ARCT06006 2019 Theory and Design of Structures 1

General Details

Full Title
Theory and Design of Structures 1
Transcript Title
Theory and Design of Structure
80 %
Subject Area
ARCT - Architecture
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Bernadette Donohoe, Deirdre Greaney, Michael Roulston, Cliona Brady, Peter Scanlon, Mary Byrne
Programme Membership
SG_VARCH_H08 201900 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VARCH_H08 202000 Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) SG_VARDE_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Architectural Design

This module examines the principles of structural design including structural typologies; loads and forces; bending moments; mechanics of materials; and structural geometry. Structural theory and the study of form and construction will be related to both the role of technology and structures in the realisation of small-scale projects.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Foundational knowledge of applied science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


Elementary methods for the creation of design responses to defined structural problems.


Identify the principles of structural design.


Demonstrate an understanding of the distinct roles of the architect and the structural engineer.


Demonstrate an ability to perform basic structural calculations.


Design an appropriate structural/technological system for a small scale building typology.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The Structures module is taught using a combination of lectures, presentations, theoretical discussion and practical based tutorials, workshops, projects, fieldwork and visits. Both individual and group work modes are utilised throughout.

Module Assessment Strategies

Student's must pass the Design Studio Technical Study. This assessment is performance‑orientated and formative modes are used during the process of project work to endeavour to provide constructive feedback. The emphasis in assessment is on: responding contextually; technical design integration; three‑dimensional problem solving skills; communication skills; technical analysis, acceptance of responsibility for learning, and the use of a broad range of learning resources.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assessment will be dependent on failed components. This will be confirmed at formal exam boards.​

Indicative Syllabus

Lecture 1: History of the Evolution of Structure & Role of Engineer

Interdependence of Architectural Form And Structural System

Lecture 2: Building structures illustrates the development of structure over time.

Exploration of Gobekli Tepe (Turkey) 9000 BC to modern times.

Lecture 3: Introduction to Structural Systems.

Substructure, Shallow and Deep foundations, Super structure, Shell and Typologies.

Lecture 4: Introduction to the Fundamentals of Structure Part 1:

Statics, Force, Centre of gravity, Stress, Cross-sectional area and calculation of stress, Strain, Modulus of elasticity and stiffness.

Lecture 5: Introduction to the Fundamentals of Structure Part 1: (continued)

Permissible or working stresses, Tools for structural engineer

Lecture 6: Introduction to the Principles of structural materials:

Bricks, Stones, Timber, Concrete, Steel, Types of structural steel, aluminium alloys.

Field Trip Week.  

Lecture 7: Fundamentals:  Effects of forces: Moments: Force diagrams

Equilibrium, Lever – moments of forces, Members in tension, Members in compression, forces in roof trusses.

Lecture 8: Fundamentals:  Foundations

Soil mechanics, concrete wall foundations, Strip foundations, Cantilever foundations, Raft foundations, Pile foundations. Foundations grids.

Lecture 9: Introduction to Beams part 1: Timber, Iron & Steel

Bending in beams, Shear in beams, Deflection of beams, Sideways buckling.

Lecture 10: Introduction to Beams part 2:

Beam and slab: reinforced concrete beam, the reinforced concrete slab, beam and slab construction, flat slab floors.

Lecture 11: Introduction to Column:

Slenderness, Timber columns, Steel columns, Reinforced Concrete, Eccentric loads on columns.

Lecture 12: Introduction to the structure of Buildings:

Shear wall buildings, Tube buildings, Wind pressure, Structural design & Structural Patterns, spatial fit & scale, Square girds, rectangular grids, Radial grids, Additions & subtraction grid modifiers, irregular grids, contrasting geometries. 

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Structural Modelling, Analytical Diagramming &Calculations Project Project 50 % Week 10 1,2,3,5,6
2 Structural Integration into Studio Design Project Project Project 50 % End of Semester 3,4,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Architectural Studio Theory 1 Weekly 1.00
Practical Architectural Studio Structures Practical 1 Weekly 1.00
Independent Learning Architectural Studio Self Directed Study 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2003 Tony Hunt's Structures Notebook Routledge
ISBN 9780750658973 ISBN-13 0750658975

"This book "is the ideal introduction to the topic of structure. It demonstrates that everything you see, touch, live in and use, has a structure which is acted upon by natural forces and which reacts to these forces according to its form and material." - back cover.

