Posted on January 20, 2019 in Structural Engineering

The Best Shape for Making Strong Structures

When designing structures, architects and engineers not only have to consider the visual aesthetic of the shapes that give their creations form, but also if those shapes are strong enough keep their structures stable. In this article I will explore one of the best shapes for making strong structures — the triangle.

The triangle is the best shape for making strong structures because it naturally distributes equal weight along its members. A triangle will always keep a consistent shape and will not deform unless you change the length of one of the sides or break one of the joints. Triangles are such strong, natural shapes that in architecture and engineering projects, often you will find a rectangular or square shape being reinforced diagonally, dividing the original shape into two triangles. The Truss Bridge is a great example of triangles being used to form strong structures:

The Truss Bridge

Triangles can be seen everywhere in structures from every age and culture. If you look hard enough, you’ll find these sturdy shapes being used to reinforce the structural integrity of many different structures — The Truss Bridge is a perfect example of this. Another, even more famous example of triangles being used in structural engineering are the Great Pyramids of Giza.

The Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are estimated to be around 4,500 years old, as you can see, these ancient structures have withstood the test of time — proving once again that triangles are one of the best shapes for creating naturally strong structures. Pyramids are very simple however, and in the modern world, our eyes like to see interesting shapes take form. The triangle is very versatile and can be used in many ways to create beautiful structures that can be considered works of art. I’m very excited to see what we’ll be able to create in the near future.

Modern architecture using triangles to reinforce different shapes.

If you’re looking for help with structural engineering for your project, HH Consulting will be more than happy to lend a hand. We take pride in our work and are always looking for new and exciting projects.