated documents. But when issues are discovered in the field, it is already too late – work can fall behind schedule and costs subsequently rise.

For greater accuracy, pre-pour scans can be imported to Tekla Structures as point clouds: a virtual 3D model of the construction site. When the point cloud is laid over the Tekla Structures model, project teams can easily check that the details in each are aligned, such for example, the correct position of embeds. This can help identify mistakes before it is too late and the concrete is poured.

Mistakes and delays can also be avoided by simplifying concrete construction drawings for use on-site. Rather than builders needing to pore over the entire detailed project plan during each step of the concrete pour, a single streamlined drawing that includes what you need, but excludes what you don’t need, can be easily created by Tekla Structures. This will provide you with the essential information you need for a particular pouring day.

When it is time to pour the concrete, Tekla’s workflow tools make it easy to track the status of the project in real-time. Project managers can check the timing and content of planned pours, ready-mix concrete providers can schedule deliveries, and construction owners can see overall progress. Any stakeholder working on the pour can update the plan – even from a smartphone – with the updates immediately visible to all.

Learn more about BuildingPoint Canada’s Solutions for Concrete Contractors.

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