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WEEK 1           ENVS10003



A circular design was chosen for our MDF (medium density fiberboard) construction. This was chosen because by using a circular base a dome roof, that would enclose the building, would be more efficient to make. The arch had to be made as we built the structure. The aim of the activity was to build the structure as high as we could and ensure it was able to carry a heavy load.

When a live load (a temporary load that is added to a structure, (ENVS10003, 2014b)) is applied to a structure the load takes the most direct route to the ground. This is indicated in the load path diagram below. In terms of a masonry construction such as the MDF building the load gets transferred evenly down through each individual piece. Due to Newton’s Third Law the load that travels through the structure is met with a reaction force that is equal and opposite in direction coming from the ground.


The image on the previous page demonstrates the use of the masonry technique that was used to create our structure. The gaps between the MDF pieces were due to the circular base of the building. - The masonry structure creates an even load between all MDF pieces. This ensures that there are no weak sections in the building. - MDF is an isotropic material that performs similarly under both tensional and compressional forces. It also has a volumetric shape (ENVS10003, 2014a).

Due to the compression forces that the MDF pieces apply to each other we were able to build in the arch as we built the rest of the structure. This allowed parts of the MDF to be unsupported as can be seen in the images below. Compression is a main aspect of a solid structure and this makes it easier to have arches in the structure (ENVS10003, 2014c). A compression force occurs when external objects apply a force on the material and cause it to squash together (Environments, 2014).

Once the arch had been built in we needed to build the tower as tall as we could. This had to be achieved while also ensuring we were able to close off the roof. This is where the circular design was useful as we could build the MDF blocks closer together on each layer and they would all eventually join together.

Dome roofs perform well under compressional forces, as this is how they are designed. They are generally supported with a tensional ring to prevent the roof from bursting out (Ching, 2008). As this is a small-scale design with small forces no such ring was needed and the masonry method was sufficient to create the structure.

After layering the MDF blocks higher they eventually created an enclosed roof for the building. To follow on the with task MDF pieces were added four at a time in an alternating pattern to increase the height of the building while still being able to withstand the applied load.

The applied load of the box of MDF pieces provides an extra compressive force on the structure. As can be seen in the image to the right our structure was strong enough to withstand this force. The circular construction using a masonry method of construction meant the weight of the box was evenly distributed throughout the structure.

The next part of the task was to slowly pull apart the structure and determine its failing point. To do this we removed pieces of MDF pieces at the base of the structure.

Due to the compression forces acting on the structure we were able to remove MDF pieces from the structure. The masonry construction combined method means that the loads can be transferred through to other MDF blocks in the structure to compensate for the removal of MDF blocks. If the structure was built with MDF blocks stacked on top of each other, when one block was removed others would fall around it and it would be unstable. Hence the masonry structure is effective for creative a stable structure.

One of the other groups opted to build a square base for their structure while still using the masonry method. Using the square base made it more difficult for them to close off the roof of the structure. Another group used a circular base and began to build their tower as tall as they could. Due to time constraints they were unable to finish.

WEEK 2           ENVS10003




The week two studio task was to design a tower to the roof using one piece of balsa wood. The balsa wood is an anisotropic material that performs more efficiently under tension than compression (ENVS10003, 2014a). We chose to use a triangular base for our tower, as it would keep the center of gravity in the middle and make it more stable. As can be seen by the original design pictures the structure used a skeletal system otherwise know as a frame system. These systems are very common and can efficiently transfer loads through to structure (ENVS10003, 2014c).


The braces that were used in our structure were designed to provide stability and to reduce the movement of the tower. The braces reduced in size and covered a smaller span between the columns. The braces were joined using overlapping ends to provide more support to them. The braces would also help to transfer loads between the columns allowing for added stability.

When we attached the second brace to the tower we did not ensure that the points of the triangles lined up. Due to this error the columns were twisted. This twisting resulted in the structure being unstable. To amend this problem we needed to reattach the columns to the triangle so they were inline.


We had originally intended on building the building continuously however we realised the building would become too tall for us to continue building. As a result we decided to build the tower in two sections and then join the two halves together.

As the tower got higher we noticed it was becoming less stable. This was partially due to weak joints between the columns and the braces. To add stability to the structure we added diagonal braces to each join. This reinforced the joins and made them stronger.

As well as the joints being unstable the columns were beginning to collapse under the compressional forces. As the balsa wood columns were slender they were susceptible to buckling under the forces (Ching, 2008). To prevent the lateral movement of the columns outwards an extra brace was added to the structure that wrapped around the outside of the three columns. This brace stopped the columns from being forced outwards and provided added stability to the tower.

After completing both sections of the tower we joined them together to create our tower. We did this by placing the base of the second half on the to brace of the first half. This altered the original design of our tower. With the tower being ultimately two sections we believed this would create a more stable structure as the weight was more centered.

