The objectives of structural design may be summarised as follows

1- Safety

The structure should be able to carry all expected loads safely, without failure, that is, without breaking or collapsing under the loads.

2- Durability
The structure should last for a reasonable period of time.

3- Stability

To prevent overturning, sliding or buckling of the structure, or parts of it, under the action of loads.

4- Strength

To resist safely the stresses induced by the loads in the various structural members.

5- Serviceability

To ensure satisfactory performance under service load conditions – which implies providing adequate stiffness and reinforcements to contain deflections, crack-widths and vibrations within acceptable limits, and also providing impermeability and durability (including corrosion-resistance), etc. There are two other considerations that a sensible designer ought to bear in mind, viz., economy and aesthetics. One can always design a massive structure, which has more-than-adequate stability, strength and serviceability, but the ensuing cost of the structure may be exorbitant, and the end product, far from aesthetic.

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