Questions tagged [building-physics]

The physics of buildings, specifically thermal conduction, convection, & radiation; heating and cooling; ventilation; transmission and management of water vapour & pollutants

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Would pyramid shape buildings prevent people from falling to their deaths? [closed]

If a building the shape of pyramids slops downwards, wouldn't it minimize the risk of fall from heights, whether intentionally or by accident (like fire/bomb scare), from a balcony or window opening? ...
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5 answers
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Reinforced concrete by steel, poor durability, why?

I've been reading up about reinforced concrete, as it is one if not the cheapest way how to build (with some solid foundation). I found out that it actually has quite poor durability (50-100 years or ...
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2 answers
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Who takes care of structural health monitoring of civil structures?

There are numerous studies about the possibility of structural health monitoring (SHM) of tall structures, like bridges, skyscrapers, water towers, wind turbines, where, for example, inclination or ...
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4 answers
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Would a larger building more safely or smoothly ride the seismic waves of an earthquake?

If larger ships are less affected by ocean waves, and tend to ride smoothly through them, would that same principle influence the survivability of a larger building when weathering the seismic waves ...
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3 answers
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Tensile Force on Line of Bolts

I'm presented with a problem requiring some analysis to determine if an antenna bracket mounted to a concrete blockwork wall is sufficiently strong enough to endure a wind load given the known surface ...
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4 answers
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How are these bricks being supported?

My question is how can all of these bricks be supported by the thin columns on either side? How can there be that much empty space under all of the bricks that the arrow is going through? Looking at ...
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What would happen if the air conditioning failed in a skyscraper for an extended period?

I'm writing some fiction which involves the AC in a modern glass curtain skyscraper (50-80 floors?) in an American city failing for a period of weeks, maybe even for up to two months. Could anybody ...
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3 votes
1 answer
196 views

Modeling rigid body dynamics: Trouble with equations, encountering nonsense answers

Hi, I am working on modeling a simple rigid body dynamic system through a certain range of motion. Here is the picture of the system. I am trying to solve the system for the variables $x_1'', y_1'', ...
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2 votes
1 answer
57 views

Investigating the potential of generating energy from moving water in pipes on a water production site

I work on a water production site, we have a staggering amount of water flowing, much of which is just using gravity pressure and feeding into reservoir tanks. (flow on various sites ranges from 100 ...
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0 answers
20 views

Which will be stronger for securing a cantilever umbrella in a deck

I am securing a cantilever umbrella baseplate to a deck. The decking timber will be reinforced with a pine nog between the deck joists. The options that I have are to use 10mm stainless steel coach ...
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1 answer
41 views

Why did they move ancient Egyptian temples to prevent them from water damage instead of encircling them with a dam?

Specifically I'm talking about Abu Simbel temple and Philae temple. Which are close to a reservoir created by Aswan dam. It seems to me easier to build a dam than to move a temple.
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1 answer
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Is it just surface area alone that causes bridges to freeze?

Scenario: Object 1, a bridge freezes over do to the surface area exposed to the below freezing air. Object 2 has the same surface area exposed to the same air, but its base sits on the ground that is ...
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1 answer
117 views

Could Tesla have REALLY shaken a building with a little oscillator?

I came across this story while reading about Nikola Tesla ground-power scheme. Supposedly, he created a little oscillator that could be plugged into the ground, tuned to the right (resonant) frequency,...
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One dimensional U-Factor Calculation - How to determine indoor / outdoor film resistances

Can someone clarify the ASHRAE Fundamental 2017 (SI Units) (See Below) Indoor and Outdoor film resistances. The manual states that it comes from Table 3 and in the description of table 3 it states &...
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0 answers
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Sun light illumination on a lower floor vs high building closely

there is an investor that wants to build very close to our building. In case we agree, the buildings will stand like on the pictures below, 3 meters apart from each other. I tried to draw them in ...
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1 answer
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calculating energy usage with measuring the temperature

I am an electrical engineer working on a project. My goal of this project is to make an IoT solution where I continuously measure the temperature of room in a building. I want to calculate the amount ...
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1 answer
141 views

What does Leonardo da Vinci mean in his statement on arches?

