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Re: Bamboo structures

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>I wonder if the romans actually did load
>calculations when building aqueducts and bridges?  There are some incredible
>examples of structures that have been built by experience alone, no calcs.

The cathedrals I was lucky enough to see in Germany and Austria weren't 
analyzed. My understanding (Henry Petrosky's 'Design Paradigms') is that 
Galileo was the first person to try figuring cantilever beam loads, and 
he got it wrong. I daresay that those beautiful vaulted ceilings and the 
flying buttresses that support them originated out of more than one 
collapse and some subsequent model studies. What's left is doubtless the 
very best of the very best. Allied bombs fell all around the Cologne 
cathedral, and the cathedral in Aachen got an aerial pasting from the air 
and more during the fight for the city. Both structures remained 
standing, probably not because 13th century building codes required 
design against near misses.

Let's not forget that the experience is probably based on a lot of 
collapsed buildings, dead workers and the lessons of master masons who 
went to the mines or the galleys.  Also people were building for the ages 
and not just to skirt the requirements of the building code. Probably 
most important was the enlightened view of inspection. The 'engineer' was 
a master mason who worked on site.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw