Integrated design and re-use of rural buildings

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
1) The course aims to develop students' knowledge on designing farm building by providing the graduate with operational tools to be used professionally, within the competences set by Italian law.
2) In order to provide the elements of compositional and structural knowledge of the building, the 6 ETCS will be structured as following: 2 ETCS will be focused on knowing building behaviour, from the conception of the structure, to the choice of materials and construction techniques; 2 ETCS will provide analysis techniques of interventions in the agricultural holding; 1 ETCS will introduce methods to understand the values and constraints of the project; 1 ETCS will identify the reference regulatory framework to integrate the project in the territorial and landscape context, as well as to communicate with the local administrations. The lectures will be integrated with practical activities in order to understand how to apply the skills acquired to the rural settlements, also representative of exceptional values (such as historic farm building or inserted in a protected area).
3) The didactic contents conveyed by the teaching deepen the knowledge of the settlement systems previously acquired by the students, at different scales. The teaching contributes to the achievement of professional profiles and employment opportunities consistently with the educational objectives of the training course . It will provide students with methods and tools to manage the continuous adaptation of the settlement system integrating rural development into the landscape.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the teaching, the students should be able to:
1) know the basic principles for designing agricultural buildings, including principles of structural behaviour and type-morphology and have a framework of the reference legislation even concerning listed buildings.
2) understand opportunities and constraints to evaluate the ways of building, recovering and reusing existing structures
3) apply knowledge and understanding developed in the class-room exercises to assess how farm buildings can act as a prominent feature in the landscape
4) exercise critical, communicative and study transversal skills to present and critically evaluate the farm buildings applications looking at context or agricultural setting of the farmsteads.
5) operate with autonomy to continue their studies and carry out the profession by assuming designing responsibility, from the composition of simple works to the recovery of underused structures with particular regard to skills regarding rural, agri-food and civil constructions.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
Agricultural building design process
Knowledge of the building structure (foundations, walls, floors and vaults, roofs and vertical connections, choice of building materials).
Basis of structural design
(foundations, walls, floors and vaults, roofs and vertical connections, choice of materials).
Methods for simple structural analysis (secondary structural elements and non-structural elements, beams and pillars, actions on structure, compression, traction, cutting, bending, wind and snow actions, isostatic structures, constraints and binding reactions, requirements and safety assessments).
Criteria for integrating agricultural buildings in their landscape.
Legislative framework for building in agricultural area.
Techniques and methods for renovation and rehabilitation projects of historic farm buildings.
Details of the program articulation in 6 ETCS can be found in "Learning objectives".
Prerequisites for admission
The course has no specific prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
The available resources and training activities are functional to achieving the expected learning outcomes. For it teaching provides students with fundamental knowledge of rural construction: from the analysis of structural, compositional and functional elements to the application of a farm building integrated in its landscape. The teaching uses e-learning didactic material available on the Ariel teaching platform.
The teacher will use lectures, thematic insights and exercises proposed to students to discuss, analyze and report in the classroom the results achieved.
In the context of the health emergency, educational outings will be replaced by seminars. Students have the chance to apply what they learn in lectures to actual on-farm situations by cases study.
Students are required of following activities:
Individual study of the textbooks and study materials assigned by the teacher; Free work on in-depth texts of choice; Conduct of the exercises assigned by the teacher, through the drafting - individual or in small working groups - of technical reports.
Case Study provides students the opportunity to apply the concepts learned and more deeply research and analyse a selected farm.

Although attendance will not be formally taken at lectures, it is strongly recommended.
The course will be held in Italian language.
Teaching Resources
Teaching materials available on
Textbook assignments:

Agostini S., Manuale di Edilizia Rurale. Criteri di progettazione integrata, Edises, Napoli, 2015.

Further readings
Agostini S.,Di Battista V., Fontana C., Architettura rurale nel paesaggio, Maggioli, 2017.
Agostini S., Progettare in area agricola, Maggioli, 2011.
The textbooks assigned are available at the Agricultural and Food Sciences Faculty Library.
Assessment methods and Criteria
In relation to the context of the health emergency, attending students will be considered those who participate, even asynchronously, in the class of the M.Teams platform. They also will be able to participate, even deferred, in the exercises proposed during the development of the lessons.
The final exam focuses on two compulsory tests:
- A written text (open questions), lasting one hour, focused on contents of the course.
- An oral text focused on practical tasks: Attending students will develop throughout the course a critical review of a case study of a contemporary farmstead. This critical review will be deepened, updated and revised throughout the semester, and presented in a final seminar.
The final mark will combine together the evaluation of assigned task during the course and the assessment of written text.

Non-attending students are required to write a paper and introduce a presentation about a case study of a contemporary farmstead and to submit it a week before the final exam. The final examination will consist on:
A written test (open questions) about the contents of the course and the official list of bibliographical references.
An Oral examination (open questions) about the contents of the course and bibliography includind a further reading assigned by the teacher.
For the further reading choiced, a short note (2,000 words in length ) must be drawn up.

The written test consists of four open questions and one structural analysis exercise on rural buildings. If the rules do not allow attendance, the entire exam will take place orally using the M.Teams or Zoom platforms.
The final mark will be expressed in thirtieths. It will be the weighted average of the assessments achieved by the exam tests and case study developed
The evaluation parameters will be aimed at ascertaining:
-the achievement of the objectives in terms of knowledge and understanding
- the ability to apply knowledge and understanding through the discussion / evaluation of cases study concerning the design and / or recovery of agricultural / rural settlements.
- the student's independence of judgment also through the analysis of case studies discussed during the course or illustrated in textbooks
- the language correctness and appropriateness relating to the design of rural buildings
- the ability to explain the analyses and formulate hypothesis of development clearly and logically.
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Agostini Stella
After appointment
DEFENS - Science and Technology of Agro-Environmental Systems