The subject of Building Construction-II is offered to first year, undergraduate students of architecture in the second semester at School of Environmental Design & Architecture, Navrachana University, Vadodara. The focus of this subject is on timber as construction material. Timber as a construction material has been around since the beginning of architectural history. Traditionally there have been many structural systems for floor and roof. First part of this course deals with all the traditional systems such as single floor, double floor, triple floor, single roof, double roof, and triple/trussed roof. The traditional systems are based on elaborate craftsmanship and joinery.
The second part of the semester focuses on contemporary structural systems of timber framing, which are listed below.
After the input lectures, a group exercise was formulated that gave students an opportunity of applying these systems on a design project. The students were given a time-problem to design a small cafe by selecting one of the given geometric configurations of the plan. These configurations take care of different spanning conditions, and also come along with a masonry core for the kitchen. The task was to work out a suitable structural system for timber framing based on the design considerations. Design development happened by making process models at 1:50 scale, and also by developing details of various structural junctions. Eventually final model was made out of timber sections at 1:20 scale showing all the members of floor and roof. Along with the overall model, students also made certain details at 1:2 scale, such as; column base, floor junctions and roof junctions.
In following posts some examples of this exercise will be shared.