Form: An adventure in concrete and brick

J J Orr

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This paper describes the result of a travel scholarship undertaken in 2013 and generously funded by the Institution of Structural Engineers’ Educational Trust Pai Lin Li Travel Award.

The principles of form active design can facilitate architecturally interesting, structurally optimised, materially efficient construction. The paper sets out to illustrate 1) how the concrete construction industry may be positively influenced by recent advances in flexible formwork technology, towards an aim of low carbon construction and 2) how the prestressed brickwork and construction techniques of Eladio Dieste might be utilised to influence the future direction of form active construction across the world. Links between these two objectives are made, before conclusions and ideas for future work are presented. Covering European and South American construction the travel award provided a unique perspective on the political, social, economic and technical demands of sustainable and materially efficient construction.

Relationships between these complex demands will be considered to demonstrate the important role that Structural Engineers can have in facilitating sustainable construction through their choices of form and material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalThe Structural Engineer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


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