University of Technology Sydney

11206 Introduction to Construction and Structural Synthesis

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Architecture
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

This subject provides an introduction to the selection and integration of structural types, material performance and construction practices in architecture and provides students with a creative framework for the active and critical thinking of the spatial, material and structural consequences of architectural design.

Throughout the semester students gain knowledge of structural design principles, material and construction systems through lectures and tutorials. The subject provides opportunities for students to engage and investigate the performance of structural typologies via a case study analysis, experimentation, model-making, technical drawings and enables them to apply their knowledge and to gain direct experience in the rigours involved with taking a design idea through to physical realisation.

The different assessment tasks are designed in order to provide an informed, experienced-based understanding of structural types and the possibilities and consequences of the materials through which they operate. The tasks incorporate both historical and contemporary precedents and practices and aim to build a design-driven generative relationship to construction and structures.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Understand fundamental structural design principles, key structural elements and types, as well as basic construction materials and practices across a range of building types and conditions.
2. Produce reasoned structural, material and construction responses through iterative design and prototyping.
3. Relate the selection of structural, material and construction principles to design intent.
4. Complete a professional standard set of drawings which communicate technical documentation and specifications in a professional manner along with a physical model with a high quality of craftsmanship

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognise and appreciate local and global cultural diversities and values (A.2)
  • Work cooperatively and professionally as part of a team (C.1)
  • Produce inspirational responses that demonstrate the successful integration of sub-disciplinary areas of knowledge: history, theory, tectonics and/or practice (I.1)
  • Creatively use architectural media, technologies and materials (I.2)
  • Respond to a comprehensive brief within the disciplinary context (P.3)
  • Integrate an understanding of a relationship between form, materiality, structure and construction within design thinking (P.5)
  • Position work within an extended and critically reasoned context through the identification, evaluation and application of relevant academic references and architectural case studies (R.1)
  • Define, develop and apply an appropriate design method in the execution of an architectural project (R.2)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The term CAPRI is used for the five Design, Architecture and Building faculty graduate attribute categories where:

C = communication and groupwork

A = attitudes and values

P = practical and professional

R = research and critique

I = innovation and creativity.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs) are linked to these categories using codes (e.g. C-1, A-3, P-4, etc.).

Teaching and learning strategies

GENERAL

Weekly sessions comprising lectures (1 hour) and tutorials (2 hours). The subject is structured around successive project-based exercises. The timely completion of each task is necessary to the realisation of successful proposals by students.

Lectures will introduce fundamental principles of key structural elements and types, as well as basic construction materials and practices across a range of building types and conditions through both historical and contemporary examples.

Tutorials provide students with a creative framework for the active exploration and critical thinking of the spatial, material and structural consequences of structural design.

ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION

Students are expected to attend all lectures and tutorial sessions, engage in the self-directed and self-paced learning and to follow the suggested progress patterns for each task. Coming prepared to tutorials and actively participating in group discussions and activities during the lectures and tutorials is mandatory.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

Collaborative peer learning enhances learning. You are encouraged to work in small groups throughout the entirety of the session, however you will be individually assessed. The contribution of each team member will be qualified via student feedback and observation by your tutor. The in-class tutorial exercises have been specifically designed to generate group discussion and interactive modes of learning.

ONLINE RESOURCES

There are a number of online resources used to support the learning objectives of this subject. A detailed overview of the pedagogy, associated tasks and key digital resources are included in the detailed descriptions of each assessment task. These will be made available on CANVAS.

FEEDBACK

The subject provides a range of formative and summative feedback strategies.

  1. All assessments will be graded in UTS ReView. UTS ReView will be used as a formative and summative feedback mechanism in Assessment.
  2. The subject seeks the development of a series of highly resolved technical projects. Each weekly tutorial enables the continual and progressive development of knowledge, technical skills and professional understanding necessary to the realisation of a successful outcome.
  3. Strategies for ongoing formative feedback are in place for each of the assessment items in order for students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that require development prior to assessment of the task. These strategies are embedded in the verbal/written feedback from tutors.
  4. Summative feedback will be offered to students in response to their completion of the assessment items at fixed points throughout the semester. This feedback will provide students with a grade and additional written/verbal feedback regarding the standard of their submission. This feedback will be delivered via UTSReview.

Minimum attendance requirements for this subject accord with those found in the DAB Generic Subject Information Book. A copy is also available for download from this subject's UTS online portal.

Content (topics)

STRUCTURAL PRINCIPLES, TYPOLOGIES AND ELEMENTS

  • Structural heuristics: performance, behaviour and modelling - Bending, buckling, deflection, moments, eccentricity
  • Explanation of external loads and internal forces and how structures transfer and resolve these

MATERIAL PROPERTIES: TIMBER, STEEL, BRICK, CONCRETE, FABRIC AND GLASS

  • Introduction to use of materials suchs as brick, timber, steel, concrete and glass

CONSTRUCTION PRINCIPLES

  • Key functions, construction layers, hierarchies and dependencies of historical and contemporary buidlings
  • Load bearing, thermal insulation, weatherproofing, internal linings and finishes
  • Understanding of the elements essential to the integrity of a building - how rainwater is shed/collected, thermal properties, natural light and ventilation)
  • Introduction to architectural detailing techniques (articulation of primary and secondary structure, layering, junctions, connections between materials, etc.)

ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING STANDARDS & CONVENTIONS

  • Sources of information for resolving technical design issues
  • Terminolgy and use of structural elements and systems in the construction industry (purlin, joist, girt, RHS, SHS, etc.)
  • Brief introduction to the National Construction Code of Australia (NCCA) and other regulations and standards for construction
  • Introduction to technical documentation including AS1100 drawing standards: Referencing, linetypes and line weights

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Task 1

Intent:

A working command of material properties, processes and structural methods are fundamental to the conception and realisation of innovative architecture.

In this subject, we will situate the theoretical concepts and principles outlined in weekly lectures within an experimentation and model-orientated approach to learning and discovery. We do so to attain a hands-on and ultimately operative understanding of material behaviour and structural performance.

See invidual hand-outs for specific details.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.2, C.1, I.1, P.5 and R.1

Type: Portfolio
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 60%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Undertake and constructively contribute to weekly case study research, drawing and modelling tasks. 20 1 C.1
Individually, undertake and contribute to group based research into application of structural principles and propose iterations for experimentation 10 2 R.1
Effectively record and visually communicate structural concepts evidence in individual responses to weekly drawing tasks 25 4 A.2
Creative and innovate experimentation in each task complimented by use of graphical methods (models, sketches, diagrams & drawings) to convey structural principles and concept of each experiment undertaken. 25 2 I.1
Ensure text, diagrams, drawings and photographic methods to record each experiment is of a professional standard. 20 3 P.5
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Task 2

Intent:

A working command of material properties, processes and structural methods are fundamental to the conception and realisation of innovative architecture.

In this subject, we will situate the theoretical concepts and principles outlined in weekly lectures within an experimentation and model-orientated approach to learning and discovery. We do so to attain a hands-on and ultimately operative understanding of material behaviour and structural performance.

See invidual hand-outs for specific details.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

A.2, C.1, I.1, P.5 and R.1

Type: Portfolio
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Undertake and constructively contribute to weekly case study research, drawing and modelling tasks. 20 1 C.1
Individually, undertake and contribute to group based research into application of structural principles and propose iterations for experimentation 10 2 R.1
Effectively record and visually communicate structural concepts evidence in individual responses to weekly drawing tasks 25 4 A.2
Creative and innovate experimentation in each task complimented by use of graphical methods (models, sketches, diagrams & drawings) to convey structural principles and concept of each experiment undertaken. 25 2 I.1
Ensure text, diagrams, drawings and photographic methods to record each experiment is of a professional standard. 20 3 P.5
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Task 3

Intent:

A working command of material properties, processes and structural methods are fundamental to the conception and realisation of innovative architecture.

In this subject, we will situate the theoretical concepts and principles outlined in weekly lectures within an experimentation and model-orientated approach to learning and discovery. We do so to attain a hands-on and ultimately operative understanding of material behaviour and structural performance.

See invidual hand-outs for specific details.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 3 and 4

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

I.2, P.3 and R.2

Type: Exercises
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 10%

Minimum requirements

The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures and tutorials) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment.
For more information see DAB generic subject information guide

Required texts

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Recommended texts

  • Allen, E., & Lano, J. (2008). Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods (5th ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Baden-Powell, C., Hetreed, J., Ross, A. The Architects Pocket Handbook (4th ed). (London: Architectural Press, 2011)
  • Berge, N. (2009). The Ecology of Building Materials. Oxford: Taylor & Francis.
  • Bjorn N. Sandaker, Arne P. Eggen, Mark R. Cruvellier. Structural Basis of Architecture. (New York: Routledge, 2011)
  • Ching, F. D. (2008). Building Construction Illustrated (4th ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Ching, F. D., Onouye, B. S., & Zuberbuhler, D. (2009). Building Structures Illustrated: Patterns, Systems, and Design (4th ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Engel, H. Structure Systems (Hatje Cantz, 2006)
  • Deplazes, A (ed). Constructing Architecture: Materials, Processes, Structures, A Handbook. (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2005)
  • Ford, E.R.: The details of modern architecture. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass (1990)
  • Frick, H., & Koesmartadi. (1999). Ilmu Bahan Bangunan: Eksploitasi, Pembuatan, Penggunaan, dan Pembuangan. Yogyakarta: Kanisius.
  • Gordon J.E. Structures – or why things dont fall down. (London: Pelican Original, 1991)
  • Hart,F., Henn, W., & Sontag, H (1978) Multy Storey Building in Steel, Granada Publishing, New York
  • Kohn, Eugene & Katz, Paul (2002). Office Building, John Wiley & Sons, New York
  • Levy, M., & Salvadori, M. G. (2002). Why Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Lin, T.Y.: Structural concepts and systems for architects and engineers, 2nd ed. ed. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York (1988)
  • McLean,W, Silver, P. Introduction to Architectural Technology (London: Laurence King Publishing, 2008)
  • Minke, G. (2007). Building with Earth: Design and Technology of a Sustainable Architecture. Boston: Birkhauser-Publishers for Architecture.
  • Moore, F. (1999). Understanding Structures. Boston: WCB/McGraw Hil.
  • Pye, D. The Nature and Aesthetics of Design (London: The Herbert Press, 1978)
  • Salvadori, M. (1980). Why Building Stand Up. London: John Wiley.
  • Schodek, D. L., & Bechthold, M. (2008). Structures (6th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
  • Silver P. Mclean, W. Evans, P. Structural Engineering for Architects. (London: Lawrence King, 2014)
  • Wakita, O. A., & Linde, R. M. (2003). The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawing (3rd ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Wilkie, G.: Building your own home : a comprehensive guide for owner-builders, Revised ed. with green supplement. ed. New Holland Publishers, Chatswood, N.S.W (2011) ?

Further specific readings and references will be made available with individual assessment task handouts.