Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ARCH 123
Course Title:
Structural Systems 3
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers basic residential retaining walls, concrete foundations and residential prescriptive path solutions for wind and seismic loads. Prerequisites: ARCH 122, MTH 65 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course is required for an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Architectural Design and Drafting, and Building Inspection Technology.  It is also required for the One Year Certificate in Structural Inspection, Mechanical Inspection, Plans Examiner, and One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code Combination Structural, Mechanical, and Plans Examiner.
Transferability of credit depends entirely upon the institution to which the student wishes to transfer.
Students who may have a disability and wish an accommodation should make arrangements to meet with the instructor outside of class to discuss specific requests.  Any request for accommodation may require that documentation of disability be reviewed by the Office for Students with Disabilities

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:
Communicate with design professionals, clients and engineers using industry specific terminology for residential concrete foundation systems and wind
and seismic prescriptive path solutions.
Apply theories of structural loading, select and design basic retaining walls and concrete foundation systems for a residential project.
Using a code defined prescriptive path, select and design a residential structural system to resist wind and seismic forces.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Participation in class work sessions, class discussions and critiques.
  • Proper and timely completion of class projects, which demonstrate effective use of knowledge.
  • Evaluation procedures will be presented at the first class meeting.  Student grades will be based on satisfactory comĀ­pleĀ­tion of assigned projects.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Lecture/discussion and lab sessions will be the instructional methods used in this course and will provide the student with the background information necessary to complete the homework assignments. 

  • Forces and stresses on structural members
  • Moments and reactions caused by loads on structural members
  • Shearing and bending stresses through the use of shear diagrams
  • Types of basic structural members
  • Design methods and computational techniques to solve given bending problems


  • Code required minimum live loads
  • Common construction dead loads
  • Determination of member load
  • Total loads for a given structural system


  • Steel design values in reference books
  • Beams
  • Angles and channels
  • Columns


  • Plain concrete footings
  • Steel reinforced concrete footings
  • Plain concrete retaining walls


  • Introduction to lateral forces
  • Wind loads
  • Seismic loads