Episode 4: Trevor Acorn - Crafting the Future of Construction with Structural Masonry

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00:00 Introduction and Background

02:01 Interest in Structural Masonry

06:10 Discussion on the Strength and Durability of Masonry

10:42 Importance of Designing Buildings We Love

15:24 Explanation of Structural Engineering

16:39 Different Approaches to Structural Analysis

19:24 Transition to Modern Engineering

21:12 Discussion on Thrust in Arches

23:50 Use of Graphic Statics in Structural Engineering

29:09 Arch Shapes and Flow of Forces

36:50 Load Distribution in Masonry Walls

38:28 Challenges with Brick Veneer

39:20 Lintel Design and Cracking

44:55 Different Types of Mortars

46:15 Forces in Masonry Walls

49:09 Hyman's Rules for Structural Masonry

52:03 Different Types of Mortars in the US

53:56 Using Lime-Based Mortars

56:23 Natural Hydraulic Lime Mortars

58:15 Harder Bricks and Mortars

01:00:17 Steel and Concrete Lobbying

01:04:46 Availability of Lime in the US

01:08:17 Limitations of Steel in Masonry

01:10:31 Carbonization of Steel in Concrete

01:12:27 Hydraulic Set and Mortar

01:13:36 Longevity of Steel Structures

01:15:08 GFRP Rebar

01:18:11 Innovative Concrete Floor System

01:22:14 The Future of Engineering

An artistic map of historic streets

In this conversation, Austin interviews Trevor Acorn, a structural engineer, and discusses his background and experience in the field. He explains his interest in structural masonry and how he became familiar with it through restoration work. The conversation also covers the strength and durability of masonry compared to other construction materials. Trevor emphasizes the importance of designing buildings that we love and the role of aesthetics in the longevity of structures. He provides an overview of structural engineering and the different approaches to structural analysis. The use of graphic statics in engineering is discussed, including its application in finding the shape of arches. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the efficiency of different arch shapes and the flow of forces within arches.This episode covers various topics related to masonry construction, including load distribution in masonry walls, challenges with brick veneer, lintel design and cracking, cracks in masonry, different types of mortars, forces in masonry walls, Hyman's rules for structural masonry, using lime-based mortars, natural hydraulic lime mortars, harder bricks and mortars, steel and concrete lobbying, availability of lime in the US, and limitations of steel in masonry. The conversation provides insights into the behavior of masonry structures and the importance of selecting appropriate materials and design techniques. The conversation covers various topics related to construction materials and techniques.

The main themes include hydraulic set and mortar, the longevity of steel structures, GFRP rebar, an innovative concrete floor system, and the future of engineering.

• Structural masonry is a field that requires specialized knowledge and experience, particularly in restoration work.

• Masonry structures can be more durable and have fewer vulnerabilities compared to other construction materials.

• Designing buildings that we love and appreciate can lead to better maintenance and longevity.Structural engineering involves designing the structural elements of a building to ensure its stability and safety.

• Different approaches to structural analysis, such as allowable stress design and load resistance factor design, are used depending on the material and project requirements.

• Graphic statics is a useful tool for form finding and understanding the flow of forces in structures, but it is not commonly used in the final calculations submitted for building permits

• The efficiency and strength of arches depend on their shape and the flow of forces within them. Hydraulic set and mortar are important for quickly building walls as they allow the curing process to occur properly.

• Steel structures can last for hundreds of years with proper maintenance and care.GFRP rebar is a lightweight alternative to steel reinforcement and can be used in various applications.

• An innovative concrete floor system using graphic statics can reduce the amount of steel and concrete needed for construction.

• There is still much to be explored and pioneered in the field of engineering, with new materials and techniques constantly emerging.

Featured Links:

Block Research Group Floor System

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Cultivating a better human habitat. One brick at a time.
Austin Tunnell
Founder of Building Culture