Universitat Internacional de Catalunya


Second semester
Propedeutic Introductory Module
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, Spanish

Teaching staff

Tuesday and Wednesday from 13.00 to 14.00, by appointment at the following mail address: pcasariego@uic.es.


An architect has to handle many variables to design a building, this is the main reason why the grade of architecture is so versatile and is articulated in different branches.

Generally speaking, we could say that Physics is divided into three parts: Classical Physics, Modern Physics and Contemporary Physics.

Inside of Classical Physics, among other branches, we found the Classical Mechanics, Sound and Optics, which are the three parts into which the subject of Physics of the first course of architecture is divided.


It is the branch of Classical Physics that studies the behaviour of bodies under the action of a system of forces.

Given the breadth of this branch, is usual to divide the study of Classical Physics in three parts: Mechanics of Rigid Bodies, Fluids Mechanics and Mechanics of Deformable Bodies.

The subject of Physics introduces to the student into the Mechanics of Rigid Bodies and into the Fluid Mechanics. The Mechanics of Deformable Bodies is taught in the second course of the grade.

It is noteworthy that the Mechanics of Rigid Bodies is divided into two main sections:

Static: Study the bodies submitted to equilibrated forces, that is, bodies at rest or in uniform motion.
Dynamics: Study the motion of the bodies, essentially their trajectory versus time, (Kinematics), and study the bodies under non uniform motion, that is, under accelerated motion, (Kinetics).

Static is the theory usually taken in the first course of the grade of architecture, since so many practical structural problems of edification can be analyzed by applying its principles.

The introduction to the main concepts of Static is fundamental to learn correctly the structures subjects that are imparted in superior courses.




It is the branch of physics that studies thermodynamics. The heat transfer is the process of thermal exchange between different parts.


This concept is particularly important in order to determine the heat and cooling loads, facade, ventilation and thermal comfort. This allows calculating and reducing energy consumption of the building.

        3. SOUND

It is the branch of Classical Physics that analyzes the sound vibrations. The study of acoustics involves the way that the sound waves travel through specific means.

The quality of one project may be affected if the building do not have a good acoustic, especially in some edification typologies, and is therefore important for an architect to know the main concepts of the sound.

        4. OPTICS

It is the branch of Classical Physics that explores the properties of light since the visible spectrum to ultraviolet and infrared radiation.

Lighting can be a key factor to design a building, so it is reasonable to know the principles of optics.

Pre-course requirements

It is recommendable:

To know the main concepts that are taught in high school.
Pass the Mathematics subject that is taught in the first semester of the first course of architecture.


Acquire basic knowledge of Statics:

  • Obtain with fluently the static equilibrium of a structural system and the diagrams of internal forces.

  • Manage and correctly apply the principles of vectors and mass geometry.

Handle easily the main concepts of Fluids Mechanics, Sound and Optics

Develop analytic and reflexive capacity and adequately assess the information that involves a practical problem.


  • 12-T - Ability to conceive, calculate, design, integrate in buildings and urban complexes and execute building structures
  • 15-T - Ability to conceive, calculate, design, integrate in buildings and urban complexes and execute foundation solutions
  • 17 - Ability to apply building and technical standards
  • 24 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the mechanics of solids, continuous medium and soil as well as the plastic, elasticity and resistance properties of materials for structural works

Learning outcomes

Capacity to handle fluently the main concepts of Statics.

Acquire the elementary principles of Fluids Mechanics, Sound and Optics.



  1. Introduction to mechanics.

  2. Historical background.

  3. Fundamental magnitudes of mechanics. (Newton’s laws. Mass and weight).

  4. Measurement units.

  5. Scalar magnitudes and vectorial magnitudes.

  6. Dimensional considerations. Homogeneity.


  1. Density, pressure and fluid velocity. Pascal´s law.

  2. Buoyancy forces and Archimedes principle.

  3. Fluid dynamics.

  4. Streamlines.

  5. Bernouilli equation.

  6. Venturi´s tube.


  1. Introduction. Vectorial magnitudes.

  2. Representation of coordinate vectors. Vector components. Vector operations. Unit vectors. Director´s cosines. Scalar, vectorial and mixed product.

