international association for shell and spatial structures

Working Group 5: Continuous Shells


The aim of the WG5 is to support the development of design, modeling, analysis, (de)construction and restoration methods to increase the efficiency, economy and elegance of surface shells. With the advent of new computational methods (eg artificial intelligence), fabrication technologies (eg 3D printing, robotics) and materials (eg meta, self-healing, multi-functional), we believe that continuous shell structures have tremendous potential to tackle challenges related sustainability (eg. net zero, United Nations Guidelines), extreme loading (eg. earthquake, storm surge, wind) and extreme environment (eg. outer space habitation). These new methods, technologies, materials and challenges are core to the mission of some of the other WG’s. Therefor we foresee exciting opportunities to collaborate with many WG in the advancing of WG5 and the IASS mission in general.


Working Group 5 on Concrete Shells was formed in the early 1970s during the second decade of the Association.  Its main accomplishment during that decade was the publication of Recommendations for Reinforced Concrete Shells and Folded Plates (IASS, Madrid, 1979, 66 pp.), a document that influenced a number of subsequent national building codes and was translated into Japanese and Spanish.  The name of the Working Group was subsequently changed to Concrete Shell Roofs.  After a period of inactivity, the efforts of the group were revived in the 1990s by the then chair of the WG, Stefan Medwadowski (also President of the IASS during the 1990s). 

Current Objectives

  1. Organize sessions at IASS Symposia and Colloquia related to concrete shell roofs.
  2. Contribute to the organization and editing of Special Issues of the Journal of the IASS related to concrete shell roofs.
  3. Seek to support additional publications that include coverage of concrete shell roofs.
  4. Accumulate publications and links on the Working Group website relevant to the mission, objectives and activities of the WG and of potential value to those interested in concrete shell roofs.
  5. Collaborate with other IASS Working Groups on matters related to concrete shell roofs, especially Working Group 17 on Historic Structures and Working Group 15 on such subjects as form finding and tile roofing.

Recent Activities

Organized two sessions for IASS-SLTE 2014 held in Brasilia, Brazil:

  •  "Design & Performance of Concrete Shell Roofs Subject to Extreme Loadings" - five papers, including one keynote paper on the theme of the session
  •  "Nontraditional Forming and Reinforcement of Concrete Shells" - five papers

Involved in the co-sponsoring of the conference “International Conference on Shells, Plates and Beams (SPB2015)” held in Bologna, Italy, 16-18 September 2015.

Organized a two-part session for IASS 2015: Future Visions, Amsterdam on “New Directions for Shell Structures.”  Based on this session, planned and organized the submission of 9 papers for a special issue of the Journal of the IASS on the state-of-the-art of shell structures, published in 2017.

Suggested and discussed a name change of the working group to reflect the scope of shell roof design and construction beyond the specific material “concrete,” and prepared a formal proposal to this effect for submission to the Executive Council.

Organized a session for IASS 2020: Inspiring the next generation, Surrey "21st century Design and Construction of Shells". This session and the symposium were postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. 

Involved in the co-sponsoring of the 1st Italian Workshop on Shells and Spatial Structures, IWSS2020, on-line.

Organized one session for IASS 2021 and formalised request for name change of the WG.


All current members of the Working Group are members of the IASS. The Working Group welcomes additional members who have an interest in the mission and objectives of the group; those IASS members interested should please contact one of the Chairs of the Working Group (Find e-mail addresses in the IASS Directory by logging in).

  • Prof. Dr. Sigrid ADRIAENSSENS (Co-Chair) - United States
  • Prof. Dr. Phillippe BLOCK (Co-Chair) - Switzerland
  • Prof. Dr. Stefano GABRIELE (Co-Chair) - Italy

Further Information for IASS Members

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