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WEEK 2 - STUDIO JOURNAL

Our first plan was to use a triangular base with balsa wood columns tapering in towards a point. The columns were made first because if we made the structure layer-by-layer, we would not know the angle the tapering should be. Five balsa columns for each edge of the base were glued and arranged to overlay on each other to ensure there was enough glue to securely holed the columns together.

We quickly realised that without any support or bracing, the tall columns would bend and ultimately snap or topple the structure. Therefore we glued triangular supports to keep the columns in the direction of tapering in towards each other. The triangular supports were placed after every two balsa wood lengths. The supports acted to take some of the gravitational force of the structure to put less strain of the columns. The supports progressively became smaller as the tower got taller.

After the columns were tapered in and the triangular supports were put in place, we found that the structure was still bending from the downwards force, as seen in the photo above. More bracing had to be put in place.

constructing environments


WEEK 2 - STUDIO JOURNAL

Less stress

In order to relieve the stress on the columns, we placed supports diagonally from column to column. This kept consistent to the triangular pattern of the structure. We found that some columns were bending more than others, so diagonal beams were used to transfer some of the stress from one column to another, as seen in the left sketch. After this was done, the columns did not bend, shown in the photo below.

Another group chose to make the structure layer by layer. Because of this, the tapering was really extreme and the tower was short. They had no other option but to stack single sticks on top of each other at the peak of the tower. All groups used the triangular pattern for their tower. This is because triangles are the most rigid shape in geometry and it adds strength to materials by reducing lateral movement.

More stress

To further increase the height of tower, we glued two sticks of balsa wood on the top. The two sticks were connected by a short stick of balsa to keep it in place, as shown in sketch above. After a while, the two columns on the top started bending and eventually snapped from too much stress placed on the column. The columns had reached the maximum amount of weight it could handle and buckled.

constructing environments


CONSTRUCTION WEEK 2 - STUDIO GLOSSARY JOURNAL Spacing noun. Spacing is the distance between individual members or shingles in building construction. It usually refers the distance between supports such as a beam or a joist. - Construction Dictionary and Glossary of Construction Terms

Spacing can refer to the distance between column, beam, floor, wall and roof members. All these members have specific spacing designed to meet the strucutral requirements of the building. Correct spacing can damatically reduce the amount of materials required without compromising the structural integrity of the building. References: 1. Heritage Building Systems 2013, Endwall Column Spacing, viewed 11 August 2013, <http://www.heritagebuildings.com/help4po/images/ endwall_column_spacing.jpg> 2. Builder Space 2001, Construction Dictionary and Glossary of Construction Terms , viewed 11 August 2013, <http://www.builderspace.com/glossary. html>

constructing environments


Week 2 - Studio Journal