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Kathryn Randall-Dzerdz #640263


Glossary: Embodied Energy The energy that is consumed during the construction of a building (or product), including the energy necessary for the acquisition and processing of raw materials, manufacturing, transport and assembly of the building and its components, as well as structural maintenance or renovation (Milne 2010). Embodied energy is not easily measured due to the multitude of processes requiring energy that contribute to the final production of a building (Milne 2010).

2. While the bricks provided were strong in compression. 5 bricks secured end-to-end with rubber bands could create a beam with enough strength to support and distribute a great deal of weight that was placed upon it and withstand the tension on the underside of the beam.


When a load was applied to the apex of the tower, the structure resisted the applied force remarkably well. The load was transferred down the tower walls to the ground (8), with a proportion being distributed across the support beams over the front opening and transferred to the ground on either side of the beams (9). The live load (as blocks were poured at an angle into the container creating the load), eventually created a lateral force that destabilized the tower, causing its collapse. Using a video review of the collapse, it can be seen that the supporting beams above the opening do not fail or collapse under the load, showing that the load was well distributed throughout the tower.

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constructhis plan.

4. The “bricks” were laid in an overlapping pattern such that each brick was supported by two bricks beneath it, and held in place by the surrounding bricks, strengthening the structure against lateral forces (where vertical faults would occur in vertical gaps between each stack of bricks if not overlapped).


5. Two beams were laid together over the opening of the structure to further distribute the weight of bricks above. This was found to be very successful in supporting the tower above the opening. 6. As the tower progressed, the spire was altered from a “U” shape to a circular shape. This was thought to be a stronger, more visually interesting, and easier approach to take in creating the “tallest tower”. 7. As the tower increased in height, it began to taper towards to top. This occurred so that fewer bricks could be used to create optimal height. Interactive Structures (Vassigh 2008) revealed that this tapered structure is beneficial for stability , where the greatest moment (“tendency or measure of tendency to produce motion especially about a point or axis” (Merriam-Webster 2013)) occurs at the base of the structure, and thus, needs to be strongest.


Vassigh, S. 2008, Interactive Structures - Visualising Structural Behaviour, 2.0th edn, John Wiley & Sons.

3. tion


Milne, G. 2010, “Embodied Energy” in Your Home: Tenchinal Manual, eds. P. Downton & Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, 4th edn, Australian Government, Canberra, Australia, pp. 136-139.


1. Original plans illustrate a tower with a “U-shaped” foundation that followed this same shape from the base to the tip with a flat front facade.


Merriam Webster 2013, , Definition: Moment [Homepage of Merriam Webster Incorporated], [Online]. Available: http://www.merriam-webster. com/dictionary/moment [2013, 7 August].

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Week one submission Constructing Environments University of Melboure

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