It was originally planned that we would use superglue to attach the top half to the bottom half. This connection wasn’t strong enough and needed to be reinforced which is why we wrapped sticky tape around the joins. To ensure the joins would not rip apart.

Another change to our design that occurred during the construction process was to remove the triangle brace from the top of the tower. Instead of having a brace we taped the ends of the three columns around one column that would extend up.

We did this as it was going to be easier to obtain the height we needed for the task however it did compromise the structure of the building. As is shown in the images the lack of structural support resulted in the top of the tower tilting to the side. Although the bottom section remained stable due to the extra braces.


External loads were applied to the structure causing compressional forces on the tower. Due to these forces the columns began to buckle. This resulted in the realisation of an inconsistency when building the tower. Some of the columns were orientated at different angles. Some columns were twisting under the load whilst others were bending outwards. This twisting contributed to some of the instability of the tower. The sketch on the right shows the load path diagram of the structure. It demonstrates how the load is shared evenly among the columns and beams. Some other groups opted to build their towers using square bases. These towers were less stable and underwent lateral movement. They also used more balsa wood. It was also discovered that if the base were to wide or too small it would influence the overall stability of the building.


WEEK 3       ENVS10003

LOT 6 CAFE The lot 6 café is constructed from concrete which is a non modular form of mass construction (ENVS10003, 2014e). Concrete is an artificial material created using cement mix, water, sand and crushed rock (ENVS10003, 2014h). Concrete is a durable material with a density 2.5 times greater than water, it has a low permeability and is very hard meaning it isn’t flexible (ENVS10003, 2014h).

Due to the size of the concrete columns, they would have been built in situ, as they would not have been able to fit on a truck to transport them to the site. In situ concrete refers to concrete that is cured on site. It is poured into a removable formwork and let to set (ENVS10003, 2014i). The finish on the concrete can also indicate whether it was precast or in situ. This finish isn’t completely smooth so it is most likely the framework was made out of plywood.

Under each column would be the foundations of the building. Isolated footings are individual footings that spread the load of a column over a larger area and these would most likely be under each column of the cafĂŠ (ENVS10003, 2014d).

The two dark lines horizontally across concrete column are control joints. These account for the expansion and contraction of the concrete over a life-time (ENVS10003, 2014i). The joints are weak spots in the concrete, this way the builders are able to control the cracks that occur in the concrete, ensuring the concrete does not become weak (Ching, 2008).

SOUTH LAWN UNDERGROUND CARPARK These unique pylons have a top cross section of 9 meters. They are designed this way so that trees can be planted above them and there would be enough room to allow the root system to grow. This implies that the funnel section of the column is hollow to allow the dirt. Concrete is a permeable structural element and would need a waterproof membrane to stop water seeping through the columns (ENVS10003, 2014h).

Due to the large size of the columns they would have been constructed insitu. From the finish on the columns it can be deduced that they used a steel framework. For efficiency on the project it is most likely that the bottom half of the columns would have been built first then followed by the funnel section.

Construction joints were created as part of the construction of these columns. Construction joints separate sections into smaller sections to make the project easier to manage (ENVS10003, 2014i).

These joints also act as control joints. They allow for expansion and contractions that occur due to water absorption. Overtime concrete can also shrink if moisture evaporates out of the concrete (ENVS10003, 2014i). As well as allowing for expansion and contraction the joints have been shaped in a way that allows the services to run in the crevices and hides them from view creating a more aesthetically pleasing structure.

As well as on the roof of the underground car park construction joints can also be seen on the column. This indicates the separation of the two stages in building the columns and also allows for additional expansion and contraction in the concrete. The finish on the concrete is very smooth which suggests a steel formwork was used during construction.

Concrete is a very hard material and performs well in compression. Its performance in tension is improved by using steel reinforcement within the slab. It is relatively durable and has a high density. However due to concrete being permeable its durability can be reduced if it is not properly protected. It is a cost effective material however it is not the most sustainable material to use for construction (ENVS10003, 2014h).

The image to the left shows corrosion in the concrete. This is known as concrete spalling and occurs when the reinforcing steel rusts and expands causing the concrete to fall off around it. Spalling can also stain the concrete and is extremely undesirable in construction. This can be caused by the steel being too close to the surface of the concrete and/or insufficient waterproofing (Engineers, 2011).

ARTS WEST STUDENT CENTRE Loads through truss

Truss systems rely on the rigidity of triangles and are good in tension and compression (Ching, 2008). This truss is constructed of hollow steel members, creating a lightweight and strong structure. The filled in panels are for aesthetic reasons only as they provide no added structural support. The truss is holding the wooden beams up that travel through to the interior of the building.

The timber beams were used as housing for the lights for the building. This allowed the wiring to be hidden, as it otherwise would have been exposed. The beams are 2 timber planks separated by metal joins to allow the lights to sit in between them.

