Southern Cross University
School of Environment, Science & Engineering ENG40005 Engineering Capstone
Session 2 – Building Design Project
You and one (1) of your classmates are design engineers in a local engineering firm serving the Northern Rivers region. Recently, a client approached your company expressing their interest in constructing a semi-detached house on a lot. Preliminary investigation suggested the use of reinforced concrete for the house. The architectural drawing and soil investigation report are provided.
You are required to design all main structural elements of the building in accordance to the limit states design requirements outlined in AS3600. Since this is a single-storey building, only dead and live loads are considered in the design. Stability of the building should also be satisfactory. A complete CAD structural drawing or a key plan of each structural component is required at the end of the project. Your design should be cost effective.
In this project, you can design the house using a commercially available software package, such as SPACEGASS. However, you should be able to verify the output of the analysis, in terms of the accuracy of the loadings/reactions and the adequacy of the main structural elements, through hand calculations.
Structural components to be designed
1. Slabs (One way and/or two way)
3. Columns (Only short column)
4. Foundations (Pad footing and/or pile footing)
1. Start with the architectural drawing to frame the house.
2. Load distribution should start from the slab, to the beam, to the column and finally to the
3. Use the tributary area method to kick start your design load.
4. The design process is from top to bottom, however, the construction process is from bottom
5. Engineers need to make their own assumptions, such concrete strength, density of reinforced concrete, density of brickwall, concrete cover etc. These assumptions must be justified. In addition on this, these assumptions need to comply with the client’s needs and council’s requirements.
Suggested submission guidelines
The tasks should be completed in a progressive way:
1. Load distribution – Week 2
2. Slab (calculation and design) – Week 4
3. Beam (calculation and design) – Week 8
4. Column (calculation and design) – Week 10
5. Footing (calculation and design) – Week 12
6. Design report submission (combination of the previous calculations and designs, including a
key plan drawing) – Week 13
7. For each of the structural components, full manual/hand calculations need to be submitted
to verify the design.
8. A presentation of your overall design process. The presentation date is to refer to the
Blackboard. The presentation should cover the design procedures of the structural components, with sufficient engineering justification.
Students are expected to submit their individual design report in the end of the session. All the assumptions, justification, calculations and design, including drawings should be included in the final report.
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