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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 4/5
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper XVI.2

Computer Aided Design of Tension Roof Structures

M.R. Barnes

Department of Civil Engineering, The City University, London

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
M.R. Barnes, "Computer Aided Design of Tension Roof Structures", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Civil and Structural Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 115-126, 1987. doi:10.4203/ccp.4.16.2
The paper describes procedures for the form-finding, analysis and fabrication patterning of wide span cable net and prestressed membrane roofs. The procedures are based on the Dynamic Relaxation (D.R.) method with kinetic damping. The features of this method which are particularly useful for interactive design are:
  1. The process is a simultaneous vector method in which equilibrium and compatibility conditions are numerically de-coupled. This enables, for example, complex material properties, slip links and on/off non-linearities to be easily accounted for, and simplifies the alteration of topology without entailing a complete resetting of the analysis.
  2. The kinetic damping process ensures stability in the event of suddenly imposed high residuals following changes in topology, support geometry or specified stresses during form-finding. When these changes are local, disturbances are rapidly dissipated without propogation through the entire surface structure. The procedures described are illustrated with reference to the waveform shade membranes for EXPO 88 in Brisbane.

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