Timber is a very cost effective material and also extremely sustainable. It has little flexibility and is a relatively hard element. It is extremely durable however it can also be easily shaped, making it very ductile. Timber has a high level of permeability indicating the need to use a protective seal over timber that will be exposed to the outdoors. The stain on the timber partially acts as a sealant (ENVS10003, 2014l).

The timber beams are bolted to the bottom of the truss to be held in place and are also supported at the other end by a wall. Due to the depth of these structural members they are capable of spanning large distances.

NORTH COURT UNION HOUSE ‘Membranes are thin, flexible surfaces that carry loads primarily through the development of tensile stresses’ (Ching, 2008, p. 2.29). Membranes are hybrid systems; this example consists of a sheet material and metal to create the cover. The hole in the centre of roof is to allow water to drain away without having it pooling on the structure, which would increase the load.

STAIRS ON WESTERN SIDE OF UNION HOUSE These stairs were made using galvanised steel. Steel is an extremely strong material and very durable. Steel contains iron and hence makes it a ferrous metal. Hot rolled steel would have been used for the beams and footings, which is wear the metal is shaped while metal is hot. I beams are used for the supporting beams (ENVS10003, 2014n).

Rigid joints were the stairs for the and beams. This is a stable structure movement.

The steel is galvanised because without it, it would rust. If steel is left unprotected water and the environment can begin to decay the steel, known as rust and this makes the steel weaker. To maintain the strength in steel it is often galvanised if it is going to be left exposed. It is galvanised using a zinc covering and this prevents steel from rusting (ENVS10003, 2014m).

used on columns to create with no

There is no structural purpose for the wires. They are simply an aesthetic element to the stair structure. At first glance they appear as though they are holding the beam that supports the stairs but when a closer look is taken the support footings can be seen. Also when you touch the wires they are not in tension and there is slack. A property that wouldn’t be evident had they been holding the stairs up.

BEAUREPAIRES CENTRE POOL Steel and brick have been used in this building as the structural elements. The steel has been used for framing and the brick has been used at one end as a sheer bracing system. The steel frames have simply been repeated across the length of the building. Whilst it can’t be seen in these images only one end wall uses a brick bracing system. The other end is connected to another building.

The brick wall is a modular masonry wall and is constructed using the garden-wall bond (Ching, 2008). As can be seen in the image on the right a garden wall bond consists of two stretchers and a header repeated in a course. Each header is aligned with a header in alternate courses (Ching, 2008).

The steel framing system in the pool centre is a rigid frame. In a rigid frame system applied loads cause shear and bending forces in all members as the bolted joints restrict rotation. Rigid frame must also be braced perpendicular to the frame to prevent lateral movement (Ching, 2008). As windows constitute the walls of the building the window frame would provide the lateral bracing in the walls.

The steel columns in the frame system are custom made and are actually hollow. This allows for certain columns to house the drainage down pipes. This is done for aesthetic reasons and every column has the same black centre to hide the pipes and make all the columns look the same. (Ching, 2008)


Steel, concrete and timber are used in the construction of the oval pavilion redevelopment. Timber has been used as a cladding for the roof overhang. The timber cladding is a nonstructural element that hides the structural steel elements. As the timber is outside and exposed to weather it needs to have a protective seal applied to it (ENVS10003, 2014l).

Steel is used as a structural element in the construction. As the timber is protected my the timber cladding it does not need to be galvanised, however any outdoor exposed steel must be galvanised to prevent rust. Hot rolled sheets would have been used for primary structural elements with either welded or bolted connections. Cold formed steel would have been used for secondary members with bolted or screwed joints (ENVS10003, 2014n).

NEW MELBOURNE SCHOOL OF DESIGN BUILDING The cantilever in the new building overhangs by 12m. It is constructed from steel and will have concrete flooring poured onto the framework. The cantilever is capable of holding 150tonnes. To help support this load two diagonal beams have been used on either side of the cantilever. Also, when the cantilever was designed the engineers had to account for the floor levels to drop due to the added weight of the concrete floors (Lecture, 2014).

The metal screens in front of the windows are designed to stop the western afternoon sun, which is extremely hot. The screens will filter the light entering the building so it is not as strong. This will also reduce glare inside the building.

Many elements of the building have been constructed using pre-cast concrete. Pre-cast concrete is built offsite, and then transported to the site. This makes it very efficient, as it does not need to be left to cure on site (ENVS10003, 2014j). As it is made in a factory it is easier to control the production of the concrete and hence why the concrete has been coloured white. This is achieved by using a white cement, clean sand and white aggregate (Lecture, 2014).

These images show the pre-cast concrete being used as structural elements in the building however not all of the pre-cast concrete were for structural purposes. The exterior wall paneling of the building is composed of pre-cast concrete however it is not structural and is simply connected through construction joints and welded/bolted steel angles to support the panels in place. These panels are non-structural and don’t support a load (Ching, 2008).

