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!

Monday, April 23, 2007


Site Visit 2: At first glance it appeared not a lot had happened in the space of 4-5 days but on closer inspection it was clear that plumbers, electricians and heating/cooling specialists had been very busy!

Services including ducting, wiring and plumbing installed in the space above the Rondo suspended ceiling.


Steelwork for steps to first floor now in place.


Site Visit 2: Four days later the portal beams have been erected along with some of the purlins. There is bracing between the purlins, fly bracing and horizontal cross bracing between the beams. Note there is haunching at the knee joints but none at the apex of the beams. Diagonal cross bracing between beams

View of apex of rafters showing some purlins already connected and cleats in place ready for more.

Close up view of apex of portal beams showing rigid joint bolted connection.

View showing Z purlins facing into the apex to avoid tendency to rotate if facing outwards.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Site Visist 1: A large portal frame warehouse is being constructed beside the Mornington Delivery Centre for Australia Post.
View of site

Closer view of large stanchions and beams showing temporary bracing and pre welded cleats on top of the beams.

Triangular section welded to the UB ready for the pre-cast concrete panel to be bolted to.

Pinned connection ? Note numbering to ensure the right column is in the right spot!


Site Visit 1: This is a two storey office block being constructed on the corner of the Nepean Highway and Main Road Mornington.It is a steel, glass and brick construction with alucabond as a facing material.

This photo shows the beams with C purlins above and cross bracing. Above the purlins is the safety mesh which has the added purpose of holding in the insulation and sisalation. Alucabond will cover the steel facade and windows will attach to its underside.

The ceiling joists between the ground and first floor are bolted onto a sleeve of the UB. Ceiling battens run in a grid below the beam and joists

In the section where there is no second storey, a Rondo suspended ceiling grid system has been used.

Friday, April 13, 2007


This ethereal structure appears as if floating between the solidity of the workshops surrounding it.
It is a temporary structure sheltering a fibreglass catamaran beneath, being built by Peninsula Boat Repairs. The structure is made by Monbulk Rural who are greenhouse and tunnel house
manufacturers. The cladding used is a high strength woven plastic called solarweave.
The company manufactures tunnel houses with spans to 7metres which rely on a series of square section gal. steel hoops similar to the top chord of this truss but the 12metre span here made a full truss mandatory. The structure in the foreground is part of the cradle holding the catamaran.

The stanchions are galvanised steel rolled hollow sections


Passing this timber yard in my search for portal frames in the Rosebud factory estate and saw this truss portal warehouse used for timber storage. View of the parallel trusses showing fly bracing and z purlins attached to cleats held off the top chord of the trusses. Safety mesh and insulation above.
Close up of the truss web and the purlins attached by cleats to the top chord of the truss.

Close up of the truss bolted to the stanchion

View of girts with wall cladding attached and 50x50 zinc anneal angle bracing.