Francisco Castaño, Sr. first began research on the effective joining of hubs and tubes in a geodesic network, work that was perfected by Geometrica’s CEO Francisco Castaño and Vice President Roel Castaño. Today the Geometrica hub system is unique in the industry. It combines the physical and mechanical properties of aluminum and steel to create a light-weight and economical structure for many needs – from bulk storage covers, to museums, temples, shopping malls, sports venues, and industrial plants.
One of the most interesting applications of Geometrica's world-leading technology is the creation of aviaries covered by steel nets or even fabric mesh. This paper highlights this work and points to future possibilities.
An aviary must allow birds to live in a protected way in a virtually natural habitat – and it must also showcase the birds to the public. Thus the primary requirement is to enclose a large volume of space without blocking out sunlight, wind or rainfall. The structure must be able to withstand the weather and spacious enough to allow normal bird existence with free flight. And it must be sophisticated enough to complement the environment in which it’s placed. Ideally, it should be possible to construct the aviary in whatever shape best fits the location.
The Solution: Geometrica technology
A Geometrica structure can be ideal as an aviary:
- Natural habitat and image: A Geometrica structure can enclose any selection of wildlife – plant or animal – so it’s easy to create a natural environment for flora and fauna to coexist and develop. The image of a beautiful structure surrounding an exhibit suits every visitor’s expectations.
- Open to sun, wind and rain: Wildlife needs all three to grow and thrive. A Geometrica structure eliminates the need for artificial lighting or watering.
- Maintenance-free materials: All tubes and hubs are manufactured and quality inspected in Geometrica’s ISO-certified facilities, to ensure a long, trouble-free lifetime. It is also important to mention fabric as covering, and not only metallic netting.
- Many potential shapes: Because Geometrica structures are computer-designed to meet the shape and size requirements of the application, it is easy to customize the aviary to the space available.
Geometrica structures not only withstand corrosion from the elements, they provide superb mechanical strength:
- They work as space frames to take advantage of three-dimensional structural behavior.
- The joint between hubs and tubes is compact, simple and very efficient; no welding is required.
- Geometrica’s technology transfers moments across the joint, unique in space frame systems. In practical terms, this means that it is possible to attach any cladding directly to the space frame members, without secondary elements that are often as heavy as the frame itself.
- The only ‘special preparation’ required is a foundation.
Finally, the installation is a simple process, a real virtue: It requires no special tools, equipment or skill, and unskilled labor can quickly be trained on-site. Sections of the dome are assembled on the ground and then lifted into place with a construction crane, gradually adding “rings” to the structure until it closes at the top. Alternatively, the structure can be built without a crane by handing “spiders” of hubs and tubes to installers, who connect these spiders until the structure is complete.
A perfect example of the latest application of Geometrica's expertise in aviaries is the Zacatecas aviary. The structure is shaped like a peanut, with an entrance that allow one person at a time to walk in. Its measures 42 meters by 25 meters, with a height of almost 13 meters. Both hubs and tubes are aluminum, and the peanut covers a total area 818 square meters. More than 2200 tubes totaling 4.8 tons were used to construct the shape, as well as close to 680 hubs. The result is a distinctive highlight of this public park.
Geometrica makes building an aviary simple, fast and economical. Clean, aesthetic and practical, it’s no wonder that Geometrica structures are finding a home in more and more applications.