(Ching, 2008)

(Ching, 2008)

OLD GEOLOGY SOUTH LECTURE, THEATRE ENTRY The old geology south lecture entrance is built using a masonry construction. A modular masonry construction allows the loads to transfer evenly through the wall so that the load is distributed evenly (ENVS10003, 2014f). Sandstone has also being used in this entrance is sandstone; sandstone is a sedimentary stone that is less dense and can be easily carved. Hence why it was been used as edging around the arch (ENVS10003, 2014g).

‘Masonry arches utilize the compressive strength of brick and stone to span opening by transforming the vertical forces of a supported load into inclined components’ (Ching, 2008, p. 5.20). The arch distributes the load through to other members transferring the load to the edge of the arch and down through the wall. This allows the opening to remain in compression and to remain standing without collapsing in (Ching, 2008).

FRANK TATE PAVILION Zinc is a non-ferrous metal, this means that it doesn’t contain iron. Zinc is of bluish white material, which can ben seen in the image on the bottom left. Zinc is often used as a cladding however it is very expensive. It has self-healing properties that allow it to resist corrosion by water, which is why it can be used to galvanise steel.

This pavilion used a combination of materials. These included: timber, concrete, steel, and zinc. Steel was used as the primary structural members of the pavilion. Concrete was used as the footings and base. Timber was used for a sunshade and the roof. And zinc was used as an aesthetic material on the outside of the pavilion.

The image in the top center shows the steel column and concrete base. The concrete base has been poured on site and being left in this state. However the steel column has been galvanised using zinc to protect it from the weather conditions. This will make it more durable. The image in center bottom is the timber roofing that has been stained a dark colour.

WEEK 4       ENVS10003

WORKING DRAWING INTRODUCTION – Oval Pavilion Redevelopment |Title Block| What information is found in the title block? - Scales - Name of client - Title of construction - Consultant details - Orientation - Contact details - Date issued - Drawing title - Number of issues - Drawing number - Name of plans - Architect company TITLE BLOCK

Why is this information important? If there is a problem it has all contact details needed to solve the problem, the title also ensures that builders and construction workers don’t use the wrong plans. The orientation indicates the position of the building.

|Drawing Content – Plans| What type of information is shown in the floor plan? - Materials - Room name/number - Door number - Window number - Stairs - Columns - Floor height - Grid referencing system - Ground slopes - References to other plans - Primary structural lines - Main landscape features

How are dimensions shown? In the picture on the right dimensions can be seen between the grid lines. The number ‘5235’ implies the distance between the grid lines is 5235mm.

Is there a grid system? What determines where the grid lines go? There is a grid system on the plan that uses numbers and letters for the different grid lines. The grid lines follow the primary structural lines in the building. This is why they are not all parallel. The pink lines on the image below indicate the grid lines.

What is the purpose of the legend? The legend helps the readers to identify items on the floor plan, through the use of codes. There are two legends on the plans, the legend and abbreviation legend. The legend is used to identify symbols on the plan whilst the abbreviation legend is used to identify letter and number codes on the plans.

Why are some parts of the plan annotated? Additional notes that need to be known by the builder that can’t be communicated through the drawing are included as annotations. These annotations are kept to a minimal amount so the plans don’t become congested.  

What do the symbols mean? Different symbols refer to different drawings or plans. These are shown on the left.

Why is this numbering system used for doors and windows? This numbering system is used for the ease of the builders. If windows or doors were numbered 1 through to 100 in the building and a door was added or removed it would not follow the number order. By numbering the doors and windows per room it allows changes to plans to be made without confusing the readers.

Why are some sections on the plan clouded? The clouds indicate new information that wasn’t included in the original plans. They are additions that are part of the revision plan. The cloud ensures that the new information stands out and is not overlooked.

What does that FFL 47.100 mean? Height of floor level above sea level, measured in meters. Surveyors calculate the height using lasers.

|Drawing Content – Elevations| What information is shown in elevation? How does it differ from what is shown on the plan? An elevation is a view of the exterior of the house. It shows the position of windows and doors, the height of the ground and different materials. A plan is a bird’s eye view of the building cut through at a 1m height. This means it doesn’t show the exterior of the building.

Are dimensions shown? Only some dimensions are shown, generally they indicate the distance between the grid lines as in the plans.

What types of levels are shown? - Wall heights - Ground slope - Roof height - Floor height


Does the elevation show grid lines? If so, in which direction are they? Yes the elevation drawings do show the grid system, but only the lines that are parallel to the orientation of the view. This can be seen on the previous page, where grid lines 1 and 2 aren’t shown.

What types of information are shown in the elevation? - Levels - Recesses in walls - Types of windows - Parapets - Doors - Types of finishes - Materials Note: This is how doors and windows are labeled in elevations.

Note: The image on the left indicates all the references to elevations on the plan.

|Drawing Content – Sections| What type of information is shown in a section? Sections show an enlarged area of the plan. This is because at the scale on the plan the information wouldn’t fit in. By zooming in on a section the information can be seen. Below is an illustration that depicts a reference to a section in a plan.

