How Are Right Triangles Used in Building Construction?

February 13, 2024

The right tools for the job make all the difference. For building construction, that means knowing how to use right triangles. Triangles are solid and stable, making them perfect for nailing down accurate distances. Plus, with a single 90-degree angle, they are easy to measure. So, if you’re looking to build something that won’t fall over or have wonky angles, you need to get the right triangles.

For example, the architect might design a floor or roof truss using equilateral triangles. This will ensure the trusses are well balanced and can carry a lot of weight. In addition, the triangle shape is stronger than a polygon because it is widest at its base. Triangles also help reduce lateral movement by triangulating the material of a building.

Another way that architects and builders use right triangles is by calculating the dimensions of their structures. They might use the Pythagorean Theorem (a2 + b2 = c2) or other geometry equations to figure out their dimensions. For example, the architect might know that the leg of their equilateral triangle is 20 feet long and want to find out how long the other two legs are. He would use the triangle property of congruence to determine this information by dividing the length of one leg by the length of the other leg.

The right triangle is an important geometric concept because of its properties that simplify calculations. Having students understand this concept can help them solve geometry problems that might otherwise be complicated, like determining the height of a building.


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