Construction Systems #3 – Facade Systems

Another update regarding our Construction Systems class

Our next drafting project asked us to create a facade system, and illustrate how it connected to a 3 story super structure at both a corner and in section. We also had to include at least two perforations – one door, and one window. This forced us to deal with a corner condition, as well as how the facade met the ground (at the basement) and the roof. I chose a hug stone-slab system, with a pattern that allowed one or two panels to be removed to create a door or window. The pattern was also alternated each row, and ended (fairly) cleanly at the corner. Each panel was 5′ high and either 1′ or 2′ wide, allowing for a door of 3′ to simply remove two panels, and also allowing for two rows to complete a floor. I was attempting to minimize the number of unique pieces to theoretically keep costs down and to allow the system to be manufactured off site with relative ease. This system was then hung onto a steel superstructure.

Construction Systems - Facade System.  scale 1" = 1', hand-drafted (graphite).

Construction Systems – Facade System.
scale 1″ = 1′, hand-drafted (graphite).

Construction Systems #2: Framing Systems

Through the midst of the whole exciting by crazy process of designing the artist residency, it was nice to take a break and do something a bit more concrete. Our second Construction Systems project had us creating a two-story “shed,” using either wood framing or some form of accretive (masonry) technique – I was assigned to the wood frame section. This “shed” consisted of two floors, and had to be 10′ bu 30′ by 20′, with a slanted roof section. The entire project was to be hand-drafted, to scale at 1″ = 1′.

Construction Systems - Wood Framing.  scale 1" = 1', hand-drafted

Construction Systems – Wood Framing.
scale 1″ = 1′, hand-drafted

First Look at Construction Systems: The Retaining Wall

While we all moved along with our analyses of various sculptures, we also dove headfirst into our Construction Systems class. Here we were taught about the various systems that go into building a structure, mainly focusing on super structures (wooden framing, structural steel/concrete, accretive (masonry) systems), and the systems that might build off of them. This included questions like “How does the structure connect to the ground?” (foundation systems), “How do cladding systems attach to the super structure?”, “How about corners? Roofing systems? Openings for windows and doors?”. The class consisted of five large projects in which we tackled these questions. Four of the five projects were to be hand-drawn, allowing the class to also function as a drafting class.

Our reference material for most of these projects consisted heavily of Francis Ching’s “Building Construction Illustrated.”

For the first of the five projects, as sort of an introduction to the world of construction systems, we were tasked to develop a retaining wall system, and then illustrate its parts in section and plan. The section had to be hand-drawn, while the plan was constructed digitally through Rhino/Illustrator. We also had to draw how our wall dealt with the three main modes of failure: overturning, sliding, and settling.

Construction Systems - Retaining Wall Section cut of a generic retaining wall, showing all parts as well as how it deals with the various forces (hand-drawn).

Construction Systems – Retaining Wall
Section cut of a generic retaining wall, showing all parts as well as how it deals with the various forces (hand-drawn).

Construction Systems - Retaining Wall Plan, Section, and Axon of the designed retaining wall (digital)

Construction Systems – Retaining Wall
Plan, Section, and Axon of the designed retaining wall (digital)

Construction Systems - Retaining Wall Diagrams showing how the designed wall deals with the various forces/modes of failure (hand-drawn).

Construction Systems – Retaining Wall
Diagrams showing how the designed wall deals with the various forces/modes of failure (hand-drawn).