Case Studies

Straw Bale Vaults

The Harrison Residence roof vault was designed from first principles using methods similar to those for reinforced concrete. To validate the design concepts and convince a skeptical building department, a test was conducted on a full scale prototype "slice" of the vault. The test consisted of loading a four-foot-wide specimen to simulate seismic effects. The structure remained stable as it was loaded well into the plastic deformation range.

We designed the test rig, provided construction drawings for the test specimen, and assisted in conducting the test.

The instrumentation, hydraulic ram, and data collection were generously provided by Consolidated Engineering Laboratories.