Researchers at Lysaght Technology in Sydney have developed a design tool that encourages innovative roof forms on new buildings around Australia.

Lysaght Technology will prototype part of a roof design then test it in such a way that the results will validate the whole roof. Initial testing has shown that the concept will provide a breakthrough in efficiency for the designers of complex roof structures.

“We have had discussions with architects and engineers about the concept, but at this stage we have only demonstrated the equipment’s capabilities to a very small number,” says Steve Halpin, cladding development, Lysaght Technology. “Reactions have been extremely positive. The potential of this equipment is obvious the first time you see it in use.

“In one case an architect who was given a briefing immediately began considering the redesign of a roof form on which he had previously settled. He saw that he could go beyond the conventional and design something quite challenging but still have total confidence in the outcome.”

The ‘universal’ configuration of the test rig at Lysaght’s facility is designed to accommodate any BlueScope Lysaght steel wall or roof cladding profile along both two and three dimensionally curved planes. Architects, engineers, builders and even building owners can confirm the functionality of their innovative designs. “In our discussions with engineers and architects it became clear that there are many who want to push the boundaries of design,” says Halpin. “They want to explore the possibilities of 21st century roof forms presented in our leading edge steel building technology and cladding developments.”

Brisbane architect Michael Leo of Guitar Buildings was one of the first Australian designers to sample the capability of the new test rig. His interest in the current trend to 3D forms, dubbed ‘hypersurface architecture” prompted Leo to predict interest in the Lysaght design aid.

“Lysaght Technology’s new rig can now set design parameters enabling all Australian architects to surf this wave,” he comments.

Source: Building Products News.