Course - HND in Construction and the Built Environment


The substructure is a portion of the building that sits below the ground. The weight of the building is distributed by the substructure to ground beneath the building. This document will provide a discussion on the information required for foundation design, different types of foundations, the difference between residential, commercial and industrial buildings based on various parameters, ways to inform functional characteristics and design criteria, ways to promote sustainability and a checklist for the substructure design.

Unit 2 Construction Technology - Construction substructure and superstructure

Question: Explain the terminology used in construction technology

Solution: Information required for foundation design

The information required for foundation design is load bearing requirements, soil data, environmental factors, building plans and regulation requirements.

Types of Foundations

Different types of foundations include

a) Strip foundation
This foundation is used in residential buildings and is also called continuous foundation. The load is distributed evenly in this foundation and it has continuous strip of concrete along the building perimeter(Sayed and Mahmoud Samir El-kady, 2016).

b) Raft Foundation
The entire footprint of the building is covered by a large sold slab in this foundation. This foundation type is used for structures where there is significant load and poor ground conditions.

c) Pile foundation
This foundation involves drilling of long slender columns into ground in order to reach load-bearing strata. This is commonly used for industrial buildings.

d) Pad foundation
This foundation also has continuous strip of concrete along the building perimeter like strip foundation but this is used for heavy load bearing requirements buildings such as commercial buildings (Maramani House Plans, 2020).

e) Screw Pile foundation
This foundation is environment friendly alternative and can be used for various types of buildings.

P1:Difference between residential, commercial and Industrial Buildings

Residential buildings
These are the buildings which are design for living of the individuals and families.

The size of the residential buildings is smaller than the industrial and commercial buildings. There are fewer floors and smaller footprints.

Load bearing requirements
The load bearing requirements of the residential buildings are lighter than other types of the buildings as they house people and their belongings.

Foundation type
The foundation type utilized by the residential buildings is shallow type of foundation such as pad foundations and strip foundations as these foundations have low weight.

The lightweight construction materials used by these types of buildings in order to accommodate the needs of the smaller structures and for reduction of costs.

The residential buildings make use of the eco-friendly material in order to achieve sustainability and reduce the negative impact on the environment.

Commercial buildings
The buildings that are designed for the commercial and business activities are called commercial buildings.

These buildings are relatively larger in size than residential buildings that accommodates businesses from small offices to large spaces of retail.

Load bearing requirements
The load bearing requirements of the commercial buildings varies on the basis of the commercial activity. The pad foundations can be used by the light to medium commercial buildings and raft foundations can be used by the heavy buildings.

Design flexibility
The commercial buildings have the flexible substructure design in order to accommodate different activities and businesses.

The durability and maintenance are essential for the commercial buildings as these buildings have long term occupancy.

Industrial Buildings
The buildings that are designed for the industrial processes such as manufacturing and warehousing are called industrial buildings.

These buildings are larger in size than residential and commercial buildings and occupy larger areas.

Load bearing requirements
The foundation types required for these buildings are pile foundation or reinforced raft foundations or screw type foundations are these buildings support heavy machinery. The load bearing capacity of these buildings must be high in order to withstand the heavy loads and equipment.

The sustainability can be achieved in design of these buildings by minimizing the usage of resource, use of recycled material and supporting future expansion by foundation.

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P2:Way in which functional characteristics and design selection criteria is informed

Functional characteristics

The functional features of the substructure are tied to the purpose of the building in a direct manner. The residential buildings require the type of the foundation that is able to support typical household loads, people weight and furniture. The industrial buildings require type of foundations that can support heavy machines and storage. The structural demands of different types of the buildings are reflected by functional characteristics of building.

The functional characteristics include

a) Load bearing capacity: The foundation must be able to support the weight of the structure. The right type of foundation must be determined for buildings by soil analysis and structural calculations.

b) Site conditions
The site conditions such as water tables, environmental factors and local geology can have high impact on the design of the foundation. This can be examined by survey and site studies.

c) Materials
The suitable type of the materials must be selected for the foundation by taking into consideration factors such as durability and environmental impact.

d) Sustainability
The sustainability can be promoted in the buildings by choosing environment friendly materials. The excavation must be minimized and easy maintainability and adaptability must be ensured.

