I've been spending an hour finding references for my research, but unfortunately I can't see useful information. So, I would really appreciate it if you could give me some references about the disadvantages of cylindrical residential buildings. Thank you!

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    $\begingroup$ Ask a lighthouse keeper! $\endgroup$
    – Transistor
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


I am currently working on a project, its a cylindrical and its more like a barrel shape.

It is a landmark project, future use for the city council for the Miri in Sarawak State, Malaysia.

As the main contractor of this project, I would share about several disadvantages of cylindrical shaped building.

  1. The Reinforced Concrete (RC) structure is time consuming to build, one thing is that the inner and outer beams are all curved: resulting in more time being consumed to cut and bend the reinforcement bar to the desired curvature. And this is the most crucial factor to the project schedule, because practical experience is required to estimate the time required for the tedious preparation work for curved beams, and may cause delay if the work schedule is not handled right.

  2. Even worse, the radius of each floors are different, there is no viable option to utilize the formwork for these curve beams!

  3. As the control points for setting out for each floor must include the center of the building, the drywall setting out needed to be done as soon as possible before any other work that may disturb the central point, some drywall having the layout out sitting along the radius is difficult to determine as some may affected by the setting out window-wall intersection the outer circle. And this may cause a lot of variation in the architectural finishes.

  4. While the floor to floor radius varies and the building is round, the installation of temporary structure (scaffolds) for external architectural finishes is a challenge that needed to be assessed by a trained scaffolder, considering the safety for the workers who will be going to access the temporary structure and the integrity of the structure.

One must account the practical disadvantages, even during design stage, that may arises for barrel/cylindrical shape building for better management of the construction and deliver a better quality of work to the client.


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