Author: Rowe Price

How do we build that?

Now that the pods have been given forms, it’s important to figure out how we can make them stand up. To accomplish this, we are comparing three different structural systems to find the best method. We are considering Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), and more conventional stick framing systems.

All of these systems require slightly different assemblies, and we drew many wall sections to begin to understand them.

These forms also require unconventional joints at odd angles, so we did studies of how to join corners, whether with panelized systems such as CLT and SIPs, or stick framing.

By the end of these studies, and with the help of a review from Hank and Julie of KoningEizenberg Architecture, we began to realize that these forms were too complex, and could be simplified without forgetting our experimental requirements. This led us to a form we’re calling the “Rowhouse”. 

We will continue investigating structural systems using the Rowhouse form. We are currently investigating using the SIPs systems, as they offer a high insulating value while integrating structure. Our next steps will be designing the thermal mass panels that will live in these structures.

Grain Silos to Air Silos

Welcome back to another round of Thermal Mass and Buoyancy Ventilation! Now that you’ve seen what we looked like in our presentation, here’s some of what we were actually talking about.

Our project relies on the testing of materials to observe how they work as thermal masses according to the Optimal Tuning Theory. To be able to do this scientifically, we need spaces in which we can test our four materials. These four spaces need to be identical so that they can be directly compared to each other. In each of the four spaces, one material will be tested, either timber, concrete, brick, or earth. These four spaces will be arranged into a “foursquare” configuration, housed under one roof.

Once we decided on a layout for the four spaces, pod forms could begin to be generated. For this, inspiration was drawn from the silos that surround us. In order to gather our airflow into a measurable point, the pods will take on a funnel shape, both on the top and bottom. This is because the ventilation cycles will function both in updraft and downdraft. After creating this funnel shape, we iterated on the basic shape to create options for the pod forms.

From here, we’ll be evaluating these forms, and researching structural systems to support them. Eventually, we will select one form to house our experiments.