Design selection criteria
The propose use of the building informs the type of the foundation. The shallower foundation types can be used for residential buildings as these buildings involve lighter loads. The foundations that can bear significant weight must be used for industrial buildings. Factors such as durability, load bearing capacity, flexibility and adaptability must be considered for the design selection criteria for meeting the unique needs of the building.

P3:Ways in which sustainability can be promoted

There are several ways in which sustainability can be promoted in substructure. The ways include

Environment friendly materials
The environment friendly construction material must be selected for construction of building in order to promote sustainability. The locally sourced and recycled material must be used for substructures. The transportation emissions must be reduced.

Minimize excavation
The excavation must be reduced which will prevent the disruption of the natural habitats and will help in the conservation of energy. The use of heavy machinery and consumption of fuel is reduced by shallower foundation as it does not need extensive digging.

Adaptability and longevity
The adaptability of the building must be ensured by using sustainable foundation design. The modification and expansion must be supported by adaptable foundation without the requirement of much reconstruction and demolition. The resource consumption must be optimized and wastage must be reduced.

Minimization of construction waste
The construction waste must be reduced by efficient use of the material, reuse of material and recycling of material and reducing the negative impact on environment.

Modern methods of construction (MMC)
The off site construction techniques, advanced technologies and modular components must be used. This will help in reduction of the on site waste, will minimize environmental impact and will speed up construction. The precision in manufacturing can be increased with pre fabricated materials and materials can be used in efficient manner.

Cradle to Cradle design
Cradle to cradle design principles can help in increasing efficiency. The reuse of the material can be increased and materials can be dissembled in easy manner. The closed loop system can be encouraged. This helps in making the waste from one process to become resource for another and helps in reducing environmental impact.

M1:Application of terminology to given construction project

The terminology includes

Foundation type
The foundations types may include raft, strip, pad, piles and screw. These are defined based on the site conditions and load bearing requirements.

Soil analysis
The soil analysis includes understanding of the load bearing capacity of the soil and determination of appropriate type of foundation.

The sustainability includes principles such reduction of construction waste, use of environment friendly materials, adaptability and minimization of excavation.

Load bearing requirements
The load bearing requirements of the project are based on the proposed building use. The foundation type must be based on load bearing requirements of building.

D1:Way in which functional characteristics and design selection criteria impact eventual design selection

The functional characteristics and design selection criteria affect eventual design selection.

Analysis of proposed building use
It is essential to understand way in which building will be used. The analysis includes material selection, type of foundation and load bearing capacity and particular requirements of building must be met.

Environment and sustainability factors
The evaluation of impact of the design on the environment must be done and sustainability goals must be evaluated. The long term benefits such as choices related to reduction of excavation, adaptability and use of eco-friendly materials must be promoted.

Assessment of load bearing requirements
The load bearing requirements of the building must be met by the design. The structural integrity must be ensured by aligning selected type of the foundation and design.

Comparison of design selection criteria
The selected design solution must align with the selection criteria. The factors such as durability, flexibility and adaptability must be taken into consideration for this.

Checklist for substructure design

The checklist of substructure design is
√ Identification of type of building. The building type can be residential building, commercial building or industrial building.
√ Analyze the load bearing requirements of selected type of building.
√ Conduct thorough site of the survey and proper analysis of the soil.
√ Take into account sustainability factor in design
√ Select the suitable type of the foundation.
√ Provide specification of material for ensuring high durability and sustainability.

The substructures play a crucial role in the construction of large commercial buildings. There are several differences between commercial, residential buildings on the basis of their purpose, usage and size. The functional characteristics and design criteria for different building types are discussed in the document. The document provides the checklist for substructure design.

FAQ: Construction Technology Terminology

  1. What are some common terms used in construction technology?
  2. What are some terms related to building materials?
  3. What are some terms related to construction documents?
  4. Where can I find more information about construction technology terminology?

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Question: Describe the different techniques used to construct a range of substructures and superstructures, including their function and design selection criteria

Solution: Superstructure is a portion of the building that is constructed above the ground level. There are different components included in the superstructures such as walls, floors, windows, doors, staircases and finishes. The functional characteristics and design criteria for each of the element of superstructure is explained in this document.

