Architecture/Tunnel Shapes.

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Question
Dear Brendan

Can we Design tunnels without a circular shape?.

Examples - Triangle, Square, Rectangle, Kite, Rhombus etc

Thanks
Prashant

Answer
Hi Prashant,
The circular design is the most responsive to the forces of all the earth/rock around the tunnel, allowing them to be spread evenly and accommodated across the tunnel section. Tunnel boring machines often use circular cutting faces also, both as a response to the forces, but also for the ease of the process, with a rotating face generating a circular hole.

Other shapes are possible, but usually require more engineering and construction and therefore have higher costs. If from a design or an architecture point of view you wanted to create another tunnel shape it may be simpler to excavate a circular tunnel and build the triangular or rhombus shape within that initial circular tunnel? Cut and cover tunnels can sometimes be rectangular in shape, especially older tunnels but obviously they rarely go to any great depth.

Thanks for the question
Brendan

Architecture

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Brendan Cotter

Expertise

Domestic extensions, planning permissions, house renovations, using solar power, renovation, adding value to a property, getting a house that the client wants

Experience

Im a graduate architect, with a Bachelor of Architecture from DIT, Ireland. I have a number of years of experience as both a design architect and a site architect, and have brought domestic projects through from initial client meetings through planning to construction and to completion and handover

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Architecture, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland

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