Overview

Introduction
Hola! 
We are group 4-2. 
This awesome group consists of Nishtha Gupta, Durwa Walimbe, Shanice Tang and Ria Bhojwani, all from S2-01, School of Science and Technology, Singapore.

The objective of the competition is to design and construct a structure prototype of a water tower (balsa wood tower) that can support its weight and withstand greatest amount of force before falling. 
As we all know, we will be making a water tower out of balsa wood. This balsa wood project touches on principles of building and construction trades, engineering, physics and static equilibrium. Upon successfully constructing a simple balsa wood structure, our structure will then go through a loading test. The group whose tower can take the highest load wins the competition! There are also some more points we would need to take care of which are subjected to limitations on the height, width, depth and weight of the finished tower. This will help us think critically and on our feet during the competition and will make us feel as though we are solving a real life engineering project. There will be some more factors that we would need to take care of which natural calamities such as earthquakes, strong winds and etc.

Background Research

If you live in a big city, you may see water towers dotting the rooftops of many buildings. If you live in a smaller town, you may see them towering over neighbourhoods or along back roads in the countryside.

Have you ever wondered why water towers exist? Are they really full of water? Why does anyone need a tower of water? Does it have a spigot so you can drink from it like a water fountain?

Water towers are full of water but can’t be drunk from like water fountains. Every water system needs water towers to provide water in the case of an emergency.

You’ve probably noticed that other utilities may go out from time to time. In a storm, you may lose electric power. Your television or telephone service might also experience interruptions occasionally. But what about your water?

Do you remember a time recently when you weren’t able to turn on the faucet to get water? If you can’t, that’s great. Most water systems are very reliable, and water towers play an important role in providing that reliability.

Water towers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. However, they all work the same way. 

Water towers are nothing more than simple elevated tanks of water.

In case of emergency, water systems need reserves of water, so that people can continue to have access to water while a problem with the water system is fixed. So why don’t water systems just build big ponds or use underground tanks? Due to water pressure!

When you turn on your water faucet at home, the water comes out because the water is under pressure. Your local water system pushes the water to your home. A typical water system supplies water at a pressure of somewhere between 50 and 100 PSI (pounds per square inch).

Water towers are tall and often placed on high ground, so that they can provide sufficient pressure to deliver water to homes in case of an emergency. Scientists estimate that each foot of a water tower’s height provides a little less than half a pound per square inch of pressure.

Experts can use mathematical formulas to determine how tall a water tower needs to be to provide the right amount of water pressure for all the homes and businesses in a particular area. In areas with lots of hills, water towers can be placed on higher ground, which means they don’t have to be as tall. In flat areas, taller water towers may be necessary.

So how much water can most water towers hold? An average backyard in-ground swimming pool will hold over 20,000 gallons of water. Most water towers can hold 50 times that amount.
The exact size of a water tower tank can vary greatly, but most are built to hold approximately one day’s water supply. The largest man-made water tower in the world is in McBee, South Carolina, and can hold 1.2 million gallons of water!

Water towers can be unique symbols of local pride. Sometimes they are painted with a town’s name or a local school’s logo. They can also take on interesting shapes, such as this giant peach in South Carolina.


As for the smaller water towers you see on the roofs of buildings in large cities, those are often required by local laws, so that buildings above a certain height will have their own sources of water in an emergency. If you ever visit New York City, you can see hundreds of buildings with their own water towers.

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