P5: Functional characteristics and design criteria for Superstructure elements

There are different elements of the superstructures that will be discussed in this section.


Walls offers multiple functions in superstructure
Functional characteristics of walls are:
• Structural support
The weight of the building is transferred from the roofs or floors to the foundation by load bearing walls and ensure stability.
• Partitioning
The interior spaces are divided by non-load bearing walls. The rooms and hallways are created and privacy is provided.
• Insulation
The insulation is provided by walls which helps in enhancing the energy efficiency, regulation temperature and sound proofing.
• Aesthetic
The appearance of the building will be enhanced by exterior wall which reflect architectural style. The design of the walls add to ambience of the building.

The Design selection criteria for walls is:

Load bearing versus non load bearing
The structural requirements influence the choice of load bearing or non-load bearing walls. The wall of the building is carried by load bearing walls while non load bearing walls provide high design flexibility. The suitable type must be selected from load bearing or non-load bearing based on the purpose and type of the building.

The material selection is based on different factors such as insulation requirements, aesthetics and structural needs. This may include timber, steel, concrete, masonry or other such material. The appropriate material must be selected based on requirements of the building.

Thermal insulation
The insulation requirements must be incorporated by wall design on the basis of type of building and climate.

The building appearance is enhanced by choice of the cladding material and architectural details.


Roofs are important in superstructure.
The functional characteristics are:
• Shelter: Roof shield occupants from snow, sun and rain.
• Thermal regulation: The energy efficiency of the business is affected by the ventilation and insulation.
• Water drainage: Roofs can help in keeping the water away from building which helps in prevention of damage and leaks.
• Aesthetics: Different roof designs and styles contribute toe aesthetic of building.
Design selection criteria
• Roof type: The architectural style, functionality and climate determine the type of roof such as hipped, flat and gable.
• Materials: On the basis of durability, weather resistance and aesthetics roofing materials such as tiles, metal, shingles and membrane systems.
• Insulation: The energy efficiency and climate control of the building will be affected by insulation choice.
• Drainage: The integrity of roof can be maintained by effective drainage systems and gutters.

Floors- Ground and intermediate
The functional characteristics of floors are:
• Support and load distribution: The structural support for occupants is provided by floors along uniform distribution of load.
• Accessibility: The occupants must be able to access ground floors easily.
• Insulation: The insulation for thermal comfort and sound proofing must be incorporated by floors.
• Design flexibility: The flexibility for various interior uses and layouts must be allowed nby intermediate floors.

The design selection criteria for floors is
• Load bearing capacity: The load bearing requirements of the building must be considered for the selection of the materials for floor construction.
• Materials: The structural needs and aesthetics influence the selection of material such as wood, concrete, steel and composite material.
• Insulation: Comfort and energy efficiency goals must be met by using acoustic and thermal insulation material.
• Accessibility: The ramps and elevators must be provided to ensure high accessibility of ground floors.
• Design flexibility: The reconfiguration of spaced must be allowed by intermediate floors.

Windows and Doors
The functional characteristics of windows and doors are:
• Light and Ventilation
The windows provide air circulation and natural light in order to increase the well-being and comfort of occupants.
• Security
The security and privacy of occupants must be provided by doors and windows.
• Accessibility
The entry must be accessible easily in commercial building and they must enhance visual appeal of building.
The design selection criteria for windows and doors are
• Materials: The durability, maintenance and aesthetics of building is affected by choice of the materials for doors and windows. It can be wood, PVC, steel, aluminium and other such material.
• Security: The safety must be ensured by using security measures such as locks and other reinforced materials
• Energy efficiency: The energy efficient features must be incorporated by designs of windows and doors. Double glazed glass can help in conservation of energy.

The functional characteristics of staircases are:
• Vertical circulation: The vertical movement between different levels of building must be provided by vertical circulation (Binod Khadka et al., 2015).
• Space optimization: The optimal utilization of the spaces must be done by staircases.
• Safety: The factors such as treads, risers and handrails must be used to ensure safety.
The design selection criteria for staircases is
• Available space: The staircase design must adhere to the building codes and must fit within available space.
• Material selection: The selection of materials such as concrete, wood and steel must be done based on aesthetics, structural needs and durability.
• Safety: The safety features must be included in design of staircase such as proper lighting and handrails.

