Structural Framing Recommendations

Please share:

  • The screenshot of an interior view of your merged model from the Model Coordination module
  • A brief paragraph describing your structural system strategy

My strategy was to use steel structural elements so that the resulting building could sustain higher live loads than if it were made of wood or mass timber. I took care to avoid intruding into the shafts for the building’s two stairwells and added beams and columns immediately around them to provide local reinforcement. Elsewhere I followed the shape of the building as closely as possible while trying to avoid creating any beams much longer than 30’. The maximum steel beam span for the assignment is 50’, but Professor Katz recommends 30’ as a rule of thumb, and the shorter beams will be able to support higher loads anyway, so I see it as a win.


This results in a handful of structural columns visible in the interior of the building, which I don’t think meshes well with the designer’s likely aesthetic intent. My most egregious error was having an entire row of structural columns running right down the middle of the hallways! Yikes!

I also placed a beam system that runs across an opening in the building’s ceiling that appears to be for a skylight, so that isn’t great either! This exercise has certainly convinced me of the necessity of having architectural and structural elements in the same view. It’s a great way to discover conflicts!