The Structural Basis of Architecture

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What kind of structures exist? Well, this is a big question that may be answered in very different ways. We could speak of horizontal span structures having as primary function the "transport" of loads over horizontal distances, and vertical structures doing the same in the vertical direction. Similarly we might speak of structures organized by their shape as straight or planar or, a Iternatively, curved. We cou Id a Iso identify structures by their elastic properties, applying terms like rigid structures and non-rigid structures.

Finally, we might speak like some architectural historians of massive structures versus skeletal structures, identifying structures by how much space they occupy, corresponding to line structural elements versus thick surface elements, respectively. There are also more ways to do this. We will, however, confine ourselves to the way this book is organized: classifying structures according to some basic types which Illustration 2.

This implies identifying what is actua Ily ha ppening "Construction Work" Such a classification Painting by Tom Slaughter. Man defying gravity? Bending, compression, and more. Sculpture by Jonathan Borofsky. We will proceed by quite simply identifying the deformations that take place when a structural element carries loads, and the name that we give to the forces which are associated with those deformations. Depending on the direction of the load with respect to the structural element, the load can result in:. Tension force is the effect of two loads pulling away from each other in opposite directions.

Compression force is created when two loads are pushing against each other. Bending is the effect of transverse loads being applied to the element. This is understood to be the result of shear forces acting. Shear force is the effect of two loads of opposite direction acting in two different planes within the structural element. Many of these deformations and forces can be present simultaneously in a Figure 2.

Also, as different structural materials react differently to the various deformations, a study of materials' mechanical properties becomes relevant for the analysis. An overriding aim of structural design is to make sure that the structure performs well during its lifetime while also contributing to an enhancement of architectural aims and objectives. This certainly implies that one needs to design the structure in such a way that at the very least strength, stiffness, and stability are all satisfactorily maintained for all possible loads acting on it.

By the strength of the structure or structural element, we mean the point at which the forces reach the limit of what the material is able to resist. This limit may be different for each Figure 2. When such a limit is reached, we say that the structure or structural structural strength: tension failure, element fails.

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Failure is intimately linked with structural strength, and there are compression failure, bending failure, and shear failure. If the tension force has reached the limit of what the element is able to resist, we say that a tension failure occurs, etc. By stiffness, we mean the ability of the structure to resist excessive deformations, enabling it to function in the way that we expect and have us comfortably occupy a building.

We may refer on occasion to the stiffness of each structural element and in other cases to the stiffness of the structure as a whole.

The Structural Basis of Architecture

A certain proportional deformation, given as a number, is commonly proposed as a limit for deformations; e. Last, but not least, inadequate stability may also cause failure of the structure. We can distinguish between the overall stability of a system and the internal stability of individual structural parts. A whole structural unit may twist about its base, overturn, or slide on its foundations when subjected to horizontal loads from wind or earthquake.

We refer to such failures as a lack of overall stability.

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Moreover, structural elements need to hold their position in space relative to other Figure 2. Overall stability large deformations may result. Abrupt and uncontrollable sideways deflection of failures from twisting, overturning, and a slender strut subjected to compression forces may exemplify a lack of stability of sliding.

The remedy for all this is to design stable structural elements as well as stable overall structural assemblies, where the latter is provided by adequate lateral bracing systems. We will go into some detail on stability issues of both kinds in Sections 7. Studying the load-bearing properties of structures means to look at form from o a mechanical point of view.

Mathematics and the particular branch of science called mechanics enable us to analyze structural forms. Mechanics deals with motions and forces, with statics being the branch of mechanics concentrating on Figure 2. The very word statics comes from Stability failure from inadequate the Greek word "staticos," which means "to make something stand still.

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This basic lateral stability are diagonal bracing demand enables us to analyze structural forms and structural systems in order to or cross-bracing , use of shear walls, and frame action by establishing rigid find out to what extent they are stressed and what kind of stresses are acting in connections at the joints between the system.

We commonly think that forces appear in material bodies when loads are imposed on them. What we are able to observe, however, are the. One way of defining a force is therefore to claim that it is a physical influence, caused by a load which changes, or tries to change, the state of rest in a body. Moreover, as we have mentioned, a force may also deform or deflect a material body. He observed that a body will continue to move The mechanical sciences as a branch of physics.

This does not necessarily mean that no forces and was pioneered by Galileo Galilei Dynamics study the laws governing motion. If there are a number ,' with kinetics operating on force systems in of forces, they must effectively cancel each other out in order for the body or movement and statics on force systems at rest. Mechanics of element to remain still, or resting. If, on the other hand, a net force is acting, this materials. The net force, also called the resultant force, will set the body in motion, and the acceleration will be proportional to the applied force.

The proportional constant is the body's mass; the larger the mass, therefore, the more force must be applied to obtain the same acceleration. We call this statement Newton's second law. In mathematical terms, we may write. If, in the equation, F is zero, then a is also zero. This means that if no resultant force is acting, then there is no acceleration. No acceleration implies constant velocity or the body being at rest. Hence we can observe that Newton's first law is a special case of his second.

Acceleration is defined as a change of velocity per unit of time. Velocity is most familiar to us in terms of kilometers per hour miles per hour. Mass is measured in kilograms, kg slug. This force unit is in the Systeme International 51 , aptly called Newton, N.

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  • Trying to grasp what this unit represents physically, we may think of the weight of one fairly large apple, linking the unitto the legend of Isaac Newton having an apple fallon to his head. Here we acknowledge the most common force of all, the force of gravity, also known as the weight, as the force which pulls all material bodies in the direction of the center of the earth. For this force we can write.

    One pound is approximately 4. Since 1 N is a fairly small force, it is convenient to also operate with N as a unit for force; this unit is called kiloNewton kN. Parallel to this we find in the Anglo-American tradition the force unit called kip, which is Illustration 2. While in the equation for Newton's second law acceleration is a familiar Painting by Rene Magritt. The mass is a constant throughout the universe, whether we measure mass on earth or the moon.

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    The weight of this mass, however, will vary according to the "strength" of the gravitational field JLr- which, in the case of the moon, is about one-sixth of the value for the earth. We may think of mass, then, as a measure of the quantity of matter. There is also a third "law" attributed to Newton.

    The Structural Basis of Architecture The Structural Basis of Architecture
    The Structural Basis of Architecture The Structural Basis of Architecture
    The Structural Basis of Architecture The Structural Basis of Architecture
    The Structural Basis of Architecture The Structural Basis of Architecture
    The Structural Basis of Architecture The Structural Basis of Architecture
    The Structural Basis of Architecture The Structural Basis of Architecture
    The Structural Basis of Architecture The Structural Basis of Architecture
    The Structural Basis of Architecture The Structural Basis of Architecture
    The Structural Basis of Architecture

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