Course code BūvZ2011

Credit points 1

Structural Shapes of Buildings

Total Hours in Course40

Number of hours for lectures8

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes8

Independent study hours24

Date of course confirmation10.03.2021

Responsible UnitInstitute of Civil Engineering and Wood Processing

Course developer


Jānis Kreilis

Dr. sc. ing.

Course abstract

Subject gives the bases of knowledge in evolution history of structures, its diversity. Main types of today’s load-bearing constructions are analysed in detail - ceilings, frames, thin-walled, massive structures. Course gives also overview in designing in context of the shape, weight and costs.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge about applied computer programs in design of effective shapes of structures; skills to use preliminary knowledge from strength of materials, building mechanics for making the rational shape of structures; competence to construct the most effective shape of structure (under prescribed criterion) on the basis of numerical analysis.

Course Content(Calendar)

1 Building structures in our life. Bioarchitecture. Essential requirements to structures. Safety problem 1h.
2 Diversity of structural shapes and materials. Historical review: development of theory 1h.
3 Designing tasks. Relationships between shape, size and efficiency. The essence of design 1h.
4 Main types of load-bearing structures, its working description. Basic theoretical formulas 1h.
5 Load-bearing structures of buildings, bridges. Efficiency criterions of beam cross section 1h.
6 Relationship between permissible load and the span of the beem, based on the strength and stiffness condition 1h.
7 Rational shapes of trusses. Optimal parameters of the trusses 1h.
8 Efficiency of different types of columns under compression. Comparative assessment of different cross sections 1h.
9 Rational shapes of arches. Determination of the rational arc axis equation 1h.
10 Analysis of rational shapes of suspended structures 1h.
11 Massive constructions. Rational shape of massive retaining wall 1h.
12 Working principle of piled retaining wall. Determination of required embedment 1h.
13 Framework of buildings and structures. Load-bearing elements of single-story frame, calculation principles 1h.
14 Thin-walled structures. Determination of the effective properties of thin-walled cross sections 1h.
15 Slabs on ground foundation; specifics of calculation 1 h.
16 Summary over view on lecture topics 1h.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Regular work per semester. Defended individual task and being able to discuss any of the topics

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Students receive individual tasks on any of the topics. Tasks are solved independently using consultations and literature sources

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Individually completed tasks are evaluated depending on the mistakes made and understanding of the topic. In addition, understanding of another topic is assessed

Compulsory reading

1. Kalniņš G. Ēku un būvju nesošās konstrukcijas. Rīga: Zvaigzne, 1991. 264 lpp.
2. Лоппато А. Э. Из истории развития строительных конструкций: L, М, N, Q. Киев: Будивельник, 1990. 156 с.

Further reading

1. Гордон Дж. Конструкции, или почему не ломаются вещи. Москва: Мир, 1980. 390 с.
2. Millais Malcolm. Building structures. A conceptual approach. London: E&FN Spon, 1997. 355 p.
3. Kreilis J. Rievsienas. Palīglīdzeklis projektēšanai. Jelgava: LLU, 2001. 49 lpp.

Periodicals and other sources

1. New Steel Construction. ISSN 0968 - 0098.


Elective Course for the Professional Bachelor’s study programme “Civil Engineering” and for the Second level professional higher educational programme “Civil Engineering”