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Last edited 14 Dec 2022
Types of structure
Within the context of the built environment, the term ‘structure’ refers to anything that is constructed or built from interrelated parts with a fixed location on the ground. This includes buildings, but can refer to any body that is designed to bear loads, even if it is not intended to be occupied by people (engineers sometimes refer to these as 'non-building' structures – such as bridges, tunnels, and so on).
 What are the main classification types for structures?
 How are structures defined by type?
Types of structural systems include:
 How are structures defined by system?
Types of structural system include:
 How are structures defined by application?
Applications of structures include:
- Aqueducts and viaducts.
- Cooling towers and chimneys.
- Retaining walls.
- Coastal defences.
 How are structures defined by form?
- One-dimensional: Ropes, cables, struts, columns, beams, arches.
- Two-dimensional: Membranes, plates, slabs, shells, vaults, domes, synclastic, anticlastic.
- Three-dimensional: Solid masses.
- Composite. A combination of the above.
 How are structures defined by material?
- Timber and similar materials such as bamboo, plywood, and engineered timber.
- Metal: Steel, aluminium and so on.
- Masonry: Brick, block, stone and so on.
- Adobe, earth, clay, cob and so on.
- Fabric, such as fabric membranes.
- Composite, such as structural insulated panels.
 How are structures defined by element?
Structural elements include:
- Shell and core.
- Structural frame.
- Wall: loadbearing walls, compartment walls, external walls, retaining walls.
 How are structures defined by overall shape.
Overall shapes of structures include:
- High rise.
- Hyperbolic paraboloid.
- Civil engineer.
- Elements of structure in buildings
- Platform construction.
- Structural engineer.
- Structural principles.
- The development of structural membranes.
- Types of beam.
- Types of building.
- Types of column.
- Types of construction.
- Types of wall.
- Types of structural load.
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