Archive for category Civil Projects
Smart Meters | The next generation devices
Smart meters are next generations devices that help you measure the consumption of electricity and gas. It is different from AMR – traditional Automatic Metering reading in a way that it enable two way communication between the meter and the central system. These smart meters are gaining popularity in the west. They are used for monitoring the energy and gas consumption as well as for billing purposes.
Europe has introduced smart meters that are based on Open smart grid protocol (OSGP) which has the ability to reduce load, disconnect and reconnect remotely. The research conducted in the UK on the usage of smart meters showed that smart meters were being confused with energy meters. They are being used by 1 in 3 homes in the UK. It has been estimated that £300 million could be saved annually if the smart meters are actively used by the people.1 Although it is also important that people actively pay attention to their lifestyle that demand heavy energy consumption.
Smart meters are being used across the world. The aim of using smart meters is to initiate the creation of Energy-Efficient Economy. A study was conducted which showed that homeowners consumption of electricity was reduced by 3-5%.2
A third of smart meter customers saving up to £75 a year, British Gas says http://t.co/zoFRgaMD3H
— Guardian Environment (@guardianeco) January 24, 2014
Dream Home turning into a nightmare
I took quite some time to write this article. I am really troubled with the idea of people wanting to design their own homes without the help of a Architects or Engineers. It has been really tough telling people that every project is different and needs to be designed accordingly. Every site has different characteristics and hence the design differs.
People are more focused on saving a few thousands that they would have to pay to the experts for getting all the drawings right and in perfect order. They want to do it themselves. For some reason, they believe that they could do a better job than the experts themselves.
I am a professional and I truly appreciate people wanting to participate in the design of their homes, but the participation is limited to suggestions and discussions. The participation of people involves telling the architect about what they imagine their dream house to be. It should be borne in mind that people might have an idea of what they want their dream house to look like but they will never be able to create it. Try me! Describe what you want your house to look like and leave it to me and I will come up with something that will fill your heart with joy.
This is only because I have studied for 7 long years which has helped me develop my design skills. I create what my clients dream and feel. When you describe your ideas to an Architect, he knows exactly what you are looking at and what you want. He is a technical person and a designer and knows how he could turn your dream into a reality.
Concrete has been used as a decking material for decades. There are finishes achieved in concrete that give a good deck surface.
For example, salt finish concrete is commonly used and seen on many sidewalks. The surface of deck of the deck is non-slippery. Salt finish concrete can also be used with different colours.
A different type of look is achieved on the concrete by adding acid stains.
Also, there are chemicals available in the market that are added in the concrete mix which helps in keeping the deck cool.
Masonry decks have also been used for decades. Flagstone or travertine can be used as decking materials. The material and labour cost is more in these types of decks.
Tropical Pool Deck tiles
The pool deck tiles that are made of tropical wood are gaining popularity these days. They are assembled on a plastic base having high density. There are ways in which the pool deck tiles can be used. They could be:
- Staggered joints
- Aligned joints
As a measure to resist termites and moisture, the pool deck tiles are coated with non-toxic chemical coatings. It makes the surface of the deck safer to walk by reducing the chances of slipping.
Use of tropical wood makes the deck tiles more convenient because the surface temperature of the deck tiles remains regulated. Be it too cold or hot, it feels comfortable to walk on them.
Sinking Foundation | Building Construction
Foundation is the most primary component of the building on which it stands. The life of the building depends on the quality of foundation. For a good and stable foundation, the structural design of the foundation has to be done properly in a systematic way under the guidance of a structural engineer.
If the casting of foundation is not paid attention to and is not laid properly on a stable soil, the structural problems are bound to develop. Every soil has a specific bearing capacity which is very necessary to be checked before designing the foundation. Without the consideration of bearing capacity of soil, the structural design for the foundation may not be suitable for that land.
Cause of Sinking Foundation
Sinking foundation is a problem that occurs in case of improperly laid foundations which is the result of careless consideration of the soil type. The problems are very crucial and have to be solved as soon as they are detected in order to prevent the structure from further damage.
Detecting Foundation problems
People living in areas with unstable soil conditions need to watch out for the signs of foundation problems. Some of the signs could be as follows:
The house is gradually slanting to one side. (This is a very prominent example of sinking foundation problem. As soon as you notice this happening, you can immediately conclude it to be related to foundation and take action immediately before the condition of the structure gets worse.)