Approach to economic implementation of brick shells from planar prefabricated brick elements
Supervision support of an experimental brick element construction
Shell constructions offer great potential for the building industry, not only from the aesthetic point of view but also regarding their supportive, constructive and culture potential. Although shell structures have many advantages against other structures, they are rarely being used due to high costs.
Buildings designed by Felix Candela, Eladio Dieste and Heinz Isler are impressive examples of this construction type and its enormous potential.
With this project, a method should be developed for the economic production of multiple curved brick shells through simple, planar components. The goal is to make complex structures such as shell constructions more competitive by simplifying the geometry associated with a higher degree of prefabrication. In addition, it is also intended to increase the diversity of the range of these buildings types.
To achieve these goals, at first exemplary shell geometries were developed in a “form finding process”. In an optimization process an exemplary shell was subdivided into planar elements. In this process, various preconditions were defined upon the module geometry.
To integrate the bricks into the prefabricated parts, the individual modules should be as planar as possible having a defined length. In addition, the individual shell points should be as close to the initial geometry as possible. The different parameters can be varied freely acting as forces on the model.
Depending on the priority of the parameters unplanar elements arise. These elements have an offset of different size to the next prefabricated part deviating from the origin geometry.
The resulting offset of the prefabricated elements is acceptable up to a certain deviation only, because the elements have to be connected with each other in longitudinal and transversal direction depending on the tensile reinforcement that is being used.
Initially, the generated solution was validated in a CAD – and a simplified FEM model. Because of this model and the reinforcement requirements, conventional NF bricks with only small changes could be designed and produced. The bricks are currently being assembled into a first demonstrating component. During the next steps a shell of 5 x 15 m will be built as an experimental building. After that the shell will be measured and subjected to stress tests.
Candidates will assist in the supervision and monitoring of the on-site construction as well as draw up reports on the progress of the project.
Prerequisites or requirements for the project
Skills in CAD, Rhino/Grasshopper, FEM, Building Construction Technology are welcome
until June 2018