Structural Principles in Construction

Unit code: NBC1104 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park
Online Real Time
NBC1101 - Maths for Builders
NBC1103 - Basic Structural Mechanics
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit is an introduction to structures and structural systems designed for students without a background in engineering. Concepts of structural principles will be discussed by drawing on examples in residential and low-rise construction. Various forms of structural systems for timber, reinforced concrete and steel construction will be investigated.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Exemplify fundamental structural design principles, key structural elements and types, as well as basic construction materials and practices across a range of building types and conditions;
  2. Evaluate the effects of loads and actions on the behaviour of structural systems and articulate the choice of structural system in relation to applied loads and building types;
  3. Articulate a sound theoretical background in statics, mechanics and structural analysis for understanding the choice of materials and structural systems;
  4. Interpret physical building and structural configurations in terms of real materials, actual constraints, and practical limitations which govern the behaviour of structures; and
  5. Exemplify effective communication with a range of skilled professionals, including architects and engineers.


For Melbourne campuses

The tests focus on the individual student’s ability to demonstrate an understanding of the specialist body of knowledge within the built environment discipline and to apply established structural principles to some simple construction problems. The assignment may be undertaken by groups, and assesses the students’ ability to solve problems and to interact in a team situation.

Assessment type: Test
Grade: 10%
In-Class Test 1
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 20%
In-Class Test 2
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 60%
One (1) Team Case Study report submitted in two parts. Part 1 25% Part 2 35%
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 10%
Oral Presentation

Required reading

Reading material and other resources will be made available on VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

Search for units, majors & minors