I was recently reading some of Leonardo da Vinci's notes on architecture. One passage on arches states: An Experiment to show that a weight placed on an arch does not discharge itself entirely on ...
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3 answers
164 views

can ceramic be used as a building material?

From what I read, concrete has much lower compressive strength than ceramics. So why aren't we using ceramics to build? Is it because ceramic failure is difficult to predict? Because it's hard to ...
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Increase in target emission rate (TER) when using a air source heat pump (ASHP) in standard assessment procedure (SAP) calculation

I am running a SAP calculation on a proposed building which will be utilising a 8.5 kW ASHP for space and water heating. I am also running a comparative analysis against a mains gas boiler to show the ...
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6 votes
2 answers
62 views

Is a single large impact better than several small impacts for breaking ice

I'm designing a device that uses impact to remove ice from sidewalks. I have a question about how to best design the impact mechanism. I can design it to deliver several light impacts or fewer harder ...
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3 votes
0 answers
102 views

What is the minimum height of a chimney needed in a camper?

Like a lot of people nowadays, I'm fitting a log fire into the back of a camper van but can't find the minimum height above the roof for the chimney. Ideally, it should be as low as possible for ...
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2 answers
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Why are/were sewers made large enough for somebody to walk down in there?

Today, I have been reading a lot about sewer systems on Wikipedia, in the hope that I would find information or at least photos showing what I think of as sewers, namely somewhere under the streets in ...
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2 answers
73 views

How deep do you have to check for problems underneath a building site?

When you're putting up a new building, you have to check the soil underneath for stability. How deep do you typically have to check? What's the extent of your "due diligence" when ensuring that a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Inertial Forces while analysing forces on a Piston in a Slider - Crank Mechanism?

I get that we are analysing the Piston in a non-inertial frame of reference, but the point of my question is that according to D'Alembert's Principle, whenever an inertial force comes in the line of ...
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1 vote
3 answers
113 views

Can temperature gradient keep concrete wall below 100% RH in 100% RH atmosphere?

Consider a high and wide concrete wall of say 30 cm thickness, covered with a sheet of vapor barrier on one side, and a sheet of say 30 cm thick and effective insulation on the other side. The vapor ...
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1 answer
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Do concealed door closers exacerbate wear on a door's hinges?

Not being of an engineering background, I was first inclined to think that a door closer would reduce horizontal load on all hinges and not contribute any support in the vertical dimension. However, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
137 views

Can a crisscrossed metallic skeleton resist earthquakes for buildings?

To follow up with my previous question on the seismic design of buildings, I would like to ask if it makes sense to support buildings with strong thick 'crisscrossed' metallic frames. I have the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
76 views

Can a horizontal foundation safeguard against earthquakes?

I have not taken any course in civil engineering. What I was taught was that a broad base would prevent something from toppling. So it makes me wondering instead of nailing the foundation of a ...
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3 votes
2 answers
152 views

Cooling tower for nuclear power plants

Cooling towers for nuclear power plants often have the shape of a hyperboloid. At first glance, I thought that an obvious reason for this would be the smaller sectional area, meaning the tower would ...
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5 votes
1 answer
86 views

What approaches are there for demolishing a structure and how is an approach chosen?

From my office on the 21st floor of a building in Vancouver, BC two parking garages in the process of being demolished are visible. A third is just out of view a few more blocks away. One of these ...
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2 votes
1 answer
37 views

Looking for something to reflect ultraviolet light at extremely low wavelengths

I have been working on a product that involves the reflection of low wavelengths of UV light (200-250nm). However, I have not come across many materials that are able to do so and the high-...
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1 vote
0 answers
25 views

Heat storage mass vs. AIR in an ICF house

If we would want to build a family house (ICF) regarding operational costs, should we leave the insulation on the inside, or should we remove it from the inside? If we would remove it, the walls ...
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1 answer
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how would one calculate the % of heat not absorbed by a heat sink?