Illustrate how section drawings differentiate from elements that are cut through and elevations. The image below shows multiple pictures all detailing the one flight of stairs. These are the sectional drawings that were referenced off of the plan.


Note: The image on the left indicates all the references to sections on the plan.

|Drawing Content – Details| DETAIL What is a detail? A detail is a focused area of a section. It shows more dimensions of the area but is not limited to that. They can also show finishes and materials that are used.

What sorts of things are detailed? Stair sections, hand railing, roofing, flooring, seats, tables, cupboards, and kitchenettes are all examples of things that can be detailed.

How are materials indicated? Different materials can be deduced by the shading in the detail or by the use of abbreviations of letters.

WEEK 5       ENVS10003

STRUCTURAL MODEL This week the task was to create a scale structural model of the oval pavilion redevelopment. The trusses needed to be made to scale and the balsa wood pieces needed to be cut to scale in terms of length, width, height and depth. The angles and length of the elements within the truss also needed to be at the correct angle to accurately represent the truss system.

Load through truss system

As we only had to build half of the canopy there was only one column to transfer the load into the ground. In the real canopy there are three other small columns at the other end of the canopy to transfer the load to the ground. However the column in this section is the main support for the canopy and is constructed using a truss system. This provides a strong column that performs well in compression and the diagonal pieces act in tension to ensure the column can withstand the loads (Ching, 2008). The upright section of the column is thicker than the other elements so we had to replicate this by using a thicker piece of balsa wood.

The cantilever trusses that extend out from the main frame are the only cantilevered sections of the structure. The cantilevers extend from the main frame only where there is reinforcement. This added reinforcement was in the form of a vertical bar added to the truss that extended from the top chord to the bottom cord. The top and bottom cords being the parallel beams that run the length of the truss (Ching, 2008).

The main truss system was made first. The top and bottom chords run the length of the truss system and are connected by web members. The web members form open panels in the truss. The truss system performs well in compression and is a lightweight structure (Ching, 2008). The vertical elements are placed where truss systems will extend out from the main truss. This provides extra support for the entire system.

The brace around the ends of the cantilevers needed to be scaled correctly against the other members. When the brace was attached the whole structure become more stable and it actually looked like the structure in the plans. The bracing prevents movement of the cantilevers that makes the structure more stable and more defensive against forces. This is demonstrated in the image to the left.

The cantilever sections had to be built before the frame could be attached. The frame connected all the ends of cantilevers. The frame acts as a brace to connect the cantilevers and prevents them from moving. The brace can also act as the eternal frame to help support the roof cladding that will be placed on top of the truss system.

Making models makes it easier to communicate designs to clients. Reading a plan can be difficult to understand, however when a model is made, such as this one, it makes it easier to comprehend the design. This makes it easier to make changes to the design in a way that both the architect/builder and clients can both understand.

The finished model provides a good representation of the model (shown on right). The structure provides a realistic view of the structure and makes it easier to imagine the real size structure. The different views of the structure demonstrate how the structure will look and its magnitude.

The image above is a partially finished model of the canopy of the building. It is the opposite end to what our group made however theirs is unfinished. Their model shows the same truss system down the center that ours does however they have used a different material to make their structure, opting to use a thick paper. Where we used balsa wood. The structure is built on a slightly smaller scale than ours was, this means either of the groups has made a mistake with scaling the model. While there is a difference in the scale the models are still comparable.

This image above is of a model of the basement and the ground level. The task asked for the structural elements to be made; however this group also incorporated nonstructural elements. The basement showed the structural features but such as the concrete block walls and shaft in the middle. The top floor though shows only non-structural elements such as cladding. This makes it difficult to compare because the structural elements have not being incorporated. The scale model was not finished either so full comparisons between materials could not be made.

WEEK 6     ENVS10003

WEEK 7     ENVS10003

WEEK 8     ENVS10003


WEEK 9     ENVS10003

SITE VISIT As the excavation for these apartment buildings was large-scale soldier piles had to be used for the excavation. These soldier piles were poured onsite into pre-drilled holes at the edge of the excavation. The piles hold back the soil to prevent the wall from collapsing in during the excavation (Ching, 2008). In between the piles shotcrete is used to cover the soil and create the wall of the basement car park. The car park is a wet construction, meaning it is not waterproof. This is why stains can be seen down the concrete wall. Instead spoon drains have been used in the corners of the car park to remove the water.  

The holes in the soldier piles are from tiebacks. Tiebacks are used because cross bracing would affect the excavation process. The tiebacks are generally steel cables that are taken back into solid rock and stretched into tension to help hold the wall up (Ching, 2008).

The concrete columns were precast and reinforced with steel rods that extend into the suspended slab and floor. Underneath each column is a 2x2 pad footing. The steel rods extend through the footing to disperse the load evenly. The circles that can be seen in the columns is because holes were drilled into the column to allow the rods to go in. the holes were then filled with a grout.

