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).  In 2022 the Working Group was renamed Continuous Shells to better reflect the WG interests and activities.

Current Objectives

  1. Organize sessions at IASS Symposia and Colloquia related to continuous shells.
  2. Organize on-line meetings to define and collaborate on topics of interest
  3. Seek to support publications that include coverage of continuous shells.
  4. Collaborate with other IASS Working Groups o, especially WG18 Life-Cycle Design and Assessment of Shell and Spatial Structures, WG 17 on Historical Spatial Structures, WG 15 Structural Morphology and WG13 Computational Methods.

Recent Activities

  1. The WG organized two sessions for IASS 2022 Symposium at Beijing " Future Challenges in the Design and Construction of Shell Structures for Low or Zero Carbon " and " Sustainable Heritage: Challenges and Strategies in the Preservation and Conservation of 20th Century Historic Concrete Shells " (with WG17 Prof. M. Mendoza and Prof. R. Tarczewski).
  2. The WG changed name and welcomed one new chair.
  3. Involvement in the organization of 2nd Italian Workshop on Shell and Spatial Structures (IWSS2023) to be held in Turino 24-28 June 2023.
  4. The group continues to seek opportunities to organize sessions on concrete shell roofs for IASS Symposia and Colloquia and to assemble resources of interest including these in the listings of Resources on the WG 5 web page.


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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