Constructing environment Week 3 studio journal Jianpeng deng, 657598 This week we are introduced to have a site visit; it is to get to know the four different constructions in Melbourne Uni. It is a rush visit as there is limited time spent on each site. The word I have got for this week’s studio glossary is “soldier pile”. This week, the studio activity is held in a workshop, there is a mister who gives introduction about the tools that are normally used in workshop. As soon as we are done getting to know the tools, we are then split into groups to make structures with real construction material -‐-‐-‐ pines and hip nails etc. The purpose is to make a structure that could bear as much weight as possible. The materials we are assigned are two 42 x 18 pines and two so-‐called straight grain pines. The ideal structure we tend to make is a triangle-‐shape structure where the tip pointing upwards. The idea is to divert the force from upwards to a larger area, so that it can bear more weight. As shown in Sketch 1.
The tools we use are only some screws and battery drill. For the main foundation, we place one thick pine vertically on the other horizontally-‐placed thick pine, as a T-‐shape structure. As shown in Sketch 2.
Then using the battery drill to drill about five screws into the pines so that they could be firmly attached. As shown in picture 1.
We also attach the other two thin pines to both sides of T structure in the same way, drill screws to hold them tight. Here is the finished structure and it looks triangle. As shown in picture 2 & 3.
Picture 2 Picture 3
Here are pictures of the other two groups’ work.
All finished structures come to the test to destruction, place a big wooden lump above the structure, and then keep screwing/pushing at a point until it breaks apart. Our group’s piece doesn’t work well compared to others, only seven rounds and a bit then the whole structure breaks. As we conclude, the two pieces of straight grain pines cannot bear much weight because it can be much stronger if we place it upfront; in contrast, this kind of position seems to be the weakest. For the T-‐shape pines, they not only cannot bear the force equally, but in fact it actually speeds up breaking the structure as larger pressure is applied on the bottom pine. Here is the photo of our group’s structure, it is put upside down to show where it cracks.
Here it introduces the other groups’ structure. They use truss frame to make the structure, this works pretty well to bear more weight as the force is diverted somehow. And it somehow enhances the middle part so that it could withstand the force to the tip. Eventually the structure cracks; we are told that the breaking area is always the area where there is a nail/screw, it helps to connect pines but also weakens them at the same time. As shown in Image 1-‐3.
This group tends to enhance the middle area to resist the force from above, it works pretty well though, but miscalculate it does not help much, the two short pines eventually become a burden to the long ones before the whole structure breaks. As shown in Image 4-‐6.
Tutors conclude that pines/timbers are good construction materials because when there is they are faced certain huge destruction/force, they don’t break instantly due to the nature of flexibility. Therefore, to some extent, the house may not easily fall apart.