Connection systems for modular buildings

The behaviour of a structural system is very much dependent on how its members are connected to each other. The properties of connections are a long-standing problem under investigation and have been scrutinised by many researchers to the point that is difficult to have one solution that fits to all problems. Structural engineers are devising designs for specific loading regimes and have to ignore other complex forces that may be applied to the entire structure during construction, operation and dismantling phases in order to come up with reasonable solutions that save as much material as possible without being too complex to fabricate, install and dismantle.

Moreover, modular building systems pose another difficulty which is related to the nature of the modules (volumetric or panelised), the building height, the type of installation, the tooling used, and others.

This project will take a top-down approach and will attempt to better understand how mid-rise and tall modular buildings perform in complex loading conditions and when subjected to accidental loads and thereafter optimise the properties of such connections (including corner, external, and internal connections). Then designers, in collaboration with fabricators will come up with optimised solutions that facilitate easy installation and dismantling and can be used globally.