cod. 1008331

Academic year 2020/21
2° year of course - Annual
Academic discipline
Scienza delle costruzioni (ICAR/08)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
20 hours
of face-to-face activities
2 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

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 understanding:
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.


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

Course unit content

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.

Full programme

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.


- 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.

Teaching stuff:
- Stuff provided by the teacher (see the teacher’s website: or from the Elly website of the Univ. of Parma.

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 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% (21/30)).
- Mastery of the topic (knowledge, 20% (6/30)).
- Clarity of presentation (Communication skills, 10% (3/30)).

Other information

Attending to the course is mandatory.