Design of a museum facade bracing system for changing performance requirements using multiobjective optimization

James N. Richardson, Sigrid Adriaenssens, Guy Nordenson, Rajan Filomeno Coelho, Rebecca Laberenne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Facade bracing systems are applied all over the world in structural design to limit deflections and guarantee stability. Efficient distribution of bracing over a structure is an important concern for structural design professionals and is often based on intuition and previous experience. Meanwhile, the limited amount of academic research on this topic often focuses on one aspect of the design, neglecting the practical design process itself. This research presents a topology optimization procedure for cable bracing of the hanging steel facade of a new museum in the United States. In this procedure, the use of a multiobjective genetic algorithm allows for flexibility during design modifications and accounts for uncertainty of deflection constraint values. Since the allowed position of the cables is limited and only certain standard cable sections can be used, the design variables are discrete and the cost function is easily defined. The presented method achieves practical solutions to a series of cost-minimizing problems, giving the designer a range of optimal bracing configurations which can be selected in response to the continuously changing structural and architectural requirements throughout the design process. The application of the method to the design of the museum facade demonstrates the strength of the proposed approach. This research aims at stimulating discussion on optimization methods which are capable of taking the design process into account, and the possibility of using multiobjective optimization to deal with these practical design uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStructures Congress 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 Structures Congress
EditorsGlenn R. Bell, Matt A. Card
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780784413357
StatePublished - 2014
EventStructures Congress 2014 - Boston, United States
Duration: Apr 3 2014Apr 5 2014

Publication series

NameStructures Congress 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 Structures Congress


OtherStructures Congress 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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