Architecture Students Test Tower Structures

Each year, the Structures II class builds towers only to destroy them later in the semester. The structure must be a tower made of any type of wood, paper, and glue that weighs no more than four ounces and must be taller than 40 inches. The goal is to make it strong enough, though, to hold as much weight as possible. Students pile on five-pound weights to see just how much the structure can hold. This year, the top tower held 338 pounds. The towers receive points based on the height of the structure and how much weight it will hold. The class is led by Assistant Professor Peter von Buelow, Dr.-Ing.

The scoring this year is based on:

  • [ (4 / weight in OZ) + (load in LBS / 25) + 2x(height in IN / 40) ] x 10
  • with maximum weight = 4 oz. minimum height = 40″ and minimum load = 25 LBS

Watch a video of the towers as they collapse beneath the burden of the metal weights. Structures II 2009.