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Integrated analysis and experimental verification of Kinematic Form Active Structures (KFAS) for architectural applications. (FWOAL638)

The present research proposal studies Kinematic Form Active Structures (KFAS). KFAS are reconfigurable lightweight structures usually covered with technical textiles. When implemented as a building skin these systems can control day lighting, shading, ventilation and so on and hence contribute to sustainable building.
A major challenge for the design, analysis, optimisation and construction of KFAS, is the study of their geometric compatibility, pre-tension, curvature and hence stiffness and stability during all phases of deployment. This research project proposes to study the structural behaviour - in initial, intermediate and final
position - of two representative Case Studies (CS): CS1: Folding of a tensioned membrane unit about one axis and CS2: Shape transformation of a tensioned system composed of several flexible and adaptable parts.
The study involves: (i) numerical form-finding, (ii) design of a reference configuration and Finite Element (FE) analysis, (iii) adjusting the pre-tension, load analysis and optimisation of the reconfigurable system in different
positions, (iv) experimental set-up and measurement of the structural behaviour. This integrated non-linear study including the stability analysis will provide the validation of the proposed methodology and support the design of lightweight KFAS in order to widen the scope of these systems.
Date:1 Jan 2012  →  31 Dec 2015
Keywords:Social Highrise, Truss Design, Design methods, Theory of architecture, Architecture, Social housing, Social highrise, Design education, Tensile structures, Education, Engineering, Harmonic Progression, Renovation, Formfinding, Building technology, renovation, Fire engineering
Disciplines:Civil and building engineering, Materials engineering