Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.793070
Title: Thin-shell concrete floors for sustainable buildings
Author: Hawkins, William John
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 2958
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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Abstract:
Rapid urbanisation and population growth is driving unprecedented levels of building construction. Over the next 40 years, approximately 230 billion square meters of new floor area will be constructed globally, a doubling of existing building stock. Already, the production of concrete and steel accounts for a third of worldwide industrial CO2 emissions, representing a major opportunity, and responsibility, for structural engineers to contribute towards a low-carbon future through efficient design. A significant majority of the structural material in a typical building exists within the floors, making these a prime target for material reductions. This dissertation shows that thin shell concrete floors are a viable alternative to typical slabs and beams in multi-storey buildings. Switching the dominant structural behaviour from bending to membrane action increases efficiency, enabling significant embodied carbon reductions. A system is proposed featuring pre-cast textile reinforced concrete shells of uniform thickness and shallow depth, supported at columns, with a network of prestressed steel tension ties. A lightweight foamed concrete fill is cast above the shells to provide a level top surface and transfer floor loads to the shell. The structural behaviour of this system is explored through a series of computational and experimental investigations, leading to refinement of the design, exploration of construction methods and the development of a complete design methodology incorporating novel theoretical work. The shells feature optimised singly-curved groin vault geometry. This provides efficient structural performance whilst simultaneously minimising construction complexity. Thus, a practical and scalable solution is proposed, which is shown to offer considerable embodied carbon savings over typical concrete and steel floor structures. This work provides a robust platform for future refinement and large-scale implementation of thin-shell concrete floors for sustainable buildings.
Supervisor: Orr, John ; Shepherd, Paul ; Ibell, Tim Sponsor: EPSRC ; Building Research Establishment Trust (BRE) ; University of Cambridge
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.793070  DOI:
Keywords: Concrete shells ; Structural optimisation ; Building structures ; Floors ; Embodied carbon ; Construction ; Sustainability ; textile reinforced concrete
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