Week One: 07/03/2014 Today we had to construct a tower using MDF blocks. The tower had to have four distinct walls, and should have been able to move a toy horse in and out of the structure via a door. The initial plan was to follow an overlapping brick structure with the intention of imitating a common brick building structure, however we discovered that this path was going to restrict our ability to build the largest tower due to limited resources.
So what we did later was to separate the distance between the bricks in order to conserve materials.
The weak link of our squared tower structure was the corners as they were not symmetrical in pattern. We tried to rectify this by changing our structure completely by simply moulding it into a circular structure. Another reason for doing this was because we thought that we were able to create the fourth wall of the building and hence make it easier to make the doorway for the horse.
The seperation of the blocks allowed us to conserve our bricks without drastically changing the load path of the structure, due to the fact that any load placed over the tower would travel directly downwards.
This strategy failed us as a circular structure was still unable to bridge the gap in order to make the door, however when we were instructed to take apart the blocks in a similar fashion to the game Jenga, we realised that we could have made the door in this fashion, as shown in the picture on the right.
Week Two â€“ 14/03/14
Today our task was to build a tower from thinly cut plywood. The design we chose was to have a 20cm sided equilateral triangle base, and then slowly decreasing the area of the base as the floors go higher. The ground floor and the first floor of the structure seemed relatively stable without the need for the cross bridging of the standing components.
However as the tower grew in height the higher levels began to sway, hence making it more difficult to stand higher and hence making the use of cross bridging more relevant.
After building the tallest possible structure without a consistent use of cross bridging, our structure was unable to stand on its own and needed a couple of people to hold it up. When our tutor was dismantling our structures we realised that despite heavily taping and pinning our joints together, they were still incredibly feeble. When pressure was applied to the tower, there was a lot of rotation between the floors, meaning once again the joints were failing to hold it up. The structure eventually broke down the length of one the standing floors. This could have been prevented by consistent use of cross bridging rather than