The aesthetics of the superstructure is enhanced by finishes.
The functional characteristics of finishes are:
• Protection: The structural elements must be protected from wear and tear by finishes.
• Maintenance: The cleaning and maintenance must be simplified by high quality finishes.
• Aesthetics: The visual appeal of super structure must be enhanced by finishes.
The design selection criteria for finishes include
• Materials: The material must be selected based on maintenance and durability as well as aesthetics.
• Environment impact: The sustainable materials must be used to reduce environmental impact.

P4:Pre design studies and type of information collected for given construction site

The pre design study include

• Desktop study
This was carried out to find the feasibility of the construction. This involves collection of the information about historical data of the site. The geographical and environmental information about the site is also collected in this. This can include historical maps, geological maps, ordinance maps and aerial photos from drones.

• Walkover survey
This was carried out to understand ground conditions and get knowledge of the underground faults. The methods used in this study are trial pits, boreholes and soil samples. The conditions of the ground are determined before construction starts.

• Site survey pre design study
This helps in understanding of geographical and topographical features of site. The foundation design and drainage affect elevation of site, natural features and slopes. The boundaries are construction are determined and location of utility lines is also identified by site survey which helps in avoiding conflicts during construction.
The information collected from this study includes identification of boundaries for construction, allowing for precise project demarcation. The location of utility lines is also pin pointed and this helps in prevention of the conflicts during construction.

• Soil analysis pre design study
The load bearing capacity of soil is assessed by soil analysis. This helps in determination of type of soil, compaction and density of soil and water table. The soil strength is measured by tests such as soil penetration test.
The information collected from this study was
a) Type of soil
b) Measuring compaction and density
c) Determining the water table level.
d) Soil strength and suitability of proposed structure

• Environment impact assessment pre design study
This helps in understanding environmental and ecological considerations of site. This involves identification of endangered species, assessment of proximity of water bodies and evaluation of disposal of construction waste.
The information collected from this study include
a) identification of endangered species in the area
b) assessment of the proximity of water bodies
c) Evaluation of the methods for disposal of construction waste.
d) Potential environmental footprint

• Utilities and Infrastructure assessment
This study involved the identification of the utilities and infrastructure on or near the site. The information about location of the utility lines such as electricity, gas, water and Telecommunication is collected.

M2:Site conditions impact on foundation design

The foundation design is affected by site conditions.
• Soil type: The load bearing capabilities of different types of soil is different. So, different foundation type is required for different soil types.
• Soil bearing capacity: The depth and type foundation is influenced by bearing capacity of soil. Deeper foundation may be required for weak soil.
• Water table: The potential water related challenges such as hydrostatic pressure must be addressed by the foundation.
• Environment impact: The foundation design may get affected environmental restrictions.
• Site slope: The site slope affects foundation design as slopes must be accommodated by foundations.
Sustainability in superstructure design
The eco-friendly material which has low impact on environment must be selected in order to ensure sustainability in design The energy efficient features such as LED lighting and double glazed windows can be used to enhance sustainability. Solar systems can be used to enhance energy efficiency. The construction waster must be reduced by efficient usage of the resources.

M3:Component parts of element to fulfil its function

The functions are fulfilled by different functions
• The structural support, aesthetics and insulation is provided by wall components such as insulation, cladding and load bearing structure.
• Roof components provide shelter and thermal regulation.
• Floors provide support, aesthetics and insulation.
• Windows and doors provide aesthetics and security.
• Safe vertical circulation and architectural alignment is assured by staircases.
• Protective and aesthetics layers are provided by finishes.

Checklist for superstructure design
The checklist for superstructure design includes
√ Identification of function of various superstructure elements
√ Assessment of specific requirements for accessibility, insulation, load bearing capacity and aesthetics.
√ Selection of materials aligning with sustainability goals and desired characteristics.
√ Consider environment impact and energy efficiency in the design
√ Integrate safety measures where required.

Superstructures are constructed above the ground level. Different elements of super structures are explained in this document. The functional features and design criteria for each of the element is explained in this document. The checklist is provided for superstructure design in this document.

