SHORT #5 Understanding Structures in Architecture | Design Hustle

Understanding Structures in Architecture

As an architect, we have to bear the load of the major decision making when it comes to designing. Puns aside, in this video, ill try to explain the key concepts that will help you do the heavy lifting by deciding which structural systems to choose from while designing a building……In less than 90 secs…

Architects have to hire structural engineers for projects as standard practice. However, a basic understanding of structural systems is integral prior to getting outside help. Structure refers to a framework of identifiable elements which gives form and stability and resists stresses and strains. The easiest way to understand structure is that it’s the part of the building that which resists the loads being imposed on it.

That is due to many types of forces acting on it, for instance

1) Compression or Compressive forces that can cause members to get squashed

2) Tension or tensile forces that can cause the structure to be stretched beyond its means

3) Shear force that can cause the structure to tilt

4) Torsion or torsional forces that can cause the structure to twist.

5) Bending forces that cause the bowing of members or force elongation or compression. All of this happens because there is always load on a structure and there are two basic types of loads:

1- Static Load

2- Dynamic load Static load is assumed more or less constant in nature.

It includes

1) Dead Load, or the load of fixed but heavy elements like the load of the structure itself, and

2) live load, or load that may not be present all the time, like the weight of the occupants and furniture etc. Dynamic load is assumed as that type of load that can suddenly be asserted, greatly varying in magnitude and location. Like wind load, earthquake load for example. A structure is a combination of interconnections of various elements that work together. That is why we use the term “structural systems”. In order to understand how structure systems work, we have to have an understanding of the basic structural elements.

1) Walls

2) Beams

3) Columns

4) Arches

5) Trusses

6) Cables

7) Slabs

8) shells

A combination of these elements and our requirements for the building type gives us different structural systems. There are several types of structural systems we can choose from. Every system has its own limitations, strengths and weakness. The choice of the right systems depends on many factors, like the building type, the clear span required or the type of stresses that need to be taken care of.

Design Hustle is a creative and educational video series produced by AGEN-C Khan from Bern, Switzerland. Founder Ali Rahman Khan shares learnings from design, architecture, and entrepreneurship with a global audience. A practicing architect in Switzerland and the co-founder of a technology start-up based in Pakistan. Khan founded Design Hustle to document the countless interactions he has with inspirational leaders from different fields who are willing to share their expertise with other architects, designers, and entrepreneurs. Of course, he doesn`t shy away from sharing his experiences, learnings, and point of view with the audience as well.


Info-360 is an Online Architecture Projects Directory which has evolved into a Complete Portal to Pakistan Architecture, Construction , Real Estate and Academics. It was Started Back in 2014 by Architect Abdul Ahad ,Graduated from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore . The Idea Behind info-360 is to provide a single platform for Architects,Contractors ,Students to Display their work and Business Profile and to create a 1- Stop Information source for Visitors.

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