From Design to Experiment

Proposed Design Procedures for Full-scale Structural Testing of Flat Cable-net Facades



Photo of E. Yagdir CELIKER, MSc.

E. Yagdir CELIKER, MSc.

Research Assistant

Istanbul Bilgi University

Photo of Oguz C. CELIK, PhD.

Oguz C. CELIK, PhD.

Professor of Structural&Earthquake Engineering

Istanbul Tecnical University



Flat cable-net facades are form-active structures which provide maximum transparency by means of point fixing components, tensioned cables, and structural glass units. In contemporary structural design methods, computational non-linear analysis is usually in use. Nevertheless, integrating full-scale experimental procedures into computational structural design process might be essential due to non-predictable structural behavior of form-active cable-nets especially under dynamic loads such as wind forces. In this respect, this paper focuses on determining a specific method to designate full-scale experimental steps for flat cable-net facades under wind loads. Design steps for such full-scale testing are performed mainly in four phases; full-scale test scenario, architectural, and structural design, construction steps of test stand are prepared in accordance with the related standards (BS-EN12179, BS-EN12153, BS-EN12155). Architectural design process contains conceptual drawings, application, and manufacturing detailing processes. The proposed cable-net facade is designed as 5,136 m x 8,812 m consisting of 20 insulated glass units (IGUs), Ф14 mm diameter steel cables, anchors, point fixings, sealants, and a closed steel frame which is a secondary structure that enables to integrate cable-net structure to the existing concrete test stand of the testing facility located near Istanbul. After a detailed architectural design phase, structural design is performed for all structural components in 3D. The cable-net structure is designed following the Allowable Stress Design (ASD), ASCE19-16, ASCE/AISC360-10, and ASCE7-10 procedures. Consequently, design steps prior to a full-scale experimental testing of a flat cable-net facade are determined and relationships between architectural and structural designs are clarified to guide future experimental studies. This study reveals that both architectural and structural designs of cable net facades should be well integrated throughout the design phases of experimental setup to carry out well-organized construction and test process respectively. A road-map containing all steps is proposed to achieve this goal.


Flat cable-net facades are form-active and the most dematerialized structures including insulated structural glass units (IGUs), pre-stressed steel wire ropes, anchors, and sealants. With dematerialization, maximum transparency and lightweightness ratios

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This part focuses on international codes, standards, and previous studies about cable-net facade design and full-scale testing procedures. To determine cable-nets’ structural behavior, nonlinear structural analyses have to be executed

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This study aims to perform all design steps of full-scale testing procedures to comprehend relationships among designing, constructing, and testing of such facades. Thus, an optimized design and testing procedure

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Architectural Design of Flat Cable-net Facade

Architectural design process begins with system sketch of the facade. This sketch contains initial ideas about form, modulations, dimensions, and preliminary equations about nonlinear calculations. The first decisions also comprise

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Structural Design of Flat Cable-net Facade

Flat cable-net glass facades include mainly three interdependent structural subsystems/components: cable-net, secondary steel structure, and connection components. All these systems are to be analyzed with distinctive design characteristics. Therefore, structural

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Planning Construction Steps of Proposed Flat Cable-net Facade

Planning construction steps of cable-net test stand is a substantial phase to gain concrete results of experimental studies. Cable-net facade has mainly two construction phases: construction of secondary steel frame

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Summary and Evaluations

According to the analyses results, the maximum reaction force is 43,29kN (less than strength design limits of the Ф14 mm cables (59,95kN) at the pin connection located in the middle

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Conclusions and Future Work

The following conclusions can be drawn from this work:

Analyzing the structural and dimensional properties of existing test stand, determining climatic conditions, and specifying full scale test scenario are the key

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This research was partly supported by ITU Scientific Research Projects Unit under contract number ITU BAP-9278 (2016-2018). Selami Gurel, Bülent Ozgul, and Ilknur Akın of Metal Yapi, Turkey, Murat Seyhan of FTI (Facade Testing Institute, Turkey), and Emrah Erenler of Charl Stahl, Turkey have provided significant help during the architectural and structural design phases of the proposed test setup and experimental procedures. However, any opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations presented in this work are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors or people.

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