FAQ: Substructures, Superstructures, and Construction Techniques

  1. What are substructures and superstructures?
  2. Substructure Techniques and Design Considerations?
  3. Superstructure Techniques and Design Considerations?
  4. Where can I find more information about construction techniques?

Building Success Together: Unit 2 Construction Technology - HND in Construction and the Built Environment, Engineering Assignment Help!

Question: Identify the different types of civil engineering/infrastructure technology used in support of buildings


P6: Description of techniques used for remediating the site prior commencement of construction

There are different techniques, which can be used for remediating the site prior to beginning of the construction. The techniques are:
• Site clearing and grubbing: This technique involves removal of vegetation, removal of debris and topsoil for the creation of a clear area for construction.
• Soil stabilization: The load bearing capacity of the soil is enhanced under this technique by using different methods such as geo synthetics reinforcement and cement stabilization.
• Contaminated soil removal: This technique involves excavation of the soil as well as disposal of soil that contain various hazardous substances.
• Contamination management: The potential contaminants on the sire are assessed in detail before construction. This may include water testing, soil testing in order to detect presence of hazardous substances. The contamination management can be done in three ways including removal, cut off and isolation. Removal involves removal of the source of the contamination. This method is expensive as contaminated waste is disposed at licensed site on basis of volume and weight. The cut off method requires use of sheet piling to segregate the land from contamination source. The isolation can be done by encapsulating the contaminant.
The contaminated areas can be delineated and barriers can be installed to prevent the spread of the pollutants.
• Soil remediation: The areas where soil contamination is detected there, excavation and removal of contaminated soil can be done. The techniques such as secant piling, sheet piling, ground injection, freezing, pumping, electro osmosis and other such techniques can be used. The loose stone is driven into ground with stone piling process. This helps in increasing density and improving stability of soil. The severity of contamination can tell about extent of excavation. The several layers of the soil can be removed in this. Bio remediation techniques can be used for the organic contaminants. The pollutants can be broken down into less harmful substances for this. The chemical treatments such as chemical oxidation and soil washing can be used for neutralization of the soil.
• Dewatering: The water table can be assessed before beginning the construction and dewatering can be done if required. This involves removal of the groundwater for creation of dry working environment. The water is removed from soil by wet classification. The techniques such as sumping and well points systems can also be used for dewatering. The water which is extracted during the process of the dewatering can be treated in order to ensure compliance with the environmental standards before begin discharged.

M4: Compare different types of structural frames used to carry the primary and secondary elements of the superstructure

The suitable structural frames must be made on the basis of the budget, site specific conditions, architecture design and type of the building. The selection must be made based on the requirements and goals of the project. There are several types of structural frames which are used to carry out the primary and secondary elements of the superstructure. This includes

Steel frame
The primary use of the steel frame is in the commercial buildings and the industrial buildings. The advantages of the using steel frame include high strength, speed and flexibility but these frames are vulnerable to corrosion if appropriate coatings are not used in them.
The strength to weight ratio of the steel is high so, it is capable of supporting heavy loads and it can span over the long distances. The design flexibility is provided by steel frames and these frames are open for the floor plans and these frames have versatility in the interior configuration. The construction time and construction cost can be reduced with the help of the steel frames as construction using steel is relatively fast. These frames ensure safety in case of fire so, they provide fire resistance.

The limitation of these frames is that these frames are vulnerable to corrosion if there is no proper coating and this can put negative impact on structural integrity.

Concrete frame
These frames are commonly used in the high rise buildings and parking structures. These frames provide durability, fire resistance and sound proofing.
There are several advantages of using these frames. These frames are highly durable and these frames can withstand various environmental conditions such as fire and moisture. The fire resistance is provided by the concrete and this helps in increasing safety of the building. The noise transmission between floors is reduced by the soundproofing capabilities of the concrete.

There are some limitations as well associated with these frames. The construction using these frames is slower than steel frame construction. The load to the foundation of the building is added by these frames due to weight of the concrete. Thus, these frames require robust support systems.

Timber frame
The timber frames are used in the low rise commercial buildings and the residential buildings. The pros of these frames include sustainability, aesthetic appeal and thermal performance.
The use of timber frames in the buildings add sustainability as these frames as timber is a renewable source and it does not cause any negative impact on environment. These frames can also provide the natural aesthetic and warm appeal to building. Therefore, these are used in many residential settings. Apart from this good timber insulation properties are provided by timber and this helps in increasing the energy efficiency.

