Construction is the building or assembly of a project including buildings, bridges, roads or any infrastructure on land. Although this may be thought of as a single activity, in fact it is achieved by the result of several major tasks including Planning, Design, Estimation, Execution, Budgeting, Logistics and HR. Normally the job is managed by the Project Engineer, supervised by the Project Manager and Design Engineer or Architect. Every construction project also requires a large number of labourers other than skilled engineers, to complete the physical task of construction.
Estimate is the list of tasks/works associated with the Project (e.g.:- Construction of your home) and the details of costs for completing the tasks including materials, labours, machineries and other over heads. It includes a lot of indirect expenses like taxes, office expenses, Service charges to consultants, contractor's profit, etc.
Rate Analysis is deriving the cost by identifying the sub components and their quantities and rates to complete a work. Standard data available, but geographical aspects and local market trends are also should be considered.
Project management is the discipline of organizing and managing resources in such a way that these resources deliver all the work required to complete a project within defined scope, time, and cost constraints. Project management is a group of activities includes estimation and forcasting, planning, scheduling and maintaining progress of all activities.
Main physical tasks involved in Building Construction
Earthworks are engineering works created through the moving of massive quantities of soil or unformed rock. Engineers need to accurately calculate quantities to ensure that soil volumes in the cuts match those of the fills, to minimise the distance of movement. Due to the massive amounts of material to be moved, earthwork engineering was revolutionised by the development of earth-moving machines such as the loader, production trucks, the grader, the bulldozer, the backhoe and the dragline excavator.
A foundation is a structure that transfers loads to the ground. Foundations are generally broken into two categories: shallow foundations and deep foundations. Shallow foundations are usually embedded a few feet into soil. One common type is the spread footing which consists of strips or pads of concrete (or other materials) which extend below the frost line and transfer the weight from walls and columns to the soil or bedrock. Another common type is the slab-on-grade foundation where the weight of the building is transferred to the soil through a concrete slab placed at the surface. Deep foundations are used for structures when shallow foundations can not provide adequate capacity, due to size and structural limitations. There are different types of deep foundations including piles, drilled shafts, caissons, piers, and earth stabilized columns. The naming conventions for different types of foundations vary between different engineers. Historically, piles were wood, later steel, reinforced concrete, and pre-tensioned concrete.
Stonemasonry is the craft of turning rough stone blocks into accurate geometrical shapes, mostly simple, but some of considerable complexity, and then stacking the resulting stones, often together with mortar, to form buildings.
- Quarrymen split the rock, and extract the resulting blocks of stone from the ground.
- Sawyers cut these rough blocks into rectangles of the required size.
- Banker masons are workshop based, and specialise in carving stones into the geometrical shapes required by a building's design. They can produce anything from stones with simple chamfers to tracery windows.
- Carvers cross the line from craft to art, and use their artistic ability to carve stone into foliage, figures, animals or abstract designs.
- Fixer masons specialise in the fixing of stones onto buildings, using lifting tackle, mortar , and sometimes metal fixings. The precise tolerances necessary make this a highly skilled job.
- Memorial masons carve gravestones and inscriptions.
Concrete is used more than any other man made material on the planet. Thorough mixing is essential for the production of uniform, high quality concrete. Therefore, equipment and methods should be capable of effectively mixing concrete materials containing the largest specified aggregate to produce uniform mixtures of the lowest slump practical for the work. The composition of concrete is determined initially during mixing and finally during placing of fresh concrete. The types of structure being built as well as the method of construction determine how the concrete is placed and therefore the composition of the concrete mix.
Concrete is a material that is very strong in compression, but virtually without strength in tension. To compensate for this imbalance in concrete's behavior, rebar is cast into it to carry the tensile loads. Masonry structures and the mortar holding them together have similar properties to concrete and also have a limited ability to carry tensile loads. Some standard masonry units like blocks and bricks are made with strategically placed voids to accommodate rebar, which is then secured in place with grout. This combination is known as reinforced masonry.
Brickwork masonry is produced when a bricklayer uses bricks and mortar to build up structures such as walls, bridges and chimneys. The bricks may remain fully visible or covered by plaster. Bricks are laid to expose their ends (Header bricks), or sides (Stretcher bricks). As the work progresses, the bricks are laid in rows called courses. The manner in which the bricks overlap as they are laid up is called the bond. Types of bond include English bond, Flemish Bond, and Herringbone bond, but the most common type of brickwork seen these days is the simple stretcher bond, showing only the long side-surface of the brick.The thickness of brickwork is measured in units of brick. If bricks are put down end-to-end with the long side facing you (stretchers) and then another row on top, the wall thickness is half a brick.Brickwork arches can span great distances, and carry considerable loads.
Formwork is the term given to either temporary or permanent moulds into which concrete or similar materials are poured. In the context of concrete construction, the falsework supports the shuttering moulds.
Formwork comes in three main types:
- Traditional timber formwork. The formwork is built on site out of timber and plywood or moisture resistant particleboard . It is easy to produce but time consuming for larger structures, and the plywood facing has a relatively short lifespan. It is still used extensively where the labour costs are lower than the costs for procuring re-usable formwork. It is also the most flexible type of formwork, so even where other systems are in use, complicated sections may use it.
- Engineered Formwork systems. This formwork is built out of prefabricated modules with a metal frame (usually steel) and covered on the application (concrete) side with material having the wanted surface structure (steel, timber, etc.). The two major advantages of formwork systems, compared to traditional timber formwork, are speed of construction and lower life-cycle costs.
- Stay-In-Place Formwork systems. This formwork is assembled on site, usually out of prefabricated insulating concrete forms. The formwork stays in place (or is simply covered with earth in case of buried structures) after the concrete has cured, and may provide thermal and acoustic insulation, space to run utilities within, or backing for finishes.
