|dc.contributor.author||Tang, Gabriel Jin-Peng||en
|dc.description.abstract||Following a well-documented rise in the popularity of concrete shell application in the 20th century,
thin concrete shells have experienced a global decline despite their potential as efficient structures
with an economy of material use with aesthetics benefits.
This phenomenon is subject to geographically determined socio-economic conditions and competition
from other building solutions as a result of technological advancement in alternative construction
systems. Importantly, their decline was attributed to limitations inherent to concrete shell formwork and
construction methods. Being able to produce efficient shaping did not ensure that this method of
construction is most cost efficient as it still remains difficult to construct double curved surfaces.
The thesis addresses the limitations associated with past and present concrete shell building by
proposing the use of actively-bent gridshells as re-configurable and reusable formwork for concrete
shells to be designed and built.
The hypothesis uses deployable scissor-jointed actively-bent gridshells as re-configurable and
reusable formwork for concrete shell construction. This was developed from a series of Flash research
(Benjamin, 2012) as student construction workshops to investigate the design and creation of actively-bent
gridshells held between December 2008 and March 2011 in Sheffield.
In this study, to understand this new system, scaled models of actively-bent gridshells were used as
preliminary design aid. Deployed into three dimensional forms from a flexible flat grid mat, the
structures were rigidized by bracing through triangulation restraints. The temporary rigid structure was
subsequently enveloped with fabric onto which concrete was applied to create the concrete shell, thus
acting as formwork. This formwork was then removed following the curing of the concrete cast to be
reused repeatedly, or reconfigured into another concrete shell form.
Hence, the thesis draws on the concepts, principles and ideas pertaining to three key architectural
technologies: 1. concrete shell, 2. actively-bent gridshells and 3.fabric formwork.
The thesis then presents a series of four prototype concrete shells constructed from different materials
spanning between 1.3 meters and 2.45 meters in the workshops at the University of Edinburgh built
between August 2014 and September 2015.
For each experimental construction, the process of gridshell construction, fabric formwork preparation,
concrete casting, gridshell formwork decentring and different design elements of openings, edges and
anchorage abutments were analysed and discussed under the themes of construction, architectural
tectonics and structure. The tectonic of process and material is understood and discussed based on
the idea of stereogeneity (Manelius, 2012). Specifically, the relationship between gridshell as
formwork and the concreting process was studied, analysed and assimilated in concrete shells built
with progressive sophistication and elegance, culminating in a doubly-curved concrete shell that
demonstrated both synclastic and anticlastic geometries, with further abutment simplification, edge
leaning and physical openings incorporation.
The study concludes with a physical concrete shell model formed by applying concrete onto fabric
formwork to cover the Weald and Downland Jerwood gridshell. In the 1:20 scaled model, the proposed
method is speculatively applied onto fabric stretched between pre-determined curvatures of the as-built
gridshell. This formwork was subsequently removed for reuse, re-deployed and reconfigured.
Using finite element analysis, the structural behaviour of the gridshell made of glass-fibre reinforced
tubes and structural characteristics of the resultant concrete shell was checked. The interaction
between the three technologies are discussed architectonically and structurally to inform guidelines for
potential life-scale application.
The thesis evidences the feasibility of the proposed system. It re-purposes a scaled model of a
deployable gridshell as a physical modelling tool to facilitate concrete shell design, for both pure
compression shells and "improper" shells, demonstrating its adaptability. It also promotes and
reinvigorates concrete shells as possible architectural systems serving to instigate future research to
revive concrete shell construction as an intelligent and intuitive way of creating structures with material
economy, structural efficiency and visual elegance.||en
|dc.publisher||The University of Edinburgh||en
|dc.relation.hasversion||Chilton, John and Tang, Gabriel, 2017 Timber Gridshells: Architecture, Structure and Craft, Routledge 2017||en
|dc.relation.hasversion||TANG, Gabriel, 2015 (in press) An Overview of Historical and Contemporary Concrete Shells, their Construction and Factors in their General Disappearance ;International Journal of Space Structures May 11, 2015 International Journal of Space Structures Vol. 30 No. 1 2015 Print ISSN: 0266-3511||en
|dc.relation.hasversion||TANG, Gabriel, 2013. (in press) Timber Gridshells: Beyond the Drawing Board. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Construction Materials, 166 (6), 390-402. Paper reporting the research outcome of a 2011 construction workshop held at Sheffield Hallam University.||en
|dc.relation.hasversion||Veenendaal D, Augustynowicz E and Tang G, 2017 Magnolia: a glass-fibre reinforced polymer gridshell with a novel pattern and deployment concept IASS (International Association of Shells and Spatial Structures) Interfaces: 23rd- 25thSeptember 2017 Hamburg, Germany||en
|dc.relation.hasversion||TANG, G. & PEDRESCHI, R, 2015 (presented and in press) Deployable Gridshells as Formwork for Concrete Shells. ICFF Conference Proceedings of the International Society of Flexible Formwork (ISOFF) Symposium, 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 16 - 17 August 2015||en
|dc.relation.hasversion||TANG G., Chilton J. and Beccarelli P., 2013. (in press) Progressive Development of Timber Gridshell Design, Analysis and Construction: Paper 1387 In: Proceedings of International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2013, 23-27 September, Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland, J.B. Obrebski and R. Tarczewski (eds.). 6||en
|dc.relation.hasversion||POPOVIC Larsen O, TANG G, LEE D, 2010. Innovative Spatial Timber structures: workshops with physical modelling explorations from small to full scale. Proceedings of The International association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium 2010, Shanghai, China. Spatial Structures- Permanent and Temporary November 8-12, 2010||en
|dc.subject||concrete shell application||en
|dc.subject||concrete shell formwork||en
|dc.subject||re-configurable and reusable formwork||en
|dc.title||Re-surface: the novel use of deployable and actively-bent gridshells as reusable, reconfigurable and intuitive concrete shell formwork||en
|dc.type||Thesis or Dissertation||en
|dc.type.qualificationname||PhD Doctor of Philosophy||en