Atria - Steel Structures.

An atrium is an enclosed courtyard space often rising through several storeys of a building. Its function is usually to provide daylighting within the plan of a building.

Often it provides covered circulation space between floor levels which readily orientates the building occupants. In common with all aspects of building design, there are a number of design considerations which come into play in the creation of an atrium space. These broad design requirements generate specific technical requirements for the design of the structure. These need to be taken into consideration at the developmental stages to ensure that an elegant design, consistent with all of the technical criteria, can be achieved.

The following design issues are common to the design of an atrium space:

• Structural form
• Type of cladding
• Tolerance and deflection
• Finishes and detailing
• Erection of structure, cladding and fit out
• Procurement
• Maintenance of the cladding, structure and fit out
• Internal and external cleaning
• Acoustic performance of the space
• Cost
• Fire safety of the atrium and surrounding spaces
• Provision of heating and cooling to achieve required environmental conditions.

The following sections look at some of the technical implications for the structural design and specification imposed by these design issues.

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