This book deals broadly with the topic of structures related to buildings. Emphasis is
placed on the concerns of the working, professional designers who must cope with the
practical problems of figuring out how to make plans for the construction of good,
practical, and sensible buildings. Designers’ concerns range from a basic understanding of
structural behaviors to the determination of the construction details for a specific type of
The materials in this book are arranged to present a logical sequence of study. However,
it is to be expected that few readers will start at page 1 and proceed to the end, as if reading a
novel. The separate book chapters are therefore developed as reasonably freestanding, with
appropriate referencing to other chapters for those readers who need some reinforcement.
Additionally, at any time, the reader can use the Table of Contents, the Index, or the
Glossary to seek help in understanding unfamiliar terms or ideas.
This book is intended for possible use as a course text but is also prepared to be used for
individual self-study. In fact, even in a classroom situation where time is limited, students
may well require considerable time for self-study outside the classroom.
Whether required as homework assignments or not, the exercise problems provided for
individual book sections should be used by readers to test their own comprehension and
problem-solving skills. For this self-study effort, answers to the problems are given, although
readers should first attempt to solve the problems without recourse to the answers. Skill in
performing computational work cannot be achieved by simply following a text example; the
problems must be faced by the unassisted reader.