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About this book

Construction Technology 1: House Construction offers a highly accessible introduction to the key stages of domestic house construction from planning to internal finishes. Its student-friendly layout uses detailed figures, photos and case studies from real-life building sites to aid a practical understanding of construction techniques, providing clear step-by-step guidance in learning the basic principles of low-rise residential construction.

This textbook is a vital resource for students in construction, property and architecture, BSc and MSc, including any student taking courses in building surveying, quantity surveying, real estate and construction management, as well as those studying at the HNC/HND level.

Table of Contents

Introduction to house construction

Frontmatter

1. Functions of buildings

Abstract
The ways in which the internal environments of buildings are controlled have become very sophisticated as the needs of occupiers have evolved. The degree to which we are able to moderate the internal environmental conditions using the building enclosure and building services is great. However, it is easy to take for granted some of the features of buildings that affect the internal environment and to overlook the basis of the evolution of these features. Dwellings are generally designed to be aesthetically pleasing. Many of the details that we associate with building style and aesthetics have their origins in the need to satisfy functional needs. As buildings have developed, the role of building services to control heat, light and ventilation has become more significant. It is easy to forget that these services rely on the existence of an appropriate building envelope in order to achieve the required level of performance. The dwelling as we now know it has its origins in the simplest form of building enclosure, created by people to protect themselves from the extremes of the environment. The factors that led people to develop such enclosures in historic times are still evident today, and the function of dwellings, although now much more sophisticated, is still essentially the same as it was then. One of the primary functions of the building fabric is to create an environmental envelope.
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

2. Preparing to build

Abstract
The decision to select a particular site is generally economic, and the developer will undertake a calculation to assess the likely financial viability of the project. This may be the Developer’s equation as outlined below. Remember that if most of the ingredients of the Developer’s equation are known, the equation can be rearranged to find out the maximum value of the missing ingredient
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

3. The building process

Abstract
Buildings are formed by the assembly of large numbers of individual elements and components, of varying size and complexity. Historically the production and assembly of these components would have taken place on - site. As discussed in Chapter 1, vernacular architecture has developed as a result of the ability to fabricate components from locally available building materials. This was dictated by limitations in the ability to transport materials and fabricated components over even modest distances. With advances in transport networks and technology, notably during the Industrial Revolution, it became possible to transport materials and components over large distances. These advances introduced not only the possibility of using non - local materials but also of producing even sizable components away from the site. The possibility of mass producing components in a factory environment initiated a change in approach to the whole building process, with the beginnings of industrialised building.
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

Building substructure

Frontmatter

4. Foundations

Abstract
The stability and integrity of any structure depend upon its ability to transfer loads to the ground which supports it. The function of foundations is to ensure the effective and safe transfer of such loadings, acting upon the supporting ground while preventing overstressing of the soil. The nature of the structure, its foundations and the soil onto which they bear dictate the ways in which this function is achieved. It is inevitable that in the period shortly after the construction of a building some consolidation of the soil takes place.
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

5. Walls below ground

Abstract
The sections of walls below ground level provide an important link between the superstructure of the building and the foundations. The loads from the building must be transferred safely through these walls and the passage of moisture from the ground must be checked to prevent entry to the building. At the same time, the walls are subjected to lateral loadings from the ground surrounding them and, depending on the relative levels of the ground on each side, may be subject to hydrostatic pressure driving moisture through the structure
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

6. Ground floors

Abstract
Ground floors to dwellings can take a number of forms, depending, among other things, on the nature of the site, the quality of construction and the required speed of erection of the building. However, all the available design solutions essentially fulfil the same functional requirements. The detailed functional requirements will be examined in detail later within this chapter.
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

Building superstructure

Frontmatter

7. External walls

Abstract
The performance requirements of the building fabric have been discussed previously; however, it is appropriate to summarise them here as they relate directly to the construction of external walls. In general, they may be considered to include the following:
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

8. Upper floors and stairs

Abstract
Although there has been little change in the layout of timber upper floors for decades,the sophistication of the materials has been somewhat refined by the details contained in the Building Regulations. These Regulations not only refer to the size and shape of components such as floor joists, but also to the quality of the materials used by reference to grade.
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

9. Internal division of space: walls and partitions

Abstract
Although there has been little change in the layout of timber upper floors for decades,the sophistication of the materials has been somewhat refined by the details contained in the Building Regulations. These Regulations not only refer to the size and shape of components such as floor joists, but also to the quality of the materials used by reference to grade.
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

10. Roof: structure and coverings

Abstract
Houses are generally built with loadbearing external wall structures where the inner skin of the external cavity wall (or timber / steel frame) carries the load from the roof and upper floor. Roof loads are transmitted through the inner leaf or frame from the point of connection of the roof to the wall. This connection is key to the satisfactory performance of the roof / wall combination. It should be remembered that when dealing with roofs the normal procedure is to divide this element into two parts: the structure and the covering. Both of these component parts require strength, and we will review each in turn.
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

11. Windows, doors and ventilation

Abstract
Effective ventilation is essential for the provision of a healthy, comfortable internal environment within dwellings. However, there is a tension between the current drive for sustainable, energy - efficient occupation of buildings and the provision of ventilation. The basic mechanism of ventilation is the replacement of air within the building with air from the exterior. This results in the inevitable consequence
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

12. Internal finishes

Abstract
The basic function of internal finishes tends to be twofold: to create internal surfaces which may be kept clean with reasonable ease, and to create internal surfaces that are visually acceptable. In dwellings, the range of finishes to certain elements such as ceilings and walls is fairly limited, but slightly more scope exists where selecting finishes for floors. The purpose of this section is to provide a very superficial overview of this topic.
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave

13. Overview of alternative sustainable construction methods

Abstract
This chapter aims to give a brief overview of some of the technologies that are available to undertake sustainable construction of dwellings. The explanation of some of these available techniques and technologies is not intended to be exhaustive. However, it is hoped that the reader will be able to develop an insight into the use and benefits of these alternative technologies, which are increasing in popularity. One of the main aims of this chapter is to raise your awareness of what green buildings actually are and to give you ideas that could be utilised in the future as alternative sustainable approaches to the construction of houses. Hopefully you will find this chapter interesting enough to make you want to investigate the topic of green buildings further.
Mike Riley, Alison Cotgrave
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