Abstract

In recent years, the application of space-frame structures on large-scale freeform designs has significantly increased, due to their lightweight configuration and the freedom of design they offer. However, this has introduced a level of complexity into their construction, as doubly-curved designs require non-uniform configurations. This paper proposes a novel computational workflow that reduces the construction complexity of freeform space-frame structures, by minimizing variability in its joints. Space-frame joints are evaluated according to their geometry, and clustered for production in compliance with the tolerance requirements of the selected fabrication process. This provides a direct insight into the level of customization required and the associated construction complexity. A subsequent geometry optimization of the space-frame’s depth then minimizes the number of different joint groups required. The variables of the optimization are defined in relation to the structure’s curvature, providing a direct link between the structure’s geometry and the optimization process. Through the application of a control surface, the dimensionality of the design space is drastically reduced, rendering this method applicable to large-scale projects. A case study of an existing structure of complex geometry is presented, and this method achieves a significant reduction in the construction complexity in a robust and computationally efficient way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-99
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Architectural Computing
Volume18
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2020

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