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Curs 3

1. Participants in the construction process of buildings and their relationships 2. Architectural programs, generalities and basic notions 3. General lay-out of a construction 4. Main types of structural systems. Classification and geometry conditions imposed by P100/2006

1. Participants in the construction process of buildings and their relationships

The contemporary construction process of buildings involves an impressive number of direct and indirect participants, from the conceptual up to post-utilisation stage, as illustrated by the following (perhaps incomplete) list: promoter(investor), consultants, designers, design-verification specialists, researchers, producers, and suppliers of construction products, contractor(s) subcontractors, laboratory and in-situ testing specialists, equipments, geotechnicians, land surveyors, surveyors of construction works, quality inspectors, technical experts, economists, as well as users, specialised public bodies/agencies, professional associations, insurance companies et al.

Some play a more prominent role and can be considered to act as a the basics for this process. Always present in the picture since olden times, these participants are: the promoter (investor), the designer, the contractor (constructor) and the user. P D III III U C P =promoter D =designer C =contractor U =user

promoter, since he identified the necessity of erecting a more or less permanent shelter, which had to be in its possession, and decided to achieve it; designer, since he imagined how to make it look like or made use of previous experience, in order to get a home properly responding to his needs; constructor, since he himself materialised his ideas and making best use of all his skills; user, since he actually made use of the construction.



P =promoter

D =designer
C =contractor U =user situation valid till 19th century



modern approach



modern approach

the promoter (often called also investor, client ) represents a starting point on the complex process of achievement and utilisation of any building or construction, in general.
The promoters of civil engineering projects vary widely in their legal status. They include central and regional governmental agencies, local authorities and public bodies, limited liability companies, partnerships and businessmen who are sole traders, as well as individuals (in case of small-size constructions, where they are also the owners). Contractors can be promoters of some project too, such as, for instance, property development or housing estates.

the promoter employs a consulting engineer to investigate and report on a proposed project. This consultancy may be provided either by a specialised firm or by an individual

The selection of a consultant engineer should start with defining the expertise appropriate to the project, in term of education, training and experience obtained by having held position of major responsibility on important engineering works for some years. The promoters interest may be best served by the appointment of a project manager to plan and manage the respective project and to co-ordinate the relationships with other organisations. This role is particularly important for: ensuring that projects objectives are drafted for agreement by the promoter and relevant financial and statutory authorities; obtaining advice on the probable cost of the project and possible sources of finances;

planning for site selection and acquisitions; planning for public consultations and representation at public enquiries; preparing the project strategy and planning for appointment of the larger team and the systems needed for the next stages of the project. Depending upon the size, importance and risk of a project, the role of project manager is not necessarily a separate job from other work. The project manager may be, for instance, the consulting engineer appointed to investigate and report on the proposed project; alternatively, he may be an employee of the promoter or a specialist in project management.

It is quite normal practice for the project manager to select and appoint the project team, but in some instances the promoter is the one who appoint this team on the advice of the project manager.
An important task for the project manager is to ensure that the promoter defines the objectives for the project and agrees a project strategy or brief to guide the next stage of work.

This brief should state: promoters objectives and priorities; the manner in which consultants and other resources are to be employed; an outline programme and budget, setting dates and cost targets for the investigations and design studies needed for the feasibility study. The brief should be designed to guide investigation and evolution of alternative engineering schemes that appear on initial consideration to meet promoters needs. Costbenefit studies, risk analyses and environmental impact assessments for each alternative will help.

The Designer For any but the smallest of buildings, a client has to ask for the service of a building design professional by direct contact or by means of a competition - to whom he will hand over a design theme. This must include comprehensive data concerning the prospective building Once decided who the designer would be, the complex process of design can actually start. In case of civil buildings (possibly in case of others buildings as well), it is quite obvious that the prime designer should be an architect. He helps to consolidate the clients ideas about the new building and will cooperate with a group of engineering specialists to work out the entire project. Together they form the design team.

Depending on the practice existing in each country and, often, on the particularities of the project too there are several basic variants of organising the design activity: Promoter (Client)
variant a)


Engineering Specialists

Promoter (Client)

Architect Engineering Specialists

variant b) Promoter (Client) Architect + Engineering Specialists

variant c)

No matter the way in which the design process is organised, but depending on the nature and specific features of the building, the design team should incorporate in some manner besides architect and structural engineer service engineers specialised in: climate services, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning utility services, including: cool and hot water supply, sewage, rainwater drainage; waste (rubbish) disposal; electricity supply; gas or liquid fuel supply; telecommunications; mechanical transportation; special services (e.g. special lighting, acoustical treatments, security equipment etc). quantity surveyor, topographic survey engineer, geotechnical engineer, interior design architect, landscape architect, economist et al. It is essential that the design team i.e. architect, structural engineer, building services engineer and any other specialists is brought together at the earliest possible moment, so that all its members can contribute to the final concept.

