University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > The Missing Link: Efficient connections to high performance façade panels for all building forms

The Missing Link: Efficient connections to high performance façade panels for all building forms

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Karen Mitchell.

In the built environment there is increasing interest in free-form building design. These buildings spark the imagination of their users. However, their geometry is complex creating challenges in their technical design, particularly for the façade which is the interface between the internal and external environment. Lack of knowledge and design guidance in this area, often leads to conservative designs which use significantly more material than is required. This inefficient material use creates increased cost and environmental impact, which must be reduced. Growing sustainability concerns across all fields mean the environmental impact of the construction industry must be reduced. However, sustainability should not limit the creativity of design, but fuel it.

Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is an emerging composite material which shows great potential to produce efficient panels for use in façade systems. Due to its high durability and strength, components made from UHPC have a longer design life, as well as requiring less material in their design. The flexibility of manufacture of concrete composite materials, also enables material use reduction through geometric freedom. However, there is a lack of clarity surrounding the fundamental behaviour of the material, particularly the local behaviour in details such as connections, where a force concentration occurs. This project aims to provide design methods, based on the fundamental material behaviour, for the structural connection of elements. This is crucial to the creation of efficient system designs, suitable for complex geometry systems, which have reduced material usage.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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