Structures 2 - Superstructure Project

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PROJECT Description

This design project is particularly focussed on developing an understanding of structural load paths and the design process.  To successfully complete this project, you will be required to design specific structural members of a domestic shed.

To complete this assessment, you will be required to prepare a written report that identifies and explains a practical problem to be solved. It will describe a suitable design solution and include an evaluation and explanation of why this is the most appropriate design solution. All group members must participate in delivering a seven-minute oral presentation, supported by visual aids, during Week 12. The presentation should cover both project parts and explain your research, findings, and evaluation, as well as highlight the knowledge gained. The presentation will take place during a lecture or tutorial, which will be determined by your group number. Attendance is mandatory. Please ensure that you speak clearly and that your visual aids are easy to follow.


The project will involve the following tasks (Note: the detailed requirements for marking and grading are given in the Marking Guide).

  1. i. Identify potential loads on the shed.
  2. ii. Understand how the steel structure is connected.
  • iii. Determine load paths for vertical and horizontal loads and draw bracing layout.
  1. iv. Calculate wind loads.
  2. v. Calculate the design loads for specific members.
  3. vi. Calculate and explain the straining actions (bending moment and shear force) manually and using SPACE GASS software.
  • vii. Design beam member.
  • viii. Design column member.

The following standard member abbreviations have been used in this handout:

UB = Universal Beam

UC = Universal Column

G    = Dead load

Q    = Live load

Please note that the following items will not be included in your project:

  • Connection design
  • Bracing design
  • Footings and floor slab
  • Earthquake design


The following details are to be read in conjunction with Figure 1.

  1. Dimensions

Span (width of shed) =  «see Table 1» m

Column2 height (higher side) =  « see Table 1» m

Overall shed length = 10 m

Bay spacing   = 5 m

Roof pitch   = 7 degrees

Purpose of Floor that Column C1 and Beam B2 supports: «Storage area»

  1. Wind Loads

Wind Region                      =    A or B      «see Table 1»

Wind Terrain Category    =   Variable for groups «see Table 1»

Shielding                            =   No Shielding

Topographic effects         =   T4

  1. Roof sheeting is to be Lysaght SPANRIB
  2. Assuming a reasonable cross-section for the purlin. Purlin spacing does need to be calculated and also ensure the spacing is within the relevant limit for the Roof Sheeting.
  3. Ceiling, Insulation, Flooring – Conduct research online to select products.
  4. Columns and Rafters - Assume that the columns are fixed at their base. All Connections for B2 are pinned.  Connections between the rafters (e.g. B1) and external columns are rigid "fixed".
  5. Model frame in SpaceGass, apply your loads and undertake the analysis

Once you have completed the load calculations, then model the frame in SpaceGass, assume a reasonable cross section for the beam and column properties from the section libraries that are provided within SpaceGass ( assume cross-section as you did not design them until this stage). You will need to provide a screenshot of the frame to prove that you have modelled the following two loads cases.

  • Dead load only, G
  • Live load only, Q

Once you have input the frame and applied the loads then undertake the structural analysis to determine the bending moments, shear forces and deflections under each load cases. You must then provide a copy of the bending moment (BM) diagram, shear force (SF) diagram and deflection diagram of the beams B2 and R1 as determined by SpaceGass. Ensure that your diagrams include the values on each diagram.

You should then determine the maximum values of BM, SF and Deflection on beams B2 and R1 under each of the applicable combination load cases according to AS 1170.0.


The design shall conform to the following Australian Standard Codes (the most recent edition):

AS 1170.0                             Structural Design Actions – General principles

AS 1170.1                             Permanent, Imposed and Other Actions

AS 4055                                Wind Loads for Housing

AS 4100                                Steel Structures*

Lysaght Design Capacity Tables shall be used for purlin design.  You are not required to design these from first principles.

*Australian Steel Institute Design Capacity Tables to be used to select Rafters and Columns. You are not required to design these from first principles.