If effective communication is to be maintained between the members of the design team, it is essential that each members proceeds to a closely related level of detail at any time, if not there will be a negative effect on design co-ordination. A well-organised information flow in both senses established between the participants in the design process from the early stages of the project will certainly enhance the results of the entire activity. One should also point out the beneficial effects of true co-operation and mutual understanding between the members of the design team, in relations with the requirements, technical conditions, limitations and restrictions proper to each speciality. This implies some basic knowledge of others profession. Certainly, an engineer-minded architect, as well as an architectminded engineer, will reach without difficulty a reasonable compromise to solve any controversial problem in building design.

The Contractor The contractors activity translates into the material world, at full scale the designers work which reflects and interprets promoters ideas and requirements about the building he intents to achieve. Accordingly, the contractor has to be in quite permanent contact with the designer, from the very beginning till the completion of the building. Both parties must develop close co-operative relationships, in order to solve in the best possible manner all technical matters normally encountered during the construction process, as well as any possible unforeseen problems. Current technological solutions and details are in contractors responsibility. In special cases - particular and/or difficult site conditions, unusual building features, new materials, products and/or construction techniques to be applied, requirements or conditions well above standard specifications etc the problems must be thoroughly examined and solved by a co-operative effort of contractor and designer from the earliest stage of the construction process.

General contractors are those who, on account of their resources and experience, are able to undertake the responsibility as main contractor for the construction of the entire project, although they may sub-let parts of the work to specialists or trade contractors. This specialisation enables them to employ skilled staff and plant machinery particularly suited to their work. In some cases their design and techniques are protected by patents. A specialist contractor usually performs his work by sub-contract to a general contractor who will take a co-ordination role.

The User Being positioned at the end of the chain, the user of a building is actually the beneficiary of the activity performed by promoter (client), designer and contractor. Since the building is meant to be in service (exploitation) a very long period of time, it is quite natural for it to have a succession of users. These are in a position to make a continuous and more or less objective evaluation of buildings performances and shortcomings over the years, to express their opinions about the degree to what their requirements and expectations are fulfilled. No matter the kind of relations existing between the user and the owner of a building but, obviously, with different specific responsibilities as established by the regulations in force they are involved during its entire period of service to rather a continuous activity of maintenance and current repair. This is absolutely necessary in order to ensure an adequate durability of the building, which is mainly expressed by its ability to maintain performance levels as close as possible to the initial values.

When a change of building users occurs, especially if there is also a change in the profile of their activity, it is a rather common practice to carry out some rehabilitation/refurbishment works. Occasionally, such works are needed at certain moments during the building life, in order to remove wearing or decay effects and thus to improve functional performances When there is evidence of decrease of structural performances, as well as in cases of structural damage caused by exceptional events (such as earthquakes, fire, large ground settlements, flood, etc..), strengthening works are required. In most cases, they have to be accompanied by some kind of refurbishment, since non-structural elements, finishes and installations are inevitably affected by the operations of structural strengthening.

There are recommendations or even in case of important buildings, special site or/and exploitation conditions compulsory regulations to monitor in-situ behaviour of buildings, mostly from the structural viewpoint. This kind of activity includes from simple, casual observations to survey and recording (settlements, deformations, cracking,) on a permanent basis, by means of more or less sophisticated topometric means.

2. Architectural programs, generalities and basic notions

The systematized assembly of functions that a certain building category must fulfill is called architectural program and it is mainly referring to the arrangement of the indoor spaces subsystem. Main architectural programs related to civil buildings are those referring to: Residential buildings Tourism buildings Educational buildings Health buildings Public alimentation bldgs Office bldgs

Within the indoor space units subsystem, each space has its own destination and utility within the system, but for almost all civil buildings a general classification of spaces may be done as follows: -main spaces; -auxiliary spaces; -circulation spaces. Main spaces are those closed spaces where the principal activity, definitory for the building function, is being carried out, such as: bedrooms, living room, dining room, study room, hobby room in a residential building; guest rooms in a hotel; classrooms in a school; office rooms in an office building;

