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Photograph, copyright of JWA Architects Ltd.



Manage change


s The Travelodge Heathrow Central is the sixth of its kind to be created using the Verbus System, a modular design and construction method that was developed in part by consulting engineers Buro Happold. By utilising Tekla Structures 3D BIM software and its extensive library of standard components and product profiles, Buro Happold were able to model the hotel quickly and easily. Tekla Structures also significantly reduced project design timescales by enabling effective collaboration and efficient change management.

Client: Travelodge / Jansons Property Architects: JWA Architects Limited Detailing: Buro Happold


s Established by Ted Happold in 1976, Buro Happold is a multi-disciplinary international practice of consulting engineers. In conjunction with G&H Group, Buro Happold have created the Verbus System, which optimises modular technology to produce fully fitted out accommodation within modules that can be produced at a low cost and delivered to any site in the world. An example of this system is the latest Travelodge in Heathrow. Paul Evans, Product Designer at Buro Happold, used Tekla Structures to model the buildings steel superstructure.

custom components, I was able to bind together structural elements, such as floors and walls, therefore creating a fully detailed, sizeable model which could be amended quickly and with minimal risk.

s The straightforward nature of modelling in Tekla Structures meant that the software was the ideal solution for detailing the modular Verbus system. The extensive library of standard system components and product profiles enables users to start modelling immediately. Whilst generally moving towards 3D modelling in our structures group, it was apparent that Tekla Structures would be the fastest and most efficient solution for this particular job. One of the main advantages of using the software on this project was the ease with which the structure could be modelled. Once grids were created, placing the columns and beams took no time at all. Tekla Structures is also ideally suited to complex projects. In addition to the standard modelling features clients can create their own custom components to quickly generate bespoke connections and parts. The parametric qualities of these components enable the user to change the model frequently in the knowledge that all associated elements will update automatically. By creating their own intelligent custom components for the Verbus System, designers at Buro Happold were able to ensure that the Travelodge model remained consistent with their clients expectations. When I first started looking at creating a Verbus unit in Tekla Structures, I became very interested in the parametric capabilities of the software. By creating


s Tekla Structures provides efficiency benefits in a number of key areas, not least the critical element of drawing issue and revision. All drawings are effectively live views of the model, meaning that any changes to the model are automatically reflected in the drawings without the need for additional work. This aspect of the software was critical to the success of the Travelodge Heathrow project and saved valuable time during the design process. One of the major advantages of Tekla Structures is the ease of adjustment to the project once the model and drawings have been created. Any further changes to the model are automatically updated in the drawings. So where the initial time is spent modelling and creating the drawings from views, a vast amount of time is saved in the later stages of the project when design revisions are made. By effectively integrating model and non-modelbased software solutions, Tekla Structures also enables Buro Happold to use the building information model in collaborative workflows, specifically by exporting critical information from the model to their own analysis software. We also exported information from the Tekla model and then imported it into our analysis software. We were able to concentrate on areas of particular concern in the structure and then make revisions based on the results of the analysis. This interoperability also meant that we did not have to duplicate work by creating several models of the structure.

Paul Evans, Buro Happold.

s Tekla develops and markets innovative and effective software solutions for the building and construction industry. Each year, Tekla invests some 20% of net sales into R&D to continuously provide the most advanced solutions on the market. Thousands of Tekla Structures users around the world successfully collaborate in Building Information Modelling (BIM) based projects to produce higher-quality deliverables faster to their clients. s Teklas technology creates new business opportunities for the construction industry. The most advanced building information modelling (BIM) solution on the market includes an accurate, dynamic and data-rich 3D environment. The highly detailed as-built digital structural models generated with Tekla Structures software enable effective visualisation and management of the project. Effectively integrating model and non-model-based software solutions allows using the building information model in collaborative workflows. Tekla Structures users can streamline the design, fabrication, and construction processes, ultimately ensuring the highest level of constructability in project delivery. Tekla Structures encompasses specialised configurations for structural engineers, steel detailers and fabricators, concrete detailers and manufacturers, and construction companies.


s The Tekla UK Model Competition is one way to celebrate the versatility of Tekla Structures and also demonstrates how the software solution affects the work landscape around the world. It takes place every other year and consists of four categories, builds at 150 tonnes and over, builds under 150 tonnes, multi-material and student models. We are proud to announce Paul Evans as the 2008 Model Competition winner, for his student entry Travelodge Hotel, Heathrow in conjunction with Buro Happold.

CONTACT: Tekla (UK) Limited Tekla House, Cliffe Park way Morley, Leeds, LS27 0RY Tel. +44 (0)113 307 1200 Fax. +44 (0)113 307 1201 Email Buro Happold Management Ltd. Tel. 020 7927 9700 Email

Tekla is either a registered trademark or a trademark of Tekla Corporation in the United Kingdom and other countries.