Basic Concepts of Structural Design for Architecture Students
Copyright Year: 2021
Publisher: Portland State University Library
Conditions of Use
This book covers all of the fundamental concepts found in a typical undergraduate structural design class. It is aimed at architecture students and is pitched at an appropriate level for such students. The book covers all of the statics and... read more
This book covers all of the fundamental concepts found in a typical undergraduate structural design class. It is aimed at architecture students and is pitched at an appropriate level for such students. The book covers all of the statics and mechanics of materials principles that are necessary for this audience, such as vector analysis, equilibrium, cross-sectional and material properties, stress, strain, and load tracing. Several applications such as trusses, beams, and columns are covered. The book is thorough without being overly dense. It includes everything that I would cover in a typical introductory structural design class for architecture students, plus probably a little more. There are however a small number of topics that can be solved by multiple approaches but only a single approach is provided.
The only thing missing compared with commercial textbooks are extensive end of chapter problems and more reference material/tables on common materials/shapes/loads and their properties. Instructors adopting this book may need to create some additional problems to supplement those provided.
All content appears to be accurate and thorough.
The principles covered in this book have been well established for decades and are not likely to ever need updating. There are many video examples included in the text that help explain concepts. These appear relatively modern, and should be easy to update if they become outdated. Concepts are applied to structures that will remain relevant to architects for the foreseeable future. There are links to many external online tools. It is possible these tools will not always be maintained in the future, but it would be easy to update the book in this scenario.
The text is clearly written and easy to follow. It does not fall into the trap of being overly wordy or complicated. Justifications and reasoning are given for exploring each concept. Technical terms are explained clearly when they are first introduced.
The text is internally consistent in its explanations and terminology. Formatting is also consistent and easy to follow.
The text is split into logical chapter headings, and each chapter is hyperlinked from the table of contents. Each chapter has sensible subheadings, and these stand out clearly from the text making it easy to identify subtopics when scrolling. Each subtopic has several images and videos that aid the text explanations. Some chapters would cover several lectures, so it may be helpful to also include the 1st level of subheadings in the table of contents.
The book is well organized and follows a logical structure. The chapters follow the same order that I would cover the material in a typical semester. Many topics in this text build on earlier concepts, and these are always introduced in a sensible order. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the topic at hand and, where relevant, refers back to earlier chapters.
The interface is clean and easy to navigate. Images are crisp and easy to read. Most videos are embedded and play directly from the webpage when using the online version of the book, although there are a few broken hyperlinks to YouTube videos (easily worked around by copy/pasting the link). There is a dropdown table of contents that can be used to quickly navigate to each chapter. It may help to also include the primary subheadings here, but each chapter is fairly concise and it is not difficult to quickly scroll to any subheading within each chapter.
There are no significant grammatical errors that would cause the reader any issues.
Most of the text covers technical principles and content. It makes use of a variety or resources and examples provided by a range of architects and these resources appear culturally diverse. There is nothing in the text that appears insensitive or offensive.
Overall this book appears to be a very good reference text for undergraduate architecture students first learning about structural design. All major topics are covered and the text is easy to follow and well organized. There are many images and videos that supplement the text, and many interactive tools to allow students to experiment with new concepts. Instructors adopting this book may need to create some additional problems to use as worked examples or homework.
Table of Contents
- PART I. MAIN BODY
- 1. Loads on Structures 32. Forces and Vector Analysis 173. Equilibrium 314. Catenary Cables and Arches 455. Trusses 656. Lattice Domes 877. Material Properties 1048. Cross-sectional Properties 1159. Shear and Bending Stress in Simple Beams 12510. Deflection in Simple Beams 13411. Buckling in Columns 14412. Load Tracing 150
- PART II. BIBLIOGRAPHY
About the Book
This book aims to narrate fundamental concepts of structural design to architecture students such that they have minimum involvement with math problem-solving. Within this book, students learn about different types of loads, forces and vector addition, the concept of equilibrium, internal forces, geometrical and material properties of structural elements, and rules of thumb for estimating the proportion of some structural systems such as catenary cables and arches, trusses, and frame structures.
About the Contributors
Anahita Khodadadi is an assistant professor at Portland State University. She teaches structures, building science, and tectonics courses, mentors architecture design studios, and advises graduate design and research projects. Khodadadi received her doctoral degree in Architecture (Building Technology) at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include performance-based design, configuration processing of spatial structures using Formex algebra, interactive multi-objective optimization, development of parametric design tools, and STEM education for non-STEM students. Khodadadi is a registered architect in Tehran, Iran. She is a LEED Green Associate and received the Excellence in Teaching Sustainability Award in 2021. Khodadadi’s significant fields of expertise are geometrical modeling of spatial forms, objectoriented programming, and understanding and analyzing the structural performance of buildings.