Archived Versions

4.440 / 4.462 Basic Structural Design

As taught in: Spring 2009

Photograph of a building that showcases sustainable design.

The Genzyme building in Cambridge, MA provides an example of green architecture and sustainable design. (Photograph courtesy of conbon33 on Flickr.)


Undergraduate / Graduate


Prof. John Ochsendorf

Course Features

Course Description

This course provides students with a basic knowledge of structural analysis and design for buildings, bridges and other structures. The course emphasizes the historical development of structural form and the evolution of structural design knowledge, from Gothic cathedrals to long span suspension bridges. Students will investigate the behavior of structural systems and elements through design exercises, case studies, and load testing of models. Students will design structures using timber, masonry, steel, and concrete and will gain an appreciation of the importance of structural design today, with an emphasis on environmental impact of large scale construction.