Degree in Technical Architecture and Building Engineering La Salle Campus Barcelona URL

Degree in Technical Architecture and Building Engineering

The Degree in Technical Architecture and Building is temporarily paused for new students


PART I. Geotechnics. A course on the concepts of the ground and rock and the study of land in use in the laboratory. Analysis, content and interpretation of geotechnical studies. Identification and study of the land as a structural base. Knowledge on excavation techniques, land stability and restraints. Pathologies on the land and repairs. PART II. Foundations. A course on the design and calculation of foundations. Typological and quantitative comparisons of the diverse options available. PART III. Forged and bidirectional slabs. A course on the design and calculations of forged and bidirectional slabs, in both the projection stage and the laying of foundations. Wooden structures.
Type Subject

Titular Professors

Previous Knowledge

The knowledge which the student has acquired on previous Structure courses on the resilience, elasticity and plasticity of materials, concrete structures, metallic structures, regulations etc…

Knowledge of the basic computer programmes including those which correspond to programmes on finite elements.


The students who complete our course on Architectural Structures acquire the knowledge and develop the skills listed below:

Basic skills:

1. A basic knowledge of the area of study: geotechnics.
2. To acquire the information management skills necessary to enable the student to correctly interpret the data and geotechnical and geological map reports. To design and use the surveying methods in order to analyse and interpret the results obtained and to compile them in a report for the future design of foundations.
3. To correctly apply the data obtained from the land survey in the soil study carried out in the laboratory. To learn to appreciate the relationship between the behaviour of the actual land and of that studied in the laboratory.
4. To have enough knowledge to be able to predict the behaviour of the land when it receives the structural loads, excavation possibilities and the modification of the flow of water before the planned building work.
The knowledge needed to design the correct typological plans of the foundations and how to successfully approach the dimensioning of the project, taking into account the impact of the construction on the ground and the environmental surroundings and to understand the importance of working in a multi-disciplinary team of professionals.
4. A sound knowledge of the structural behaviour of slabs, bidirectional forged, including reinforced slabs for foundations.
To obtain a basic knowledge about the project, sizing, calculations and the regulations on wooden structures.


Basic knowledge of geology and common geological features of Catalonia. Geological maps and aerial photography. Land typologies: rocks and grounds.
Isotropy and representation. Identification, classification and characteristics. Water: surface and underground.

Study of the data of the work. Geophysical explorations (electrical, seismic, scanned). Reverse. Surveys. Witness testimonies. Penetrometers: static and dynamic. Collection of discontinued simples: un adulterated and representative. Discontinued studies: Spt, penetromoeters and manual scission, pressure meters, windmills (vane test), load bearing plaques. Application of criteria.

Laboratory data results: identification: granulometer, limits of plasticity, humidity and density. Resistance and deformation: simple compression, direct, tri-axial and edometric stoppages. Expansiveness: Lambe apparatus and edometer. Chemical analysis of land and water, study of aggression of cement on concrete. Application of criteria.

Geotechnical survey. Previous information and estimations. Programming of the surveying plan in accordance with: area of land to be studied, geological homogeneity, width and depth of the floor plan. Control of work and possible ways of modifying the plan depending on the results which are obtained as the project develops. Prices.

The geotechnical study. Description of the methodology used in the identification process, especially on non-regulation equipment. Relationship between the results. Interpretation. Stratigraphical or liturgical sections. Conclusions. Recommendations on foundation, restraints, excavation, stability. Signature. Review of the content and the quality of the geotechnical study.

The mechanisms of floors. Stability of talus. Section laws. Effects of pressure, of cohesion, of friction and water; study of balance. Theory of thrust: floor variables, restraint system variables and external variables. Critical height of slope. Erosion.

The relation between the building structure and the ground: foundations. Conditioning factors of foundations: the ground, the water, the depth, the structure, the deformability, the nearby buildings, the execution, the economy. Sinking loads, split model. Acceptable pressure. Settling; pressure valves. Building / foundation relation. The aptness of basements. Special conditions for large areas of land and for instable land.

Retaining land. Walls: type, gravity and flexion carriers. Stability of assembled structure: overturning, sliding. Screens: definitions, type, constructive process, bracing and provisional buttress. Crowning beams. Clamps and bolts.

Constructive pathology given the foundations o their relation with the ground. A study of the damages and their evolution; interpretation. Sounding and instrumentation. Settling. Expansiveness. Humidity variations. Similarities of the land. Instability. Deformation or collapse. Drainage. Previous foundation defects: planning (heterogeneousness of the land, inadequate laying of foundations) and materials. Defects which occur at the time of laying the foundations. Defects which occur after the execution (retraction, thermal tensions, chemical or electrolitical corrosion, decay of the cement) new research exploration plan. Repair or reinforcement. Surface and deeper amendments. Micro pilots and `jet grouting´ typology and application.
Land improvements.

