Testing a model Isler shell in "Perspectives on the Evolution of Structures." March, 2006.

Some of the most inspiring structures I show during my class "Perspectives on the Evolution of Structures" are the reinforced concrete thin shells of Heinz Isler. During the 2005-2006 academic year, Constantinos Kaimakliotis, a senior in Civil Engineering, took up that inspiration and constructed a scale model of an Isler-style shell using the "hanging membrane reversed" method. He made the shell of hydrostone, mixed to 10ksi strength, with polyethylene reinforcing mesh.

What good is a model without a test though! In class, in March of 2006, we load tested Constantinos's shell. The shell performed well, aweing students with its high strength to weight ratio. Below are photographs and a video of the test.

Aru Sahni prepares for the first load application


Katherine Rainone joins Aru. Our observers help to stabilize the load.

The big test. 700 pounds of JHU football players.

After all of this the shell sustained only minor damage near the supports. One of our observers took a video of the test that led to this damage.