Grid Shell structural systems are another means to minimize the visual mass of structure. They can be used in vertical and overhead applications, as well as to form complete building enclosures. Unique configurations can be vaulted, domed and double-curved. Systems can be welded, bolt up, or a combination of each. Grid-shell structures with integrated cable bracing can produce a highly efficient structure with a refined aesthetic. Cable prestress is required on such systems. Triangulated grid shells are stable by geometry and require no cable bracing.
Here a grid-shell structure is used to support a glass wall spanning 100 feet with a system depth of only 11 inches. This requires high prestress forces in the 1 1/4 inch diameter stainless steel rods that brace the grid shell. A conventional curtainwall system is layered on the grid-shell structure.
A triangulated grid-shell structure can assume freeform shapes and require no cable bracing. Geometric complexity can result in paneling materials of many unique part types. Glazed grid-shell structures can often benefit from a geometrical optimization process aimed at reducing the number of part types.