I’d like to introduce you to an alternative building technology of sorts, one called the Y-beam.
Y-beams are fairly easy to use, require no heavy lifting or specialized machinery, and almost always prove unexpectedly powerful when employed in building and design. In practice, Y-beams can be used by anyone and in any type of construction. Indeed, Y-beams even may be the most transformative, cost-effective, and simplifying design and construction technology ever created!
Modern Building Created Without Adequate Y-Beam Use?
Now, you’ve probably heard of an I-beam already, which of course rhymes with Y-beam. But there the similarities definitely end. While I-beams are structural elements that have the shape of the letter “I” in cross-section, by contrast Y-beams have no particular shape. Similarly, while I-beams are usually rigid and straight, Y-beams are completely flexible and can be bent or molded to any design imaginable.
As a practical matter, Y-beams can be used during any phase or aspect of construction. But they are best employed early in the building process. By this, I mean at least beginning with site and foundation preparation, and ideally well before this – in the design and site selection process. On the other hand, perhaps the least desirable use of Y-beams is after project completion, even as this may be their most common use. That said, Y-beams can be successfully used in retrofitting or redesigning existing projects that were envisioned or built without them, or without enough of them.
In introducing this important technology to you, let me add that the only difficult aspect to using Y-beams is making sure we use them in the correct direction. I point this out because a very frequent mistake when using Y-beams, even among experienced design and construction professionals, is to point them away from us and into space. Always, the pointed end of each Y-beam must aim directly at us, whoever we are and whatever their application. If we point a Y-beam in another direction – as a project sponsor, designer, or builder – the technology will be far less powerful and beneficial.
Hopefully, this brief introduction to the powerful construction technology that is the Y-beam has piqued your interest and you want to learn more about them. You may be wondering where you can see or buy a Y-beam. And really, that’s the best part. The truth is that you can make Y-beams yourself, with little or no resources, and with just a bit of practice. All it takes is for you to start by thinking Y, or why, for any project you may be planning.
Likely, you will quickly see the importance and begin to master the use of what may be nature’s most powerful shape – which is not the triangle as commonly believed, but is instead the Y-beam. When used correctly and deliberately, Y-beams reliably help us to envision, design, and build better projects, use fewer materials and steps in our efforts, and realize greater value and purpose with them too.
Mark Lundegren is the founder of ArchaNatura.
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Photo courtesy of Stateway Gardens