n Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese - Structurally efficient housing incorporating natural forms : technical paper
|Article Title||Structurally efficient housing incorporating natural forms : technical paper|
|© Publisher:||South African Institution Of Civil Engineering (SAICE)|
|Journal||Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese|
|Affiliations||1 University of the Witswatersrand, 2 University of the Witswatersrand and 3 University of the Witswatersrand|
|Publication Date||Oct 2013|
|Pages||96 - 102|
|Keyword(s)||Catenary, Earth bricks, Low-cost housing, Masonry, Shells and Vaults|
Structural optimisation has been the subject of intense research for many years. However, the engineering profession seems to be oblivious to the important role of natural structures. Natural structures are shapes created by nature and possess geometrical properties that are resistant to environmental conditions. Engineers of antiquity recognised the importance of natural shapes and incorporated these designs into many political and religious structures. Many of these structures are catenary or funicular in form, and are characterised by a pure compressive stress distribution - an essential requirement for masonry structures. Catenary shapes are robust and economical. These principles are applied to the design and construction of a prototype shell - a domed vault - intended as an alternative structure for low-cost housing. Design principles are described, as well as the construction process.
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