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Design of Concrete Structures

2014 unit code: CVE20003 (formerly HES2125)

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014.
Credit points12.5 Credit Points
Duration1 Semester
Contact hours48 hours
CampusHawthorn, Sarawak

HES2120 Structural Mechanics


Aims and objectives

This unit of study aims to provide you with knowledge and skills to analyse indeterminate structures using a number of methods and to design reinforced concrete structures.
 After successfully completing this unit, you should be able to:
1. Determine the statical degree of indeterminacy for beams, frames and trusses. (K1, K3, S1, S2)
2. Use the virtual work method to calculate deflections. (K1, K3, S1, S2)
3. Apply the flexibility method to analyse indeterminate beams and frames. (K1, K3, S1, S2)
4. Apply the moment distribution method to analyse indeterminate beams and frames. (K1, K3, S1, S2)
5. Recognise the basis for current codified structural design philosophy. (K1, K5)
6. Specify the constituents of concrete and its properties. (K1)
7. Design reinforced concrete beams, one way slabs and columns. (K1, K3, S3)
8. Work effectively in small groups to design a reinforced concrete structure considering different loading actions, serviceability and ultimate limit states. (K3, S1, S2, S3, A2, A4, A7)
Swinburne Engineering Competencies for this Unit of Study
This Unit of Study will contribute to you attaining the following Swinburne Engineering Competencies:
K1 Basic Science: Proficiently applies concepts, theories and techniques of the relevant natural and physical sciences.
K3 Discipline Specific: Proficiently applies advanced technical knowledge of the specific discipline within that context.
K5 Practice Context: Discerns and appreciates the contextual factors affecting professional engineering practice.
S1 Engineering Methods: Applies engineering methods in practical applications.
S2 Problem Solving: Systematically uses engineering methods in solving complex problems.
S3 Design: Systematically uses engineering methods in design.
A2 Communication: Demonstrates effective communication to professional and wider audiences.
A4 Information Management: Demonstrates seeking, using, assessing and managing information.
A7 Teamwork: Demonstrates effective team membership and team leadership.

Teaching methods

Lectures (24 hours), Tutorials (18 hours), Laboratory Work (2 hours) and Design Classes (4 hours)



Individual or Group Assessment




60% - 70%




Laboratory Reports


0% - 5%



0% - 5%

Project Reports


20% - 25%



0% - 5%


Analysis of Indeterminate Structures

  • Idealisation of structures and determination of degree of statical indeterminacy
  • Elastic beam theory and virtual work method
  • Flexibility method for analysis of indeterminate beams and frames
  • Moment distribution method

Design Philosophy

  • Limit states design and working stress design methods
  • Regulations (Building Code of Australia – BCA) and standards
  • Types and definitions of loads in accordance with AS/NZS 1170

Concrete Technology

  • Properties and influence of concrete constitutes (Portland cement, water, aggregate, admixtures)
  • Properties of fresh concrete (slump test, bleeding, shrinkage, compaction, curing)
  • Properties of hardened concrete (cracking, durability, corrosion, creep, strength)

Design of Concrete Members

  • Ultimate bending moment capacity of beams using a simplified stress-strain relationship for concrete
  • Design of beams for durability and fire in accordance with AS3600.
  • Capacity of beams in shear
  • Analysis of continuous beams and one-way slabs using the simplified method
  • Deflections and crack control in beams and one-way slabs
  • Detailing of reinforcement for beams and one-way slabs
  • Design of short reinforced concrete columns
  • Introduction to prestressed concrete technology and bending capacity of prestressed concrete beams

Reading materials

Beletich, A. S. & Uno, P. J. (2003). Design Handbook for Reinforced Concrete Elements, UNSW Press.
Foster, S. J., Kilpatrick, A. E. & Warner, R. F. (2010). Reinforced Concrete Basics: Analysis and design of reinforced concrete structures, 2nd edn, Pearson.
Hibbeler, R. C. (2005). Structural Analysis, 6th edn, Prentice Hall.
Standards Australia. (2011). Reinforced Concrete Design in Accordance with AS3600 (HB71).
Standards Australia. (2002). Guide to Concrete Construction (HB64).

Text books

Standards Australia. (2009). Concrete Structures (AS3600).
Standards Australia. (2002). Structural Design Actions – General Principles (AS/NZS1170.0).
Standards Australia. (2002). Structural Design Actions – Permanent, Imposed and Other Actions
Lecture and study notes as provided by course coordinator.