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91624: Demonstrate understanding of a structural system

Updated November 2015. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Definition of Structural Systems

Explanatory Note 3 refers to examples of structural systems. For this standard, structural integrity is of primary concern. The structural integrity of a structural system relates to its ability to withstand a load.

A structure refers to framework that is used to support a load(s). A framework is comprised of structural members that are assembled using pin or fixed joints. The integrity of a framework is reliant on the strength, weight, material, and profile of its structural members; the combination and means of joining structural members; and the safety factors applied to the structure.

For Achieved

To achieve this standard, students are required to explain the structural members and materials that are required to achieve a structural system. Structural members are supporting parts and may include beams, bracing, plates, pillars, guy ropes, keels, boning and stair risers.

Students will explain how known loads and dynamic loads could impact on the design of a structural system. Dynamic loads are those that can change or that are applied with motion (Examples in Explanatory Note 4).

The students are also required to discuss how the structural integrity impacts on the selection of structural members and construction materials and techniques.

Merit and Excellence

Merit requires discussion of how structural members and materials work together to achieve structural integrity and evaluating the structural integrity of a structure. To attain Excellence, students will need to discuss and justify possible ways of increasing structural integrity of a structural system.  

Students could use technical language, diagrams, and symbols to explain structural members and materials used in structural systems.

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