Structural archetypes are aspects of the shapes of structural elements that affect their performance, in particular the efficiency with which they resist loads. There are three groups of archetype:
•. those concerned with the overall form of a structure
•. those that affect the shapes of elements in longitudinal profile
• those that affect the shapes of the cross-sections of elements.
For efficient use of material, and therefore low-carbon architecture, the archetypes have to be followed.