The Materials Book

Push Back against the Wind: Adaptivity in structural elements helps reduce material use in buildings Engineers are taught to anticipate the worst possible load case, so the structural components in most buildings are far stronger than they need to be for the vast majority of situations. A better idea may be to integrate sensors, actuators, and control units into a structure’s load path. These can react to external static or dynamic loads to equalize deformations and vibrations—and help reduce the materials needed for a structure by up to 70 percent. 334 Example: Hydraulic cylinders in columns and bracing elements, developed at ILEK, University of Stuttgart, Germany Contributed by: Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1244, University of Stuttgart