Architecture is a diverse and challenging profession. It involves planning, designing, and creating buildings and spaces that are functional and safe. Architects must follow strict construction building regulations and guidelines.
Licensed architects are creative individuals with a rare combination of imaginative problem-solving and disciplined thinking. They are sensitive, intuitive, expressive, and reflective.
Introduction to Structures
A structure is a system of parts that is organized in a way that emphasizes the hierarchy of its components. This is true of the organs in your body, the crystals in a rock or mineral, and even atoms. It is also true of buildings and other structures built by people.
This course introduces architect students to the structural behavior of buildings and teaches them fundamental concepts in structural analysis and design. It covers both two-dimensional (frame and wall) and three-dimensional structures. For building purposes, a structure is usually divided into two sub-structures and a superstructure:
The ‘ structure’ refers to work below the level of the lowest floor finishes, and the superstructure refers to all works above that level. In addition, a special section is dedicated to foundations.
Foundations are an essential part of any building construction project, transferring the weight of the load-bearing walls directly to the soil. They also help ensure stability and prevent the structure from sinking into the ground or collapsing in case of natural disasters or ground movements.
There are different types of foundations, depending on the requirements and conditions of the site. For example, shallow foundations are usually less than three meters deep and distribute loads over a wider area, making them cheaper and easier to build.
On the other hand, deep foundations are usually much more profound than shallow ones. They can be in the form of strip footings, piers or piles, and caisson foundations. A geotechnical engineer must evaluate the soil and geology of a site to determine the appropriate foundation design. This includes performing soil tests and analyzing the results. They may recommend using a different type of foundation in cases where the soil has a low bearing capacity or is in a wet, sloping location.
The structural elements of a building are the primary members that form its skeleton and bear the load. They function in different ways to resist the applied loading: axial elements develop axial forces, while flexural ones oppose straining chiefly by creating bending stresses.
Structural engineers ensure that a structure can withstand the expected loads and environmental forces and is safe for use. They work closely with architects to ensure that the aesthetic vision of a building is aligned with the structural requirements and constraints.
Architects can manage the structural elements of their designs by using the ‘Parts/Properties’ and ‘Interaction Points’ tabs of the Features window. The ‘Parts/Properties’ tab lists the structural elements currently associated with the selected parent element, and the ‘Interaction Points’ tab displays all of the connection points between the structural elements. Both tabs have a context menu that provides additional options for managing the structural elements. If the ‘Show Owned/Inherited Properties’ checkbox is selected, the list of structural elements will include any inherited or owner properties that the parent element has.
In addition to focusing on aesthetics, building structures must be functional and safe. Architects can work with engineers to ensure they design a structure that can be built using available materials. Engineers will then use their expertise to create technical drawings used in the construction process.
Architects must also be familiar with current safety regulations, construction innovations, and city laws that affect their designs. Staying up-to-date with these laws will help architects keep their clients happy and safe.
Although architects need to understand how buildings are constructed, it is not their responsibility to know all of the construction details. However, all architecture curricula should include at least a few semesters in the construction field. This hands-on experience will significantly improve an architect’s knowledge of what takes place during a building project. It will also help them to resolve better design problems that may occur during the construction process.