Builders discovered long ago – about 5000 years ago, in fact – that molded building elements increased construction efficiency. If you could make multiple elements from a single mold, you could increase the production of building materials, and if the mold was designed intelligently, the parts would fit together predictably well. This is the essence of brick construction, or unit masonry, one of the oldest construction methods still in use.
Molding is also the basic operation of FRP fabrication. For this reason, FRP is a natural for modular construction.
A Greek company, DASYC S.A. has taken the modular approach for the creation of a versatile transportable building system, which they call the Composite Modular Transportable Hangar (CMTH). It is, at its essence, a self-supporting corrugated barrel arch of variable (potentially infinite) length, which can be closed off on either end with fabric walls.
The basic modules are corrugated sandwich panels, each 3.7 meters wide and comprising two “waves” of corrugation. They are made in two different lengths, 2.1m and 1.15m. Panels are bolted together to form an arch, which can reach 30.6 meters across and 11.2m high. Multiple arches are bolted edge–to-edge to form a hangar, as long a hangar as desired.
The two standard sizes each consist of ten arches, for a length of 30.7m. The larger size is 30.6 meters across and covers a ground area of 935m2. The smaller size is 26.16m across (6.9m high) and covers an area of 822m2. Either size can be customized by adding more arches for a longer hangar, or reduced in height and width be reducing the number of panels used to form an arch.
The sandwich panels are built on a 72mm thick core of hard polyurethane foam, with 4mm glass fiber composite skins on either side. Due to the foam and the good insulating properties of the composite, they have good thermal performance.
The system is designed to be shipped unassembled. They are designed to stack for shipping, (due to the wave shape of the panels, you can’t exactly say they ship “flat”) and bolted together on site. DASYC says in its brochure that the only tool needed to assemble it is a screwdriver.
Images via DASYC S.A.