Principles of Structure: 5th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Principles of Structure

5th Edition

By Ken Wyatt, Richard Hough

CRC Press

230 pages | 224 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2013-02-08
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Since its first publication in 1974, Principles of Structure has established itself at the forefront of introductory texts for students of architecture, building and project management seeking a basic understanding of the behavior and design of building structures. It provides a simple quantitative introduction to structural engineering, while also drawing connections to real buildings that are more complex. Retaining the style and format of earlier editions, this Fifth Edition brings the text and examples into alignment with international practice. It also features six new buildings from around the world, illustrating the principles described in the text.

The book begins with a chapter explaining forces and their effects. Other chapters cover ties and struts, loadings, graphical statics, bracings, shears and moments, stresses, deflections, and beam design. There is also an appendix with a fuller explanation of fundamentals for readers unfamiliar with the basic concepts of geometry and statics.

The book offers a unique format with right-hand pages containing text and left-hand pages containing complementary commentary including explanations and expansions of points made in the text and worked examples. This cross-referencing gives readers a range of perspectives and a deeper understanding of each topic. The simple mathematical approach and logical progression—along with the hints and suggestions, worked examples and problem sheets—give beginners straightforward access to elementary structural engineering.

Table of Contents

Forces, Moments and Equilibrium

Forces on Structures

Measurement of Force

External Forces

Resultants and Components




Co-Planar Forces

Concurrent Force Systems

Forces at Supports

Stability and Determinacy

Parallel Force Systems

Internal Forces

Application: Concurrent Forces, Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank

Ties and Struts



Types of Stress

Strain and Elasticity

Design of Tension Elements (Ties)

Ties and Struts

Application: Ties and Struts, Il Grande Bigo

Application: Struts and Ties: Kurilpa Bridge

Loadings on Buildings


Dead Loads

Live Loads

Wind Loads

Other Loads

Calculation of Loads

Application: Loading, Live Loads

Graphical Statics


The Triangle of Forces: Resultants and Equilibrants

Bow’s Notation

The Triangle of Forces: Two Unknown Forces

Concurrency of Forces

Application: Graphical Statics, Patscentre

Pin-Jointed Structures

Pin-Ended Members

Graphical Method

Method of Joints

Method of Sections


Application: Roof Trusses, Menil Collection Museum

Application: Pin-jointed Trusses: Raleigh-Durham Airport

Bracing of Buildings

Vertical and Lateral Loads

Basic Systems

Bracing Options


Combined Effects

Application: Bracing, Osaka International Conference Centre

Application: Bracing: China Central Television

Shear Force and Bending Moment


Shear Force

Bending Moment

Bending Moment Diagrams

Load, Shear Force and Bending Moment


Application: SFD, BMD, Red Centre

Properties of Area

Centre of Gravity

The Centroid

Second Moment of Area

Theorem of Parallel Axes

Common Centroid Theorem

Section Modulus

Application: Properties of Cross Sections, Sydney Opera House

Application: Properties of Cross-Sections: National Stadium, Beijing

Bending Stresses

Internal Effects

The Stress Formula


Stress Variation

Maximum Stress

‘Ultimate’ Conditions

Application: Beams in Bending, Phoenix Central Library

Shear Stresses

Horizontal and Vertical Shear Stress

Shear Stress Formula

Maximum Shear Stress


‘Ultimate’ Conditions

Application: Design for Shear, Cummins Engine Factory

Application: Design for Shear: Serpentine Pavilion 2005


General Rules

Deflection Formula

Spans and Materials

Deflection Sensitivity


Application: Controlling Deflections, Commerzbank Headquarters

Design of Beams

Analysis and Design

Design of a Simple Beam

Design Steps

Ultimate Strength Design

Application: Timber Beams, Nottingham University Jubilee Campus

Application: Timber Beams: Druk White Lotus School, Ladakh

Answers to Worksheets

Appendix: A First Encounter with Statics


About the Authors

Ken Wyatt was the mainstay of structural engineering teaching in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales, Australia, for many decades. There he developed the original text of Principles of Structure. He is also a structural engineer, researcher, materials scientist, and heritage consultant.

Richard Houghhas worked as a structural engineer with the design firm Arup in London, Los Angeles, and Sydney on many well-known buildings and with some of the world’s best-known architects. He is presently a principal in the firm’s Sydney office, and a conjoint professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Buildings / General