There are some limitations also associated with timber frames. These frames have limitations related to load bearing capacity and span. The span and load bearing capacity of these frames is lower than concrete frames and steel frames. The other limitation of timber frames is vulnerability to pests. The frames are vulnerable to pests and require proper treatment.

Composite frame
These frames are made by combining different materials such as concrete and steel for the optimization of the performance of the structure. The advantages of these frames include versatility and efficiency.
The strengths of multiple materials are leveraged by composite frames so, these frames provide high efficiency. These frames can be customized to meet the particular requirements of the project. The balance between flexibility and strength can be achieved using these frames.

The limitation of composite frame is that they require careful planning and engineering expertise as integration of various materials is involved in these frames.

P7: Description of the types of substructure works carried out by civil engineers

There are several types of the substructures that are carried out by civil engineers. These substructures are necessary for supporting buildings and foundations. These include
• Foundation construction:
There are can different types of the foundations such as shallow foundation or deep foundation. The shallow foundations such as spread footings or mat foundation are constructed by civil engineers for the distribution of the loads of the building to the soils beneath the structure.
Deep foundation are constructed by civil engineers if the soil near the surface is not sufficient to support the structure. These foundations may include caissons or pile foundation. The loads are transferred to more competent layers of soils in these foundations.
• Excavation and Earthworks
The excavation activities are planned by the civil engineers. These activities may include shaping of terrain, grading, earth moving and grading. These activities help in creating the suitable base for the building. Levelled and stable construction site is ensured by the proper excavation and earth work.
• Site drainage
The drainage systems are designed and implemented by the civil engineers for effective management of the storm water. This includes the installation off the culverts, storm water drains and retention basing to make sure that water is drained away from building in proper manner and flooding can be prevented.
• Utility installation
The utilities are installed by civil engineers in the building. The utilities may include gas pipelines, water supply lines, sewage systems and electrical systems. The utilities are installed in the building in proper manner to ensure access to essential services.
• Wall retention
The slopes are supported by civil engineers by construction of the retaining walls. These walls help in creating levelled surfaces for construction and prevention of soil erosion. The lateral pressure from water and soil can be withstand by these walls.
• Soil stabilization
The load bearing capacity of the soil is increased by using different methods such as lime stabilization, geo synthetic reinforcement and cement stabilization. This makes sure that soil is able to support the weight of the structure.
• Utility trenches
The utility lines are accommodated by the excavation of trenches. The utility lines may include gas pipes, water, and sewage facility. The safety and regulatory standards are met by civil engineers by designing trenches.
• Ground improvement
The techniques such as viro compaction, soil replacement or compaction can be used for improvement of ground. These techniques can help in improving the properties of soil and make it more appropriate for construction.
• Basement construction
The construction of the basements is looked after by civil engineers. This involves excavating below ground level and creation of the reinforced structures for the additional amount of space in buildings.
• Cofferdams
These are employed during underwater logged construction or in water logged areas. The temporary enclosures are constructed in this for creation of dry working environment for construction below waterline.
• Site grading
The construction sites must be frame in proper manner for controlling water flow in order to prevent flooding and ensure proper drainage of water. The land is reshaped in site grading to get the desired slope.

D3: Distribution of the primary services impact on the overall design of the building

The overall design of the building is affected by the distribution of the primary services. The services include
• Electrical distribution
This includes placement of the switches, lighting fixtures and electrical outlets. This has impact on the interior layout of the building, arrangement of furniture and design of wall. The electrical circuits and calculations of load are affected by this.
• HVAC ductwork
The height of the ceilings is determined by the design and layout of the HVAC vents and ducts. They also determine space configuration and interior aesthetics. The air quality and temperature control can be achieved by proper HVAC design.
• Fire protection systems
The ceiling design, evacuation routes and wall design is affected by the position of the sprinklers, fire alarms and emergency exits. The fire resistant doors and walls can help in increasing safety.
• Water supply and plumbing
The design of the kitchen, rest rooms and other areas that are dependent on the water is affected by the location of the water outlets, pipes and plumbing fixtures. The design of plumbing system helps in proper drainage function and water distribution.
• Data distribution and tele communication
The layout of the office, cable routing and design of workstation is affected by network infrastructure and communication system. The connectivity and communication can be ensured by efficient data distribution.
The primary must be distributed as per the needs of the users, purpose of the building and regulatory requirements.