The ground.
Physical characteristics: specific weight, dry density, humidity…
Mechanic characteristics: internal angles, cohesion and deformation model.
Identification of ground: granulometry, quimics test, plasticity in cohesive ground.
Types of ground: gravel, soil, limestone…
The geotechnical study.
Previous information: the surroundings of the site and potential incidences.
Identification techniques: pools, surveys, penetrometry and SPT.
The reading and comprehension of a geotechnical study. The format.

Tension valves.
Differential settlings.
Buildings which face each other.

Design principles, methodology.

Intrinsically factors: types of land, depth of foundations, level, appropriateness of support structure, expansiveness.

Description of types of superficial and deep foundations: isolated base supports, bases, slabs, foundation shafts, piloting, screens, retaining walls. How and when to use them.

Common types.
General calculation method of reinforced bases with a central load.
Localised compression on the upper side of the base.
Union between the base and the support.
Bases subject to momentum flexion
Irregular shaped bases.

Bonding between bases.

Common types
Eccentric bases with a variable pressure distribution and reaction mechanism in the upper floor.
Eccentric bases with a variable pressure distribution and reaction mechanism in a cross bearing on the upper side of the base.
Sizing of eccentric bases.
Eccentric bases with clamped beam.
Corner bases.

Common types.
Rigid structure with any kind of panel or flexible structure with rigid panels.
Distribution of reinforced to flexion.
Calculation of cutting effort.
Calculation of sharpness.
Support joints and panels.

Shafts subject to central compression.
Cases of horizontal forces and / or momentum on the support base.
Joining the support and the shafts

Definition of slab.
Functions of the slab.
Types of bidirectional slabs.

Reticular ceilings.

Determination of state of loads.
Determination of edges.
Planning criteria.

Types of analysis (linear, non-linear, plastic).
Introduction to the Cross method.
Introduction to the metrical calculation.
Introduction to the calculation of finite elements.
Typologies of software.

Map structural decomposition (virtual access).
Definition of virtual access.
Relation of rigid ness in virtual access.
Definition of dividing panels.
Transmission of effort from the panels to the pillars.

Cutting linear elements.
Minimum and maximum quantities.

Deformations of concrete.
Formulae for the calculation of axles.

Determination of concrete volumes.
Determination of steel quantities.
Determination of the use of mortar.

Planning errors.
Construction errors.
Splits in structural elements.
Splits in non-structural elements.

Common types
Anatomy of wood.
Growth tension.
Physical properties.
Mechanical properties.
Growth tensions.

Factors which influence the mechanical properties.
Properties of the material.

Deformation calculations.
Limitation of deformation.


Common types.
Testing of tensions parallel to the material.
Testing of tangible tensions.
Testing of perpendicular tension in the material.


Structures of laminated wood.
Structures of sawed wood.

General calculation considerations.
Traditional joints.
Elements with nailed joints.
Joints with connectors and key panels.
Joints with glued beams.


The theory is taught through lectures with the projection of pictures, diagrams and photographs (power-point) to provide the student with a more thorough explanation and comprehension.
Practical work on the land, so that the student can get to know the typology and the characteristics of the land.
Theory classes and practical exercises on the direct application of sizing and calculations of the foundations and slabs and flagstones.

Interpersonal skills:
To work in interdisciplinary teams, with geotechnical structural calculation specialists, in land surveys and in their interpretation in the design of the foundations of a structure.

Systematic skills:
Capacity to put knowledge into practice.
Capacity to adapt plans to the land conditions.
Design and management of projects. A concern for quality and continuous improvement.


A. Written exams and tests in class. This is worth 60% of the final mark.
D. Work and problems done at home. This is worth 20% of the final mark.
J. Participation in class and in other kinds of practical work. This is worth 20% of the final mark.

Evaluation Criteria

Objective 1:
The student has to show a basic knowledge of the geotechnical features of land and surfaces and their identification. [A, D]

Objective 2:
The student must have the capacity and the necessary knowledge to correctly interpret geotechnical reports and to understand the basic vocabulary employed the subject of foundations and geotechnics. [J]

Objective 3:
To be fully competent in the recognition of the laboratory work involved in geotechnics and to appreciate its values as model of reality. [A, D]

Objective 4:
To have sufficient knowledge to design and calculate the foundations which are most aptly suited to a particular structure or type of ground. [A, D, J]

Objective 5:
To acquire and show sufficient criteria to determine the range of application of the design and calculation of flagstones and bidirectional slabs. [A, D, J]

Objective 6:
To show her/his knowledge on the peculiarities of design, sizing, calculation and the regulations on wooden structures.
[A, D, J]

Basic Bibliography

A collection of subjects, in `note´ form, taken from various articles which have been published, graphs and other material prepared by the teacher in charge of the course.


