All-Glass Bearing Facades
A Transparent Archetype For One-Storey Buildings
Presented on October 13, 2022 at Facade Tectonics 2022 World Congress
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The Green Village at the TU Delft is a living lab for sustainable innovations. The Co Creation Centre (CCC) will be their new meeting center (13.5 x 22.5 x 6m). Through thorough analyzation, testing and engineering in a team consisting of engineers, researchers and constructors, an innovative structure is created. This structure consists of a steel roof resting on glass fins, stabilized by the glass façade.
The costs of the original design were too high. Triple glass was one of the big cost items. Triple glass is structurally oversized and therefore the material is not used optimally. As a solution to this, it was suggested that the façade is used for stabilization of the building, as well as using it to prevent the glass fins (3x 320x12 mm FTG, Sentryglass laminated, L=5.2 metre) from local buckling,.
Since the compressive strength of glass is 10 times higher than the bending strength, glass fins are used as load bearing columns. By clamping the fins between the glass panels the buckling risk is reduced significantly. ABT made FEM calculations using DIANA software to find the critical parameters for this structure. It was found that the spring stiffness of the horizontal support by the façade is the most critical element.
To verify the FEM calculations two glass fins were tested at Delft University of Technology in November 2019. The results where astonishing; even after all three plies were manually, severely damaged, the column would hold. In fact, no buckling or increased damage was observed when the column was loaded to 200 kN, which is 200% of the design load.
By utilising the materials in a more efficient manner, the use of raw materials and costs are significantly reduced. The façade becomes the structure by eliminating unnecessary elements, reducing sizes and re-thinking structural systems. Due to the fact that fire resistance is not necessary for structural works of one-storey buildings, this may lead to a new archetype in architecture: one storey buildings with all-glass bearing façades.
The amount of raw materials in our buildings can be greatly reduced by combining functions and integrating systems. Façades have this potential and can be a leading example in circular, sustainable design.
Most building components are designed to meet a single performance, structural, architectural or building physical. There is a lot of unused potential regarding these components. For instance, cladding is only designed for out-of-plane bending, while the in plane stiffness is not used. Glass is used as a transparent finishing to protect against weather conditions, while it has a significant structural potential.
Challenging this dogma requires re-thinking and innovation. The Green Village at the campus of Delft University of Technology (“TU Delft”) is a living lab for sustainable innovations. The Co Creation Centre (CCC) will be their new meeting center (13.5 x 22.5 x 6m), which has a glass façade where the panes not only stabilize the building, but also prevent the glass columns from torsional buckling.
Back in the 1980’s architect Jan Pesman (cepezed) already unraveled the puzzle of strength and stiffness in the project Housing Act living in Haarlem (NL), 1987. The steel frame is
In this Chapter the initial design and optimized are compared. The differences between the two are not only a consequence of functional arguments, but also of aesthetical reasons.
Conclusion and Future Work
From the design, analysis an testing can be concluded that a safe all-glass structure can be made for a one-storey building with a stabilizing and load bearing façade.
The dream of innovation becomes reality where collaborations complement each other. That is why we strongly believe in the tetrahedral which is made by the four corners of design, engineer, test and construct.
ir. Diana de Krom and ir. Kris Riemens of ABT, dr. ir. Fred Veer of Delft University of Technology, Wout Hoogendoorn of Si-X
Rights and Permissions
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