Basic Structures for Engineers and Architects

Basic Structures for Engineers and Architects

The structure of a building (or other object) is the part which is responsible
for maintaining the shape of the building under the infl uence of the
forces, loads and other environmental factors to which it is subjected. It
is important that the structure as a whole (or any part of it) does not fall
down, break or deform to an unacceptable degree when subjected to such
forces or loads.
The study of structures involves the analysis of the forces and stresses
occurring within a structure and the design of suitable components to
cater for such forces and stresses.
As an analogy, consider the human body. Your body comprises a skeleton
of 206 bones which constitutes the structure of your body. If any of
those bones were to break, or if any of the joints between those bones were
to disconnect or seize up, your injured body would ‘fail’ structurally (and
cause you a great deal of pain!).

If you are a student studying a module called Structures, Structural Mechanics
or similar, the chapter headings in this book will tie in – more or
less – with the lecture topics presented by your lecturer or tutor. I suggest
you read each chapter of this book soon after the relevant lecture or class
to reinforce your knowledge and skills in the topic concerned. I advise all
readers to have a pen and paper beside them to jot down notes as they go
through the book – particularly the numerical examples. In my experience,
this greatly aids understanding.


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