Design method for modular shells in TRC: A combined geometrical - structural study

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Shell structures have always been of major interest to architects and engineers. Their large form freedom enables fluent and aesthetical designs with impressive spans over single, uninterrupted spaces. As the force flow in the structure is optimised, small thicknesses can be obtained, making shells interesting from both a structural and material-efficient point of view. Unfortunately, these structures suffer from labour intensive fabrication techniques, characterised by in situ formwork and falsework. In addition, single-use formworks (e.g. made from EPS) have an environmental footprint, which is not aligned with the current societal ideal of a circular approach for construction. Consequently, freeform structures today usually have a high economic and environmental impact, leading to a decrease of their use in industry during the last decades. This research proposes a design method for the facilitated manufacturing of freeform structures, without compromising the architectural and structural desire to build creative yet structural efficient shapes. The manufacturing process has been considered from the design phase on, by developing different ‘freeform’ shapes from a limited set of curved module geometries and thus from a limited set of formworks. After, the structural efficiency of these modular configurations will be evaluated under self-weight, using textile reinforced concrete (TRC) composites. In this way, this research aims to contribute to the costand resource efficient design and manufacturing of innovative shell structures.
Period23 Aug 202127 Aug 2021
Event titleIASS Symposium 2020/21: Inspiring the Next Generation
Event typeConference
LocationSurrey, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational