Abstract

This paper describes the concept of pneumatic structures applied to multi-story buildings. In such buildings an internal environmental air pressure acting on the underside of the roof supports floors that are suspended from roof level. A continuous plastic membrane surrounded by an external cable-network for reinforcement purposes contains the pressurized building environment in a similar fashion to the container of a pressure vessel. The paper explores safety considerations, fire protection measures, special requirements relating to water and sanitary services in a hyperbaric environment, airlock entrance and emergency egress provisions, construction and erection considerations, cost projections, and the structural design process. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of alternative structural air-supported configurations and fluid-inflated systems in which the building environment is not pressurized.

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Architecture

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URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/arch_fac/76