By: Mike Gilfillan
Buckminster Fuller was a genius. Understanding that the inefficient use of materials was an unwise waste of resources, he was a lightweight building evangelist. Race cars, athletes, spaceships and yes, buildings perform at a higher level if they weigh less rather than more. Although massive building components can be leveraged to contribute to passive solar heating strategies, there is little value today in building heavyweight structures. Lightweight buildings have many advantages, including:
- A light footprint and reduced impact on the natural environment.
- Lower soil bearing pressure resulting in smaller foundations.
- Reduced dead load, allowing smaller structural system members.
- Lower construction and demolition costs, and lower expense for transporting building materials.
Let’s honor “Bucky” by putting our building designs on a diet and all pledging to exercise more, eat healthy and lose a few pounds ourselves!