  3. Resultant of concurrent forces.

  4. Decomposition of a force in its components. Rectangular components of a force.

  5. Definition: Moments and forces. Principle of moments. Varignon´s theorem.

  6. Torque.

  7. Equivalent systems.


  1. Introduction. Weight and mass.

  2. Definition: Centroid, center of mass and center of gravity.

  3. Centroid, center of mass and center of gravity.  Composite figures and integration.

  4. Pappus and Guldin theorem.

  5. Definition: Inertia moments.

  6. Inertia moments of composite figures. Steiner theorem.

  7. Inertia moments by integration.


  1. Introduction.

  2. Free solid diagrams.

  3. Support´s idealization. Bi-dimensional and three-dimensional connections.

  4. Isostatic and hyperestatic systems. Mechanism.

  5. Load types. Concentrated, distributed, triangular and inclined.

  6. Internal forces in structural members. Axial, shear, bending and torsion rotation.

  7. Elements of a structural system. Structural types: Cables, beams, frames and tree structures.

  8. Balance of interior and exterior forces. Diagrams of internal forces.


  1. Introduction. How they work. Unions. Supports. Loads.

  2. Types of trusses.

  3. Calculation methods. Nodes method, Ritter and Cremona.

  4. Spatial trusses. How they work.


  1. Ventilation

  2. Fluid mechanics

  3. Thermal systems

  4. Public health - Drainage


  1. Frequency

  2. NR

  3. Reverberation

  4. Attenuation


  1. Electricity

  2. Loads

  3. Distribution

  4. Lighting

Teaching and learning activities

In blended

The methodology and training activities are presented as a hybrid system (virtual and face-to-face). In this way, if the situation requires it, both student and teacher will be prepared to move to a fully face-to-face or totally virtual scenary, without any loss of time.

Classes will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 15:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m.

Tuesday: Fully virtual. Theoretical or master classes interspersed with participatory classes in which exercises will be carried out.

On the UIC's Moodle platform (intranet), available in all subjects of the University, the student will find all the necessary resources to follow up online without having to download any program or application. Programs such as Collaborate or tools such as "Homework", among others, allow online classes and exercises to be sent back to students, privately and independently, for grading. It is also feasible to carry out tests and / or multiple-choice exams to assess the student continuously.

Wednesday: Fully face-to-face. Fully practical classes will be taught. The student will have to solve proposed exercises based on what is explained virtually on Tuesdays.

The practical classes will be held in three classrooms, each with a teacher, where the students will have the appropriate safety distance. Students can upload their questions or exercises to Moodle, which will be projected on the screen for teacher supervision. In this way the doubts of the students will be solved with the appropriate safety distance through the use of "Tablets". Waxing will also be used when no exchange of information is required between teacher and student

Class exhibition
07 08 09 11 2
Class participation
07 08 09 11 0,5
Clase practice
07 08 09 11 2
Individual or group study
07 08 09 11 4,5

Evaluation systems and criteria

In blended

Evaluation criteria of the subject:

Physics is divided into 2 parts: Classical Mechanics and Installations.

  1. Classical Mechanics: 80% of the final grade for the course. Building Facilities: 20% of the final grade for the course.
  2. Classical Mechanics minimum grade: 5 out of 10. Builiding Facilities minimum grade: 3 out of 10. A lower score in some of the parts means a failure of the whole subject.
  3. A not presented in any of the parts supposes a suspense of the whole subject

Evaluation criteria of Classical Mechanics:

  1. Presencial Final Exam: 80% of the Classical Mechanics grade
  2. Presencial Practical classes on Wednesdays: Evaluated with a weight of + or - 20% on the final grade (they can lower grade)

Evaluation criteria of Building Facilities:

  1. Online Delivery of a work: 100% of Building Facilities Grade

Exam dates:

  1. Presencial Final exam: Monday, May 17, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Virtual Revision: Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 11:00.
  2. Presencial Second call: Monday, June 21, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Virtual Revision: Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 11.00



Bibliography and resources

Compulsory bibliography:

Ingeniería mecánica. Estática. William F. Ryley, Leroy D. Sturges. Editorial Reverté, S.A.

Beer, Ferdinand Pierre; Johnston, E.Russell; Eisenberg, Elliot R.. Mecánica Vectorial para Ingenieros: Estática. 9a ed. Madrid: McGraw-Hill, 2010.

Estática. Problemas resueltos. Herrero Arnaiz; Rodríguez Cano. Editorial Reverté.

Mecánica para ingenieros. Estática. Das, Kassimali, E. Editorial Limusa.

Física, curso teórico práctico de fundamentos físicos de la ingeniería. Galvez, López, Llopis, Rubio. Editorial Tebar Flores.

Supplementary bibliography:

Beer, Ferdinand Pierre; Johnston, E. Russell; DeWolf John T.. Mechanics of materials.  New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2006.  

Análisis Vectorial y una introducción al análisis tensorial. Teoría y problemas. Murray R. Spiegel. Editorial McGraw-Hill. 

Física. Vol. I. Mecánica. Marcelo Alonso, Edward J. Finn. Ediciones Aguilar S.A. (Versión en espanñol de Carlos Hernandez Victor de Latorre). 

Lecciones de Algebra y Geometría. Curso para estudiantes de Arquitectura. C.Alsina, E. Trillas. Editorial Gustavo Gili, S.A. 

Curso de Matemáticas para ingenieros, físicos y químicos. E. Vidal Abascal. Editorial Dossat, S.A.