Recommendation for Conceptual Structural Design

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I found some title of the books, but I’m not sure if they are good or not:

  1. Conceptual Structural Design: Bridging the gap between architects and engineers (2e)
  2. Building Structures (3e) - Understanding the Basics
  3. Understanding and Using Structural Concepts
  4. Structural Concepts and Systems for Architects and Engineers
  5. Building Structures (3e) - James Ambrose, Patrick Tripeny
  6. The Design of Building Structures by Wolfgang Schueller
  7. Bridge Design: Concepts and Analysis


I need to know more about what you’re looking for specifically. Is it high level, form finding kind of stuff? Or more system selection for common buildings? Your book list has a mixture of both so I can’t discern your intent. My library, while extensive, is mostly geared to towards system selection for common buildings.

Some preliminary comments:

I don’t have your reference #1 but I scoped it out and it looks awesome. Perfect for form finding by the look of it.

I do have your reference #3 and it’s one of my ATF structural books. Just a damn fun read for our kind. I’d say that it’s a blend of form finding and system selection. That said, it’s system selection as applied almost exclusively to bloody awesome projects. Sadly, my experience of structural engineering to date has borne little resemblance to that of TY Lin. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to which of us has garnered the better deal.

I do have your reference #5 and would say that it’s a useful resource for system selection for common building morphologies.

Depending on what you’re specifically looking for, I may recommend the following. The first one is awesome and can be had for pocket change on Amazon etc if you’re patient in waiting for the right deal.

  1. Building Structural Design Handbook (Edited by: Richard N. White, and Charles G. Salmon)

  2. Structural Design of Low-Rise Buildings in Cold-Formed Steel, Reinforced Masonry, and Structural Timber (Mujagic, Dolan, Ekwueme, Fanella and LaBoube)

I don’t often do a conceptual or preliminary design…

A conceptual design is generally limited to see if I can get something to work, and a preliminary design is used for comparing alternatives for costing. Most of my design work is ‘final’… I hate doing things twice.