Space Frame Structure

In architecture and structural engineering, a space frame or space structure (3D truss) is a rigid, lightweight, truss-like structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern; Space frames can be used to span large areas with some internal support.

The roof of an industrial building supported by a space frame structure with minimal internal support or columns.

Here we learn about space frame structure, types of space frame structure & much more.

Introduction to Space Frame Structure:

Space frame structures are stronger due to the essential rigidity of the triangle and in such frames, the bending moment is transmitted as a stress and a compression load along the length of each strut.

The space frame is usually designed using a stiffness matrix, the special feature of the stiffness matrix in an architectural space frame is the independence of angular factors.

If the joints are sufficiently rigid, angular deflection can be ignored.

When the span of buildings is large, space frames are used due to the large span, spaces can be subjected to movement, and expansion joints are provided.

Space frames can be simply supported and various members of the space frames can be prefabricated by welding.

Types of Space frame structure:

1.Plane Frame:

The plane frame is constructed in a flat plane, trusses or girders are examples of aircraft commonly used for roof construction and beams.

Construction remained subject to light loading for a long time.

Structural frame:

These structural frame provide massive roof heights and are largely used commercially for oil as industrial buildings.

Space frame:

 Space frames have spans in opposite directions of a single spread, it provides a lightweight roof structure.

In a variation of a plane frame, a space frame is a series of linked pyramid frames.

Advantages of Space frame structure:

  1. Space frame structures are easy to transport, handle and stack.
  2. It provides adjustable cambering facilities.
  3. Fast installation or very easy to install on-site due to prefabricated components.
  4. It does not require purlins.
  5. It is more suitable for the structures which have irregular plan shape and site.
  6. Also, suitable for a structure that has a larger span.
  7. It provides a column-free explicit term.
  8. This structure eliminates the need for geometric stability, providing a mid-column.
  9. It provides a large spawn at low altitudes.
  10. It provides minimum deflection.
  11. Space frame structure also has maximum seismic.
  12. It has an excellent duration to depth ratio.
  13. It provides low transportation costs.
  14. It is lightweight and structurally effective.
  15. Concentrated loads are evenly distributed over the entire structure.
  16. It has very good acoustic properties.

Disadvantages of Space frame structure:

  1. In space frames, prefabricated components can leak into the joints.
  2. The price of transport may be higher than volcanic prefabricated sections.
  3. Large prefabricated sections require heavy-duty cranes, precise measurement, and handling.

Applications of a Space frame structure:

  • Space frames are a common feature in modern construction often found with minimal support in modern roofing large commercial and industrial buildings.
  • They are commonly used to construct aircraft hangars, factories, cinema balls, exhibition halls, airports, and canopies.
Also read: Shell Structure, RCC Framed Structure & Prefabricated Structure

Examples of buildings based on space frames:

  • Stansted Airport in London.
  • Bank of China Tower and Louvre Pyramid.
  • Rogers Center by Roger Robbie and Michael Allen.
  • Eden Project in Cornwall, England.
  • Globen, Sweden – Dome diameter 110 m.
Also read: Grain storage structures, Pneumatic Structures &  Folded plate structures


Space frame structure provides flexible and efficient to satisfy any architectural and structural requirements.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

3 thoughts on “Space Frame Structure”

  1. Thank you very much to the author for integrating the basic knowledge of space frame and sharing it here.


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