STRCTENG 711 : Multistorey Structures Design


2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Techniques for the design of multistorey structures to resist seismic loading. Derivation of design actions, alternative structural systems for resisting these loads, design of structural components subject to cyclic inelastic action, detailing of members and joints to enhance earthquake resistance. Techniques of seismic isolation.

Course Overview

Course Overview

This course covers the fundamentals of multi-storey building design with a focus on earthquake loading, building response, and design of lateral-load resisting systems. The course will provide an understanding of the design of different structural systems including steel moment frames, eccentrically braced frames, reinforced concrete frames and reinforced concrete walls.  This will include ductile seismic design, capacity design principles and the importance of second order effects on the inelastic response of structures. It is intended to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the concepts and philosophy behind the performance and design of multi-storey buildings. 

The first module will cover general seismic analysis and design, application of NZS 1170.5 and dynamic response of multi-storey buildings, including the fundamentals of the three different analysis methods; equivalent static, modal response spectrum and numerical integration time history. This module is intended to complement the introductory module of STRCTENG 710 Low Rise Structures Design in terms of seismic loading principles, structural systems, and load paths. The concept of capacity design and its application to the seismic design of structures will be introduced.

The second module will cover the design of reinforced concrete structural systems and the third module the design of steel structural systems. These modules will present the design methods for common structural systems used in multi-storey buildings, including determining critical design actions, component design provisions, and seismic detailing requirements.  The course will present the fundamental theory as well as the application of this when following New Zealand structural design standards.  Assignments will allow for key parts of the design process to be implemented for an example multi-storey building.

Course Philosophy

The object of this course is to give the students an understanding of the concepts involved in the design of multi-storey building systems. The emphasis is on developing an understanding of fundamental behaviour, so that the application of the requirements of the loadings and materials standards can be understood. The principal focus will be on reinforced concrete systems (frames and walls) and structural steel systems (frames and braced frames). It also teaches preliminary design procedures for multi-storey buildings, giving students an understanding of the concepts and preliminary design requirements. The assignments will build on the material covered in previous structural mechanics and design courses. 

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: STRCTENG 302, and CIVIL 313 or STRCTENG 303 Restriction: CIVIL 714

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand and apply seismic design provisions and capacity design procedures for the design and detailing of multi-storey buildings for a ductile response to severe earthquake loading. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  2. Understand how structural components are assembled into complete structural systems of multi-storey buildings, including demonstating the load paths and interactions between components. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Analyse and apply the fundamental concepts involved in the analysis and design of steel and composite steel/concrete structures, and reinforced concrete structures for both the seismic resisting systems and the gravity load resisting systems of multi-storey buildings (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  4. Understand the importance of detailing reinforced concrete and structural steel multistorey buildings for dependable behaviour when responding in a damaged condition to severe earthquake loading. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Reinforce material presented in previous year’s design and structural analysis papers on individual component design to promote proper and effective application of Design Standards for muilt-storey building systems. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  6. Understand the importance of good documentation associated with sound structural calculations and the ability to be able to clearly convey engineering information in a design project format. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 55% Group & Individual Coursework
Quizzes 5% Individual Coursework
Test 20% Individual Test
Exam 20% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Students must sit the exam to pass the course. Otherwise, a DNS (did not sit) result will be returned.

Format for Test and Final Exam
For students studying within New Zealand, the test will be held on-campus at a specified date. For students studying from overseas, the test will be held on-line.
The format for the final exam will be in accordance with University policy, with the expectation that for students studying with New Zealand, exams will be held on-campus as they were up to 2019.

Rule for Calculating Final Mark and Grade.

A 10% rule applies when calculating your final grade. Your (coursework + test + exam) mark (which comprises assignments + quizzes + test + exam) cannot raise your final mark by more than 10 percentage points above your (test + exam mark) (e.g. if you score 40% average in the (test + exam), you cannot get more than 50% for your final mark).

This puts an emphasis on understanding the taught material sufficiently well to be able to answer questions under the time limited test/exam conditions. The revision required for this helps tie the different parts of the paper together and this is seen as an essential part of the learning programme.

Students must sit the exam to pass the course. Otherwise, a DNS (did not sit) result will be returned.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.  

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, 1 hour of tutorials, 3 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation, on average per week. However, the workload demands for this course are not spread evenly throughout the semester but are concentrated around projects and the tests, so look at the Course Planner at the beginning of the course and plan your working accordingly. 

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is strongly expected at scheduled activities including lectures/clinics to gain the greatest benefit from this course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including clinics will be available as recordings where possible.
Attendance on campus is required for the test.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable which will be presented in modules in CANVAS.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The following standards should be downloaded from Standards NZ website (  

NZS 1170.5: 2004 (Earthquake Loadings Standard), NZS 3101-2006 (Concrete Structures Standard), and NZ3404: 1997/2001/2007 (Steel Structures Standard).  Some of these details can be accessed via the Student Standards but they don't give the details necessary for advanced seismic design and detailing of multi-storey buildings which is a key component of this course.

Additional notes are being provided and will be available from UBS prior to the semester commencing. The date will also be advised on CANVAS. Further notes will be provided on CANVAS on a weekly basis during the semester – students are responsible for checking CANVAS for updates prior to class and having copy available for note taking during class time.  

Health & Safety

There are no scheduled laboratories for this course, however timetabling permitting a voluntary refresher MDLS lab will be organised demonstrating the lateral torsional behaviour of steel beams and influence of stiffeners using the teaching tools developed for Structeng 302 and taught in semester 2. If there are site visits these will be organised under the auspices of the University Health and Safety provisions for off campus activities. 

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Tutorials have been included in this course based on feedback from students in prior structural design courses.

Other Information

For the assignments, which are done in groups, students are expected to work together to plan designs and to determine who will do which part of the project in order that all students in the group participate evenly in the work and get learning benefit from the full scope of the assignment. Students will be required to sign a statement on the cover sheet of the assignment stating either that they have participated evenly in the project or advising what the split of work undertaken has been. Students are especially encouraged to work together during the design office period to discuss the way to plan designs and who will undertake which parts of the assignment in order to share the workload. This is a very efficient way of learning about the design of parts of the assignment that you are not doing the calculations for. 

Assignment deadlines will be adhered to except under exceptional circumstances.  Late projects in general will have a mark penalty on them or they will not be accepted.   

Assignments will be submitted online through CANVAS. Dates, times and instructions for submission will be posted on CANVAS. The details may vary between the two assignments. Note that the scope and content of the steel assignment will be less than the concrete assignment as 5% of the steel module marks are through quizzes and 25% through the assignment.  
This policy is how lecturers (during their period of lecturing) will manage out-of-lecture contact for Civil714 and will not necessarily apply to other courses or lecturers in the Department or School of Engineering. 
Office Hours 
Office hours will be confirmed by individual lecturers are the start of their section. Note that the physical availability of lecturers is limited so office hours will be limited and students who turn up to the lecturer’s office outside the following hours may be directed to come during these times or make an appointment. Also the use of Piazza on Canvas is replacing the need for office hours and that will be the preferred means of answering queries for this course. 
All emails should be written in a professional manner correctly formatted with a subject, greeting, body text and signature. Replies will not be sent to messages improperly composed. 
Questions sent to us by email on coursework/lecture material will NOT be answered.  These questions can be posted on Piazza and this will be checked by the appropriate lecturer on a regular basis. 
Queries on other matters will be acknowledged within 24 hours or as soon as possible thereafter.   

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 16/11/2022 08:41 a.m.