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STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS :: BEAMS, SLABS,

ARCHES, DOMES, VAULTS, TRUSSES, PORTAL


FRAMES, SPACE FRAMES
BEAMS

A beam is a structural element that is capable of


withstanding load primarily by resisting bending.
The bending force induced into the material of the
beam as a result of the external loads, own weight
and external reactions to these loads is called
a bending moment. Internally, beams
experience compressive, tensile and shear
stresses as a result of the loads applied to them
Above the supports, the beam is exposed to shear
stress. There are some reinforced concrete beams
that are entirely in compression. These beams are
known as prestressed concrete beams, and are
fabricated to produce a compression more than the
expected tension under loading conditions
SLABS

A concrete slab is a common structural element of modern buildings. Horizontal slabs of


steel reinforced concrete, typically between 10 and 50 centimetres thick, are most often used
to construct floors and ceilings, while thinner slabs are also used for exterior paving.
In many domestic and industrial buildings a thick concrete slab, supported
on foundations or directly on the sub soil, is used to construct the ground floor of a building.
In high rises buildings andskyscrapers, thinner, pre-cast concrete slabs are slung between
the steel frames to form the floors and ceilings on each level.
For a suspended slab, there are a number of designs to improve the strength-to-weight ratio.
In all cases the top surface remains flat, and the underside is modulated:
Corrugated, usually where the concrete is poured into a corrugated steel tray. This improves
strength and prevents the slab bending under its own weight. The corrugations run across
the short dimension, from side to side.
A ribbed slab, giving considerable extra strength on one direction.
A waffle slab, giving added strength in both directions.
Reinforcement design
A one way slab has structural strength in shortest direction.
A two way slab has structural strength in two directions
ARCHES
The arch may be said to have originated with the idea of placing a considerable number of blocks in a
concentric arrangement. The wedge-shaped blocks, called voussoirs, hold each other firmly in place and
prevent each other from slipping. The voussoirs at the top, or crown, of the arch convert the downward
pressure into lateral (sideways) pressure, or thrust, which is transmitted from the upper voussoirs down
around the opening and finally into the ground through the wall or pier on which the arch rests. Not only
can considerable distances be spanned in this way, but arches can carry a much heavier load than a
horizontal lintel.

The arch is, however, not without its peculiar weakness. The lateral thrust is strongest at the haunches of the
arch (the part midways between the crown and the springing). The keystone, and the other voussoirs at the
crown, presses out against the voussoirs at the haunches, which may buckle and allow the crown to fall if
they are not properly buttressed. The lateral thrust at the haunches can be counteracted by the thrust of
arches placed to either side, as in an arcade, but, unless the arcade is circular, the lateral thrust of the arches
at the end must finally be counteracted by the sheer mass of an abutment.
ARCHES
Types of arches: Triangular arch:
Arches are constructed in four basic shapes that frame
It is a primitive form of arch consisting of two stones
and support doors, windows, porches, and other wall
openings: laid diagonally to support each other over an opening.
Flat arch Hence, the span is limited by the size of the available
Triangular arch material.
Round arch
Pointed arch
Flat arch:
An arch having a horizontal intrados with voussoirs
radiating from a centre below, often built with a
slight camber to allow settling is called a flat or jack
arch.

French arch:
A flat arch with voussoirs
inclined to the same angle at each
side of the centre. The mortar
joints do not, therefore, radiate to
a common centre. Not,
technically, a proper arch, and of
weak form.
VAULTS

A vault is a ceiling of brick, stone, or concrete built in the principle of the arch.
A tunnel vault, or barrel vault, is a tunnel-like, semi-cylindrical extension of an arch,
which may be thought of as an unbroken series of arches pressed together, one
behind the other. It cannot be lighted except at the ends without being structurally
weakened, because, as in an arch, continuous abutment must be applied to absorb
the thrust carried down along the haunches to the walls supporting it. However,
arches may be introduced in the supporting walls and transverse ribs may be
inserted in the vault to concentrate thrust at a few strongly buttressed points,
thereby permitting a reduction of weight and thrust in the segments of vaulting
between the ribs.
If a barrel vault is intersected at right angles by another barrel vault of the same size,
a cross vault, or groin vault, is formed. This is a very efficient form of vaulting
allowing full illumination from the sides. Groin vaults also allow a great saving in
material and labour over the simple barrel vault; thrust is concentrated along the
groins (the four diagonal edges formed along the points where the barrel vaults
intersect), so the vault need only be abutted at its four corners.
VAULTS

Types of vaults:

Barrel Vault: A barrel vault is the simplest of the vaults and is the base design for many vaults
that have a more intricate design. It consists of an on-going series of semi-circular arches. One
is directly behind another, causing it to look like a half of a barrel. In some instances, it is
described as resembling a tunnel.

Groin Vault: A groin vault is created by two barrel vaults intersecting at right angles. The
arches of groin vaults are round or pointed. It is also known as a cross vault.

