Z Shell


Each of the units above has one large sloping plate and two edge plates arranged with space between the units for windows. This form has been called a Z shell and is similar to the louver used for window ventilation. The architectural effect is very dramatic if the structure can be shown by a cantilever projected out beyond the support. The windows are normally open to the north but most of the light is actually reflected south light. To increase this effect, the roof surface can be painted with aluminum so light from the sun is reflected through the windows to the ceiling and the windows need not be very large. Adjacent units should be tied together by structural window mullions. In constructing the Z shell, movable forms need only be lowered a short vertical distance if construction is started on the right and proceeds to the left.

The Z shell is not an efficient structural shape since it is discontinuous and its effective depth is much less than the actual vertical depth. Therefore, the spans are limited in comparison to the plates having a large number of units side by side.