6 Structural design

Structural engineers are responsible for identifying the best structural system for the development at hand, no matter whether this is a simple retaining wall or a several hundred-metre-tall skyscraper. The structure must be designed and constructed in such a way that it can withstand forces and transmit the loads safely to the ground without exceeding the allowable stress of its members. It is a configuration of components that are dependent on one another and act together as a system.
In terms of structural stability, the members can be distinguished according to their alignment, vertical or horizontal members, according to their configuration, bar structure or panel system, or according to their effectiveness. The correct choice and dimensioning of elements prevents deformation and ensures the stability of the structure.

Drag the mouse across the following diagram to find out the names of the different structural elements.

structurespoint footing – different types of footings make up the foundation of the buildingsecant pile wall – piles are driven into the ground to form a wallbrick wall – bricks are layered with mortar to form masonrycellular steel beam – web openings allow piping to pass throughprefabricated solid flat slab elements – formwork is not required in this rapid construction methodwooden beamcolumn – usually with a round sectiontruss – a structure in which the members are arranged in triangular unitsspace frame – a rigid, lightweight structure that can span large areas
pillar – usually with a square section

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