Innovative Building Structures (DAAE2008)


The aim of this unit is to engage students in detailed studies of innovative building structures, covering the three aspects of innovation in architectural and structural design (modeling, materials and technology). The main topics covered are: architectural form and structural function; interpretation of basic (arch, beam, column, space and spatial portal) and advanced (truss, vault, dome, shell) structural principles with an intuitive graphical method (Load Path Method - LPM). Examples of significant case studies will be shown and interpreted (works by A. Gaudi, B. Fuller, F. Otto, N. Grimshaw, S. Calatrava, N. Foster, R. Piano and others); biomimetics; bioinspired structures as a way to increase structural efficiency. Innovative structural materials: the use of glass as structural material, innovative reinforcements for composite structures, smart and nanostructured materials; kinetic architecture: structural movement as the 4th architectural dimension. A case study assignment will be used to assess student's competence in investigating and presenting case studies and being able to identify and evaluate issues and factors contributing to innovative structural solutions.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lecture 2 hrs/wk; tutorial 1 hr/wk


Group Report (40%); Physical Test (20%);Individual Report (40%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules





Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.