Rib Vault: A vault reinforced by masonry ribs is known as a rib vault. When this type of vault
has two masonry ribs dividing it into four sections, it is called a quadripartite rib vault. A vault
divided by three masonry ribs that make six sections is called a sexpartite rib vault.
DOMES

Domes are curved architectonic structures with no angles or corners,


similar to the upper half of a sphere. Despite their apparent fragility, domes
are strong structures and have been used in buildings since ancient times,
according to PBS Online. In Europe, the earliest domes were made of stone.
The Roman Pantheon, built almost 2,000 years ago, is a good example of
early dome engineering. Indigenous peoples in Ethiopia and other places
have used curved bows to create their huts, creating a primitive yet
effective dome.
DOMES
Geodesic Dome:
The geodesic dome was invented in the 1950s by
American engineer and architect Buckminster
Fuller, according to PBS Online. This type of dome
is structured on triangles and other geometric
shapes instead of the arches. The Epcot Centre in
Orlando, the Caspary Auditorium in New York
and the Eden Project in England are examples of
geodesic domes.

Monolithic Dome:
The monolithic dome is made of one solid piece of material. Its
construction begins with a circular concrete foundation, where
a canvas "air form" is attached to the slab. The canvas is then
inflated using special fans, thus forming the shape of the
dome. After that, the interior is covered with a layer of
polyurethane foam insulation . A steel bar is enclosed in the
foam to give support to the dome. Finally, a special mix of
concrete is spread over the interior of the building, reports the
Architecture Week website.
DOMES
Bow Dome:
The bow dome is made of wood bows, which can be substituted by aluminium, and canvas. This
type of dome is rather archaic, yet efficient. It represents the first habitation built by humans,
according to website Simply Different. There are different types of bow domes, which depend on
how the bow is placed. Half sphere or unibow is the most common, but has some disadvantages,
which include the almost horizontal roof angle at the top, not ideal under snow, for instance. Cross-
tie, peak-tie and bell are other types of bow dome, more appropriate for regions with lots of rainfall
or snow.
TRUSS

A truss is a structure comprising one or more triangular units constructed with straight members whose
ends are connected at joints referred to as nodes. External forces and reactions to those forces are considered
to act only at the nodes and result in forces in the members which are either tensile or compressive forces.
Moments (torsional forces) are explicitly excluded because, and only because, all the joints in a truss are
treated as revolutes.
A planar truss is one where all the members and nodes lie within a two dimensional plane, while a space
truss has members and nodes extending into three dimensions.
Characteristics of trusses
A truss is composed of triangles because of the structural stability of that shape and design. A triangle is the
simplest geometric figure that will not change shape when the lengths of the sides are fixed. In comparison,
both the angles and the lengths of a four-sided figure must be fixed for it to retain its shape.
TRUSS

There are two basic types of truss:


The pitched truss, or common truss, is characterized by its triangular shape. It is most often used for roof
construction. Some common trusses are named according to their web configuration. The chord size and web
configuration are determined by span, load and spacing.
The parallel chord truss, or flat truss, gets its name from its parallel top and bottom chords. It is often used
for floor construction.
A combination of the two is a truncated truss, used in hip roof construction. A metal plate-connected wood
truss is a roof or floor truss whose wood members are connected with metal connector plates.
TRUSS
Space frame truss
A space frame truss is a three-dimensional framework of members pinned at their ends.
A tetrahedron shape is the simplest space truss, consisting of six members which meet at four
joints.[3] Large planar structures may be composed from tetrahedrons with common edges and they are
also employed in the base structures of large free-standing power line pylons

Vaults
A Vault (] The parts of a vault exert a thrust that require a counter resistance. When vaults are built
underground, the ground gives all the resistance required. However, when the vault is built above
ground, various replacements are employed to supply the needed resistance. An example are the thicker
walls used in the case of barrel or continuou vaults. Buttresses are used to supply resistance when
intersecting vaults are employed.French. voute, Italian. volta,) is an architectural term for an arched form
used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof

The simplest kind of vault is the barrel vault (also called a wagon or tunnel vault) which is
generally semicircular in shape. The barrel vault is a continuous arch, the length being greater than its
diameter. As in building an arch, a temporary support is needed while rings of voussoirs are constructed
and the rings placed in position. Until the topmost voussoir, the keystone, is positioned the vault is not
self-supporting.
TRUSS TYPES
Hotel/Hospital/commer
cial building entrances
Commercial building
lobbies/atriums
Parking canopies
Random column placement

Column-free spaces

Minimal perimeter support

Controlled load distribution

Design freedom

Supports all types of roofing


Portal frames are single storey, single( or multi-bay) frames with pitched or flat roof.
Fabricated from universal beams, it is an ideal structural solution in many circumstances,
regarding its economic and structural efficiency. The system is specially ideal for
industrial buildings due to its ability to span large areas of unobstructed open space
within its building envelope. This is made possible through the design and use of
refabricated steel sections. Technological advance in the footing system also cooperate for
the large span achieved due to their ability to carry greater loads (or its efficiency to
transfer and distribute the loads to the foundation).
Three major elements are; cladding
for both roof and walls; secondary
steel to support the cladding and
form framing for doors, windows
and the like; and the main
framework of the structure,
including all necessary bracing. In
addition, the building requires
appropriate footings designed to
transmit all the load to the
foundations
( supporting soil).
The design is essentially to provide a structure
which is without, or has a limited number of
internal columns, in principle the requirement is
for the construction of four walls and a roof for a
single or multi-bay structure.
Light latticed portal frame structure for the roof of
an industrial buildings provide a neat efficient
structure which is simple to design, economic to
execute and frequently satisfies architectural
Portal frame structure 26m-span located in requirements.
the breakwater st. Industrial area in Geelong.