Year of erogation: 
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
Construction Science
Single Annual Cycle
Year of study: 
Language of instruction: 


Learning outcomes of the course unit

Knowledge and understanding:
The course aims to revise and deepen the knowledge for a correct understanding of the structural behavior of a building.
Furthermore the course intends to provide to the students the capability to read, understand and to study autonomously technical textbooks on the subject .

Applying knowledge and under standing:
At the end of course the student should be able to correctly interpret the structural scheme of a building.
The considered topics are finalized to the development of the final project.

Making judgments:
At the end of course the student should be able to understand the structural scheme of a building and eventually to propose an alternative.

Communication skills:
At the end of course the student should have a proper use of the terminology of the design of structures in the construction field, and will be able to properly use it.

Learning skills


It is necessary to have at least attended to the following courses: Structural
Mechanics and Design of Structures.

Course contents summary

Main structural elements in a building.
Structural lay-out of a building.
Restraints and loads on a structure.
Structural behavior of a structure under vertical and horizontal loads.
Some basic concepts on the content of the code on building of structures.

Course contents

1. Structural modeling of a building.
1-D structural elements (beams), 2-D plane (plates) and curved (shells) structural elements, 3-D structural elements.
Foundations and elevation structures, decks.
Masonry, steel and reinforced concrete structures.
Join between structural elements.

Mechanical behavior of different structural elements.

2. Behavior of structures under vertical and horizontal loads.

3. Load assessment in a structure: permanent, wind, snow and seismic actions.
Brief outline of the technical rules on the buildings.

4. Comparison between the structural behavior of masonry, steel and reinforced concrete structures.

Recommended readings

Reference books:
- Ghersi A., Lenza P. Teoria degli edifici. vol.3, Liguori Ed., 1988.
- Ghersi A., Lenza P. Edifici antisismici in cemento armato. Flaccovio Dario Ed., 2009.
- Lenza P., Ghersi A., Calderoni B. Edifici in muratura alla luce della nuova normativa sismica. Flaccovio Dario Ed., 2011.
- Desai S. and Abel JF. Introduction to the Finite Element Method, Van Nostrand, New York, 1972.
- Desai S. Elementary Finite Element Method, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 1979.
- Allen, Edward, and Waclaw Zalewski. Form and forces: designing efficient, expressive structures. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
- Salvadori, Mario. Why buildings stand up: The strength of architecture. WW Norton & Company, 1990.
- Levy, Matthys, and Mario Salvadori. Why buildings fall down: How structures fail. WW Norton & Company, 2002.
- Salvadori, Mario G., Robert Heller, and Deborah J. Oakley. "Salvadori's Structure in Architecture: The Building of Buildings." (2017).
- Gordon, J. E. (2009). Structures: or why things don't fall down. Da Capo Press.
- Kurrer, Karl-Eugen. "The history of the theory of structures: from arch analysis to computational mechanics." International Journal of Space Structures 23.3 (2008): 193-197.
-Truss me!
Teaching stuff:
- Stuff provided by the teacher at the Elly website of the Univ. of Parma.

Some of the suggested textbooks are available in the library of the Engineering school.

Teaching methods

The course is organized in theoretical and practical lessons (by making use slides or other kind of presentations); the proposed exercises will be developed by the students both in class and at home.

The considered topics, theoretical and practical, will be explained by taking into account real problems from the construction field.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam consists in the development of a project (to be developed individually or in groups of 2 people) assigned by the teacher and in its presentation through slides to the other students and professors of the Laboratory.

The evaluation of the final exam will be as follows:
- Project development (Applying knowledge, 70%).
- Mastery of the topic (knowledge, 10%).
- Clarity of presentation (Communication skills, 10%).

Other informations

Attending to the course is mandatory