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News: 26 January 2023

HTS Reused Steel Stockmatcher

The HTS steel Stockmatcher is an innovative Python-based tool that facilitates fast and accurate stock matching of reused steel in our designs. It compares steel stock lists from reused stockholders with a design list to automatically find ideal pairings, where the section properties and the lengths are close matches. It has an extra feature to maximise efficiency: as stock beams are assigned, their offcuts are fed back into the stockpile and to be matched with other beams. This provides the most efficient use of the available stock based on inputs of section required, depth limitation and required weight efficiency.

The stock matcher tool is being trialled on several of our current projects including 1 Exchange Square, the refurbishment of an existing office building where we are looking to include reused steel in the vertical extension; Broadgate Tower, a ground floor timber and steel extension; and Woolgate Exchange, a major office refurbishment where we are planning to incorporate reused steel on 221 out of 512 members (43%). The tool greatly increases the speed and accuracy of the stock matching exercise. It can also be used to compare donor and new projects to understand the potential scope of steel reuse between two specific projects.

This innovative tool is one of the first of its type in the industry. As engineers we specify on average over 1,000 tonnes of CO2e per year, so it is our responsibility to reduce the amount of carbon in our buildings - from the materials we specify and construction methods we recommend, to sharing knowledge and being the best practice across the industry. Following our initial trials with leading industry organisations and associations, we are planning to launch the HTS Reused Steel Stock Matcher as an open-source tool for the industry, to increase the use of reused steel on building projects.

Liam Ross, Senior Structural Engineer and developer of the tool said “Through development of this, we’ve highlighted the need and value of new tools to facilitate the circular economy within our industry. Its only through collaboration between designers, contractors, and suppliers that these programs may evolve from a thought experiment into a functional, real-life system. We’re looking forward to further testing!”

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