Carbon reduction has been closely bound up with economy and social development. So, a higher demand for structural integrity is brought to meet the different requirements of equipment, ma-chines and infrastructures. For structures, one of their general quality characteristics such as reliability, safety, maintainability and so on, only reflects a certain aspect of quality characteristics. In this paper, After discussing equipment integrity which can be classified into equipment manufacture integrity, equipment storage integrity and equipment operational integrity along the life cycle time, from the perspective of performing and completing the functions and missions of structures, the putting forward process of structural operational integrity(SOI) is discussed, and the basic concept of structural operational integrity is shown: it is the attribute which exists when a structure is sound and unimpaired in full service or whole operational processes, with the statement that structural operational integrity can be used to describe the comprehensive quality characteristics of structures in their whole service or operational processes presented. Then, structural operational integrity is categorized into structural static operational integrity(SSOI) and structural dynamic operational integrity(SDOI), While definitions of them are given as follows: structural static operational integrity is the status which exists when a structure is sound and unimpaired in service or operational process, and structural dynamic operational integrity is the ability which exists when a structure is sound and unimpaired while providing the desired levels of structural durability, supportability, safety, performance, survivability and recoverability during service period or in operational processes. Furthermore, the characterizations of structural static operational integrity(SSOI) and structural dynamic operational integrity(SDOI) are presented，while the measurement methods of durability, supportability, safety, performance, survivability and recoverability of structures are discussed. Finally, it states that PHM technologies can improve structural operational integrity, and the optimum design method of structures based on structural operational integrity is described with an aircraft wing structure design as an example. With the employment of structural operational integrity, the structural design idea will be developed. It can help us get lighter, low life cycle cost, durable, fast recovery and more reliable structures. And structural operational integrity can be applied to other engineering structures such as building structures, bridge structures, infrastructure bodies, etc.