My Love-Hate Relationship With My Building Structures Course

Today’s Topics:

  • Learning How to Construct a Building
  • Making Mistakes
  • There’s Another Semester

Learning How to Construct a Building

One of the first things that I have been interested since starting architecture school is learning how to design a building that would actually stand up.

It is one thing to be making a 1/8 scale model, and it is completely different to actually have a full building.

This course has been teaching me about how to design the structure of a building starting with the floors, and how that connects to walls, and even the roof as well.

We’ve learned about live loads and dead loads and I feel good knowing the general process of how to apply this to any building that I would design as part of a project.

Making Mistakes

I firmly believe that making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn. With this class, that idea is taken into a whole new context.

Most of the problems that we attempt end up taking atleast a full page in my notebook. Something that none of my other math classes has done before.

With that, we have a bunch of steps to follow to identify a certain thing, sometimes we go through conversions, sometimes we go through formulas.

The numbers that you use at the start of the problem carry on all the way throughout all of your calculations.

So the worst part is that if I make a simple mistake early on, then I follow the rest of the steps correctly. The whole problem is still wrong.

There’s Another Semester

Overall, I am glad that I am learning from my mistakes so that I double check my work more often. Heading into my third year, we will be having another semester of this course.

I have no idea what more we will be learning about but I am still excited to learn things that I don’t know.

It helps me as a designer to be able to understand choice of material and it’s properties a little better.

Then once I graduate, this information will continue to apply towards my path to licensure.

I am looking forward to what is to come with regards to learning about structure, building assemblies, and much more.


Thanks for tuning into this week’s blog post, I hope you enjoyed it and learned something new. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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