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Week 01 Journal Lecture   • 

Brief descrip+on  of  the  subject  was  introduced  and  the  required   assessments  are  also  discussed.  It  was  men+oned  that  this  subject  is   focused  on  the  materials  and  how  they  are  used  in  the  context  of   construc+on.    

• 

Structural principles  and  the  fabrics  of  natural  and  constructed   environments  would  also  be  explored  in  this  subject.  We  will  develop  the   skills  and  knowledge  in  construc+on  through  the  introduc+on  of  common   materials  and  structures  language  and  many  guest  speakers  that  will  be   invited  from  different  fields  within  the  industry  for  example  architects,   builders,  engineers  and  developers  etc  

• 

We will  also  have  the  opportuni+es  in  tutorials  and  in  assessment  tasks  to   visit  construc+on  sites,  to  first-­‐handedly  experience  what  it’s  like  to  work   in  the  construc+on  field  and  what  process  must  be  done  in  the   construc+on  of  a  building/structure.    

Tutorial • 

In the  first  tutorial,  we  spent  most  of  the  +me  working  on  the   ‘compression’  ac+vity,  which  required  us  to  build  a  structure  as  tall  as   possible  in  groups  of  3  to  4.  I  was  allocated  to  a  group  of  three  and  we  all   had  a  mutual  agreement  on  that  the  base  of  our  structure  would  be  the   key  in  building  a  tall  and  stable  structure  (tower)  and  we  have  trialed  two   different  shaped  bases:  circular  and  square.    

Constructing Environments 2013 Sem02 636903 Ka Wing Lee


Week 01 Journal Tutorial • 

Then we  discussed  how  we  are  going  to  build  the  body  of  the  tower,  and   we  all  thought  the  method  of  compression  with  the  bricks  lying   horizontally  would  allow  us  to  build  a  stable  tower  since  the  surface  area   is  rela+vely  large  compared  to  placing  bricks  ver+cally  also  the  weight  of   each  brick  would  be  supported  by  the  boOom  bricks  on  the  two  sides.  

• 

Since the  task  required  the  tower  to  be  able  to  let  a  toy  (our  case,    a   dinosaur)  have  access  into  and  out  of  the  structure,  therefore  we  had  to   build  a  doorway.  We  were  not  sure  how  to  create  a  hole  in  such  tower   since  it  would  possible  cause  the  whole  tower  to  collapse  due  to  a  part  of   the  tower  having  no  support  to  the  base.  In  the  mean+me  we  have  also   iden+fied  a  problem  that  we  would  face  later  on  which  was  the  roof,  we   were  not  certain  if  the  top  of  the  tower  would  meet  at  one  point  if  we   con+nued  to  stack  bricks  on  top.  Therefore  one  member  suggested  to  build   a  roof  that’s  completely  unaOached  to  the  tower  and  place  it  on  top  of  the   tower  in  the  end,  I  wasn’t  sure  about  the  prac+cability  of  this  idea  since  the   bricks  in  the  middle  of  the  roof  would  have  no  rigid  support  and  would   most  likely  collapse.  But  since  this  tower  is  quite  a  small-­‐scale  structure,  I   was  not  sure  if  my  thoughts  would  be  accurate,  hence  I  did  not  disagree   with  her  sugges+on.    

Constructing Environments 2013 Sem02 636903 Ka Wing Lee


Week 01 Journal • 

At this  stage  of  the  ac+vity,  our  group  was  basically  ‘lost’  and  feeling   unsure  about  everything,  and  I  suggested  to  test  out  the  different   structures  that  we  were  not  sure  of,  this  included  whether  the  circular-­‐ based  structure  and  the  square-­‐based  structure  would  have  a  point  of   intersec+on  eventually.  We  then  agreed  to  have  one  group  member  ‘just   keep  doing  what  we’re  doing’,  one  member  to  try  out  the  completely   separated  roof  and  me  building  small  prototypes.  This  has  led  to  a  finding   that  the  structure  would  narrow  as  we  keep  building  up  but  due  to   gravita+on,  the  building  would  get  unstable  and  might  collapse  if  the   en+re  structure  just  keeps  narrowing  down.  At  this  stage  the  roof  was   tested  and  it  was  not  rigid  enough  to  sit  on  top  of  the  tower  by  itself  with   the  mere  support  from  its  four  sides.  Therefore  we  have  disregard  the   method  of  having  a  separated  roof  and  decided  to  again,  keep  doing  what   we’re  doing  and  see  how  it  goes’.    

• 

Lastly we  have  ran  out  of  +me  and  couldn’t  build  a  roof  for  our  tower,  we   ended  up  tes+ng  how  much  weight  could  be  held  by  our  tower  and  found   that  it  could  not  only  hold  on  to  the  thick  textbook  but  also  two  boxes  full   of  wooden  bricks.  We  were  also  told  that  according  to  the  physics  of   structure  and  forces,  the  structure  of  the  tower  we  built  would  be  able  to   hold  up  many  more  boxes  without  collapsing.  Also  our  group  did  not  have   the  smoothest  building  experience  in  this  ac+vity  but  I  have  learnt  to  trial   different  design  and  structural  ideas,  as  I  believe  I  would  learn  a  lot  more   through  mistakes  than  success.    

Constructing Environments 2013 Sem02 636903 Ka Wing Lee


Week 01 Journal Tutorial • 

The tallest  tower  was  built  by  another  group  of  three;  their  design  did  not  keep  narrowing  down  but  was   in  a  curvy  shape.  I  believe  this  would  enable  them  to  ignore  the  gravita+on  issue  that  was  discussed  earlier   on  as  the  weight  of  the  tower  was  evenly  distributed  in  all  areas  of  the  tower,  making  it  stable  and  able  to   achieve  the  height  at  the  same  +me.  I  also  discovered  that  three  out  of  the  four  groups  used  the  same   brick  laying  method,  which  indicates  that  this  method  enables  the  structure  to  be  extremely  stable.    

Constructing Environments 2013 Sem02 636903 Ka Wing Lee

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