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ARC 553: Structures 2

University at Buffalo

Course Description:

This course covers the basic principles of structural systems, such as the effects of loads, equilibrium, internal actions, stress, strain, and cross-sectional properties as well as the design of large-scale structural systems, including funicular systems, trusses, and frames. The course will focus on student’s ability to demonstrate the basic principles of structural systems and their ability to withstand gravitational, seismic, and lateral forces, as well as the selection and application of the appropriate structural system.

The course includes a series of lectures and demonstrations explaining the theories, some kinesthetic activities, homework assignments, and a construction/testing project. All these course components are to cover the course topics and initiate discussions on the relationship between form and force. Through hands-on activities and kinesthetic-based learning, students are mainly engaged with solving some basic problems and carrying out some simple calculations. Students should turn in the report of each homework assignment weekly.

Two tests will be taken to assess students’ comprehension of the structural theories. The construction/testing project is to allow students to apply the concepts that they have learned theoretically in the class sessions to a physical design.


Students are expected to:

  • Understand the structural behavior of structural systems with minimum involvement with calculations.    

  • Gain or develop the insight to understand and expect the structural behavior of buildings.

  • Learn about the basic items of building codes, and rules of thumb to select the appropriate structural systems in their design projects.

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