Getting instantaneous, accurate structural dimensions in the early stages of the design process, or even when exploring the feasibility of a project, can often be challenging. In response to this, Vancouver-based structural engineering firm Fast + Epp have developed a new mobile application called Concept, a depth calculator which uses typical span-to-depth ratios for common steel, concrete and wood members to give you a quick overview of what dimensions a certain structural idea will require. In addition to this, the app also includes project photos to give users an idea of how certain materials will be expressed in built form.
According to Fast + Epp, "the user simply indicates if the information they’re inputting is a roof or floor, with the internal calculator determining an approximate depth. Additional information is provided to qualify the load assumptions and tributary areas. Users are able to share search and calculation results by emailing them to co-workers and clients for discussion prior to the first design charrette".
The app is clear and functional, providing architects and engineers with a unique facet to their mobile device. It's a useful starting point for any designer who wants to test their structural ideas.
You can download the free app from the iOS App Store. According to their website, an Android compatible version is anticipated soon. You can use the app in either metric or imperial dimensions.