Building Construction for Dummies: Article Index

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Part 1 : An analysis of a building in terms of what it’s expected to do: its function and performance:

1 Basic requirements of a building

  • Materials and technical ability
  • Functional requirements
  • Performance requirements

2 Appearance

  • Aesthetic aims or fashions
  • Relationship to other performance requirements
  • Weathering and maintenance

3 Building/Construction Durability

  • Changes in appearance
  • Physical deterioration
  • Intended life span

4 Effective Building Dimensions

  • Movement
  • Irreversible and reversible movement
  • Softening and freezing
  • Shrinkage
  • Loading
  • Appropriate sizes
  • Dimensional coordination
  • Modular coordination
  • Jointing and tolerances

5 Building Strength + Stability

  • Dead, live and wind loads
  • Structural organization
  • Continuous structures
  • Framed structures
  • Panel structures
  • Membrane structures
  • Slenderness ratio
  • Diagonal bracing

6 Weatherizing + Weatherproofing Construction/Buildings

  • Wind and water penetration
  • Exposure zones
  • Macro- and microclimates
  • Movement of water
  • Joints

7 Sound/Noise control

  • Unwanted sound (noise)
  • Noise outside a building
  • Noise inside a building
  • Frequency, intensity and loudness
  • Defensive measures
  • Listening conditions
  • Blurring and echoes
  • Sound absorption
  • Sound reduction
  • Sound insulation regulations

8 Thermal comfort / efficiency

  • Passive means
  • Heat transfer
  • Thermal insulation values
  • Criteria for appraising the thermal efficiency of dwellings
  • Measuringf carbon emissions
  • Condensation and thermal bridging
  • Thermal capacity
  • Heat gains
  • Active means
  • Solar energy

9 Fire Protection / Control in Buildings

  • Combustibility
  • Fire resistance
  • Spread of fire
  • Means of escape
  • Fire alarms
  • Fire(-resistant) doors
  • Fire-fighting
  • Fire insurance

10 Lighting and ventilation

  • Standards
  • Natural lighting
  • Artificial lighting
  • Natural ventilation
  • Artificial ventilation

11 Sanitation and drainage

  • Drinking-water, food preparation and washing
  • Waste products, refuse and dirt
  • Drainage systems
  • Rainwater collection
  • Means of access to drains
  • Integration of systems
  • Refuse collection and disposal

12 Security

  • Unauthorized entry
  • Vandalism
  • Disasters
  • Lightning
  • Terrorism
  • Accidents

13 Cost

  • Acquisition costs
  • Running costs
  • Operational costs
  • Cost evaluation

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