Structural Archetypes – the shapes of structural elements

Structural archetypes are aspects of the shapes of structural elements that affect their performance, in particular the efficiency with which they resist loads. There are three groups of archetype:

•. those concerned with the overall form of a structure

•. those that affect the shapes of elements in longitudinal profile

• those that affect the shapes of the cross-sections of elements.

For efficient use of material, and therefore low-carbon architecture, the archetypes have to be followed.

Introduction to structural archetypes

Form and internal force type

Overall form: form-active, semi-form-active and non-form-active structures

Detailed Form – the concept of improvement

Economy of Means – design for low embodied energy