Space Frame Structure

The space frame structure is a truss-like, lightweight rigid structure constructed from interlocking struts in a geometric pattern, it is used to occur over large areas with few intermediate supports or columns.

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

A space frame structure are strong due to the essential rigidity of the triangle and in such a frame, 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; since the span is large, the space game can be subjected to movement and, to avoid this, 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:

Plane Frame:

These types of frames are 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 types of frames provide massive roof heights and are largely used commercially for oil as industrial buildings.

Space frame:

 Such 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.

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Advantages of Space frame structure:

  1. It has excellent duration to depth ratio.
  2. Easy to transport, handle and stack.
  3. It provides adjustable cambering facilities.
  4. Fast installation or installer is very easy to install on site due to prefabricated components.
  5. It does not require purlins.
  6. It is more suitable for the structure of building which has irregular plan shape and site.
  7. Also, suitable for structure which has a larger span.
  8. It provides a column-free explicit term.
  9. This eliminates the need for geometric stability, providing a mid-column.
  10. It provides a large spawn at low altitude.
  11. It provides minimum deflection.
  12. space frame structure also has maximum seismic.
  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. At this, 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:

1. Space frames are a common feature in modern construction and are often found with minimal support in modern roofing large commercial and industrial buildings.

2. Space frame structures are commonly used to construct aircraft hangars, factories, cinema balls, exhibition halls, airports, and canopies.

3. Excellent examples of buildings based on space frames are listed below.

  • 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 1. Moment Frame 2. Braced Frame 3. Types of Structures

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is frame structure?

The frame structure is a very strong structure, often quite long, usually composed of beams, columns, and slabs.

What are 3 types of structures?

There are three basic types of structures: shell structures, frame structures and solid structures.

What is the difference between space frame and space truss?

The space frame is associated with stiffness such that axial, shear and bending forces resist loading and space trusses are pinned at their ends, only resisting load through axial feedback.

What is space deck?

The Space Deck is a truss-like, lightweight, rigid structure.


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


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