4.    Design loads

  • Permanent Loads (Dead Loads) – where applicable allow for ceiling, flooring, roof sheeting, insulation, self-weight of structural elements and services loads.
  • Assumptions for dead load
    • Where unknown loads exist find a reference to support the weight chosen.
  • Imposed Actions (Live Loads) – refer to AS 1170.1 Clause 3
  • Wind Loads as per extract of AS 4055
    • Use the Net Pressure Co-efficient ‘General’ for both Walls and Roofs
  • To simplify calculations, use the provided lengths, widths and heights

5.      Design Load cases and combinations

  • Load Cases and Combination to consider as per 1170.0

6.    Concrete Fails

Based on your research, please discuss any problems you identify in the images provided below, and suggest ways to avoid similar issues in the future. Please limit your response to a maximum of 200 words.

7.    Design Project Report and Oral Presentation

Written Report

  • Title page including name of the students
  • Table of contents
  • An introduction: A brief description that identifies and explains the practical problem to be solved with the design solution that you pose.
  • Elements of Report as per Marking Guide
    • Drawings – include sketches and drawings that are clearly labelled
    • Calculations – Include calculations to demonstrate your mathematical thinking and reasoning
      • Units in calculations must be present and correct at every step of working
      • In problems that reflect a physical reality calculation without correct units are meaningless
      • Remember: A Vector (e.g. Force) has both magnitude and direction.
      • Calculations must be typed
      • Where relevant, diagrams must be included with calculations (e.g. tributary areas). Clear and informative diagrams can help the assessor follow your calculations and reasoning.
      • If relevant images are missing (e.g. tributary areas) the submission will not be marked.
    • Discussion and justification of chosen design: evaluate the design solution which may involve analysing the strengths and weaknesses, which may include comments on the design of elements not designed (e.g. Rafter B1 and external columns) compared to the members that were designed. Support your ideas with credible sources (academic or professional). Apply the knowledge you have gained in this course and from ‘Structures 1’ to justify your thinking.
    • Conclusion/Recommendation: Briefly suggest future actions to take.
    • Reference List with in-text referencing throughout report. Use Endnote to organise references.  Library Guide is at the following link:

Oral Presentation

Prepare and deliver a personal oral presentation, with a maximum duration of 7 minutes, to highlight the information provided in Part 1 and Part 2 of the project. Every member of the group must present for at least 2 minutes. Your presentation will be marked based on the relevance and accuracy of the information provided, as well as the clarity and professionalism of your delivery. Be sure to include:

  • An explanation and summary of what you have learned from this project and relevant theory.
  • A clear structure, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • A professional and creative presentation that engages your audience. You may use visual aids, such as slides or handouts, to enhance your presentation.
    • Tip: Pay attention to the details of your content and delivery to ensure a balanced and professional presentation. For instance, make sure your key message is clear and not lost in creativity.
  • Ensure that your face is visible throughout the presentation, and that you maintain eye contact with your audience.
  • Before delivering your presentation, check that your microphone and any other equipment you plan to use are working properly.
  • Following your presentation, be prepared to answer any questions that your audience may have.
  • Don't forget to submit your presentation along with the report.


Communicating facts clearly and concisely is an important skill to develop in preparation for the professional workplace.  Therefore, it is not appropriate to exceed time limit.

  • Research evidence comprises sources that are relevant and applicable
  • Referencing is almost faultless in in-text citation and reference list with few errors.
  • All sections of the report display a professional presentation, including:
    • Line Spacing must be 1.5 spacing and font size 11 or 12
    • informative title/title page
    • well-structured introduction
    • logical sequencing of information
    • Work that is difficult for the assessor to follow and/or lacks logical sequencing will adversely affect the mark
    • All Calculations must be typed, in the body of the report, using the Word Equation Editor. Handwritten calculations will not be assessed.
    • All calculations are to show full working with correct units at every step of working and are to be in a clear logical order.
    • appropriate report writing style (academic language, links text to diagrams)
    • correctly labelled sketches
    • close adherence to formatting and word length requirements
    • arrives at a clear conclusion adequately linked to the body of the report.

When preparing the report, numerous resources are available including, but not limited to, the following:


  • Submissions lacking relevant diagrams and images (e.g. tributary areas accompanying calculations, excerpts from Australian Standards, excerpts from Design Capacity Tables) will not be marked
  • Submissions lacking sufficient referencing will not be marked
  • Failure to submit a Spacgass file or presentation file may result in the loss of part of your final mark


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