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Engineering > Architecture > Building Technologies II: Building Structural Syst
 Building Technologies II: Building Structural Syst  posted by  duggu   on 11/30/2007  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Rouzat viaduct.
Rouzat Viaduct by Gustave Eiffel, 1869.  (Image by John Ochsendorf.)

Course Highlights

This is the first of two semesters of graduate structures courses for architects.  This class covers the same material as 4.440, but in greater depth and with more examples related to professional practice.  This course shares a wide-ranging sample of lecture notes with 4.440, as well as its own complete set of assignments. 

Course Description

This course serves as an introduction to the history, theory, and construction of basic structural systems with an introduction to energy issues in buildings. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of basic systematic and elemental behavior; principles of structural behavior and analysis of individual structural elements and strategies for load carrying. The subject introduces fundamental energy topics including thermodynamics, psychrometrics, and comfort, as they relate to building design and construction. This course is the first of two graduate structures courses, the second of which is 4.463. They offer an expanded version of the content presented in the undergraduate course, 4.440.



The first part of the course examines structural form in response to vertical and lateral loads. Students will apply these loads to structures and gain an understanding of how structures resist loads through form. There will be a particular emphasis on the relationship between structural analysis and design, emphasizing graphical methods and an understanding of static determinacy. The class will also focus on economic, environmental, and aesthetic issues that influence design.

Lectures will incorporate slide and video presentations, as well as case studies. Weekly lab sessions will provide students with practical exercises.
Learning Objectives
Students will learn the basic tools needed to understand structures as a whole and the elements that make up a structure. They will gain insight into structural analysis and design. The capabilities of timber, masonry, steel, and concrete as structural elements will be introduced.
Subject Evaluation
Final grades will be determined as follows:

Design Project.........................15%
Final Exam...............................30%

Each student will complete a structural design project and will give a brief presentation of their design.

Attendance Policy
Attendance is mandatory and the final grade will be lowered automatically for any student with three absences or more.
  • Zalewski, W., and E. Allen. Shaping Structures. John Wiley, 1998.
  • Lechner, N. Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Design Methods for Architects. 2nd Ed. John Wiley, 2000.

On reserve at Rotch Library:
Schodek, D. Structures. 4th Edition. Prentice Hall, 2001.




  CLASS #       SUBJECTS  
  1       Introduction  
  2       Lab: Equilibrium  
  3       Compression structures  
  4       Tension structures (HW #1 due)  
  5       Lab: Arch design  
  6       Member design for axial forces  
  7       (HW #2 due)  
  8       Lab: Stress and buckling  
  9       Forces and forms in trusses  
  10       Truss design (HW #3 due)  
  11       Lab: Truss design  
  12       Forces and forms in beams  
  13       Beam design (HW #4 due)  
  14       Lab: Beam design  
  15       Fanlike Structures  
  16       Design of masted structures (HW #5 due)  
  17       Lab: Fanlike structures/Design project  
  18       Loading  
  19       Stability and Restraint  (HW #6 due)  
  20       Lab: Design project  
  21       Design presentations (4-min presentation)  
  22       Design session  
  23       (Design project due)   
  24       Environmental Context for Building Energy    
  25       Energy Fundamentals - Thermodynamics  
  26       Building Energy Balances  
  27       Lab: Problems in Building Energy  
  28       Low Energy Building Strategies  
  29       Lab: Problems in Building Energy  
  30       Psychrometry and Comfort (HW #7 due)  
  31       Lab: Problems in Building Energy  
  32       Integrated building design (HW #8 due)  
  33       Sustainable structural design  
  34       Lab: Materials  
  35       Materials  
  36       Deflections and vibration (HW #9 due)  
  37       Lab: Deflections  
  38       Design for strength and serviceability  
  39       Review (HW #10 due)  
  40       Lab: Review  
  41       Review for final exam   Tell A Friend