The concrete suspended floor slab was poured onsite. It is unusual because it has no beams running through the slab, however instead of being a slab of 200mm thick with 400mm thick beams it is 350mm thick the whole way through. On the underside of the slab you can see a grid pattern. This is formed by the plywood formwork used to shape the concrete.

The scaffolding above was used to support the plywood formwork to hold the concrete. The scaffolding has to be in place for 28 days as this is how long it takes concrete to fully cure. Once it has cured the formwork and scaffolding can be removed.

The steel reinforcement bars will be straightened horizontally when the ramp to the car park is poured. This will connect the ramp to the wall creating a construction joint. In the meantime they are bent up along the wall for safety reasons so people don’t walk into them. In other areas were the reinforcements are vertical yellow caps have been placed on them so that they stand out to workers.

The pipes on the roof in the car park are for the sewerage from the apartments. Legally they cannot be below a certain level, as it needs to be above the minimum roof height. The pipes are on angles to control the flow of the sewerage so that it flows to drainage areas and can be removed from the building.

The image above shows a pipe running into an air-conditioning duct. This is a mistake from the plans and needs to be adjusted on site. The mistake arises due to the different plans not being overlaid to determine if the layouts will fit. When working out how to fix the problem the workers must consider many factors such as: maintaining minimum roof height, not having the pipe flow upwards and not having sharp turns in the air condition duct which causes a loud whistling sound.

The apartments all have identical layouts, this means all pipework and water services are in the same positions throughout the building. This makes it easier for services to be run as they are more symmetrical and a layout can be applied that will ensure an uncomplicated design for the builders.

The image to the left shows a shower pit. The shower will have a wall placed half way along it to divide the apartments. There is a dip because it needs to have a waterproof membrane applied to it.

The black rim around pipe is for safety. A fire must be able to be contained in one apartment for 60 minutes and the black piping prevents the fire going through to the apartments for 60 minutes and maintains the fire safety rating.

In this apartment building smaller columns hold up each consecutive level. In the car park concrete columns were used and then on the next level steel columns are used and then smaller steel columns on the next level and so on. This is because the higher up the building the fewer loads need to be transferred down.

The steel columns have to be placed on steel plates to prevent shear punch Shear punch is where load through the steel column is too concentrated and it pushes right through the concrete. To prevent this the column was welded onto a steel plate to disperse the load evenly away from the steel column.

The layout of the columns are kept continuous on each level meaning the columns are all placed above each other this is so the loads are directed to an area where there is support underneath creating a more stable structure. This is depicted to the left.

WEEK 10    






STRUCTURAL MODEL For the construction workshop our group was given 3 pieces of timber and a small sheet of plywood to build a bridge structure that would span 1 meter and carry as large a load as possible. The materials could be used in any way possible and could only be attached to each other using nails and screws.

For our group we decided to make supporting columns for each end of the bridge. We constructed the columns by cutting the length of timber into small even pieces and screwing them together. These columns would perform well in compression and provide stability to the structure, as it would help to support the beam.

Working with real materials is different to just reading about them. When using the saw and drill it helps to understand how easily a material can be damaged. With the timber it was easy to put a dent in it with a hammer and screw. The metal screw went straight through it indicating the metal is a lot tougher than the timber.

Two lengths of timber that were cut to a length of 1100mm were used to make the beam structure. They were separated by the width of the plywood and place on the long thing edge. They were placed in this orientation because there is less bending when a load is applied.

The plywood was nailed to the underside of the two planks of wood. When working with plywood it is easy to differentiate it from a plank of timber. The plywood is flexible and is able to have its shaped changed easily. The plywood was nailed to the timber in the same positions on each side so it was symmetrical. Enough nails needed to be used to hold it in place but not too many that would weaken the timber.

Plywood performs well in tension so it was nailed to the bottom of the pieces of timber so that when the load was applied it would be acting in tension. Plywood has strong dimensional stability due to the grain alternating directions at each layer. This allows it to disperse the load efficiently, allowing it to perform well under tension (Ching, 2008).

A rigid joint was made when joining the beam to the columns. A rigid joint was chosen, as it was the only one we could make in the short amount of time. A rigid joint holds the two elements together and prevents rotation, force, moment and translation resistance (Ching, 2008). This increases the stability of the structure and gives it added support.

Our finished structure had two pieces on top that connected the two beams. These provide extra bracing to the structure and prevented twisting when the load was applied. They were attached to the beams using screws rather than nails, as it is harder to nail through the two pieces of timber.

The finished structure spanned 100mm and was a very stable structure. As you can see in the load diagram the load is transferred evenly throughout the structure. The load is not spread through the pieces at the top as a load takes the most direct route through the ground where a resultant force is applied to the structure.

Our structure failed at two points in the beam. This failure occurred in the center of the beam on both planks of timber. The reason for this failure was because of the nails used to attach the plywood. If the nails were not placed in the center of the beam then the weak spots wouldn’t have been directly under the load and would be stronger. Also of the nails were alternated on each side this could also possibly have increased the load that the structure could hold.

