Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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STRUCTURAL NODE FOR ARCHITECTURAL ENVELOPES

Envelopes and roofsFacadesFree form structuresGrid shellsPanelled structures

Introduction

The  invention relates to a structural node for connecting building envelope elements or, more in general, structural and non-structural components, such as rods and bars, opaque or transparent (glass) panels and cables. The node is particularly suitable to realize efficiently hybrid shell structures, in which the bars and panels co-operate in a three-dimensional lightweight, structurally-efficient, free-form architectures.

Technical features

The proposed invention concerns a piecewise reticular structure comprising: a plurality of rods, full or hollow; a plurality of nodes, each connected with at least three rods; a plurality of polygonal panels locked by corresponding support elements of these nodes; lock elements of the rods. At each structural nodes, the main body contains holes to receive locking end portions of the rods. The reticular structure allows to mutually connect transparent or opaque, plain or curved panels. The polygonal panels can be arranged along each other, a sealing means can be more easily arranged between the polygonal panels, in particular, in order to provide a waterproof structure. The high void ratio of such a main body allows obtaining a very light and node, having a lower visual impact, which is an effect particularly important for structures that must be highly transparent and bright.

Possible Applications

  • Highly transparent building envelope;
  • Facade systems;
  • Optimized surface shape for photovoltaic application, image transmission, public lighting, IoT components, vertical urban green or rooftop;
  • Support for technological systems allowing the passage of cables.

Advantages

  • Essential design;
  • Reduced visual impact;
  • High load bearing capacity;
  • High safety standards;
  • Possibility of edge sealing and application of Insulated Glass Units (IGUs) and to integrate shadings and IoT components, in order to provide a waterproof, insulated and sensible structure.