Applied Studies (APST) 340

Advanced Structures (Revision 1)


Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

APST 340: Advanced Structures is intended for students enrolled in the BSc (Architecture) program at the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University. For those students interested in pursuing a career as a registered architect, this course also contributes to the RAIC Syllabus Diploma.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: APST 240 and ADST 350

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Centre: RAIC Centre for Architecture

APST 340 is not available for challenge.

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APST 340 will familiarize the student with the detailed considerations of structural design, including quantitative load, stress and strain analysis, structural member design and most importantly the requirements set by the codes on design and construction of different types of structures. The scope of this course includes the qualitative and quantitative design of structural systems in steel, wood, concrete and masonry.

At the completion of APST340 the student will be able to design basic structural components in compliance with design codes and regulations within the scope of the practice of architecture. However since the course cannot cover every subject and detail of the codes and the codes are also modified from time to time, the student should consult the codes directly for details and updates.

Course Outline

PART ONE Loads and Limit States Design

  • Unit 1 Gravitational and Lateral Loads
  • Unit 2 Load and Resistance Factor Design

PART TWO Steel Structures

  • Unit 3 Material Properties and Structural Systems
  • Unit 4 Steel Bending Systems
  • Unit 5 Steel Axially Loaded Systems
  • Unit 6 Steel Combined Systems
  • Unit 7 Steel Connections

PART THREE Wood Structures

  • Unit 8 Materials and Properties
  • Unit 9 Wood Bending Systems
  • Unit 10 Wood Axially Loaded Members
  • Unit 11 Wood Combined Systems
  • Unit 12 Connections

PART FOUR Concrete Structures

  • Unit 13 Materials and Properties
  • Unit 14 Members in Bending and Shear
  • Unit 15 Axially Loaded Members
  • Unit 16 Connections
  • Unit 17 Prestressed Reinforced Concrete

PART FIVE Masonry Structures

  • Unit 18 Materials and Properties
  • Unit 19 Masonry Axially Loaded Members

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Calculate gravitational and lateral loads acting upon building structures
  2. Design structural elements of normative assemblies in steel, wood and concrete using limit states analysis within the constraints of the National Building Code and other regulations and standards covered in the textbooks.
  3. Analyze structural system design, from assemblies to connections, for the purpose of identifying and optimizing opportunities for expressive design.


Your work in this course will be evaluated based on six assignments, one for each part of the course plus a final project (Assignment 6)). The final project will cover the entire course and is worth 40% of your final grade. The minimum passing mark for the final project is 50%.

Grading information is summarized in the table below:

Assignment Portion of Total Grade
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 15%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 15%
Assignment 5 10%
Project: Assignment 6 40%
Total Grade: 100%

You must achieve a cumulative grade of 67% or greater to receive credit for APST 340.

Note: Students who wish to be certified by the CACB must achieve and maintain a final grade point average of 2.3 (67%) or greater.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials

Registration in this course includes electronic textbooks. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to the eText Initiative site.

Underwood, R., & Chiuini, M. (2007). Structural design: A practical guide for architects. 2nd ed. Wiley. (e-text)

A print version of the eTexts may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbooks on your own if you wish.

Course Home Page (online): The course home page houses all the online components of your course.

Study Schedule (online): The study schedule on your course home page includes the Course Information, the nineteen units of the Study Guide, links to the online readings, and links to your assignments.

Course Information (online): The Course Information provides specific information about how to proceed through the course. Read the Course Information carefully before you begin reading the Study Guide.

Study Guide (online): The Study Guide units are embedded in the Study Schedule on the course home page.

Assignments (online): The assignments are on the course home page, along with helpful instructions.

Forms: Forms you may need are available through the myAU portal.

Other Resources

The following resources are referred to and used in the examples and problems of the textbooks and will be needed to solve some of the exercise problems.

National Building Code of Canada (NBCC). Available through the AU Library website.

National Design Specification (NDS) for Wood Construction, 2015 Edition, American Wood Council. Available through the AU Library website.

NDS Supplement: Design Values for Wood Construction, 2015 Edition, American Wood Council. Available through the AU Library website.

Load and Resistance Factor Design Specification, Tables 3-50 and 3-50M, American Institute for Steel Construction. Available through the AU Library website.

Metric Beam Tables, Table A.2M, Athabasca University. Available through the AU Library website

W Column Tables, Athabasca University. Available through the AU Library website

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, March 27, 2015.