RESULTS Pushing on the structure by 20 mm had a load of 290kg. The down force was increased to 30mm and the load went to 332kg. At 35mm it was 370kg. Our structure then failed at 40mm where the load was 385kg.

For this groups structure the plywood was placed on the side of the structure. Plywood does not perform well under compression and so it failed quickly because there was nothing else to support it. Also the two planks of wood were not orientated in the correct position and so they were not able to support as large a load, as they bent more than being used along the short edge.

RESULTS This structure was not as strong as our one. It failed at half the downward length of ours and didn’t support as large a load. This is due to the positioning of the plywood in the structure not being bale to support the load. The structure failed at 20mm with 300kg load.

This structure failed almost straight away due to twisting. Truss systems perform well in compression and so in theory should have been extremely strong. Had the structure been assembled correctly then the truss should have been much stronger. To make it stronger they could have built lateral supports for the truss or made the height of it lower which would lower its center of gravity. Smaller webs could have also been built which would have provided extra support along the length of the truss.

RESULTS This groups structure failed almost instantly when the load was applied. It failed at 5mm with a load of 23kg. it failed due to the twisting of the truss. This made it the least stable structure out of the group.

GLOSSARY Alloy – are a combination of two or more metals (ENVS10003, 2014m). Axial Load – force exerted along the lines of an axis of a structural member (Ching, 2008). Beam – carries/transfers loads across a span to the axial support columns (Ching, 2008). Bending – when a structural element bends as a result of an external force. Slender members bend more. It is also more prominent along the longitudinal axis (Ching, 2008). Braced Frame – ‘a timber or steel frame braced with diagonal members’ (Ching, 2008, p. 2.22). Bracing – adds support to a structure by inhibiting lateral movement either by diagonal bracing or sheet bracing. Buckling – occurs when a member that is in compression can no longer support the load and it begins to snap (Finance, 2014). Cantilever – a beam that is supported only at one end (Ching, 2008). Column – a structural piece that performs well under compression to provide axial support to a building (Ching, 2008). Composite Beam – a beam that combines two or more materials to perform the single function of a beam, e.g. timber a steel truss beam (Finance, 2014). Compression – occurs when an external force puts pressure on the object and compacts it to make it shorter (Environments, 2014). Concrete plank – a hollow or solid section of concrete, that is generally pre-stressed and precast, that is used for roof and floor decking (Finance, 2014). Cornice – a piece of either metal or timber (generally) that runs along the join between the ceiling and wall to hide the joint and make it neat (Finance, 2014). Corrosion – when a material begins to be eaten away at due to a chemical reaction, e,g, rust (Finance, 2014). Deflection – ‘perpendicular distance a spanning member deviates from a true course under transverse loading’ (Ching, 2008, p. 2.14). Door Furniture – consists of all fittings associated with doors. E.g. handles, locks, stoppers (Ching, 2008). Down Pipe - collects water from gutters and deposits it in a storm water drain/water storage area. Drip – placed along the edge of a roof to provide stability and to ensure water goes into the gutter not stay on the building, which would cause damage (Finance, 2014). Eave – ‘overhanging lower edge of a roof’ (Ching, 2008, p. 6.16). Fascia – a vertical board used on the outside edge of the roof (Finance, 2014). Flashing – ‘thin continuous pieces of sheet metal or other impervious material installed to prevent the passage of water into a structure from an angle or joint’ (Ching, 2008, p. 7.18). Frame – comprised of columns and beams to create a wall or a section of a structure.

Girder - A large primary beam of wood, steel or concrete used to support other structural members at areas along the length of the girder (Finance, 2014). Gutter – runs along the edge of the roof and collects water from the roof and transfers it to downpipes. IEQ – Indoor environmental quality. Insulation – controls movement of heat into and out of a building, reducing the amount of energy required (Ching, 2008). Joist – horizontal members that run parallel on top of the bearers to support the load of the floor or ceiling. Can be used in the floor or ceiling (Finance, 2014). Load path – represents the direction of the load as it travels through the structure (Ching, 2008, p. 7.18). Lintel – an additional horizontal member used in a wall system over a window or door opening to support the load of the wall above it and to transfer this load around the opening (Finance, 2014). Masonry – describes the way in which a structure has been built using individual pieces joined together with a grout. E.g. brick and mortar. Moment – occurs when a force produces a rotational movement on a member around a central point (ENVS10003, 2014b). Moment of Inertia – ‘sum of the product of each element of an area and the square of its distance from a coplanar axis of rotation’ (Ching, 2008, p. 2.14). Nogging – horizontal members placed between the studs in a wall system to prevent buckling (Ching, 2008). Pad footing – also known as isolated footings, divide the load over a larger area (Ching, 2008). Parapet – section of a wall that extends above the roof level, generally on the edge of the roof (Finance, 2014). Point load – a load that is specific to a localised area in a structure. Portal Frame – consists of two columns and a beam that are joined together using rigid joints (ENVS10003, 2014d). Purlin – horizontal member in roof structures that transfer roof loads to the roof beams (Finance, 2014). Rafter – sloped beam that extends from the ridge beam down to the external wall and supports the roof covering (Finance, 2014). Reaction force – the force exerted on the structure (usually from the ground) that is equal and opposite in direction to force the structure exerts on the ground. Retaining wall – resist lateral forces such as soil, to accommodate for a change in ground level or for a basement of a building (Ching, 2008). Sandwich Panel – a prefabricated composite panel developed by gluing thin pieces of material to each side of a core material, e.g. an aluminum sheet composite (Finance, 2014). Seasoned Timber – timber that has a low water content which increases its dimensional stability (ENVS10003, 2014k). Sealant – a durable, adhesive and resistant material that seals a joint from water and air (ENVS10003, 2014d). Shear Force – a force that causes one element to slide against another, causing a sliding movement in the structure (Finance, 2014). Skirting – placed at the bottom of an internal wall to hide the joint with the floor system and to protect the wall material (generally plaster) from damage.

