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Week 1

Week 1 eLearning

Constructing Environment Overview

Introduction to Materials

Loads on buildings

Construction principle


Dead loads

Construction system


Ground/water pressure

Material selection/prices


Thermal stresses

Kinds of Labor

Material behaviors

Static load



Dynamic loads

Construction drawings


Basic Structural forces 



Melbourne’s bluestone 

Eg. Wind pressure/earthquake

Load Path Diagrams

Common used as foundation in Melbourne CBD

Volcanic path

For the week 1 eLearning, it introduces the concept of constructing environment. It briefly mentioned the constructing materials and the Melbourne’s bluestone structure, and talks about the dead loads and live loads in the video. In the Ching, Chapter 2.08 to 2.11 are the explanation of Loads on buildings.

Week 1 Tutorial

The tutor talks about the bending when the load puts on a piece of material. No matter the material is made of timber, ion or other materials, the bending will still occur.

The diagram is shown how the dead load transfer through the bridges into the ground. It can argues that the load will transfer to the end of each bridge. And don’t forget the ground will provide the forces to support the bridges.

The activity of the first tutorial is bulding a tower as high as possible and allow a animal toy to fit in.

I find out the common structure of the tower in our class. The first structure of the tower is more stable than the second one, especially when the tower gets higher. But the second structure can reach to the higher height when using the same amount of the piece of materials. The first structure gain more support from the ground, because it has the greater surface area that is touch the ground. Also the second layer is gain more support from the first layer.

Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD)

Week 2

Week 2 eLearning Building Systems 

stages of a material’s life. 

Life circle

The disposal of waste products back to the earth or recycled into other products.

Structural system Support and transmit applied gravity and lateral load

Embodied energy: the total energy used during all







safely to the ground without exceeding the allowable

Processing and Refining >> Manufacturing >>

stresses in its members.

Delivery >> Construction use and maintenance >>

Enclosure system

Final Disposal

The shell or envelope of a building, consisting of the


roof, exterior walls, windows, and doors.

Common ESD Strategies:

Mechanical system

Local materials

Provide essential services to a building. Eg. Water

Material efficiency

supply system, sewage disposal system, heating/

Thermal mass

ventilating/ air-conditioning systems

Nigh air purging Solar energy

Construal Joints 

Roller Joints (only vertical load)

Pin Joints

Fixed Joints

Wind energy Cross ventilation Smart sun design Insulation Water harvesting

Week 2 Tutorial Activity Building a stable tower to reach the ceiling We in groups of five and build a tower by using balsa. We connected different pieces of short and small balsa together to make a long piece. However, the connections are not well enough to keep the frame straight, so it leads to the unbalance structure, which is decrease the stability of the tower. We used a triangle based in order to reduce the flexibility of the tower, and connected the edges by another piece of balsa to increase the stability.

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