Our team had been asked to plan and design a small residential building of Ground + 3 floors. The requirements were to plan atleast 4 medium size apartments per floor. The plot area available was 7565 square feet. It was not rectangular, and so apartments would be of differing builtup areas. Our main target were buyers looking for a medium size 2BHK apartment. There was an additional requirement for a separate Drawing Hall for guests wherever possible.
A lot of options were proposed. Our goal was to maximize usable area for the residents. Front open margin was fixed at 12′. Side margins were fixed at 6′ 6″ on both sides. One plan was finalized after a few meetings with the developers.
Construction of buildings can be divided into three main categories:
Load bearing construction
But among the three types, framed construction is widely used for all kinds of constructions.
An engineering structure is an assembly of number of elements transferring the loads and providing a form space to serve the desired function.
The structural design is a science and art of designing, with economy and elegance, a durable structure is that which can safely carry the forces and can serve the desired function satisfactorily during its expected service life span.
The entire process of structural planning and designing requires not only imagination and conceptual thinking but of practical aspects, such as relevant design codes and byelaws, backed up by aple experience, institution and judgement.
The process of design commences with planning of a structure, primarily to meet the functional equipment of the user or client. The functional requirements and the aspects of the aesthetics looked into normally by an architect while the aspect of safety, serviceability, durability and economy of the structure for its intended use over the life span.
What is a building?
A building can be defined as a structure consisting of walls, floors, education, business, manufacturing, storage, hospitalization, entertainment, worship etc.
Normally all building are constructed according to drawings and specifications prepared by architects. Each city has prescribed building bye-laws to which building must confirm. The building bye-laws lay down norms like minimum front, side and rear backs, minimum height and area of habitable rooms, kitchen, bath, minimum area of windows, width of staircase etc, apart from respecting the bye-laws the building design should ensure optimum utilization of built-up space, thermal comfort, proper ventilation, desirable illumination and acoustical characteristics and it should satisfy the functional requirements of people who live and work in the building.
A lesson for all the Civil Engineers and Designers to learn
I got a project of designing (Architectural Design) a Hostel in Lucknow, India. The Structural design that is, column positions and wall construction was already done. The client wanted me to design a Hostel keeping the column positions and exterior wall construction intact. I have written this article to address all the Civil engineering students as well as Civil Engineers to avoid making such blunders while they design. Please do read this article because understanding the intensity of the job of a Civil Engineer is must for every student and professional. I guess this realization has been washed away and forgotten in the wave of commercialism.
Hostel Design, Lucknow, India
The client mailed me the layout of the existing construction. After I studied the layout, I figured out that the Column layout was pathetic. I wonder what kind of Civil Engineer must have made the layout or if at all any Civil Engineer has done it.
Errors in Construction
Wrong size of the Columns
The size of the columns was 9”x9” and the building is supposed to be constructed upto G+2 floors which is really disastrous for the structure.
It could lead to structural failure and ultimately structural collapse.
(The duty of the Civil Engineer is to understand and not make such dramatic blunders. The consequences of this kind of structural design could be disastrous.)
9”x9” size columns are only preferred if you were to construct only a ground floor structure using M15 grade concrete. If you are to construct another floor that is (G+1), the minimum size of the column should not be less than 9”x12” using M15 grade concrete.
If the client insists on using smaller columns (9”x9”); in that case, use of M20 grade concrete should be done mandatorily and the construction should not be initiated before the client agrees to do so.