cod. 1010595

Academic year 2024/25
1° year of course - Annual
Academic discipline
Tecnica delle costruzioni (ICAR/09)
"analisi e progettazione strutturale dell'architettura"
Type of training activity
40 hours
of face-to-face activities
4 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Aim of the course is to provide the fundamentals for the design of structures. An overall overview of the design strategies for structural and non-structural components and their interaction will be provided.
In order to develop a proper skill concerning structural fundamentals, by the end of the course the student should be able:

- to know the fundamentals concerning structural materials mechanical behaviour, actions on structures and environment influences, conceptual design and dimensioning criteria for buildings (knowledge and understanding skill);

- to conceive architectural projects based on realistic structural configurations according to the chosen material; to detect structural elements and to perform a proper dimensioning (applying knowledge and understanding);

- to govern the procedure adopted in current design practice. A constant link between the theoretical fundamentals and the practical applications will be perceived during the course. This constant link will serve to guide the student to realize architectonic designs based on the background knowledge of material behaviour, conceptual design and dimensioning criteria (Making judgements);

- to show enhanced communication skill thanks to the confidence gained through a constant connection between theoretical knowledge and applications to a real case study. Public speaking capabilities will be checked during the course to improve the use of the technical terminology currently used in the design practice (Communication skills);

- to govern the fundamental steps of the design of structure. The reviews of the assigned project, realised by students during lessons, will provide the measure to quantify and to check the ability of student learning (Learning skills)


The basic structural knowledge from the courses of Structural mechanics or Structural Engineering is strongly recommended.

Course unit content

The course treats the fundamentals for the design of structures. Conceptual design and dimensioning criteria will be described to provide the foundation for an overall understanding of the design of structures. To this aim, the theoretical background and the code rules for the design of reinforced concrete, steel, masonry and wood structures, will be explained. For each structural material, the mechanical behaviour, as well as the most common static schemes assumed for buildings and the detailing rules for members and for connections will be described.
Referring to the different building configurations usually adopted in construction practice, the corresponding structural typologies will be explained. For each structural typology the role played by structural and non-structural members will be shown.

Full programme

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- FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), “Designing for Earthquakes: A Manual for Architects”, FEMA 454, 2006, free download at the link:
- Levy, M., Salvadori, M., “Why buildings fall down: how structures fail”, W.W: Norton Eds., 2002.
- Torroja, E., “La concezione strutturale. Logica ed intuito nella ideazione delle forme”, CittàStudi Edizioni, 1995.
- Salvadori, M., Heller, R., “Le strutture in Architettura”, Etas Libri, 1992.

The teaching material, notes, slides and additional documentation will be available via the portal “Elly DIA” of the course web page.

Teaching methods

The course timetable alternates lessons (where the theoretical fundamentals are explained) and practical exercises (where the assigned structure is designed).
During practical exercises, the students should apply the theoretical contents of the course. The connection between the topics treated by the other teachers of the LP4 Architectural and Urban Design Studio for the Sustainable City will be continuously monitored (please refer also to the sheet of LP4 Architectural and Urban Design Studio for the Sustainable City + Workshop).
Lessons will be delivered face-to-face in classroom. The attendance to the lessons is compulsory.
All the adopted slides will be weekly uploaded to the course web page on Elly platform. For the slide download the student needs to register to the online course. The slides must be considered part of the teaching material.

The teacher is available for further explanations by appointment via mail.

Assessment methods and criteria

More information about the adopted methodology to check the learning skills acquired by students can be found in the syllabus of LP4 Architectural and Urban Design Studio for the Sustainable City.
As regards the Course module of “Design of structures”, a preliminary structural report concerning the discussion of the structural design, the analysis of the acting loads, and the basis of the dimensioning of structures will be requested. This report will be discussed with the teacher during the oral examination, which will deal with:
- a technical conversation with the teacher, where the student should demonstrate to be able of independently affording a structural design problem and of applying the acquired structural knowledge;
- a critical discussion focused on the presentation of the design assigned and developed within the LP4 design studio.

The colloquium is evaluated between 0-30.
The achieved vote will contribute to the final result of the LP4 Architectural and Urban Design Studio according to the course credits.
Please note that the ONLINE registration to the exam date is mandatory.

Other information

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