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Constucting Environments Dominik Maschek 582756 Semester 1 - 2014


Introduction to Built Structures. Built Structures come in a vast variety of different shapes, serve many different purposes and their design can be approached in infinite styles. Built structures constantly surround us and provide infrastructure for humans to live, work and recreate in.

When investigating a structure, three vital questions should be asked to help us determine the nature of that structure. These are ‘What?’, ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’

WHAT: What is the structure you are investigating, what is the overall purpose of the structure and what is it made of? (Eg. The MCG is a sports stadium used for exhibiting sports matches to the public. Concrete and metal columns have predominantly been used to build it)

HOW: How has the structure been constructed, what methods have been used in its construction and what purposes do the used materials have? (Eg. A house has been constructed largely through the construction of a skeletal timber frame and the construction of structural brick walls. The bricks used have been fired to strengthen their form and when combined with mortar and continuously distributed, they can form sturdy structural walls)

WHY: Why has the structure been built in this way, why have these construction methods been utilised and why have these materials been used?

Constructing Environments

Dominik Maschek - 582756


WEEK 1 ACTIVITY Task Build Tower using MDF blocks provided: - Use as little material as possible. - Building must have roof and constructed archway - Building must accommodate provided object (toy dinosaur)

Description My group decided upon building a hollow, round tower with a domed roof, as we believed it would provide the most stable shape for our tower. In our Week 1 Lecture we had been shown a ‘Grand Designs’ Youtube video which investigated the success of the construction and shape of the ‘Duomo Cathedaral’ in Florence, Italy. The example of the domed roof of the ‘Duomo Cathedral’ gave us a built

Constructing Environments

structure to model our own tower on. To construct the MDF block tower, our group decided to build a round base and from there build upwards using a ‘continuously distributed load’ method. Next we began building a vertical wall system to achieve hight, and then slowly started narrowing in so that eventually a domed roof could be constructed.

Dominik Maschek - 582756


Construction Methods - Circular base (foundation system) for stability (one brick wide) - Equal spacing (approximately 1/2 blocks) between blocks - Continue this using ‘continuously distributed load method’ shown in diagram. - Eventually begin placing blocks slightly inwards and begin decreasing space between blocks to narrow in tower - Close off domed roof system and build solid peak of tower for additional heightt

Constructing Environments

Dominik Maschek - 582756


Analysis The construction of our tower was a complete success. -

The wall system we had built proved to be extremely stable

The archway was stable and our tower could accommodate the toy dinosaur The domed roof arched in evenly and could easily bare the weight of the solid peak There was no need for a change in concept and we could stick to the original design

By looking at our completed tower, I could observe that ‘compression forces’ as apposed to ‘tension forces’ were present in our structure, as all the structural members (MDF blocks) pushed against each other to form a solid structure.

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Even after we removed substantial sections from the lower part of our tower’s wall system, our tower remained stable. This showed us

Dominik Maschek - 582756


WEEK 2 ACTIVITY Task Build a STABLE tower using only the balsa wood provided: - Cut balsa wood into twenty thin pieces - Use super glue and/or masking tape to create structural joints - Aim to build tower that can reach the roof of the classroom - Make modifications/Vary concept if necessary

Description My group and I decided to build a triangular tower as we believed a triangular shape would be most material efficient and provide the most stability. We began our tower construction by constructing

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a triangular base and building upwards vertically following the shape of the base. We constructed several triangular frames throughout the length of the tower to create support and stability.

Dominik Maschek - 582756


Construction Methods - Triangular base (foundation system) for stability (1/2 half length of original balsa wood piece provided) - Placement of vertical columns (Full length of original balsa wood piece provided - Construction of fixed joints (using small pieces of balsa wood approx 1cm) to secure vertical columns - Construction of triangular frames/beams (same dimensions as tower base) - Construction of braces in reaction to buckling vertical columns - Construction of triangular, pointed top of tower Attachment of single vertical balsa piece to reach height of rooft

Constructing Environments

Dominik Maschek - 582756


Analysis The construction of our tower was somewhat successful. Although the tower reached the height of the classroom roof , it was highly unstable and could withstand almost no stresses applied to its structure before collapsing.

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- First layer of vertical columns and beams remained stable after placement of second layer. - Second layer vertical columns began buckling under the weight of third layer (applied compressional force, cause thin balsa wood to buckle).

- Inaccuracies in construction of fixed joints (leading to slightly ‘off’ angle of vertical columns) also contributed to buckling of vertical columns. - Diagonal support beams (Bracing) had to be used to prevent tower from completely collapsing (not part of original concept)

Dominik Maschek - 582756


By looking at our complete tower I could observe that a lack of support and bracing (due to inefficient use of materials) was causing our tower to buckle and therefore lean. The limited balsa wood proved to be extremely hard to work with. I observed that the thin columns of balsa would may have been more suitable for a structure relying on ‘tension forces’ rather than ‘compression forces’.

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Dominik Maschek - 582756


Diagrams

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Dominik Maschek - 582756


Diagrams

Constructing Environments

Dominik Maschek - 582756


Dominik Maschek 582756 All photographs provided were taken by Dominik A. Maschek on the 7th and 14th of March 2014

References eLearning: Newton, C. (ENVS100030). (2014, March 9). W02 s1 Structural Systems [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-‐-‐JtPpI8uw&feature=youtu.be Newton, C. (ENVS10003). (2014, March 9). W02 c1 Construction Systems [Video File] Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zTarEeGXOo&feature=youtu.be Newton, C. (ENVS10003). (2014, March 9). ESD and Selecting Materials [Video File] Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luxirHHxjIY&feature=youtu.be Newton, C. (ENVS10003). (2014, March 9). W02 s2 Structural Joints [Video File] Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxRdY0jSoJo&feature=youtu.be

Books: Ching, F. (2008). 2 -‐ The Building. Building Construction Illustrated (4th ed., p. 2.30). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..


Constructing environments logbook: Dominik Maschek 582756  
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