How can we increase the usage of timber structures by adding prestress?

Timber structures like gridshells and other kinds of complex 3d structures have a potential for increased load capacity or reduced material usage using prestress. However, lightweight structures come at a price, often expressed as instability problems. By prestressing the structure and creating a permanent state of stresses large enough to overcome fluctuation of stresses due to e.g. live loads, challenges can be overcome. In this project, we use prestress as a tool to elaborate on opportunities of timber structures.

Long-span tensile timber roof structures

Applying the stress ribbon concept the possibilities of using timber in pure tension in order to span large distances is investigated. Currently I supervise two master’s thesis students. We are looking into design and analysis methods, applicable load cases and develop construction concepts. Previously I supervised a master’s thesis project focusing on the general ideas of the concept, preliminary design and environmental benefits compared to conventional construction methods for large span halls.