The Advantages and Disadvantages Of Shell Structure In Architecture

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The Advantages and Disadvantages Of Shell Structure In Architecture

Are you wondering what shell structure is all about?

With different designs and techniques introduced in architecture, some stand the test of time.

The history of shell structure dates back to the 1920s. It became one of the leading concrete structures after World War II for many reasons. Today, some of the world’s most iconic structures feature shell structure construction.

What makes this technique exceptional? What are its weaknesses to consider? Continue reading below for the answers.

The Pros of Shell Structure

A shell structure offers high strength and stiffness to its self-weight. It is the primary reason builders living in earthquake zones prefer shell structures over other designs. 

It features a thin slab or curved membrane with reinforced cement concrete. Its composition allows it to maintain its shape.

A concrete shell can also support loads without the help of solid mass materials or even its frame. Because of its structural continuity, it can distribute the loads in various directions.

Another advantage of shell structures is their coverage. They cover a large area without walls or columns to support the slabs. Some churches feature shell structures to accommodate large crowds without compromising structural integrity.

Aside from higher strength, shell structures offer aesthetic value. The Sydney Opera House is one of the best examples of the aesthetic value of shell structures.

The Cons of Shell Structure

Shell structures have downsides, especially flexibility. Once you erect a shell structure, you can no longer build another floor above it. The building’s vertical design is final once you complete the execution.

When constructing the shell structures, accuracy in their formwork is essential. The builders should possess top-notch skills and close supervision. A common challenge with shell structures is sealing.

Because the shells feature porous concrete, rainwater can seep through without proper treatment. Condensation can also build up inside the structure because of the dome’s seamless construction.

Lastly, building shell structures is more expensive compared to others. A simple mistake in the construction process can be costly.

Different Types of Shell Structure in Architecture

Shell structures come in different forms, shapes, and styles. Meanwhile, cylindrical shells feature a stationary cur. They have different shapes, like arch circles, parabolas, and horse-shoe.

Builders can also combine cylindrical shells to create a parallel and transversely continuous design.

Meanwhile, north light shells provide excellent natural lighting for large north light windows. They can be vertical or slanting.

Last but not least are domes, which attach to a surface. Domes generate a curve revolving around a vertical line. Some of the world’s most majestic churches have this feature.

The great thing with shell structures is they’re highly customizable. Check out this website for more information on customized shell structures.

Discover More Interesting Facts

Knowing the pros and cons of a shell structure allows you to appreciate the design better. You can also consider its elements and incorporate them into your creations.

Discover more facts through our blog posts. We share topics that will enrich your knowledge of culture and lifestyle.