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Free Content Reconfigurable Assemblies of a Deployable Mass Timber Structure

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Deployable structures are characterised by their capacity to be readily assembled, dissembled then reassembled in a new context. Being able to adapt to specific locations and condition, being able to, as it were, transform, it will be argued, is a particular capability that depends on the inherent flexibility of the structural system and its ability to readily change its overall structural configuration.

A common strategy in the design of deployable structures is to seek a system of similarly sized and weighted parts distributed with spatial and dimensional uniformity. This is partly driven by the goal of attaining an overall lightweighted-ness throughout the system, allowing for ease of mechanistic assembly, but also because the system’s parts are interconnected within a single structural hierarchy. All members are equally loaded as well as simultaneously erected.

This paper seeks to re-consider the value and potential in introducing a structural hierarchy in deployable structures. It is argued that a primary and secondary structural system may in fact offer greater flexibility and scope for adaptation and transformation of a deployable system, as well increase the overall robustness and therefore extend its range of built applications. This project investigates how this can be achieved without diminishing the reliability, sophistication, and precision of lightweight deployable structures, by comparing a set of structural forms that can be assembled and reassembled from deployable mass timber components.

Keywords: deployable structures; digital fabrication; hybrid materials; stressed arch; timber engineering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Civil Engineering, University of Queensland St Lucia, QLD 4067, Australia 2: School of Architecture, University of Queensland St Lucia, QLD 4067, Australia

Publication date: July 16, 2018

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