Required Reading
2017 Building Structures
ISBN 113811975X ISBN-13 9781138119758

This is a one-stop book for knowing everything important about building structures. Self-contained and with no prerequisites needed, it is suitable for both general readers and building professionals. Follow the history of structural understanding; grasp the concepts of structural behaviour via step-by-step explanations; apply these concepts to a simple building; see how these concepts apply to real buildings, from Durham Cathedral to the Bank of China; use these concepts to define the design process; see how these concepts inform design choices; understand how engineering and architecture have diverged, and what effect this had; learn to do simple but relevant numerical calculations for actual structures; understand when dynamics are important; follow the development of progressive collapse prevention; enter the world of modern structural theory; see how computers can be used for structural analysis; learn how to organise and design a successful project. With more than 500 pages and over 1100 user-friendly diagrams, this book is a must for anyone who would like to understand the fascinating world of structures.

Required Reading
2009-01-14 Building Structures Illustrated Wiley
ISBN 0470187859 ISBN-13 9780470187852

Francis D.K.Ching brings his trademark presentation to the structural design studio with this major new work co-authored by Barry Onouye and Douglas Zuberbuhler. Taking a new approach to strucural design, Ching and his co-authors show how structural systems of a building -- as an integrated assembly of elements with pattern, proportions, and scale -- are related to the essential aspects of architectural design: formal and spatial composition, program fit, coordination with other building systems such as enclosure and mechanical systems, code compliance, etc. No other work by Francis D.K. Ching brings together so many aspects of architectural design as an integrated reference. Designers, builders, and students alike will gain a new understanding of structural principles and planning, without the need for mathematics. Using Ching's trademark presentation, Structural Patterns is illustrated throughout with line drawings to present the essential presence of structural systems in buildings, but also helps the reader make informed decisions for architectural design.

Required Reading
1977-01-01 W. Morgan's the Elements of Structure Pitman Publishing
ISBN 0273010794 ISBN-13 9780273010791
Required Reading
2016-01-12 Salvadori's Structure in Architecture Pearson
ISBN 9780134089362 ISBN-13 0134089367

This is the eBook of the printed book and may not include any media, website access codes, or print supplements that may come packaged with the bound book. An excellent text as a first introduction to structures geared toward architecture students, or as a companion for more traditional engineering / math-based courses including statics and strength of materials or structural principles. This conceptual, non-mathematical, yet technical look at the principles of structural mechanics, and the physical properties of building elements makes structural mechanics for architecture accessible to all. Continuing Dr. Salvadoris passion for education and an accessible non-mathematical presentation of structural mechanics, Salvadori's Structure in Architecture: The Building of Buildings, 4/e is a must-have for students of architecture and building construction, structural engineers, and all those with an interest in architecture. It has been revised and expanded to include over 500 new illustrations, 150 new photos, and new materials covering the changes in technology and construction techniques developed during the last 50 years. Now presented in three manageable sections covering the fundamental concepts (Section 1), structural forms (Section 2), and topics beyond the basics (Section 3), it provides expanded content and graphics on critical topics such as beam behavior, moment of inertia, redundancy and much more!

Required Reading
2003-07-10 Structures Da Capo Press
ISBN 0306812835 ISBN-13 9780306812835

In a book that Business Insider noted as one of the "14 Books that inspired Elon Musk," J.E. Gordon strips engineering of its confusing technical terms, communicating its founding principles in accessible, witty prose. For anyone who has ever wondered why suspension bridges don't collapse under eight lanes of traffic, how dams hold back--or give way under--thousands of gallons of water, or what principles guide the design of a skyscraper, a bias-cut dress, or a kangaroo, this book will ease your anxiety and answer your questions. Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down is an informal explanation of the basic forces that hold together the ordinary and essential things of this world--from buildings and bodies to flying aircraft and eggshells. In a style that combines wit, a masterful command of his subject, and an encyclopedic range of reference, Gordon includes such chapters as "How to Design a Worm" and "The Advantage of Being a Beam," offering humorous insights in human and natural creation. Architects and engineers will appreciate the clear and cogent explanations of the concepts of stress, shear, torsion, fracture, and compression. If you're building a house, a sailboat, or a catapult, here is a handy tool for understanding the mechanics of joinery, floors, ceilings, hulls, masts--or flying buttresses. Without jargon or oversimplification, Structures opens up the marvels of technology to anyone interested in the foundations of our everyday lives.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

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IHS Database (online)