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Building Construction Methods

Chapter 14

Objectives
Develop an understanding of the
basic building systems.
Foundation
Framing
Building envelope
Utilities
Environmental control systems

Foundation
Homes and low rise commercial
building typically have shallow
foundations. The most common types
are concrete slab-on-grade and grade
beams.

Framing
Today framing for residential and
many single story commercial
buildings is prefabricated off-site and
trucked to
the site.

Framing
For low rise commercial buildings is
steel framing is often used.
Single story
commercial
building.
Three story
office building

Framing
The first step is
bolting the framing
system, be it wood or
metal, to the
foundation concrete.

Framing
A wood roof framing
system consisting of
rafters and joists.

Framing
A bar joists metal roof framing
system.

Building Envelope
The building envelope consists of
the insulation, sheathing, moisture
barrier, exterior siding and
roofing, windows, and doors. In
residential construction the
sheathing is usually the plywood or
OSB. It is nailed directly onto the
frame to create a shear wall.

Building Envelope
Sheathing in place on a modern
home.

Building Envelope
Blanket insulation use in
residential construction.

Building Envelope
Applying
insulation and
sheathing to a
metal
building
frame.

Building Envelope
Applying the glue to insulation panels
for the
exterior
wall of a
metal
framed
building.

Building Envelope
Applying the
exterior plaster
coat to the
insulation
panels that
form the
sheathing of a
metal framed
building.

Building
Envelope
Metal window
frames read to
be installed in a
commercial
building.

Building Envelope
Metal window
frames being
installed in a
commercial
building.

Building Envelope
Window units
being installed
in a commercial
building.

Interior Walls
In a house, framing the interior walls
is an integral part of the framing
operation. In large commercial
buildings, interior walls may not be
part of the original construction
process. Each building tenant has
interior partitions constructed to suit
their own needs.

Interior Walls
Interior framing
is usually covered
with sheetrock.
As sheetrock is installed, cutouts are
made for electric switches and light
fixtures, and any other items that
protrude through the wall.

Utilities
Inside the building, utilities are
generally built in two phases
rough-in and finish. Utility
rough-in can begin when the
framing is nearly complete.

Electric rough-in
Electric rough-in is a matter of
identifying the locations for all
items such as the main electrical
panel, light fixtures, switches,
wall receptacles, and the
appliance outlets.

Electric rough-in
Everything that resides inside the
walls and ceiling plenum area is
installed.

Electric conduits
in the plenum area.

Electric rough-in
The electric entrance cable is installed
and connected at this time.

Electric rough-in
Everything that resides inside the walls,
such as wiring, wall receptacles, and
switches is installed.

Electric rough-in
Everything that resides inside the
ceiling, such as wiring and lighting
fixtures is installed.

Plumbing rough-in
Slab-on-grade construction requires
that plumbing rough-in for water
supply and wastewater drain lines be
installed prior to the construction of
the slab.

Plumbing rough-in
All above slab pipes for the sinks and
showers, washer, and faucets are
installed during the framing process
or as soon as the framing is complete.

Plumbing rough-in
All above slab waste water pipes are
installed during the framing process
or as soon as the framing is complete.

Mechanical rough-in
Mechanical rough-in
consists of
installation of the
ductwork for the
forced air heating
and air conditioning.

Mechanical rough-in
Mechanical rough-in consists of the
ductwork for the forced air heating
and air conditioning.

Environmental Control Systems


Environmental control systems are
lighting, heating and cooling,
ventilation, and the systems that
control them. The wiring and
ductwork for these systems are
installed during the utilities rough-in
stage. As the building nears
completion, the final work on these
systems is completed.

Interior Finish
The interior needs to be painted
before the finish electric and
finish plumbing. The very last
item will be the floor covering.

Common Commercial Buildings


There are many chain restaurants,
department stores, grocery stores,
office buildings, and warehouses that
are essentially the same standardized
one-story
building
design.

Common Commercial Buildings


The floor is a concrete slab-on-grade.
The exterior walls are either tilt-up
concrete panels set on a grade beam.

Tilt-up Construction
The tilt-up wall panels can be
designed to be load-bearing, which is
usually the case for the exterior
walls, or non-load-bearing. This
building process works very well for
shell type buildings.

Tilt-up Construction
The slab-on-grade building floor slab
serves at the casting yard for the tiltup wall
panels.

Tilt-up Construction
Blockouts for doors and windows are
created in the panels. In these areas
there is no reinforcing steel or
electrical
conduit.

Tilt-up
Construction
Panels are
usually erected
in a clockwise
rotation,
starting from a
chosen
building
corner.

Tilt-up Construction
Each panel must be
leveled and plumbed
before the temporary
braces are attached
to maintain the panel
in an upright
position.

Tilt-up Construction
After the panels are erected, the
interior structural system and roof
can be
constructed.

Tilt-up Construction
The space between the floor slab and
the wall panels is filled with concrete,
securing
the wall
panels to the
foundation
and the
floor.

Multi-story Building
The nature of multi-story building
construction is very different from
homes and one/two-story
commercial building construction.
The mechanical, electrical,
transportation systems, and life
safety systems are much more
complete in multi-story buildings.

Multi-story Building
Multi-story buildings
are constructed
using different
designs such as: rigid
frame, shear wall,
wall-frame, framedtube, and bundledtube.

Multi-story Building
Multi-story buildings have deep
foundations. The design of the
foundation varies according to the
kind of soils and bedrock at the
location, but usually involves driving
piles, drilled piers, or excavating
deep foundations.

Foundation for a
Multi-story Building
Deep excavation

Building
Foundation
Driving piling
for a building
foundation.

Multi-story Building
Erection of
a steel
frame
multi-story
building.

Multi-story Building
Erection of a concrete frame multistory building.

Braced-frame
The braced-frame structure is an
economical method of designing the
steel structure of a building. The
vertical members are the columns,
the horizontal members are the
girders, and the diagonals are the
braces. The diagonal braces work in
both tension and compression.

Rigid-frame
Rigid frame structures have no
diagonal braces. There are only
vertical columns and horizontal
girders. The columns and girders
are large, heavy members that
support a concrete floor slab. This
kind of building is best suited for
reinforced concrete columns.

Shear wall
Shear wall buildings work by
replacing the diagonal bracing with
walls that are rigid enough to resist
distortion. Masonry walls do not
work for this purpose because the
mortal lacks the required strength.
Most shear walls are made of
concrete panels.

Framed-tube Structure

In a framed-tube structure the


external walls of the building make
up the tube, which consists of large
columns and large horizontal girders
placed close together. The columns
and girders are rigid and no diagonal
bracing is needed.

Multi-story Building
Multi-story buildings present many
engineering challenges. There is the
challenge of providing water, fire
suppression, and wastewater disposal
on the upper floors. Electrical and
communication systems are major
installations. Vertical transportation
is a great challenge.