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Unit 3 Structure

Section 1 Presentation
1. Look and read:

Some examples of structural systems are:

The post-and-lintel structure consists of three upright post and two horizontal

The post support the lintels which carry the roof.

carry support

The lintels span a distance of 1 metre.

Materials used for post-and-lintel structures include stone and timber.

Now make a similar statement about the load bearing wall and joist structure.

2. Read this:
The post-and-lintel structure, in the diagram above, is composed of straight
members. The vertical and horizontal members which are used to make
structure are called posts and lintels respectively. The posts are spaced at 1
meter centres. They are made up of blocks. Both the posts and the lintels are
made of stone.

Now write a similar description of the load bearing wall and joist structure.

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3. Look at the diagrams in exercise 1 and answer these questions:
a. What do the stanchions carry?
b. What do the floor beams support?
c. What does the steel frame consist of?
d. What is the arch made up of?
e. At what centres are the steel frames spaced?
f. What are the horizontal members which connect steel frames together
g. What distance does the vault span?
h. What is the span of the arch?
i. What is the stone in the centre of the arch called?
j. Give some examples of materials used for arcuated and framed structures.

4. Look at this table:

The components of factory
Elements Compound units Units Materials

Roof roof structure joists and slabs timber

waterproof wood-wool
covering asphalt

Walls cladding corrugated sheets steel

wall structure beams and steel

Floors wearing surface tiles vinyl

floor structure panels precast concrete

Foundations column bases concrete

Now make questions and answers using this table and the table above:

does roof
a. What do the walls consist of?

b. elements factory
How many compound units is the wall constructed from?

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roof structure
c. What is the wall structure made up of?
floor structure

d. What are the corrugated sheets made of?
precast panels

5. Look at this section through a factory and label the components using the
first table in exercise 4:
Example: a). timber joists

6. Now complete this passage:

The factory ………… from four elements: the ________, the _______, the
_________, and the ________. The roof ………… a waterproof covering,
which is made of __________, and a …………., which is made of timber
joists and ________ slabs. The walls are constructed from two ………., the
wall structure, which consists of …………, and the ________, which is made
of ………….. sheets. The ______ consists of a wearing surface, which is
made of …………. and a floor structure, which is made of ……………… The
foundations consist of ………….

7. Answer these questions by giving properties of materials:

a. Why is steel used for the frame structure of the factory?
b. Why is asphalt used for the waterproof covering?

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c. Why are corrugated steel sheets used for the cladding?
d. Why are vinyl tiles used for the wearing surface?
e. Why is concrete used for the column bases?

8. Now make tables like this analysing the structures of several different
buildings found in your country. Use the following headings:

Structural Elements Compound Units Materials

system units

Compare the structures of the buildings and the properties of the materials used to
make them.

Section 2 Development
9. Look and read:

Joint X
Plate A is welded to plate B.
Plate A is joined to plate B by welds.
Plate A and B are welded together.
The force on plate A is transmitted through the welds to plate B.
Joint X is not filled with packing because the contact faces of the joint are
machine flat.

Now complete these sentences about Joint Y:

a. Plate C ……………. plate D by ……………..
b. Plate C and D …………………………..

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c. The force on plate C ……………….
d. Plate C ……………… plate D
e. Joint Y is filled with packing ……………..

10. Look at these diagrams of joints:

Now answer these questions:

a. For each joint, say how the units are joined together.
b. Explain how forces are transmitted through each joint.
c. In which joints can packing be used?
d. In which joints should the joint surfaces be machined flat?

Section 3 Reading
11. Look and read:
In the following diagram showing the layout of frames the span of beams is 9
The frames are spaced at 3 metre centres.

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The single-storey structure consists of three frames. These frames are
made up of steel stanchions and beams. The frames are placed between end walls
and spaced at three metre centres. The stanchions carry the beams. These beams
support the roof. The roof beams cantilever a short distance beyond the
stanchions. This means that they extent over the profiled sheet steel cladding. The
cladding can then be placed outside the line of the stanchions.
The beams are bolted to steel stanchion caps. The stanchion caps are
welded to the top of each stanchion. The load on each beam is transmitted through
these plates to the stanchions.
The upper face of the steel base plates and the ends of the stanchions are
machined flat. The bottom of each stanchion is welded to a base plate. Each base
plate is fixed to a concrete column base by two holding-down bolts.
Steel angles are fixed across the ends of the beams and built in to the brick
walls. These angles tie the frames together and also provide a place to fix the top
of the cladding.

Now, answer these questions:

a. How are the angles fixed to the roof beams?
b. How are the loads on a roof beam transmitted to the column bases?
c. What is the joint between a base plate and a column base filled with?
d. Why do the roof beams cantilever a short distance?

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12. Copy and complete this table:

The elements of the single-storey steel structure

Elements Compound units Units Materials


Space dividers


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Section 4 Revision
13. Look and read:
Look at these drawings of two famous buildings. Building A is located in Italy
and was designed by Gio Ponti; Building B is located is the USA and was
designed by Mies van der Rohe.

Now say which building each of these sentences refers to:

a. The roof and floor frames are made up of I-shaped beams and channels.
b. The building has 30 storeys above ground and 3 basement levels.
c. The skeleton structure is made of reinforced concrete.
d. The roof and floor frames are supported by steel stanchions.
e. Its plan is roughly hexagonal in shape.
f. The roof and the floor consist of precast concrete panels
g. The building has one storey which is raised above ground level.

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h. The structure consists of four triangular-shaped loadbearing corner units
and two wall columns between them.
i. The skeleton structure is made of welded steel.
j. The precast concrete panels span between the beams
k. The steel stanchions are spaced at 7 metre centres.
l. Each reinforced concrete wall column is made up of four tapering columns
with floor slabs spanning between them.
m. It has a plan shaped like a rectangle.

14. Label the diagrams with these names of parts of the buildings:
loadbearing corner unit floor frame
wall column floor beam
tapering column precast concrete panels
roof frame

15. Write a description of the structures of Building A and Building B by

rearranging and joining the sentences above.

16. Read this description of another building:

Looking at the building from across the river, you can see the two main
elements of the building. The first element you notice is the series of
horizontal bands of concrete on four levels. These are external walkways
around perimeter of the building. The second element consists of two vertical
bands of concrete. These are lift towers which are located at each end of the
building. They both extend above the roof of the building. However, the tower
on the left is higher than the tower on the right. The ground floor of the
building may be entered on the right from a broad paved terrace on the river
shore. It may also be entered on the first floor from a road which runs parallel
to the river on the other side of the building. Entry from the terrace is through
double glass doors, set in glazed panels in aluminium frames which in turn are
set in the concrete structural elements.

Now draw a diagram of the elevation of the building as seen from across the river,
and a diagram of the entrance doors.

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