Main team
Masonry Dome Analysis

W. Lau, J. Ochsendorf

project website

This research focuses on the structural analysis of masonry domes.  New interactive computational tools based on existing analysis methods are presented that show the effect of dome parameters on the structural behavior.  Internal hoop forces inherent in domes contribute significantly to structural stability, allowing the construction of domes without the use of centering.  Existing analysis methods calculate hoop force values as required to equilibrate meridional forces, subsequently fixing their values.  This research will present methods to determine the allowable range of hoop forces for domes of a variety of traditional geometries, and to determine what three-dimensional curved forms can be constructed without centering.