The foundation, floors, walls, beams, columns, roof, stairs, and so on are the basic components of a building construction. These elements are responsible for sustaining, enclosing, and safeguarding the structure of the building.
The word "building" is used to describe any structure intended for use as a house or other dwelling, but it is particularly applied to larger structures such as factories, schools, churches, and museums. The term also covers public buildings such as libraries, courts, and government offices.
A building's components may be divided into three general categories: structural, mechanical, and electrical. The structural components provide support for the other components and protect them from damage caused by loads acting on the building. The mechanical components are those that provide energy for operating devices such as lights, heaters, and air conditioners. Electrical components include wiring, plumbing, and appliances that require electricity to operate.
Each component has many variations depending on the type of building being constructed. For example, the structural components in a home office might include cabinets, doors, windows, and a floor system, while those in a museum would probably include only walls and a ceiling. Loads acting on the building will cause its components to move or deform; for example, if there is an earthquake, the flooring should be able to sustain this movement to prevent injury to people walking on it.
Columns, beams, slabs, and walls are the essential components of a building's superstructure. These components transport dead loads, live loads, and other loads to the substructure (foundation and plinth), which distributes them to the underlying ground in a safe manner. The following are the fundamental components of a building's superstructure:
Beams - long, slender members used as structural supports within buildings. They can be made of steel or wood, but most often of wood because it is stronger for its weight than steel. The ends of beams should be reinforced with metal brackets or sleeves to prevent them from pulling away from the wall during a load. Beams can be straight or curved, depending on the design requirements of the structure. Straight beams are most common and are usually arranged in parallel rows one above the other. Curved beams are used where this type of layout is impractical. They are typically found in roof structures.
Columns - short, thick beams used as support elements within buildings. They connect at their top and bottom to form a grid pattern that allows the erection of floors above them. Columns are usually made of steel, but they can also be wood or concrete. The term "column" is also used to describe the main body of a tree or large shrub.
Slabs - thin sheets of concrete used as a base for flooring or roofs. They can be poured as one piece of concrete or split into several pieces to allow for easier construction techniques.
Foundations, plinths, walls, floors, doors, windows, and roofs are all common components of all buildings. Each component has a certain purpose. Parapet walls, doors and windows, furniture and fittings, partitions or partition walls, tiles, paint, and so forth are non-structural components. They provide aesthetic appeal and functional use of space, but they don't contribute to the strength of the building.
Structures are the parts of a building that support its roof and walls and give it strength. There are three main types of structures: vertical, horizontal and angular.
Vertical structures are those in which the floor is at ground level; for example, towers, columns, and stairways are all examples of vertical construction.
Horizontal structures have their floor on the same level as the surrounding terrain; for example, platforms, docks, and trusses are all examples of horizontal construction. Horizontal structures require less material than vertical ones because there's no need to build up their sides.
Angular structures have their floor at a higher level than the surrounding terrain; for example, arches, bridges, and tents are all examples of angular construction. Angular structures require the most material of any type of structure because their shapes can't be built out from their sides like horizontal structures can.
Buildings serve three main purposes: accommodation, communication, and storage.
Structural systems in building construction relate to the specific way of assembling and constructing structural parts of a structure such that they safely sustain and transfer applied loads to the ground without exceeding the permissible stresses in the members. The main function of structural systems is to provide adequate support for the load bearing elements of a building (i.e., walls, floors, roofs), as well as the non-load-bearing elements such as doorways, windows, and fire escapes. The types of structures supported by structural systems include single family dwellings, apartments, office buildings, factories, warehouses, shopping malls, and schools.
The primary functions of structural systems are to protect people from harm and to prevent expensive repairs or replacements. Structural systems should be designed with these goals in mind. Many different types of structures need to be built for many different purposes; therefore, it is important for structural designers to understand the requirements for each type of structure so that appropriate solutions can be found.
For example, when a new building is being constructed, the first decision that needs to be made is which system will be used to support the building's walls.
A wall is a structural feature used to divide or enclose a room or structure, as well as to define the peripheral of a room or building in building construction. Walls can be constructed from any material that provides support and prevents entry. The term "wall" can also describe an interior partition within a building, such as a wall between two rooms. Interior walls are most often made from wood or metal framing with insulation and drywall applied to its surface.
The word "wall" comes from the Latin word "salus", meaning safety. Early walls were made of stone or timber, but during Roman times, bricks became common. Bricks are still used today in their original form or as cladding on buildings. In the 19th century, when brick making technology had advanced, walls were also built with molded concrete.
Walls serve three main purposes: they provide support for ceilings and floors above and below; they protect rooms from damage caused by earthquakes, wind, and other forces; and they help create a feeling of enclosure or separation within a room or building. The first walls were probably just posts set into the ground or raised on stones or clay tiles, but over time, people began using materials such as wood or mud for their walls.
Method 1 of 7: Overview of Construction Type Assessment
The term "structure" refers to anything that is formed or built from multiple interconnected elements with a permanent placement on the ground in the context of the built environment. These are commonly referred to as "non-building" structures by engineers. Aqueducts and viaducts are two common examples. Buildings have walls that can be load-bearing or not, depending on their design. The roof is usually an extension of the wall surface but may also be separate.
All buildings are made up of structural components including beams, girders, columns, and frames. The arrangement of these components determines what kind of structure we call "a building." A house has a floor frame with footings that support the weight of the building above. It does not have exterior walls because there is no need for it to withstand any force other than its own weight. A factory, on the other hand, has exterior walls because it needs to protect its contents from the elements. Factories also often have roofs because they want to prevent rainwater from leaking into their premises.
A bridge is another example of a non-residential building component. It connects two points over a body of water or solid surface. Bridges are classified by their main material: steel bridges use metal beams supported by concrete piers to connect houses together, while wood bridges use wooden trusses to do the same thing.