Understanding Architectural Structural Support

This is an introduction about architectural structural support. You most likely don’t put much thought into the buildings you’re sitting or standing in all day long; but those that built them certainly did to ensure your comfort and safety are equally met.

Consider all of the particles in the room you are currently occupying, from the ceiling to the floor. Then compute all of the other people consuming additional space and you can begin to envision what it took to design the room.

Gravity plays a large role in the construction of a building, requiring the architect assigned to the plan to configure a fool proof blue print that can withstand a certain number of people, pets, vehicles, furniture and so forth. This would be referred to as a “live load”; meaning the amount of weight or pressure that is required of the building frame and materials to support the structure while it may be at its maximum capacity. A “dead load” would be the weight of the building when it is empty, only supporting the structure itself which could be windows, columns, stairs or tile flooring.

How do you possibly create this mathematical reasoning? Simple, by understanding the design process must not only include the products and materials you opt to utilize to construct the building, but also what the behaviors are of these materials once they have applied force and weight proposed on them.

If you place bricks one on top of the other, the ground underneath the bricks will apply pressure to them from the bottom as well, creating a compression factor of the bricks. Once you have the compressed amount of stress at the top of those bricks, it is equivalent to the actual load that is uniformly divided amongst the horizontal cross-sectional space of those bricks. Hence, the compressive stress is equal to the load area.

This system of stress is imperative to building designs as it permits the architects to compare the stress of the building actions via various brick or block sizes while undergoing varying weights.

It’s fascinating in that once you continue to apply additional weight to the structure, the ground underneath also rises forcing the compressive stress level to be entirely in proportion to the amount of force or mass that is inflicted upon it.

Comprehending the yield point of your structure will be just as significant. In the event that additional weight is placed upon the foundation it will eventually be comprised as it cannot withhold it and in turn, it will never return to its original size.

If you will be referring to stone as your material, it will be known as the moment when the stone disintegrates. It is never a wise idea to formulate your building design based only on the stressed yield point as the end result could be that the structure collapses.

Placing columns horizontally can create a bearing wall; this can provide support for a roof or floor. If you select a column that happens to be too small it can result in the walls not boding the required amount of support and buckle.

During the design stage, generally lab testing is conducted to ensure proper stability is achieved. Using ropes, cables or chains permits the possibilities of compression to exist without the risk of buckling. Steel and wood are used most often as they are solid materials that withhold great compression. Concrete or mason can also be building resources, but they have the probability of cracking and coming apart.

You can also opt for arches to support the weight of your structure with blocks. Forming an arch with them by placing them across and upward from end to the other.

The idea is to have the arch made of stones bearing the weight to carry the compression. The deeper the structural device may be, the lower force it has. In flat arches for example, the higher horizontal thrusts the build possess the stronger internal forces you will have.

Arches are excellent for resistance if built thick enough, but they can also buckle and not have the ability to adjust themselves once the level of the loads increase.

Many years ago the arches didn’t allow enough natural light inside the churches so they began utilizing vaults and domes. Some structures also design structure plans by incorporating domes; which are round arches. Vaults have the ability to cover larger amounts of space inside the structure and they are more cost effective as they additionally require less materials. For more details read the full course about Gothic Art And Architecture.

All vaults and arches alike are comprised of two variant forces; the horizontal thrust and the arch’s weight. The thrust generally pushes down on a slight angle dependent upon the profile and weight of the actual arch. Domes are similar to arches in that they similarly depend on thrust as well.
In more recent times, there are larger quantities of stronger materials one can use to build a structure.

With those new materials, additionally came a newer method of vaulting. Today, you can see vaults made of concrete or tile with designers forever changing the traditional vaulting techniques you have learned about and witnessed over centuries ago. More details about materials see this course: What are building materials?

What are building materials?