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Constructing Journal Entry 2 Peter Martinich #637862

Weekly Task This week in the tutorial it was required of our small group to create the highest structure possible through the use of Balsa Wood Members. These members were pre prepared during the week and approximately 2.5mm thick. With the aim of reaching height the group began to collaborate ideas and it was decided upon a geometric triangular design which represented strength and material efficiency, whilst also allowing lateral stability for the balsa wood which can be relatively week and suffer under tensile stress. This example of ‘Frame Construction’ demonstrated the need for good foundations as study through Ching.

Photographic Sequence

Fig. 1.-Intial geometric pattern

Fig.2-Extending upwards

Fig. 3.-Top of structure

Fig.4-Structure under load bearing


Frame Construction Frame Construction as discussed through Ching and other publications is the use of Vertical, Horizontal and Lateral Members to create a structure in which the loads are transferred to the ground through these members. If performed correctly with appropriate materials frame construction can be an efficient construction method in terms of material use. Frame Construction is an extremely common method of construction due to the time and material efficiency it allows. Frame Construction relies on solid foundations which was hard to achieve in our task. Frame Construction lacks lateral stability and in order to remain in equilibrium needs lateral bracing, creating the triangular geometric formation found presented by our structure.

Material Efficiency Balsa Wood in its nature is an extremely light weight wood this meant it minimized the dead load of our structure. It is also extremely malleable meaning it was easy to use and join in our context. Although in order to ensure stability the vertical columns needed to be vertically short preventing tensile stress and breakage, this meant more joins were required impeding the heights in which our structure could meet. Balsa wood also required lateral stability, creating our triangular formation, which meant removing one side to create an overall triangular structure due to the limited amount of members available for use. Overall due to its workability and weight Balsa wood provided efficiency although when under loading it lacked vertical stability and was susceptible to tensile stress lacking efficiency.

Project Sketches

Fig.5 Original concept of structure shape with diagram of load bearing


Fig.6-Transfer of loads to the ground through the structure

Entry Two  
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