Overview of basic elements of a structure
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Given below, the details about several elements of a building :-
1. FOUNDATION: The foundation plays an important role by allocating the entire load of the building to the soil underneath in such a way to get rid of damaging settlements.
Therefore, the foundations should be built up on strong/solid ground.
2. PLINTH: A plinth is usually developed just over the ground level and instantly as soon as the foundation is completed. It elevates the floor over the ground level and resists penetration of surface water into the building.
3. DAMP PROOF COURSE (DPC): Damp proof course stands for a layer of water proofing material like asphalt or waterproof cement. Walls are built up over the damp proof course.
Damp proof course resists surface water from mounting into the walls.
Dampness weakens the strength of the walls and produces hazardous living conditions. Besides, it damages the paint and plaster and consequently the maintenance cost is increased significantly.
Damp proofing layer is not necessary where a plinth beam is built up since the plinth beam already functions similar to a DPC.
4. PLINTH BEAM: A plinth beam is erected based on the type of the structure of the building and character of the soil. It creates extra strength with regard to settlements of the building and earthquake damages.
5. FLOOR: It is the surface where several activities are performed. Floorings are arranged over the filling of the plinth and on consequent floors.
Flooring is completed with several materials, but precaution should be taken to ensure that the ground underneath the floor is properly compacted. The purpose of flooring is to avoid dampness from expanding to the top and provide a strong platform that can be provided hygienic and clean.
6. WALLS: Walls are the vertical members on which the roof finally stands. They are constructed with various materials like bricks, stones, mud, concrete blocks, lateritic blocks etc. If the walls are too long, columns are arranged to sustain the load of the roof.
Walls offer privacy and enclosure as well as security and protection from natural ingredients like wind, rain and sunshine.
There should be openings in wall for access and ventilation.
7. OPENINGS: Openings are usually found in the walls as door, windows and ventilators.
Doors offer access whereas the windows and ventilators offer light and ventilation.
Lintels are built up just over the openings. It is generally formed with a stone slab or a concrete slab.
Sill is the section of the wall that is situated just under the window.
Lintels are constructed to retain the walls over the openings. In the areas susceptible to earthquake, a continuous lintel beam is arranged all over the walls.
8. STAIRS: A stair belongs to a series of steps and it is constructed to provide the means of ascent and descent among the floors and landings.
The apartment or room of a building where the stair is located is called staircase. The space or opening captured by the stair is defined as a stairway.
Several types of stairs are found in buildings which range from RCC stair, wooden stair, metal stair, brick stair etc.
9. ROOF: The roof gives protection for the building and the people living in it. The roof stands on the walls and needs perfect anchoring in order that wind and other mechanical impact fail to damage it. A roof can comprise of several shapes but it is always either flat or sloping.
Roof is normally constructed with RCC, stone slab, tiles etc.
10. SURFACES / FINISHES: Exterior finishes stand for the outer most layer of protection, which safeguard the structure against weathering. Internal finishes are the layers which are provided on internal faces. They offer stability and attractive appearance to the inside.
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