EUROCÓDIGO 1 EC-1 Acciones en la edificación.
EUROCÓDIGO 2 EC-2 Proyecto de estructuras de hormigón armado.
EUROCÓDIGO 3 EC-3 Proyecto de estructuras de acero.
EUROCÓDIGO 5 EC-5 Proyecto de estructuras de madera.
NBE AE-88 Acciones en la edificación.
NBE EHE 98 Instrucción Hormigón Estructural.
NBE EA-95 Estructuras de acero en la edificación.
NBE EF-96 Forjados unidireccionales de hormigón armado o pretensado.
NBE EM (en elaboración) Estructuras de madera en la edificación.


González Caballero, Matilde. `El terreno´, Aula d´Arquitectura 44, Edicions UPC, Barcelona, 2001.
Jiménez, P.; García A.; Morán F. `Hormigón Armado´. Editorial Gustavo Gili S.A.
Calvera, J. `Cálculo de estructuras de cimentación´. Editorial Intemac.
Calvera, J. `Muros de contención y muros de sótano´. Editorial Intemac.
Jiménez., J. A., Justo, J. L. `Geotécnia y cimientos. Propiedades de los suelos y las rocas´.
Cavera, J. `Proyecto y cálculo de estructuras de hormigón armado para edificios´ (2 tomos). Editorial Intemac.
Calvera, J. `Cálculo, construcción y patologías de forjados en edificación´. Editorial Intemac.
Buixadé C., Margarit J. `Seccions i sostres sense buigues de formigó armat. Disseny i càlcul´. Editorial edicions UPC.
Regaldo, F. `Los forjados retilculares´. Ediciones cype ingenieros.
Navés, F., Llorens, M. `Càlcul d´estructures´. Editorial edicions UPC.
Torroja, E. `Razón y ser de los tipos estructurales´. Editorial consejo superior de investigaciones científicas.
Salvadori, M., Heller, R. `Estructuras para arquitectos´. Editorial CP67.
Timoshenko Young. `Resistencia de materiales´. Editorial Espasa Calpe.
Timoshenko Young. `Elementos resistencia de materiales´. Editorial Montaner.
Rodríguez Avial. `Resistencia de material´.
Stiopin. `Resistencia de materiales´. Editorial Mir.
Courbou. `Resistencia de materiales´. Editorial Aguilar.
Brufau, R.; Batlle, M. `Estructuras I´ (Tomos 1, 2 y 3).
Prontuario. `Ensidesa´.
Wolfgang Schueller. `The vertical building structure´. Editorial Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Calavera, J. `Cálculo de estructuras de cimentación´. Editorial Intermac.
Calavera, J. `Muros de contención y muros de sótano´. Editorial Intermac.
Argüelles R., Arriaga F. `Estructuras de madera. Diseño y cálculo´. Editorial Aitim.
Argüelles, R. `La estructura metálica hoy´. Librería técnica Bellisco.
Martínez, J., Ortiz, J. `Construcción mixta. Hormigón-acero´. Editorial Rueda.
Rodríguez, M. A. `Diseño estructural en madera´. Editorial Aitim.
Stungo, N. `Arquitectura en madera. Nuevas tendencias´. Editorial Blume.
J. Montoya; G. Meseguer; F. Morán. `Hormigón Armado´. Ed. GG.

Additional Material

Cambefort, H. `Geotécnia del Ingeniero. Reconocimiento de suelos´. ETA, Barcelona, 1975
Cambefort, H. `Reconocimiento de suelos y cimentaciones especiales´. Omega, Barcelona, 1967
Costet, J; Sanglerat, G. `Curso práctico de mecánica de suelos´. Ed. Blume, Barcelona, 1975.
Dapples, E.K. `Geología básica en ciencia e ingeniería´. Ed. Omega, Barcelona.
Garcia Boada, J.; Mascareñas, P.; Vidal, J.; Zarroca, M. `Características mecánicas de los suelos´. Publicaciones del Col. Oficial d´Aparelladors i Arquitectes Tècnics de Catalunya. Cedesco Técnico, Barcelona, 1978.
Gruaux, D. `Fundamentos de mecánica del suelo. Proyecto de muros y cimentaciones´. Vol. I, Geotécnia aplicada, ETA, SA, Barcelona, 1970.
Jiménez Salas, J.L. `Geotécnia y Cimientos´. 4 vols. Ed. Rueda, Madrid.
Mañá, F. `Cimentaciones superficiales´. Ed. Blume, Barcelona, 1975.