Mortar is a material used in masonry to fill the gaps between blocks in construction. The blocks may be stone, brick, breeze blocks (cinder blocks), etc. Mortar is a mixture of sand, a binder such as cement or lime, and water and is applied as a paste which then sets hard. Mortar can also be used to fix, or point masonry when the original mortar has washed away.
Plasterwork refers to construction or ornamentation done with plaster, such as a layer of plaster on an interior wall or plaster decorative moldings on ceilings or walls. The process of creating plasterwork, called plastering, has been used in building construction for centuries. In the more common operations of plastering, comparatively few tools and few materials are required, but the workman efficient in all branches of the craft will possess a very large variety of implements. The materials of the workman are trowels,floats,hammers,screeds,a hawk,scratching tools,stanley kniveslaths, lath nails, lime, sand, hair, plaster of Paris, and a variety of cements, together with various ingredients to form coloring washes, et cetera.
Painterwork accomplishes two things, namely the preservation and the coloration of the material painted. The compounds used for painting, taking the word as meaning a thin protective or decorative coat, are very numerous, including oil paint of many kinds, distemper, whitewash, tar; but the word paint is usually confined to a mixture of [[oil] and pigment, together with other materials which possess properties necessary to enable the paint to dry hard and opaque. Oil paints are made up of four parts, the base, the vehicle, the solvent and the driers. Pigment may be added to these to obtain a paint of any desired color. There are several bases for oil paint, those most commonly used for building work being white lead, red lead, zinc white and oxide of iron.
Floor, Wall and Roof Covering
Flooring is the general term for a permanent covering of a floor. It is usually used to mean parquetry, but it can also refer to carpets, laminate flooring, raised flooring, and linoleum. The most popular type of flooring is hardwood flooring, with an increasing popularity of bamboo floors. Tiles are often used to form wall and floor coverings, and can range from simple square tiles to complex mosaics. Tiles are most often made from ceramic, with a hard glaze finish, but other materials are also commonly used, such as glass, slate, and reformed ceramic slurry, which is cast in a mould and fired.
Electrification refers to the act or process of building the necessary infrastructure to supply electric power to homes and other buildings.
Plumbing, from the Latin for lead (plumbum), is the skilled trade of working with pipes, tubing and plumbing fixtures for potable water systems and the drainage of waste. Present-day water-supply systems use a network of high-pressure pumps, and pipes are now made of copper, brass, plastic, steel, or other nontoxic material. Present-day drain and vent lines are made of plastic, steel and cast-iron.
Woodworking includes constructing buildings, furniture, and other objects out of wood. The work generally involves significant manual labor and work outdoors, particularly in rough carpentry.
Main Architectural Elements in a Building
A wall is a usually solid structure that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall separates space in buildings into rooms, or protects or delineates a space in the open air. There are three principal types of structural walls: building walls, exterior boundary walls, and retaining walls.
A column in architecture and structural engineering is a vertical structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. Other compression members are often termed columns because of the similar stress conditions. Columns can be either compounded of parts or made as a single piece. Columns are frequently used to support beams or arches on which the upper parts of walls or ceilings rest.
A beam is a structural element that carries load primarily in bending (flexure). Beams generally carry vertical gravitational forces but can also be used to carry horizontal loads (i.e. loads due to an earthquake). The loads carried by a beam are transferred to columns, walls, or girders, which then transfer the force to adjacent structural compression members. In Light frame construction the joists rest on the beam.
A room is an enclosed space with a ceiling in a house or other building. A room may have any number of doors and windows regulating light, airflow and access to the room. Large rooms are often named halls, small ones closets (American English). Hall may also refer to a long, narrow room which serves purely as an access to other rooms (for example a corridor, a passage, or a hallway). Rooms have specific names based on the purpose they were built for, or are being used for. A room for cooking food, for example, is called a kitchen.
A door is a usually hinged or sliding panel that covers a generally floor-length opening in a wall (or other partition), and can be moved to leave the opening accessible, or to close it more or less securely. Doors are nearly universal in structures of all kinds (especially houses and other buildings), allowing passage between inside and outside, or among internal rooms.
A window is an opening in the wall of a building that allows light and air to enter a room and people to see out. It is usually glass or a strong, transparent plastic. Modern windows are customarily large rectangles or squares with glass surfaces.Today a window can be made in practically any shape and size desired.
A ceiling is an overhead interior surface that bounds the upper limit of a room. Generally not a structural element, but a finished surface concealing the underside of the floor or roof structure above.
Balcony (from Italian balcone, scaffold; cf. High German balcho, beam, balk), a kind of platform projecting from the wall of a building, supported by columns or console brackets, and enclosed with a balustrade. Alternatively it does not protrude out of the building, but is an open part of an upper floor, with a balustrade only at the front, and walls on the sides. Usually a door provides access to a balcony.
The roof, the top covering of a building, is one of the universal structures found on all buildings. Its purpose is primarily to shed water off the building and to prevent it from accumulating on top. To achieve this goal, roofs may be highly pitched (sloped) or low sloped in form. Low sloped roofs are commonly found on industrial/commercial type structures. Pitched roofs are the primary design found on residential homes.
Architectural glass is glass that is used as a building material. It is most typically used as transparent glazing material in the building envelope, including windows in the external walls. Glass is also used for internal partitions and as an architectural feature. When used in buildings, glass is often of a safety type, which include reinforced, toughened and laminated glasses.
Stair is a fleet of steps and one or two landings. The step is composed of the tread and riser.
- tread - The part of the step that is stepped on. It is constructed to the same specifications (thickness) as any other flooring. The tread "length" is measured from the outer edge of the step to the vertical "riser" between steps.
- riser - The vertical portion of the step between steps. This may be missing for an "open" stair effect.