Course Title: Design of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Design of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr. Saman de Silva

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3235

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.13.05d

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Completion of structural design and analysis courses at undergraduate level program or demonstrated equivalent capability.

Course Description

This course introduces you to conceptualising contemporary and emerging trends in the growth of tall buildings and urban habitat, including the use of green principles in modern structures and urban developments. You will examine hybrid structural systems, high performance construction materials, structural analysis methods and design tools involved in the design of tall buildings. Wind engineering, wind acceleration and user comfort, column shortening and design for lateral stability will be discussed through case studies of iconic buildings.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC207 Master of Engineering (Structures and Forensics)

  • Undertake advanced methods of computational mechanics, analysis, structural optimisation and design for resilience, safe construction, reliability in-service phases
  • Undertake problem-diagnosis and treatment during the structural design and construction phase.

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Critically examine current trends in growth of tall buildings and future urban habitats including the principles of green buildings.
  2. Explain hybrid structural systems widely used in tall buildings and conduct conceptual design.
  3. Model tall buildings for analysis.
  4. Evaluate wind sensitivity, user comfort and dynamic response.
  5. Complete a conceptual design of lateral and gravity load resisting systems

Overview of Learning Activities

A modular, blended learning model comprising lecture/workshop sessions, on-line forums and team based activities will be employed in the course.

You will be working on a selected case studies applying a systems approach in ascertaining the wellbeing of structural systems.

You will engage in on-line forums to share information and participate in case studies.

Total study hours: Lectures and tutorial sessions involve 3 hours/week over 12 weeks. In addition you are expected to spend around 6 hours/week on revision, additional research and assignments.

Overview of Learning Resources

Lecture notes, references and further reading material will be posted on the course web-site (Blackboard). Any appropriate computer software packages are usually available in the School of Engineering computer laboratories.

RMIT Library Subject Guide:


Overview of Assessment

Note that: ☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Task 1:  Urban Habitat Paper

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLO 1.

Assessment Task 2:  Tall Building Design Project

Weighting 45%

This assessment task supports CLOs 2 to 5.

Assessment Task 3: Exam

Weighting 35%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 to 5.