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Types of Structures in Construction

Structures in construction are a collection of elements that are linked together to serve a meaningful purpose. Thus, a structure is an arrangement and organisation of interconnected elements in an object or system, with the load acting vertically or laterally on structural components.

Many models can display various types of structures such as concrete, framed, shell, membrane, truss, cables and arches, surface structure, and so on. Depending on their functional requirements, members or components of a building may take on a number of shapes or forms. Civil engineering projects include the creation of structures like buildings, bridges, towers, arches, and cables.

Load Bearing Structure:

Load Bearing Structure
The weight of the building is distributed to the walls by use of roofs and floors that are directly supported by a load-bearing structure. Wall footings that are sufficient and economical for two to four stories convey the weight of the walls to the soil below. As the number of floors increases, the wall thickness reduces the carpet area due to its load-bearing function. The wall footings are put directly on hardened levels whereas this structure is used where hard strata are accessible at shallow depths. These days, only temporary or small constructions are used as load-bearing structures.


  • The building’s load-bearing structure is incredibly strong and substantial.
  • These buildings have outstanding fire resistance.
  •  Masonry units come in a variety of colours and textures, opening the door to endless creativity.
  •  Some building projects don’t require substantial planning.
  •  They have appealing aesthetics.
  •  The tools and machinery used in masonry construction are affordable.


  • The heat-insulating capabilities of these buildings are quite low.
  • The performance of these structures is inadequate during earthquakes.
  •  They employ a substantial number of masonry units. Their construction requires additional labour.
  •  This masonry work requires a lot of time.
  •  It is unreliable since the overall cost of the masonry units used to build these structures is considerable.
  •  Its structure weighs more.

Truss Structure:

Truss Structure

Trusses are characterised by their broad spans and shallow depths. The components that make up a truss are thin, triangle-shaped, and arranged in a specific order. With all of its components in the same plane, a planar truss is frequently utilised for bridges.

 A space truss is composed of three-dimensional elements. Weights are converted by the truss into compression and tension forces, which cause the truss to bend. The truss is made out of long, thin segments and uses less material than the beam as a result of these attributes. Truss can span areas between 9 metres (30 feet) to 122 metres (400ft). Moreover, loads are applied at the joints and frictionless pins are considered to be used to connect the members at the joints in truss analysis.

Framed Structure:

Framed Structure

Structures called frames are composed of vertical and horizontal components. The horizontal members are referred to as beams, and the vertical components are known as columns. The two types of frames are sway and non-sway frames. A non-sway frame does not permit horizontal movement, only lateral or sideward movement. In their analysis, the sway frames’ lateral movement is taken into consideration. Both stiff and flexible frames are possible. A beam and a column are linked by a pin or other fixed connection to form a frame. For stiff joint connections, the structure is indeterminate and frames can be expanded into two or three dimensions. The applied load and member characteristics will define how much deformation occurs in the frame member as a result of the loading.

Shell Structure:

Shell Structure

A thin, curved plate construction known as a shell transfers applied forces through compressive, tensile, and shear stresses operating in the surface plane. The materials used to build the structure of hell have a restricted depth in comparison to other dimensions; the surface structure may take the form of an inflatable structure or a tent, depending on the situation; in both cases, the surface material functions as a membrane under pure stress.

It can also be made of reinforced concrete and can be shaped like a cylinder, a folded plate, or another object. This structure can sustain loads in both tension and compression with a little degree of bending. There are three main types of shell structures. Lattice or grid shell structures, membrane structures, and concrete shell structures.

Cable and Arch Structure:

Cable and Arch Structure

In situations where trusses are impractical, long spans are supported by cables which significantly raises the structure’s cost and size. They are suitable for spans greater than 46 metres and can support loads in tension (150ft). They are used in bridge construction, and the sag, weight, and anchorage techniques of cables place restrictions on their use. To move loads in compression, arches are frequently used in bridge construction and dome roofs. Secondary loadings, such as shear and moment will form in order to maintain the rigidity and shapes so we must account for these secondary loadings in the design.

Pre-engineered Structure:

Pre-engineered Structure

Pre-engineered buildings (PEBs) are created by a supplier or manufacturer using a single design that can be built using a variety of materials and fabrication methods to satisfy different structural and aesthetic design specifications. The pre-engineered structure offers the benefit of being simple to install, durable, and easily adjustable. They must have a square or rectangular design, which unfortunately makes them much more expensive than other building types.

Mass Structure:

Mass Structure

A mass structure is formed by stacking similar elements into a given form or pattern. Although being manufactured using low-quality materials, they are often fairly thick. Materials are piled in a specific arrangement or shape to create them. Sandcastles, dams, pyramids, and other man-made structures are examples of artificial mass structures, whereas coral reefs, mountains, and other natural mass structures are examples of artificial mass structures.

Tensile Structure:

Tensile Structure

Tensile structures are those that only experience tension, with no compression or bending. Tensile thin-shell structures are the most common type. Utilizing membranes like PTFE-coated fibreglass or PVC, these structures give designers and end users with different aesthetically appealing free-form canopy designs. Examples of tensile membrane structures are sports facilities, warehousing and storage structures, and exhibition halls.

Composite Structure:

Composite Structure

A composite structure is made up of a load-bearing structure and a frame structure. Outside walls can be load-bearing constructions, whereas internal column and beam systems may support floors and ceilings. These structures are often used as industrial sheds or warehouses with long spans.


You can comprehend the numerous building structure types that are offered and choose the one you want to use for your house, workplace of business, or other construction in the future. The best thing is that you may incorporate some of these architectural styles to construct the most appropriate structure for your needs. Understanding the construction size is vital since it will allow you to plan with the resources you want or need to employ. The more weight-bearing restrictions there are, the larger the building.

In order to address the appropriate issues and modifications, this information must be provided as quickly as feasible. Furthermore, other difficulties need to be addressed before the commencement of the building activities so that the project is built securely and inexpensively.

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