A rapid and inexpensive process for constructing thin shell concrete architectural shapes has been developed in the research department at A and M College of Texas. The method involves laying out patterns with steel reinforcing rods and mesh, springing them in to shape by lifting at the center, applying tension between opposite legs by means of cables and a winch, and then applying lightweight concrete by hose and nozzle. The process has the major advantages of conventional forming being eliminated, thus resulting in substantial savings in materials and time. Also, the major portion of all work is performed on the ground surface, including the placing of electrical conduits and wiring together of steel and mesh. This provides for a considerably safer operation and maximum labor efficiency. The architectural shapes and forms which can be developed with this system are numerous and varied. Cost for this building, for just the shell alone neglecting foundation costs, was approximately 3 dollars and eighteen cents per square foot of usable covered space. The area of the shell not counting the surface of the legs was approximately 1,675 square feet bringing the cost to 2 dollars and eighty-five cents per square foot.
Thin Shell Experiment
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