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Syllabus - W 2017


Catalog Description

This course covers the basic principles of elastic behavior for different materials such as wood, steel, concrete and composite materials, and compares the properties and applications of materials generally. It investigates cross sectional stress and strain behavior in flexure and in shear, and torsion as well as the stability of beams and columns. The qualitative behavior of combined stresses and fracture in materials is also covered. Prerequisite: ARCH 314



Students are introduced to the fundamentals of analysis and design of simple structural members in steel, wood and concrete. Basic code requirements strength, stability and serviceability are discussed. Both vertical and lateral loads based on ASCE-7 are considered. Principles of composite materials design, structural continuity, and combined stresses are covered.



A series of lectures are regularly given on each Monday and Friday. The lectures cover concepts and procedures, including demonstrations. Each Wednesday the class is broken into smaller sections for recitation in which problems can be solved with more student/instructor interaction. Solutions to homework problems are entered online through the course website. Three tests are used to measure student comprehension of the material. In addition a construction/testing project is used to allow students an opportunity to apply concepts to a physical design. Computer facilities, including software, are available for supporting computations. Facility and equipment for structural model testing are also available.



Evaluation is based on an accumulated total number of points. Points are earned based on performance in all course activities: 3 tests, homework problems, recitation exercises and the tower project. Grades are assigned according to the number of points achieved during the semester:

3 tests - 300 pts each (closed book) 900
Homework Problems - 5pts / question ~845
Tower Design Project 250
Recitation Labs - 15 pts each 105
In Class Quizzes - 5 pt bonus each ~30


A+   100% - 97% A   96% - 94% A-   93% - 90%
B+   89% - 87% B   86% - 84% B-   83% - 80%
C+   79% - 77% C   76% - 74% C-   73% - 70%
D+   69% - 67% D   66% - 64% D-   63% - 60%
  E   59% and below  

By University policy the minimum passing grade is a D. The highest grade recorded by the college is A.


Lectures and Exercises

Solutions to exercises (example problems) are provided online. These as well as lecture slides are available on the course web site. In addition, the lectures will be recorded and posted to the web site. Students are expected to review any lectures which they miss. Studnets are responsable for reviewing the exercises, and the solutions can be discussed in the Wednesday recitation sessions or by appointment with GSIs.


Homework Problems

A set of homework problems covering the primary aspects of the course is given to each student. Each student has a unique set of problems to solve. Students submit solutions online for scoring. Each problem may be worked up to 3 times (3 different data sets) for credit. The best score from one of the 3 trials will be recorded. Late problems will be penalized at -5% per day up to a maximum of -35%. Problems are accessed through the course web site. A FAQ which explains the policy concerning the problems is also posted.


Tower Project

A group project to design, construct and test a compression structure (tower) will be assigned during the course. It will be documented with both preliminary and final reports which together with the testing results count 250 points.



The text used this semester is Structures by Schodek and Bechthold. Some material can also be found the text used in Arch 314, Statics and Strength of Materials... by Onouye and Kane. Additional material will be posted to the course web site at and a course Canvas site.


Other University and School Services and Policies

Plagiarism is knowingly presenting another person's ideas, findings, images or written work as one's own by copying or reproducing without acknowledgement of the source. It is intellectual theft that violates basic academic standards. In order to uphold an equal evaluation for all work submitted, cases of plagiarism will be reviewed by the individual faculty member and/or the Program Chair. Punitive measures will range from failure of an assignment to expulsion from the University.

If you think you need an accommodation for a disability, please let me know at your earliest convenience. Some aspects of this course, the assignments, the in‐class activities, and the way the course is usually taught may be modified to facilitate your participation and progress. As soon as you make me aware of your needs, we can work with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office to help us determine appropriate academic accommodations. SSD (734 - 763-3000; typically recommends accommodations through a Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations (VISA) form. Any information you provide is private and confidential and will be treated as such.

The university provides vast resources for writing instruction and assistance. For multi-lingual students, Theresa Rohick ( offers office hours in the A&A building. Also the resources of Sweetland Center for Writing are available for both undergraduate and graduate students:

For other general academic policies of the college please refer to the college web site: