Architecture typology today is still largely articulated on modernist practices developed nearly a century ago. This research proposes an alternative to the present and future of building technology. The focus is on creating small triangulated units that can be linked together in order to create a grid that makes a stable and supported structure. Unlike space frame construction, this approach reduces the size and volume of materials required by optimizing the use of tension components. Lightweight but strong tensile cable, in combination with small compression struts composed of wood or another renewable material, create a building unit that is extremely strong and utilizes resources to their maximum potential.
Preliminary investigations into tensile structures revealed that the failure in such a system would likely occur in the compression struts rather than in the tension segments themselves. Therefore, the research also focuses on the issue of compression members and how to improve their form. The goal is to achieve a tension structure that resists bending, yet can remain lightweight and can be assembled using humble materials.
The research also addresses ecological and sociological concerns. Technological advancement in an age of consumption has resulted in the creation of extraordinary structures from an architectural standpoint; however, the increased use of materials and the expansion of the human world are taking their toll on the earth’s natural systems. The construction method proposed still allows the standard of living that Western society has become accustomed to, but in a way that is much more environmentally responsible. Indeed because of its adaptability and portability, it may afford developing nations a viable building opportunity they could otherwise not have envisaged.
The examining committee is as follows:
Elizabeth English, University of Waterloo
Dr. Scott Walbridge, Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo
The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.
The Defence Examination will take place:
Tuesday April 21, 2015
Architecture Room 1001
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.
7 Melville Street South
Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4