Our newest exhibit in the Gallery at One Market is the Szechuan Disaster Reconstruction project. Unless you have been to the gallery since our March 25 launch of 2011 products, you probably have not seen it yet. So like I did with the Shanghai Tower, I thought I would blog about it. Reading is just about the next best thing to an in-person visit.
On May 12, 2008 a devastating earthquake (measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale) struck the Szechuan province of China, causing widespread destruction across the region and leaving millions of people homeless. Rather than simply donating money, 24 hours after the quake, Autodesk leadership met to create a disaster response plan, identifying a unique opportunity to use our position as a global leader in building design software and local presence (offices in Shanghai) to assist in the reconstruction efforts.
The teams involved included:
- Hsieh Ying Chun, renowned Taiwanese architect and contractor // more
- Tsinghua University // more
Some of the computer aided design software used to redesign the structures included:
- AutoCAD // more
- Inventor // more
- Revit Architecture // more
- Revit Structure // more
- 3ds Max Design // more
- Ecotect // more
- Maya // more
- Navisworks // more
- Robot Structural Analysis Professional // more
- ETABS, IES, PKPM: PBECA2008
Over a 9 month period, the teams produced 5 standardized home designs that could be configured in a number of ways. These designs were based on 3 key ideas:
Standardized Steel Frame
A standardized lightweight steel frame was optimized for performance. Autodesk R&D team members at our offices in Shanghai ran design simulations on the frame to maximize stability and ensure earthquake resistance.
Using local materials like grass, earth, and bamboo helped reduce reconstruction costs, ensure that the project mirrored the existing region, and contributed to environmental sustainability (fewer materials to transport in).
Built by Occupants
Using time-honored straightforward construction techniques reduced the level of expertise required and allowed a wider spectrum of local residents to participate in the process - many helping build their own replacement homes.
One of the villages is already complete. Both Autodesk China Leadership (Chien-Ming Huang and Pat Williams) and CEO Carl Bass were there for the opening. The partnership among Autodesk, Hsieh Ying Chun (who had expertise with seismic zones based on previous rebuilding efforts in Taiwan), local government agencies, and the design institute from Tsinghua University, along with the dedication and cooperation of the local residents, is mending what the power of nature has unfolded.
Although as Bay Area residents we have a certain empathy for this one, the Szechuan Disaster Reconstruction exhibit is one of the many exhibits in the gallery. The gallery is open to the public on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 5 pm, and admission is free. Visit us.
Acting as a virtual docent once again is alive in the lab.