CVEN4009W Case Studies 1: Build Design

Academic Year 2022/2023

CVEN4009W is aimed at developing the capability to solve conceptual structural design problems that relate to buildings. In it students will:

- Develop qualitative understanding of load paths and structural response to loads, including geotechnical considerations.
- Learn to choose appropriate efficient and cost-effective solutions for given outline problems.

The module CVEN4009W - Case Studies 2 is delivered jointly with the module CVEN4010W - Case Studies 1.

CVEN4009W will assign students into groups, where students will develop skills in engineering management in addition to the technical aspects related to structural systems in buildings.
Each group is given scheme designs to complete and will need to create the self-organizing structures that will lead to a successful group solution. Groups must present an oral and written design solution for each scheme. Each case study is presented to colleagues and experts from industry and academia in an interruptible forum.

In CVEN4009W students are taught to think structures in an holistic form; where each member is part of a bigger structural system.

CVEN4009W will also raise student awareness for the importance of preliminary design in the achievement of sustainability practices, where most of the decisions taken at preliminary design stage lock the design sustainability outcomes, and has significant influence on its resource efficiency, and whole-life cost contributions. Students will also address and discuss issues of engineering management, where cost and management issues play a major role on preliminary design decisions. With such, students are taught to think design on beyond the physicality concepts, and include also the practicality of the engineering management.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

I. Be able to design a workable structural scheme, with preliminary sizes and areas of reinforcement (in the case of structural concrete) for a range of buildings, including foundation problems.

II. Be able to communicate the design solutions by means of hand calculations and graphical presentations to your peers and experts from industry.

III. Understand the role of preliminary design decision-making in the efficiency of structural performance and effectiveness of resource efficiency in buildings. Including the practicality of the design decisions, and the impact these have in multiple criteria, that include not only cost, but resource consumption, circularity principles, constructability, among other.

IV. Understand the changing paradigm of preliminary design with the aid of computational tools, and learn how to apply these at preliminary design stages.

Indicative Module Content:

CVEN4009W will cover the following aspects of preliminary design:

- Preliminary structural scheming;
- Structural forms and their load paths;
- Preliminary Geotechnical design;
- Member sizing;
- Wind and lateral loading;
- Computer-aided preliminary design;

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Seminar (or Webinar)


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures; Student group discussion and Problem-based Learning; Case Studies where students present and defend their solutions in class.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Exams 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Group Project: Group Case Study reports; Class-test. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Student's oral defence of their case studies in class will contribute to our decision on the mark for each submission. Group peer-review will inform marking of the Case Studies.