78300 - Construction Techniques

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at giving to the student the fondamentale notions for the design of structural suystems capable of guaranteeing the safety and stability of building construction.

Direct and indirect loads, boundary conditions, models, identification of probability of collapse. 

Criteria for design and construction, norms, codes. 

Tools to develop  final design for steel and concrete buildings.

Course contents


The course is subdivided in two parts. The first one, more theoretical "Tecnica delle costruzioni" is aimed at providing the basic principles of structural funcioning and design. the second one, more applicative "Laboratorio" is aimed at providing applicative tools and examples of structural design.


1a Probabilistic approach to structural design

Design of safe structures: goals and limits of the available tools

Basic concepts or probability applied to engineering (axioms, conditional probability, total probability theorem, random variables, gaussian and normal distribution, examples).

Notion of structural reliability.

Loads on structures: types, characteristics, intrinsic uncertainties.

Common construction materials (concrete, steel, wood, aluminum ..): characteristics, peculiarities and resistance.

Basic principles of Norms and codes.

1b Structural behavior (theory of structures)

Classical resolution of hyperstatic structures: method of forces and method of displacement (review of the principle of virtual work).

Structures with nodes that move horizontally.

Structures with nodes that rotate.

Structures with node that rotate and move horizontally.

The inessentiality of selected internal actions.

1c. Structural Elements

conceptual design

frame and wall load bearing systems


beam on elastic foundation, shells, vaults, plates etc.


1d. Basic notions of a-seismic engineering.

Vertical and horizontal actions

behavior of structures under horizontal loads

estimation of seismic actions (code like formulas)



2a. Structural design of steel structures (sizing)

Reference codes (Italian code normative tecniche 17 Gennaio 2018 and EC)

Properties of Material

Load bearing systems w.r.t. horizontal and vertical actions (beams, columns, bracing systems)

Member sizing: elements under beinding, under traction and shear. Verification of defomations. Therories for elastic and post elastic benaviour.

Buckling of compressed elements

Union between steel elements

2.b. Structural design of a steel multi story structure (executive drawings and calculation sheets)

Development of calculation sheets and executive drawings for a specific multi story framed structure. 


2c. Structural design of concrete structures (sizing)

Reference codes (Italian code "Normative tecniche 17 Gennaio 2018" and Euro Code)

Properties of Materials

Load bearing systems w.r.t. horizontal and vertical actions (beams, columns)

Member sizing: elements under beinding, under traction and shear. Therories for elastic and post elastic benaviour.

Design of foundations

2.d. Structural design of a reinforced concrete multi story structure (executive drawings and calculation sheets)

Development of calculation sheets and drawing for a specific multi story framed structure.



Pozzati Ceccoli: Teoria e Tecnica delle Strutture, UTET. Vol I, II, III.

D.M. 14.01.2008

DM. 17.01.2018

Shodek: Strutture.

Teaching methods

Module 1 "Tecnica delle costruzioni":  oral classes

Module 2 "Laboratorio": Oral classes + weekly review of the projects + two final "seminars" (one intermediate and one at the end of the course) respectively devoted to the verification of the completion of the multi story steel structural design and of the multi story concrete structural design.

Assessment methods

The final grade will be given at the end of the course based upon an oral exam aimed at assessing the overall comprehension of the student of the course topic in Design of Structures.

The pass of the exam is guaranteed to the students that will show a sufficient capabilty of mastering the information given in class and in particular in using formulas, concepts and quantities necessary to complete a structural design of a building structure.

A higher grade will be given to the studdents that will show to use with confidence the concepts given in class solving complex problems and showing a good operative capability.

the exam typically will encompass:

1) the solution of an exercise

2) open questions regarding the behavior of structure in reinforced concrete and or steel (also discussed in the preparation of the project)

3) open questions regarding theoretical aspects (such as probabilistic approach to structural engineering, seismic design approach, beam on elastic foundation, instability of compressed elements, moment curvature diagrams...)

Fail can be related to insufficient knowledge of key concepts, lack of technical language and / or insufficient operative capabilities.

Teaching tools

Oral classes.

Studio with supervised control of the work.

power point presentations.

Office hours

See the website of Tomaso Trombetti

See the website of Giada Gasparini