Slab on ground – known as a mat or raft foundation, it is a footing that supports multiple columns, in some cases it can support the whole building (Ching, 2008, p. 6.16). Soffit – ‘the underside of n overhanging roof eave’ (Ching, 2008). Soft Story – a floor that has less support than other levels (generally the level that has shops for customers) it is more likely to collaps in an earthquake (ENVS10003, 2014o). Spacing – the distance between two parallel elements, e.g. spacing between two joists (Ching, 2008). Span – the distance between two supporting members that are supporting the length of a beam. Stability – the ability of a structure to maintain a stable balance when external lateral forces and vertical loads are exerted on the structure (Ching, 2008). Steel decking – sheets of metal that is used as roofing and sometimes flooring (Ching, 2008). Stress – tension or compression forces that strain an element (Finance, 2014). Strip footing – spread a load from a wall or multiple columns over a longer area (Ching, 2008). Structural joint – connect individual pieces of material together to help form a structure. Stud – a vertical member used in a wall construction to help make a stable wall. Can be either wood or steel (Finance, 2014). Substructure – the foundations of the building that can either be above or below ground level. The foundations transfer the load of the building into the ground (ENVS10003, 2014d). Tension – occurs when an external force is applied to a structure that elongates the object (ENVS10003, 2014d). Top Chord – top chord is the beam that runs the length of the truss system along the top and is connected to the bottom chord via web members (Environments, 2014). Vapour Barrier – a material that has a low permeability that is used to prevent moisture from seeping into a structure where it can turn into a liquid (Ching, 2008). Window Sash – the framework in a window where the panes of glass are set, can be either rigid or moveable (Ching, 2008).


REFERENCE LIST Australia, F. (2014). Underfloor. Retrieved 12/05/2014, from Ching, F. D. K. (2008). Building Construction Illustrated (Fourth ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Engineers, S. (2011). Concrete Spalling. Retrieved 14/04/14, from Environments, C. (2014). ENVS10003: Constructing Environments - Basic Structural Forces (I). Retrieved 15/03/14, from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014a, 15/03/14). W01 m1 Introduction to Materials. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014b, 15/03/14). W01 s1 Load Path Diagrams. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014c, 17/03/14). W02 s1 Structural Systems. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014d, 22/03/14). W03 c1 FOOTINGS & FOUNDATIONS. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014e, 24/03/14). W03 m1 INTRODUCTION TO MASS CONSTRUCTION. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014f, 9/04/2014). W03_M2 INTRODUCTION TO MASONRY. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014g, 09/04/2014). W03_m4 STONE. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014h, 24/03/14). W04 m1 CONCRETE. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014i, 24/03/14). W04 m2 IN SITU CONCRETE. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014j, 15/04/14). W04_m3 Pre Cast Concrete. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014k, 1/05/2014). W05_m1 From Wood to Timber. Retrieved from

ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014l, 13/04/14). W05_m2 Timber Properties and Considerations. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014m, 14/04/14). W06_m1 Introduction to Metals. Retrieved from ENVS10003 (Producer). (2014n, 14/04/14). W06_m2 Ferrous Metals. Retrieved from ENVS10003. (2014o). W10 S1 Lateral Supports. Retrieved 17/05/2014, from 2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_271852#global-nav-flyout Finance, W. (2014). Dictionary of Construction. Retrieved 8/04/14, from Services, A. B. I. (2014a). Ant Capping. Retrieved 09/03/14, from Services, A. B. I. (2014b). Damp Proof Course. from Solutions, W. (2013a). Laminated Veneer Lumbar (LVL). Retrieved 08/04/14, from Solutions, W. (2013b). Particleboard also know as Chipboard. Retrieved 08/04/14, from Solutions, W. (2013c). Treated Sawn Timber. from



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