Structural Design A (students A-L)


Prof. Francesco Portioli





The main objective of the course is to provide the theoretical fundamentals and applications for the design and verification of steel and reinforced concrete structures.


The first part of the course deals with issues related to the analysis of structural systems, with special reference to conceptual design, modelling, preliminary design and verification.

Afterwards, the principles for the assessment of structural safety are introduced according to recent national and international codes. In particular, issues concerning the probabilistic measure of structural safety as well as the semi-probabilistic limit state design method are introduced, both for serviceability and failure states. Fundamentals are also provided concerning the random variables which are involved in the structural verification procedures, such as material strength and loads.

The third part of the course deals with actions on structures and relevant modelling approaches, with special reference to elements such as floors, beams and columns, also illustrating simple procedures, such as the tributary area methods.

Then, procedures and methods for safety verifications of structural sections and elements are discussed for ultimate and serviceability limit states, both for steel and reinforced concrete structures. On the basis of material mechanical properties and constitutive laws, a uniform approach is introduced for the local verification of stresses and for the calculation of ultimate capacity in case of cross-sections subjected to normal forces and bending moments and combined normal and bending loads. Moreover, issues related to local and global bucking verification as well as procedures for verification of connections are illustrated in detail. Finally, another part of the course is devoted to the actions induced by earthquakes and seismic design principles.


The course is organized into the following modules: 1) Analysis of structural systems; 2) methods and procedures for safety assessment and safety measures; 3) actions on structures; 4) steel structures; 5) reinforced concrete structures, 6) fundamentals of seismic design.

As for the teaching methodology, the course is organized into lectures and exercises, the last one consisting into worked examples on the design and verification of structural members, for different materials and structural types.


The exam consists of the discussion on the subjects presented in the course and on the discussion of the assignments, as well as of the application of design procedures to selected case studies.


Mezzina, M. (Editor) Fondamenti di Tecnica delle Costruzioni. CittàStudi, 2013.

Bernuzzi, C. Progetto e verifica delle strutture in acciaio. Hoepli, 2011.

Cosenza, E., Manfredi, G., Pecce, M. Strutture in Cemento Armato, Hoepli, 2008.