The Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards are the regulatory guidelines that outlines the requirements for engineering, design and material requirements and their construction (use). The following codes impact the design methods of the main structural forms; timber, concrete and steel.


  • Timber structure – design methods

AS1720.1-2010  Timber Structures – Design Methods

  • Reinforced Concrete design

AS 3600 – 2009  Concrete Structures 
and Amendment No. 1-2010

  • Structural steel design

AS4100 – Structural Steel Design


Common engineering construction system 

Load Bearing Wall Construction 

Load bearing wall construction uses the full wall system (or part of it) to transfer the vertical and lateral loads of the above structure to the floor, footing, and foundation below. For example, in a single-storey brick veneer house, while the bricks contribute to the house’s dead load, and wind load calculation, only the timber frame is loadbearing. The timber frame walls carry the load of the ceiling and roof above, transferring the load into the floor structure, footings, and then finally into the site’s foundations.

Post and Beam Construction Loads

In post and beam construction the entire dead and live loads of the roof, walls and floor are transferred through the beams into the supporting columns, and down into the column’s footings. In this situation all other elements (including walls) and considered non-loadbearing.

Portal Frame Construction

A portal frame is a type of structural frame that is characterised by a unidirectional beam (rafter) supported at either end by columns. The joints between the beam and columns are rigid, allowing the bending movement in the beam to be transferred to the columns, and down into the footings like in Post & Beam construction. Portal frames can be from steel, reinforced precast concrete, or laminated timber, or a combination of steel & hardwood (flitch beam). Timber Portal frames usually rely on steel plates bolted through the timber to create the required rigid connection.





 * * *

The information contained in the article and website are general in nature and are the opinions of the author, through his professional experience and study. Click here for more details of our content.