What does Cantilevers Mean?
Definition of Cantilevers in Construction
What are cantilevers? Any structure or construction element that projects from its primary support.
Normally a cantilevered structure is supported on one end and is unsupported on the other. The longer the cantilever, the higher the moment on the supportive end, and the stronger the supportive joint requirements must be.
In normal residential building conditions, a two foot cantilever with normal framing, is the standard allowed length of a cantilever. Any distance over this amount is normally a specialized cantilever and is specifically engineered to support the designed load.
Special framing members of high strength steel, laminated beams, or even cable stays, are utilized, to allow longer and longer cantilevers to be constructed. Recently a glass bridge over a portion of the Grand Canyon that cantilevers over the canyon walls has been constructed. Cantilevers are an exciting construction technique, and require extensive engineering to ensure safety and longevity.
Failure of extended cantilevers has resulted in the past, so the proper engineering and structural analysis is extremely important to this type of construction.