FAQ: Civil Engineering/Infrastructure Technology for Buildings

  1. What civil engineering/infrastructure technologies support buildings?
  2. How are these technologies chosen?
  3. Where can I find more information?

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Question: Illustrate the supply and distribution of a range of building services and how they are accommodated within the building


P8: Description of the supply arrangements for primary services

The functionality and operation of the large commercial building can be ensured by the primary services. The supply arrangement for the primary services include:

Electricity supply
The commercial buildings require robust electricity supply. This connection to local electrical grid and distribution throughout the building such as outlets, circuits and electrical panels is done.
Supply arrangement: The electricity is sourced from utility grid and it will enter the building through electrical panels. The load is divided by using sub panels. The circuits are used to distribute power to outlets.

Water supply
The connection to municipal water system is required to ensure adequate supply of the water. The distribution of water will be done via plumbing systems to various points of use.
Supply arrangement: Water will be distributed through pipes and taps.

HVAC systems
The ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems are required to be used in the commercial buildings. The HVAC equipment such as boilers, chillers, handling units and duct work can be used for air distribution.

Fire protection system
The occupants are required to be protected from fire. The installation of fire alarms, emergency kits and sprinkler systems is required at strategic positions in the buildings.
Supply arrangement: Sprinkler systems are required to be designed and supposed to be activated in case of fire.

• Electricity supply
The robust electricity supply is required in the commercial buildings. The connection to the local electrical grid is required to be made and distribution of the power throughout the building is required to be assured. The power distribution is done via circuits, outlets and electrical panels.
• Water supply
A sufficient amount of water must be supplied in the commercial building. The connection is required to be made to the municipal water system and water distribution is required to be done via plumbing systems to various points of use of the water such as toilets, sinks and fire suppression systems. The piping and taps can be used for the distribution of the water across different areas of the building.

• HVAC systems
The heating, air conditioning HVAC systems and ventilation is required in the commercial buildings. The supply arrangements required for this involves the installation of the HVAC equipment such as air handling units, boilers and chillers. This also requires installation of the ductwork for air distribution.
• Fire protection systems
The protection of the occupants from fire is important in the building. The arrangements required for this are installation of the sprinkler systems, fire alarms and emergency kits. These are required to be placed at various strategic positions in the building in order to ensure fire safety in the building.
• Data services and telecommunication
The reliable network infrastructure is required for seamless communication. The supply arrangement required for this are networking equipment, data cables, switches, firewall, routers and internet connectivity.

P9: Explanation of the distribution arrangements for primary services

The distribution arrangements will ensure that the primary services reach their intended destinations. The electricity services, tele communication services, water services and fire protection services will be provided in the building by distribution arrangements. The distribution arrangements for the primary services are:

Electricity distribution

Electricity can be supplied through
• Electricity panels with circuit breakers for protection
• Load division by using sub panels
• Subpanels connected via circuits and supplying power to switches, lighting and outlets.
• Convenient placement of switches and outlets
• Lighting fixtures such as lamps and overhead lights

The electricity will be distributed in different areas of the building via
a) Electricity panels: The power is received from the utility grid at the electrical panels and from the electricity distribution begins. There are circuit breakers in these panels which are also called fuses. These fuses help in the protection of the electrical systems from faults and overloads.
b) Subpanels: Subpanels are located strategically throughout the building. They divide the electricity load in the building and serve different zones and areas.
c) Circuits: The circuits connect different sub panels. The circuits are responsible for supplying power to outlets, lighting fixtures and switches. The specific amount of the load handled by each of the circuit. The circuits may serve the different electrical outlets.
d) Switches and outlets: These are positioned at different convenient locations in the rooms. The easy access for the devices, appliances and equipment can be ensured by careful planning of outlet distribution.
e) Lighting fixtures: The overhead lights and lamps are included in the lighting fixtures. The are placed at proper positions enough illumination for the different purposes and activities.

