Last Updated S012019


Unit Name Structural Design and Concrete Structures 
Unit Code BCS209S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level Two
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites BCS204S
Credit Points


Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload (Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)
Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours
Tutorial – 1.5 hours
Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours
Personal Study recommended – 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective of this unit is to teach students on reinforced concrete (RC) structures, as part of building construction and design. Engineering materials, dead and live loads, wind loading, and design methodologies are also examined.

The structural design engineer makes decisions about the general arrangement of the structural members, the materials of which they are made, their size and how they are connected together. Structural designers make use of information about materials and construction processes together with various analytical techniques to assist them in making the correct decisions about how structures should be built. Students would already have covered how to analyse structures to determine aspects such as bending moments, deflections and stresses. This unit will concentrate on estimating the loads which a structure may be required to carry and designing individual members (including specific codes).”

The subject matter covered in this unit will include: the configuration and functional structural elements of various types of roofs, wall framings, and foundations, including load estimations applied on these RC structures as based on Australian loading codes; the behaviour and properties of conventional structural materials, primarily steel and concrete, as used in the development of design methods; properties of RC structures, particularly durability and fire resistance; the design and analysis of RC beams for flexure/bending and shear, and of other RC structures such as columns, slabs, and footings, based on AS 3600 (Australian Standard for Concrete Structures); detailing of RC members; and lastly, the ethical and legal obligations of a structural engineer.

At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been imparted with detailed knowledge of RC structures, particularly in terms of building design and construction, and the requirements and obligations of a structural engineer.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Outline and communicate to others the form and functional structural elements of various types of roof, wall framing, and foundations, and include load estimation applied on these RC members.
    Bloom’s Level 2
  2. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the behaviour and properties of conventional structural materials (steel and concrete) used in the development of design methods.
    Bloom’s Level 2
  3. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the durability and fire resistance of RC structures.
    Bloom’s Level 2
  4. Analyse and design a simple RC member for flexure/bending and shear, and other RC structures – such as a column, slab, or footing.
    Bloom’s Level 6
  5. Recognise and communicate the need for lawful adherence to good practice as part of the ethical and legal obligations of a structural engineer, particularly in relation to the detailing of RC members.
    Bloom’s Level 2

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Design Properties of Materials; bond and stress development.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts

Due after Topic 3 15% 1

Assessment 2 

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Ultimate strength analysis, design for bending and deflection of RC beams and crack control. Ultimate strength design for shear.

Students may provide solutions to simple problems on the listed topics

Due after Topic 6 20% 2, 3, 4

Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report

Example Topic: Ultimate strength design for torsion; Analysis and design of RC slabs.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers or solve some simple problems or using software to complete a practical.

Due after Topic 9 20% 3, 4

Assessment 4

Type: Examination

Example Topic: All topics

An examination with a mix of detailed report type questions and/or simple numerical problems to be completed in 3 hours

Final Week 40% 1 to 5

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1 to 5

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required textbook(s)

1. Loo, Y., C., Chowdhury, S., H. 2010, Reinforced & Prestressed Concrete: Analysis and Design with Emphasis on Application of AS3600-2009, 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9781107637863

This is a standard textbook which has been written by Professor Loo and Dr Chowdhury who is generally recognized as foremost Australian academics in RC design. The text has been used in a number of universities such as Griffith University and has undergone a second revision. The text has been designed to provide step-by-step instruction of problems, solved examples, and comments for civil engineering students.

2. Australian Standard 2009, Concrete Structures
This Standard has been designed to cover the design of concrete structures (AS3600). Students will be required to follow textbook contents of analysis and design of RC structures based on this standard.

Reference Materials

1. Foster, S., J., Kilpatrick, A., E. and Warner, R., F. 2010, Reinforced Concrete Basics - Analysis and Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures, 2nd Edition, Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: Pearson Australia.

Unit Content

Topic 1

Introduction and Design Properties of Materials

• General remarks on the design properties of materials
• Design requirements
• Loads and load combinations
• Concrete cover and reinforcement spacing
• Concrete
• Steel
• Steel Shaping and Detailing

Topic 2

Bond and Stress Development

• Introduction
• Design formulas for stress development
• Splicing of reinforcement
• Illustrative examples

Topics 3 and 4

Limit State (Ultimate Strength) Analysis and Design for Bending

• Definitions
• Ultimate strength theory
• Ultimate strength of a singly-reinforced rectangular section
• Design of singly-reinforced rectangular sections
• Ultimate strength of doubly-reinforced rectangular sections
• Design of doubly-reinforced rectangular sections
• T-beams and other flanged sections
• Non-standard sections

Topic 5

Deflection of RC Beams and Crack Control

• Introduction
• Short-term (immediate) deflection
• Long-term deflection
• Minimum effective depth
• Crack control

Topic 6

Ultimate Strength Design for Shear

• Transverse shear stresses and shear failure
• Transverse shear design
• Longitudinal shear

Topic 7

Ultimate Strength Design for Torsion

• Introduction
• Maximum torsion
• Checks for reinforcement requirements
• Design for torsional reinforcement
• Design example

Topics 8 and 9

Analysis and Design of RC Slabs

• Introduction
• One-way slabs
• Two-way slabs supported on four sides
• Multi-span two-way slabs

Topic 10

Analysis and Design of RC Columns

• Introduction
• Centrally loaded column
• Columns in uniaxial bending
• Capacity reduction factor
• Preliminarily design procedure
• Moment magnifiers for slender columns
• Biaxial bending effects

Topic 11

RC Footings Design

• Introduction
• Wall footings
• Column footings

Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week, students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of students’ work and to clarify any outstanding issues.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: N/A

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


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