Constructing Environments - Journal Week 1 (Compression) This weeks task focused on Compression and how it applies to structures in both the built and natural world. As discussed in lectures and the beginning of the tutorial, compressive force is the downward force placed on an object by gravity. Presented with the task of building the highest tower in 20 minutes, we began by looking at the requirements: archway for animal, height, method of construction. We looked at the orientation of the blocks and use of elastic bands, however with time constraints, we decided that Idea our system of construction would be based
around the idea of layers and building up from the ground in a spiral fashion. In Step one, the base layer is visible and upon this layer we began adding the blocks which can be seen in progress in step 2. This method allows for a rapid creation of shape and structure, however as seen in step three, the consistency in each layer can decrease as well as the shape, as seen again in step 3 with the leaning of the tower. Without an internal framework this structure is only realistic if no other forces are present, such as lateral forces like wind. Other methods were considered, such as columns and the switching between vertical and horizontal blocks, which can be seen in the image on the left, however due to the time constraints and knowledge of no other forces except that of compression this method was seen as ideal. The circular nature of the structure was also chosen over that of a square one as the structure would remain as stable under both system in this case, but would save blocks, allowing for a higher tower to be constructed. When the blocks were gradually removed, as seen in step 4, much of the structure remained intact which allowed us to see where the majority of force was being distributed.
Sequence of Process
Wood was employed as the material for construction of the towers and although a sufficient material for use on this scale, the stability and structural integrity of this structure at full scale would not be suitable and possibly dangerous without assistance from other materials.
Load Path Changes During Process
As the structure moved upwards, compression forces (gravity) pushed down from above and so lower levels of the structure increasingly became under more and more compressive force compared to blocks located higher up. Once completed, removal of blocks allowed us to see where forces moved to in order to maintain the integrity of the structure as seen in images on the left. This was tested further by placing additional compressive force, not just gravity, in this case weight, in order to observe the total strength as seen on the image to the right. As more and more of the blocks were removed, holes began to appear and so we could see where the load paths would then travel as seen in the image on the left.
Published on Aug 8, 2013