Concrete reinforcement detailing (or rebar detailing) is a critical component of any concrete project, often consuming a significant portion of the schedule. If there are any errors with the detailing, there can also be disastrous consequences – both within the factory and on site – that lead to wasted time, money, and materials. Getting this information right is therefore crucial.
The process required to create the bar placing (or shop) drawings is part of the issue – detailers must re-create their drawings from the structural engineering drawings, which takes a considerable amount of time. There is also the challenge of trying to visualize the completed product from a 2D drawing, as well as its interactions with other building components. The fragmented communication and coordination between the relevant parties makes it more difficult to track down any missing or conflicting information, taking up valuable time. Like most construction projects, time is often of the essence for detailers, who may be working to incredibly short timescales right before a concrete pour. However, with advanced 3D modeling software, the rebar detailing process can be streamlined to overcome challenges such as these quickly and easily.
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Efficient Reinforcement Design
One of the benefits that 3D concrete modeling software offers is that it recognizes shapes and volumes as objects, as opposed to a collection of lines. In Allplan, any shape that can be modeled can be reinforced – even freeform models. Once the object is modeled, producing the reinforcement model is extremely quick. The program understands how these volumes behave, so placing reinforcement is a simple matter of specifying the cover depth, bar size, and spacing, and the reinforcement will automatically follow the edges where required, and as defined by the detailer. The detailer retains control over the model and can quickly amend the reinforcement by adjusting the properties – such as bar shape, hook lengths, cover depth, and more – and the model will update automatically. This saves a considerable amount of time and drastically reduces the impact of last-minute changes.
Using 3D reinforced concrete modeling ensures greater accuracy, particularly for complex shapes. Being able to visualize the finished result lets detailers identify issues before they are found on site and provides assurance that the designed reinforcement will fit within the component. However, Allplan includes tools that go beyond a visual check, instead using clash detection analysis to identify any collisions between reinforcement. Discrepancies can be fixed before the design phase is completed, for fewer issues during fabrication and construction.
Complicated reinforcement designs present additional challenges around accurately quantifying the bars and creating bar lists or bending schedules. Even for standard beams and columns, this can take a large amount of time – with freeform shapes, the additional complexity can add a significant time element for calculations as well as checking, particularly if special bar shapes are required. Yet with 3D rebar CAD software like Allplan, the quantities are calculated automatically from the reinforcement model and are updated as the model changes. The program will quantify every different bar shape, removing the manual labor from the process, improving the accuracy, and substantially reducing the time required.
Efficient Documentation Production
Producing accurate documentation is another strength of Allplan. Because the information is taken directly from the reinforcement model, it is quick and easy to extract a section or view from the model and place it on a plan layout. Similarly, there are a wide range of code-compliant schedules which can be inserted onto a sheet with all the relevant information included using just a few clicks. This saves time re-drawing sections and views or inserting schedules like bar lists, particularly as each detail updates in line with the changes made to the model. Creating a completed set of accurate reinforcement documentation has never been easier.
Transforming the Process for Results
Allplan’s 3D modeling software makes reinforced concrete detailing faster, easier, and more precise. The intuitive user interface and unique 2D-3D workspace reduces the learning curve for detailers who are moving from a 2D CAD solution, enabling them to work the way they want while still delivering time savings across the entire detailing process. With all the information contained in one model thanks to Building Information Modeling (BIM), the project management of the entire rebar workflow becomes streamlined and much more time-efficient – and therefore more cost-effective. With Allplan, the rebar detailing process is completely transformed.