Currently Reading

Austrian university develops 'inflatable' concrete dome method

Austrian university develops 'inflatable' concrete dome method

A new method cuts concrete dome construction costs in half (or more).


By BD+C Staff | June 12, 2014

Constructing a concrete dome is a costly process, but this may change soon. A team from the Vienna University of Technology has developed a method that allows concrete domes to form with the use of air and steel cables instead of expensive, timber supporting structures.

“[We have] developed a method that can cut costs to around 50 percent,” says Benjamin Kromoser, an instructor at the university’s Institute of Structural Engineering.

The technique is named the “Pneumatic Wedge Method.” First, segments of flat, standard concrete slabs are laid out on top of an air cushion with wedge-shaped spaces left between each.

Once the slab is hardened, the cushion is inflated and a steel cable is tightened around the segments, so that the concrete is lifted up at the center and pushed together from outside. This process can be seen in this timelapse, German language video:

 

 

Kromoser compares the resulting structure to a snail, a thin shell that can support a lot of weight (such as five feet of snow).

The technique has been patented and the team is optimistic that the new construction method will establish itself in the market. As of now, the Austrian Federal Railways have commissioned a design project using this new method for a deer pass over two high speed rail tracks in the Austrian state of Carinthia.

 

Visit the Vienna University of Technology's official website to learn more about the method.

Related Stories

Giants 400 | Aug 30, 2021

2021 Giants 400 Report: Ranking the largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S.

The 2021 Giants 400 Report includes more than 130 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories.

Resiliency | Aug 19, 2021

White paper outlines cost-effective flood protection approaches for building owners

A new white paper from Walter P Moore offers an in-depth review of the flood protection process and proven approaches.

Airports | Jul 26, 2021

NORR designs the UK’s first satellite launch Space Hub

The project will be located in Sutherland, Scotland.

Wood | Jul 16, 2021

The future of mass timber construction, with Swinerton's Timberlab

In this exclusive for HorizonTV, BD+C's John Caulfield sat down with three Timberlab leaders to discuss the launch of the firm and what factors will lead to greater mass timber demand.

Resiliency | Jun 24, 2021

Oceanographer John Englander talks resiliency and buildings [new on HorizonTV]

New on HorizonTV, oceanographer John Englander discusses his latest book, which warns that, regardless of resilience efforts, sea levels will rise by meters in the coming decades. Adaptation, he says, is the key to future building design and construction.

Airports | Jun 9, 2021

ZGF unveils latest renderings of Portland International Airport’s main terminal

An undulating wooden roof highlights the project.

Airports | May 27, 2021

Grimshaw wins competition to design Shenzhen Airport East Integrated Transport Hub

The competition sought to find a design that created an integrated intermodal transport hub that could act as a new urban gateway.

AEC Tech | May 24, 2021

Digital twin’s value propositions for the built environment, explained

Ernst & Young’s white paper makes its cases for the technology’s myriad benefits.


Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: