Investigation of stresses in facetted glass shell structures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch


The typical use of triangular and quadrangular facets in doubly curved facetted shells requires the use of triangulated truss systems or quadrangular truss framing with diagonals or cross tension cabling. In such a structure, the load carrying ability is based on concentrated forces in the framing system, while the glass merely serves as a separation of the inside environment from the outside. In this paper facetted glass shell structures with three way vertices, i.e. with three adjoining edges in each vertex are considered, since the load carrying ability of such a structure is achieved primarily by in-plane forces in the facets and the transfer of distributed in-plane forces across the joints. It is described how these facets work structurally, specifically how bending moments develop and cause possible stress concentrations in the corners, which are subjected to uplift. Apart from local bending moments from distributed load, other types of bending moments are likely to occur, especially if the shell has areas of low stiffness, for example along a free edge. A facetted shell structure has been modelled in a finite element program, and the resulting stresses are presented and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShell and Spatial Structures: Structural Architecture : Towards the future looking to the past
Number of pages35
Publication date2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventIASS Symposium 2007: Architectural Engineering - Towards the Future Looking to the Past - University IUAV of Venice, Venice, Italy
Duration: 3 Dec 20076 Dec 2007


ConferenceIASS Symposium 2007
LocationUniversity IUAV of Venice

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