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An Industrialized Building Project

This project was conducted at the Institute of Design, Chicago, in 1954-1955.

The group participating in the project consisted of James Davis, Tobert Freund, Bernard Schulak, Ronald Knavish, David Kropp and Robert Keith Adams. 


An area of 10x20 modules was adopted to provide flexibility of room sizes, giving rise to the structural bay, three of which are combined to house twelve patients in one nursing care unit. The program envisioned an installation of many such units in which case the structural system would also provide the spaces for recreation hall, studios, administrative, and maintenance functions.


Wall, floor and roof are made of honeycomb core panels with structural skins and integral sheet metal edge connectors.


The structure system consists two horizontal and parallel biaxial spans with support units. The short span (33'-4'') is made with open web trusses of wire and tubular steel. The long span (70'-0'') is generated by the diagonal disposition of the open web trusses in conjunction with longitudinal steel tubes in modular segments.

The support unit of welded steel plates is integrated with the horizontal structure, maintaining its standardized detailing without interruption. The longitudinal tubes of the long span are welded to the support units to provide moment connections and lateral bracing.

The use of the same structure for both floor and roofs an economic consideration, and through the longitudinal beam is more efficient as utilized in the floor construction, lighter loads of the roof structure render its inversion feasible.

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