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WEEK 1 JOURNAL ENTRY

COMPRESSION

CONSTRUCTING ENVIRONMENTS

CHAN JOSHUA TIG HAY 638994


CONSTRUCTION PROCESS STAGE 1: LAYING THE FOUNDATION

The group started off with a rectangular foundation which size is roughly the dimensions of the “Horse� figure provided. The small wooden blocks were placed such that they were touching each other and allowed no gaps in between.

The initial foundation was doubled in size in consideration of higher foundation stability and sturdiness. It also aimed to allow higher vertical expansion of the tower in later stages.

STAGE 2: VERTICAL PROGRESSION As the building process progressed, the group decided to add in spacing between the wooden blocks in order to achieve a more effective use of the blocks and save materials for future use.

CONSTRUCTING ENVIRONMENTS

At approximately 30cm in height, the group began to reduce the perimeter of the rectangular wall by removing one wooden block every few levels. The walls of the tower gradually transformd from a rectangular shape to a square and then a circular shape, still retaining a large void in the centre of the tower.

CHAN JOSHUA TIG HAY 638994


CONSTRUCTION PROCESS STAGE 3: LOOSE BRICK REMOVAL

As the tower progressed upwards, it began to tilt and the load distribution started v to become distorted, creating uneven distribution of the load.

Extraction of loose blocks at the base of the tower reached its limits, leaving with 4 columns of blocks becoming the primary support.

Reaching half a meter’s height, the group ran out of wooden blocks and therefore started to remove the loose blocks near the tower’s base. The blocks that could be removed are the loose ones which do not contribute to supporting the load of the tower.

STAGE 4: COLLAPSE At approx. 2 meters high, when a group member was extracting a wooden block from the middle of the tower, it collapsed, with a 30cm tall foundation remaining. The trigger point for the collapse was believed to be an extraction of a dead load that was critical in supporting the tower.

“Windows” created to provide more supply of wooden blocks

CONSTRUCTING ENVIRONMENTS

CHAN JOSHUA TIG HAY 638994


ACTIVITY ANALYSIS CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM

The activity explored the nature of mass construction by experimenting different ways in stacking wooden blocks to construct a tower. The key to constructing a tall and stable tower is to understand the forces associated within the small wooden blocks and how they are stacked relative to one another.

The group adopted a construction system where the foundation of the tower is laid with a larger surface area and narrows down as the height of the tower increases. The method was seen to be effective as it provides a sturdy base for construction in the beginning and minimizes the “degree of tilting” of the tower as it progresses upwards. The system concentrates most of the tower’s weight near the base and the form was similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Mass construction focused on building the “skin” of a building and is a rather simple way for creating the internal structure. However, such method requires a large amount of materials where some are useless.

Eiffel Tower in Paris

EFFICIENCY OF MATERIAL The dominant force in this tower construction would be compression. As the wooden blocks have to be stacked vertically in order to achieve the maximum height, there is a downward force caused by gravity acting on one wooden block, and the other block beneath it provides a reaction normal force. As a result, this pair of forces creates compression.

CONSTRUCTING ENVIRONMENTS

The wooden blocks are small, light weight and have smooth surfaces, where both attributes have positive and negative effects on the construction process. Light weight wooden blocks enables more efficient building processes, and the limited size of it provides flexibility in creating the walls for the tower. Moreover, the smooth surfaces allowed the team to easily create “windows” by removing blocks during the middle of construction. However, the downside is that these small blocks are associated with small friction magnitude which makes it become subject to wind loads.

CHAN JOSHUA TIG HAY 638994


Week 1 Journal Entry