School Event

Basic Design of Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete


 Most Civil engineering or building projects require the construction of either a reinforced or prestressed concrete structure.  These are usually designed by specialists but must be committed to paper by draughtsmen, or interpreted on site by construction staff at all levels.  It is necessary for these technical or supervisory staff members to identify errors and omissions by having a basic knowledge of the design process.

 The starting point for the course is an analysis of determinate structures and indeterminate structures (by the method of coefficients) and the identification of stresses generated in the structure by applied loads.   A set of specially made plastic models will be used to illustrate the deformation and stability of structures under load, and have proved to be invaluable in ensuring the understanding of students in the past.

 Properties of the materials used, i.e. concrete, reinforcement and cables will be given with a guide to materials specification for the avoidance of cracks and deflections etc.  All formulae derived and used will be identical to those given in the South African code of concrete design SANS 10100 Parts 1 and 2, with an emphasis on structural performance based on selection and placement of materials.

 The approach to design is a logical, step-by-step process with many examples of the design of beams, columns and slabs done by students in groups, who are later provided with detailed calculations for the structural elements.  A comprehensive set of notes will be given to all students which follows a well-illustrated power-point presentation.  Prior knowledge by students will dictate the volume of instructional material that can be covered in two days but more complex design principles are well-covered in the notes to be taken away.

 All technical staff in Civil Engineering and building will benefit by attending the course, whether it be as a refresher or as an introduction to the principles of the design of concrete elements.  More experienced designers would benefit from the emphasis placed on material properties and specification.

 Topics to be covered

·         Parties to the design and construction of a concrete structure.

·         Analysis of statically determinate structures

·         Types of load and resultant stresses

·         Types of structural supports and stability

·         Shear force and bending moment diagrams

·         Stress, strain, elastic and plastic behaviour

·         Moment of inertia and resistance to different types of stress

·         Strength of concrete and maximum permissible strains

·         Limit state design of reinforced concrete elements

·         Design of moments of resistance of beams

·         Buckling, bracing and end fixity of columns

·         Life-span of reinforced concrete structures

·         Properties such as shrinkage, heat of hydration, elasticity, bleeding, compressive strength and creep

·         Basic design of prestressed concrete elements

·         Principles of eccentric loading and theory of bending

·         Stress designs for resistance of self-weight, point loads and uniformly distributed loads

·         Types of prestressing systems

·         Cable stresses and consequences of prestress loss

·         Shear in prestressed beams

·         Bursting at end blocks

·         Post-tensioned and pre-tensioned beams


Who should attend

·         Civil Engineers

·         Structural Engineers

·         Engineers of all disciplines who require a top-up of skills in the basic principles of structural design and construction.


Bruce Raath, the well-known international presenter of structural concrete courses, will be the presenter.  He is a Fellow of the SAICE, a member of the British Institutions of Concrete Technologists and Structural Engineers.  He has investigated many defects occurring in concrete structures and is a member of the Association of Arbitrators.







Properties of materials for design and construction

This event has been cancelled