Timber gridshells are a very efficient way of covering large spaces while also providing a unique architectural and material quality. As this can still be considered an emergent technology, the design of such buildings has relied on a relatively substantial amount of experimental work.
This thesis by Dragos-Iulian Naicu, upon reviewing the design and construction processes of previous timber gridshells, puts forward a structural model that aims to represent the true nature and specifics of single and double- layered timber gridshells. The parametrically determined geometry of a computational prototype is described and used as a basis for a non-linear elastic numerical analysis.
Particular attention is given to modelling the connections between the timber laths that provide composite bending action in a double layer grid. The deformation behaviour and the imperfection sensitivity are assessed with a view to understanding how gridshells respond under different conditions.
A new gridshell will inevitably be analysed with computer software, but the information presented in this dissertation will be useful for scheme design as well as the calibration of the computer analysis.