Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Had a great Semester. Have learnt a lot and enjoyed the process. Site visits have been an enormous help to me - they've made the theory instantly understandable . The major project (though a tad stressful at times!) was also a great learning tool. Signing out. Victoria


I choose the Pompidou Centre as my inspiration for the Major Project because of its amazing exoskeletal structure incorporating the use of gerber beams or "gerberettes" which allow for a flexible and unobstructed interior - excellent for warehouses. The trusses are loaded onto these huge gerber arms which transfer the bending moments via tension rods to the footings. This allows for greater span of the trusses and a interior freed of supporting columns.
An equally important reason for choosing the Pompidou was that it was designed by two Pritzker prizewiners! Richard Rogers won the Pritzker this year and Renzo Piano in 1998. They worked in partnership at the time of the Pompidou in the 70's.


I have included this link because I followed this project with interest when it was being built (before this semester) . The contruction used to save the tree was screw pile footing . The 100mm diameter screw piles were driven down between the roots with minimal damage to the tree. The tree was cut back quite severely but now is back in full bloom. This tree would not have been saved if a more regular footing system was used.


Pompidou Centre - inspiration for the Major Project

5m x 1om detail of north west corner of the warehouse

Gerberette through wall plate and connected to truss. It acts as a cantilever beam and the outer tension column pulls it downwards reducing the bending moments on the truss top chord .Beneath the gerberette is a vertical support truss for the concrete panels.

Floor plans (if you can see them!

Interconnecting courtyard between office and warehouse (glass cube with a pool wrapping around the end column.)

Free internal space resulting from external steel structural frame.


cute shack for the backyard

After studying materials forhot humid climate forDesign we found termites are a huge issue in this climatic zone. When researching for the assignment I found this cute shack or granny flat that uses termite resistant hybeam joists and hyspan members, allowing bearers and posts to be quite close to theground.These products put out by futurebuild also allow greater span and fewer steel posts and small buildings like this outhouse can be simply unbolted and taken away ('when granny dies" !)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Good environmental product - Boardwalk decking with no in ground footings

Part our our research for Domus included boardwalks between pods. A new product by Rocla called permatrak offers a cost and ease of installation solution to installing decking when access to skilled workers is problematic. They can be considered as an environmental product as low impact during construction and in ground footings are unneccesary. Supposedly minimal physical impact protects ecologically sensitive sites. Hmmn... i wonder. Could be a lot of hype. Sorry no image. Wouldn't upload.

Egg cartons in beachshack!- Luxalon Quadroclad

Asked a builder friend about what new products were particularly impressive in the building industry and he was about to investigate this product as he felt it had potential as a lightweight product for large surfaces although cost was going to be an issue. The honeycomb structure is very similar to the egg carton insulation we found in the walls of our beachhouse when we were renovating!

this concerns me

We researched ironwood for Design 2A 'Domus' hot humid climate brief (Kakadu)' and concluded that ironwood was a sustainable plantation material. Reading this article, I now begin to question this. This suggests that ironwood is hard to find and that consumers have driven the need to source it from anywhere!

Saturday, May 26, 2007


An exhibition on at Fed Square. Will try to get to it this weekend.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

colorbond product.

I have included this article on my blog as Aramax is a recent roofing product that
has a deep profile and is able to span up to 20 metres. Good for warehouses maybe.

con assignment in progress

Exterior of warehouse with exoskeletal structure
Inside of warehouse - no structure!

View of truss which is loaded on the "gerberette" or gerber arm which pivots at the column and is attached at the other end to a tension column which transfers the forces out and down to the footings - all of which reduces the bending moments on the truss thus allowing for a greater span and less depth to the truss thus freeingup of internal space. Celebrating the structure includes notonly an exoskeletal steel strucure but also exposing the concrete pad footing. CHS column with steel arm which has dual function of supporting concrete panel and the horizontal and diagonal bracing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Safety mesh on.
The dunny!

Safety scaffolding up for next stage.

These massive 9 x3 metre concrete slabs are cladding only and are connected to the columns only by the teeniest weeny spring clips that are 150mm x 70mm in size.(shown in last site visit). Very hard to wrap my head around this.

Hoping that the infill slab would be down but not yet. Gravel bed is ready.

Monday, April 30, 2007


Walls are up!
This section of wall and roof is the only one with fulling bracing. Is there more to come? The precast panels are 9metres by 3 metres. and placed horizontally. Looks good. Note bracing across the window (interesting! I quite like it) and temporary props for panels supporting the roller door. Concrete floor to be installed in sections next week.

Temporary props for wall with roller door.

Footing for column

Connection to old post office. The old rafter is visible on the far side of the column. A new rafter has been bolted to this side of the universal beam and the new purlins (not shown ) sit on top of this.

Just four small bolts at the base of columns holding all this up. Amazing!

This could be fun!

Bracing tensioner

Hole cut in concrete panel for one of the beams to support the entrance portico


These are the clips holding the 9x3 metre concrete panels to the columns. They are so insubstantial! But obviously very effective!

How can four small spring clips hold up a nine metre by three metre concrete slab?


Why safety scaffolding now? Why not earlier?

This if what the office will eventually look like, but not a lot is happening at the moment - its got to the "go slow" stage.


After a lot more research I now have a clearer understanding of the engineering principles of gerberettes and realise that the column cannot fit so snugly into the sleeve as shown here in my digital model, because the gerberette has to pivot at this point in order for the tension rod to pull the arm down. So! Back to the drawing board!
I have now connected the office physically to the warehouse to meet the requirements of the assignment. A wall of glass, connecting to the warehouse at the southern end, wraps around the exoskeletal structure, making it a feature to be viewed from the showroom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Will this work ????- the connection of office to warehouse? (Office on the right, w'house on left).The tension rod and bracing have to work for both office and warehouse. and gerberette beam and half beam are connected by a small octagonal member.

Top chord of roof truss fitted over sleeve of gerberette .

View of tension rod pulling gerberette down to reduce bending moments on the truss .

Second attempt - I hope I have resolved the issue of warehouse/showroom connection (I have connected gerberettes end to end) and roof truss to gerberette connection.

The section I have chosen (probably a big mistake as this may prove to be difficult!) is the where the corner of the warehouse joins the office. This is my first attempt and as yet i haven't resolved how to connect the office/showroom to the exterior structure. I also need to do some more research as to how "gerberettes" work in terms of compression and bending moments. I tried to put the roof truss on the outside and not related to the gerberettes but realise this isn't going to work as it negates the need for the gerberettes. Working on it!

Design influence is the exoskeletal style of construction/architecture by the architects Richard Rogers (Pritzker Prize winner 2007) and Renzo Piano (Pritzker Prize Winner 1998), in particular the Centre Pompidou, a museum and cultural centre in Paris designed by Rogers and Piano in 1971 and completed in 1976. The Centre Pompidou is literally turned inside out thus freeing internal space which is great for warehouses!