Efficiency and attitude: On the relationship between lightweight structures and sustainability (upcoming)

International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) 2024 Symposium, Zurich, 26–30 August 2024

In structural engineering, the principles of lightweight structures are often associated with sustainability. However, maximizing structural efficiency while minimizing the use of materials does not necessarily lead to the ecological efficiency of structures. This publication analyses the relationship between lightweight design strategies and sustainability, which are both approaches to the evaluation and optimization of structures. The results indicate that while lightweight structures and sustainability both aim for efficiency, their relationship is characterized by complex dependencies. Only by expanding lightweight design principles through consistency and sufficiency strategies can lightweight design principles be redefined, with a holistic view already inherent in lightweight structures. The approach to sustainable design in engineering combines structural efficiency and a value-based attitude towards holistic, sustainable, and therefore contemporary lightweight design principles.