Design Optimization of Structural-Acoustic Spanning Concrete Elements in Buildings

Jonathan M. Broyles, Micah R. Shepherd, Nathan C. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In many buildings, structural concrete systems have a large impact on the building's overall weight, embodied energy, and embodied carbon. Efficient structural components could result in building weight reductions, leading to material savings and a reduced carbon footprint. Shaping of concrete slabs through structural optimization has recently seen significant interest due to advancements in digital fabrication and the potential for more sustainable and architecturally expressive designs. However, many promising optimization-based approaches to shaping slabs do not consider secondary design aspects during computational exploration, including acoustics. This paper presents a computational investigation of trade-offs between structural and acoustic objectives using a multiobjective optimization framework while designing concrete slabs with curved ribs. A series of Pareto front approximations and constrained optimization runs at specific acoustic performance levels were used to explore optimal designs, while evaluating how a computational search for competing objectives distributes structural material. Shaped slabs were then compared to conventional floor assemblies. The study shows how slab shaping impacts sound insulation and suggests how designers could incorporate structural-acoustic optimized concrete slabs in building design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04021044
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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