Structural Analysis for Simple Building Design


A universal concern across all building types or built structures is that of structural design. All Architects must have a grasp on an understanding of methods used to analyze simple structures. By doing so this can enhance their design capabilities. In this project students will gain the knowledge of the following:

-Load transfer mechanisms.
-Stress-strain relationships of building structures.
-Structural design considerations, including load-bearing relationships of shear walls, columns, and beams.

Final Product:

Students will be able to design a simple structure by using these structural analysis principles.

This project serves as a precursor to the next project which ideally would be a building design. By the end of this project they will have selected a material as the main structural system which will be incorporated into their building design in the next project.



Lesson 1 of 4 will focus on a brief history of Architecture and Civilization and explain how we got here today with respect to building design.  This is important for the following two reasons:

  1. There is a lot to learn from studying the past, and much of structural design is premised on failures and success of the past.   We learn from it and build upon it.
  2. These earlier examples and precedents are simpler to understand and much more basic in comprehension.   

Students will then have to do a case study presentation to the class about a particular work from a past civilization where they isolate a structural system and diagram it.  By doing so they will be the masters of this system in a theoretical approach and be able to really embrace its intent within a building.  This will serve as one portion of their final presentation for the overall project deliverable.

Lesson Times

15 Minutes
Lecuture 1
20 Minutes
Lecture 2
20 Minutes
Case Study Assignment
60 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Engineering & Architecture Engineering & Architecture

Standards and Objectives


California's 2013 CTE Standards (2)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will understand historical precedents in Architectural History and its significance t building today.
  • Students will understand simple structural systems in their inception.

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