4.440J / 1.056J / 4.462
Building Structural Systems I

4.440 ⎯ Undergraduate Subject
4.462 ⎯ Graduate Subject

The course provides students with a basic knowledge of structural analysis and design for buildings, bridges and other large-scale structures. The course emphasizes the historical development of structural form and the evolution of structural design knowledge, from Gothic cathedrals to long span suspension bridges. Students will investigate the behavior of structural systems and elements through design exercises, case studies and load testing of models. Students will design structures using timber, masonry, steel and concrete and will gain an appreciation of the importance of structural design today, with an emphasis on environmental impact of large-scale construction.

We will cover the following topics: design and behavior of beams, columns, trusses, frames, arches; and structural systems; graphical statics and form-finding of structures; mechanics of construction materials; and environmental assessment of materials. The laboratory exercises include site visits, materials testing and model building. The final project requires the structural design of a long-span roof, which will be reviewed by an invited jury.