Space decks

This system originally developed in Australia consists of pyramidal units constructed from a square frame of steel angles connected by circular steel tube bracing members to a cast steel boss. All elements of the pyramids are welded together in a jig to ensure dimensional accuracy. The boss at the base of the pyramids has two threaded holes in one horizontal direction and two threaded studs in the other to receive connecting steel tie-bars.

Assembly is achieved by bolting the angle frames of the pyramids together and then connecting the cast steel bosses with tie bars. The tie bars have left-handed threads at one end and right-handed

Mero Welded Node

threads at the other, as do the holes and studs on each side of the cast bosses. Rotation of the tie-bar screws the bar into the boss at each end simultaneously. By varying the length of the tie bars, the node spacing can be altered to produce a one- or two-way camber in the space frame. An example of this form of construction is at the Bentalls Centre, Kingston-upon-Thames (see Figure 8.4).

8.5.3 MERO

The MERO system is an elegant concept in which the circular tube members connect to 'ball' joints at the nodes by a single concealed bolt. The name MERO derives from an abbreviation of the original name Mengeringhausen Rohrbauweise.

The circular steel sections have tapered cone sections welded to each end (complete with connection bolt and sleeve), and the nodes are hot-forged solid steel or drop-forged aluminium spheres with drilled and tapped holes which are profiled to receive the tube ends. The detail of a MERO KK ball is shown in Figure 8.5.

8.4 Bentalls Centre, Kingston-upon-Thames (architect: BDP)

Space Frame Mero

The National Indoor Arena for Sport at Birmingham has a triple-layer MERO space truss roof of 90 m x 128 m plan, and varies in depth from 8 m to 10 m.

The MERO system was also used for the Eden project in Cornwall, in which hexagonal 'cells' were created and joined together to form a large spherical surface (Figure 8.6).

A recently completed theatre complex in Singapore created a shelllike structure where solar shading was included in the space frame networks around the periphery of the building (Figure 8.7).

In miniature, the MERO system is also used for shop displays and exhibition stands.

Isolation Greenhouse
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    What is space decks in construction?
    3 years ago

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