I'm planning on building a plant growth chamber inside a sealed/insulated 55 g rain barrel, and I'm trying to figure out how much of the heat from my lights will enter the chamber, and how much ...
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2 votes
0 answers
27 views

How to ensure natural ventilation through a shaft?

I have a small shaft, 2.5m wide by 4m deep, sunk into the ground. Due to explosion protection I should ensure "natural ventilation" - this is the termgiven in the relevant ordinance, no air flow ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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What are the limits on building very high buildings using certain materials and architectural style?

I played some video games with beautiful environments filled with buildings which can't be found in the real world. And so I'm wondering, would such buildings be even realistically possible to exist ...
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1 answer
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How to maintain a static negative pressure in a valve?

My target is to create a valve with multiple inlet capillaries. And my output is a pipe of a larger diameter. I do not want to use any electrical systems, and at the same time, I want to maintain ...
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0 votes
3 answers
93 views

Ventilation setup high sleeper night cooling

I have a high sleeper in my room (width 3,70m, length 4,50m, height 3,30m) consisting of one large plane (yellow) and one window (darker grey). The plance leaves about 80cm space to sleep. The door (...
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0 votes
2 answers
81 views

How do I measure max oscillation of building using accelerometer?

For my school project, I am trying to measure the effect of a mass damper by changing the length of the string (that carries the mass), my setup is similar to the following video: https://youtu.be/...
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2 votes
1 answer
378 views

Can a neutrally bouyant helium balloon be suspended in air using magnet entrapment?

The above picture is a basic concept of how a levitron toy works. Could the top floating peace stay entrapped in the magnetic field without having to spin if the edges of the balloon keep the top ...
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6 votes
7 answers
875 views

How would you move a sail boat with no wind or paddles

If I stood on a sailing ship and had a very strong pair of lungs (possibly motorized) then if I blew the sail would I be able to move the ship forwards?
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2 votes
3 answers
119 views

Building a machine from an ideal physics problem

I have a physics professor for whom I'd like to build a machine. Featured in a problem he is notorious for assigning students, originally from Kleppner and Kolenkow's "Mechanics," the machine causes ...
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2 answers
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Place a greenhouse: how to orient it for the best effect?

I'm looking for the best orientation (North-East-South-West) of a greenhouse (simplifiable as a rectangular solid). My question is more specifically about the sun position effects (over the times of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
384 views

How do we define the durability as per density?

We define the durability with the equation as seen below. $$x\propto \frac{\text{Cross-Sectional Area}}{\text{Cross-Sectional Area}\times \text{Length} }$$ Hence $$\therefore x\propto \text{Length}...
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2 answers
112 views

What does this equation mean?

$$\propto \dfrac {\text {Cross-Sectional Area}}{\text {Volume}} $$ I've seen this equation on my textbook (physics). Let us imagine that there are two pen with $7$ and $3$ lenght. Which is harder ...
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When does window insulation have more impact than attic?

Is there any way to determine either empirically or by convention a rule-of-thumb when one should spend money on insulating windows rather than insulating the attic of a house or building to keep it ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Does attic insulation help cool a building?

Given that hot air rises, it's easy to understand how attic insulation can help keep a building warm; say, in the winter, for example. But when winter changes to summer, does the attic insulation help ...
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3 votes
1 answer
82 views

Where to start when studying Architectural Engineering by myself? [closed]

I have this idea of creating my own curriculum for studying Architectural Engineering. I aim at talking with actual architectural engineers in my surroundings and ask them for advice on the topics I ...
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2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Controlled demolition of a sky scraper?

Sky scrapers are often found in dense urban environments. Is there a known method to controllably demolish a sky scraper with minimal collateral damage?
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0 votes
2 answers
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Windproof open doors room design

I live somewhere where it's relatively warm the entire year (around 10ºC is the coldest you'll get in some days during a normal winter). I am dreaming of a house design that I intend to build in the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
183 views

equivalent full hours of heating equipment

I would like to know if there is a standard way of calculating the equivalent to a capacity factor but for heating equipment. That is the ratio between the amount of heat delivered during one year ...
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