On the Possibilities of Grid Shells - Conceptual design of an elongated grid shell
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Shell structures has for a long time fascinated both architects and structural engineers alike, since interesting geometries as well as incredible structural soundness is possible to achieve with them. The analysis of shell structures is hard to carry out without the aid of numerical tools, especially if the geometry is very complex. These complex geometries may be defined by free-hand by an architect, or by other measures. Structurally optimized geometries can also be obtained for shells by utilizing different techniques; so-called form finding techniques. By utilizing such techniques, the freedom in shaping the structure now gets altered, because the shape itself is optimized automatically. The freedom lies in defining the architectural constraints, the boundary conditions and the load situation. This process is highly dependent on expertise from both an architect and a structural engineer, due to the creative and structural nature of the process. This thesis focuses on problems arising when utilizing form finding techniques for elongated shell structures, or more specifically; grid shell structures. Different form found geometries are explored with close collaboration with an architect in order to conceptualize a good structure. A more thorough analysis of a built grid shell by Steinar Hillersøy Dyvik and John Haddal Mork is first carried out in. The results from these analysis is then used as a basis for the conceptual design of the elongated grid shell. It was found that the desirable shell behaviour was reduced after the elongation, and the structure acted more like an arch. This led to the requirement of adding edge beams to the structure to increase its stiffness.