The size of each space is established in accordance with the number of people who normally use it, also accounting for currently required furniture and equipment. Auxiliary spaces are those closed spaces where complementary activities-functionally subordinated to the main one, are carried out. Some examples are given below: -kitchen, storage room, bathroom(s), dressing room, toilet, laundry, utility room in a residential building; -lobby, reception area, lounge, bar, restaurant, shop, toilets, utility rooms in a hotel; -therapy and surgery rooms, laboratories, kitchen, storage rooms, dinning room, laundry, toilets, , utility rooms in a hospital; -laboratories, school workshops, library, staff room, locker room, toilets in a school;

-conference(meeting) rooms, library, archives, locker room, cafeteria, toilets in an office building; -foyer, box office, stage, cloak-room, actors rooms, projector cabin, toilets in a theatre or cinema; - kitchen, confectionery, storage rooms, locker room, toilets in a restaurant. The size of an auxiliary space is also dependent on the number of people who use it and on the location, configuration and size of the required furniture and equipment.

Circulation spaces are intended to provide adequate connections between main and auxiliary spaces, either at the same level of a building (horizontal circulation) or at different levels(vertical circulation). The horizontal circulation in a building currently includes the following spaces: -corridors; -entrance and interior halls; -vestibule. The vertical circulation in a building currently includes stairs and elevators. These vertical circulation means are generally separately located in a space unit called stair case

The main spaces are forming the housing space of the building. Its area is a quality indicator, called housing size (area) and noted Al. The housing size, together with the annex and circulation spaces form the so called usable size (area) of a building. Au The built area of a building is a quality indicator defined for low rise buildings indicating the area framed by the its exterior perimeter. Ac For multi storey buildings, the sum of built areas for each level gives another quality indicator :total built area. It includes also balconies, loggias, parts from the common spaces of the bldg. Acd

3. General lay-out of a construction An essential factor in defining the patterns of space planning in civil buildings consist in the number of people present within each functional unit, under normal service conditions. This number is directly dependent on the nature and peculiarities of each functional process. A global classification based on this criterion emphasises the following situations: functional processes having a small number of people within each functional unit. this is typically the case of residential buildings, hotels(guest rooms area) and hostels, where normally there are only a few persons inside a room.

Some other functions take place with somewhat more persons than in the previous case, but may also be included in the same category(e.g. hospital wards, schools, small shops et. al); functional processes carried on with relatively large number of people within functional units, as in case of office buildings, public libraries, exhibitions, museums,large shops or stores, restaurants etc; functional processes where a very large number of people gather within functional units. This happens in case of theatres, cinemas, concert halls, auditoriums, large exhibitions, fairs, covered markets, sport halls, cathedrals e Several patterns of space planning in buildings can be identified, in correlation with the number of people involved in their functional process, namely:

buildings with rigid space planning; buildings with flexible space planning ; buildings with hall-type space planning . buildings with rigid space planning This type of space planning is, in general, convenient in case of functional processes involving a small number of people. The indoor space is partitioned into functional units having fixed positions and relatively small dimensions. When partitioning is achieved by means of closely spaced structural walls, the resulting pattern of space planning is currently identified as box or honeycombtype. Since the position of structural walls is identical at any storey of the building, the indoor space is also identically organised, with no possibility to introduce any change.

When the indoor space is divided into larger compartments surrounded by structural walls with possible further subdivision into smaller rooms by means of non-structural partitions the corresponding pattern of space planning is known as cellular-type. Since the position of non-structural partitions may differ from one storey to another or may be modified in time to some extent, it becomes possible to get some (however limited) flexibility in space planning, in comparison with box-type pattern.

HoneyComb Space planning

Cellular Space planning

Buildings With Flexible Space Planning This kind of space planning is generally required in case of functional processes with a larger number of people. The indoor space of buildings can be organised in a variety of patterns by means of non-structural partitioning elements, thus resulting functional units with different configurations and dimensions, suitable to the respective functional process. The positions of partitions may differ from one storey to another and can quite easily be modified in time, whenever necessary. Since vertical structural elements (columns and some walls) cover only a rather small percentage of floor area and, on the other hand, they can be located at relatively large distance from each other, the space planning gets advantages from the viewpoint of functional flexibility.

Buildings With Hall-Type Space Planning Functional processes gathering very large number of people currently ask for hall-type space planning. The dominant space unit consists in a (very) large- size hall where the main function is performed, to whom auxiliary smaller units are frequently attached. Typical buildings of this nature include theatres, cinemas, auditoriums, big exhibitions and show rooms, covered markets, sport halls and arenas, indoor swimming pools et al.

Flexible type Space planning

Hall type Space planning