Structural Framing System

Journal Entry For
Module 8 - Structural Framing Systems
Feb 21, 2022 12:51 AM
Last Edited
Feb 26, 2022 5:07 PM
Linked Student
Your Name
Melanie Porras

Overall strategy/Features of the structural system:

Considering that my building is only two stories, it will not have need a gravity load system that fulfills high load demands. Additionally, given that I have used rammed earth walls architecturally, and this material performs elastically and isotropic, it would be great for gravity and lateral load systems. Therefore, for my building, I will choose a combination of a wood structural system with load-bearing walls - both rammed earth and precast concrete. The precast concrete walls will be used for the atrium space and mechanical/bathrooms which will serve as a building core. Columns will be placed intentionally to keep the cafe space, atrium and certain exhibits column-free. Lastly, certain sections of Level 2 will be cantilevered over.

Material and framing system selected

The main material selected was a wood frame with rammed earth for some of the load-bearing walls. Not only will the exposed wood columns mirror the wood mullions used in the facade, but they will also exemplify sustainability practices. Specifications include:

Column Spacing: 25’ or 30’ depending on spacial requirements

Beam Spacing: 6”

  • Columns: timber column, 12”x22”
  • Girders: timber beam, 12”x12”
  • Beams/Joists: timber beam, 10”x10”
  • Cantilevered section: timber beam, 14”x14”
  • Rammed Earth Walls: 22“ thickness
  • Slabs: 3” LW concrete on 2” metal deck

Locations of structural columns and major framing elements

Floor Plan for Level 1


Floor Plan for Level 2:


Foundations: Mix of Column Foundation and Wall Foundation with slab on grade


Structural Challenges

The major structural challenge was learning how to merge the wooden structural frame with the load-bearing rammed earth walls. I ended up modeling the atrium as a wooden structure because only two sides of the core would have been structurally supported on the top floor and three on the bottom.