Water distribution
Water can be distributed through
• Water supply lines that are connected to municipal water systems
• Plumbing fixtures such water heaters, sinks, showers connected to plumbing lines
• Fire suppression system supplied with water through dedicated network of pipes with triggers of fire alarms

The water distribution is required to be ensured at different areas of the building. This can be done by:

a) Water supply lines: The main water supply of the building is connected to the municipal water systems and here the water distribution starts. The water is distributed to different of the building through the pipes which can be made of PVC, copper or PEX.

b) Plumbing fixtures: The distribution of water is made to the plumbing fixtures such as showers, water heaters and sinks. The connection of each of the fixture is made to the water supply through the dedicated plumbing lines.

c) Fire suppression system: The water supply to the fire suppression systems such as sprinklers is made via a dedicated network of pipes that have fire alarm triggers and these are pressurized in the event of a fire.

HVAC distribution

This can be achieved through
• Central HVAC systems buildings can use ductwork
• Vents and registers can be used in ceilings, floors and buildings for conditioned air release.

This distribution can be made via
a) Ductwork
The ductwork is required to be used in the buildings that are equipped with central HVAC systems. Air conditioning is done via HVAC units and it is distributed via network of the ducts to various rooms and zones that are present within the building.
b) Vents and registers
These are placed in strategic manner in the walls, ceilings and floors in order to release the conditioned air in indoor spaces. The air quality and even temperature control can be achieved via proper placements of vents and registers.
Fire protection distribution
This can be done through
• Fire alarms
• Sprinkler systems emergency exits

The fire protection distribution involves:

a) Fire alarms
The fire alarms are required to he placed in the building in the strategic manner in the areas where early detection is required. This can also include smoke detectors.

b) Sprinkler systems
The sprinklers are distributed across the ceiling in grid patterns. The are positioned in such a way that comprehensive coverage can be provided. They are activated in case of trigger event by heaters.

c) Emergency exits
The occupants are guided to safety in case of fire by using strategically marking exit signs and routes.

Data distribution and telecommunication
This may include

a) Data cables: This may include fiber optic cables, ethernet and other data cables which are distributed from the central network distribution points to the networking equipment and data outlet across the building.

b) Networking equipment: The networking equipment may include the switches, routers and wireless access points. These are placed across the building in order to ensure reliable connectivity across different areas of the building.
The distribution arrangements will ensure that the primary services are easily accessible in the building when they are required.

M5: Demonstration of the elements of the superstructure used to facilitate the primary services

The primary services in the building can be facilitated by different elements of the superstructure. The safe and efficient electricity supply, water supply, HVAC and fire protection in the building can be ensured. The key elements include

The ceilings can be used for

a) Electrical distribution: The electrical distribution components can be sealed by suspended ceilings. This may include electrical panels, wiring and conduits. The access panels must be integrated into the ceiling design in order to provide the easy inspection and maintenance of the electrical systems.

b) HVAC ductwork: The HVAC ductwork can be accommodated by ceiling spaces. This will allow the distribution of conditions air to different areas within the building. The air can be released into occupied spaces by using ceiling diffusers and grilles.

c) Fire protection systems: The system such as heat sensors, fire alarm devices and smoke detectors are required to be installed in the ceiling in order to provide comprehensive coverage. There are concealed heads in the sprinkler systems and they are deployed when activated.


a) Electrical switches and outlets: The electrical outlets, data ports and switches are present in walls. The easy access can be provided to the users via strategic positioning of the components. The wall cavities are used for installing power and data conduits.

b) Fire protection equipment: The walls can be used for mounting fire alarm devices such as fire sprinklers. They can be positioned near the ceiling in order to disperse water in efficient manner in case of fire.

The floors can be used for:
Underfloor conduits: Raised access floors are used in some of commercial buildings. The underfloor conduits are installed in raised floors and they house data cabling and electrical cabling. The accessible and flexible routing of services is done by this design.

The roofs can be used for mounting the rooftop equipment such as solar panels, HVAC systems and telecommunication infrastructure such as dishes. The rooftop must be accessible to ensure the service and maintenance of this equipment. There can be different types of the roofs such as flat roofs for plains and sloped roofs for mountains (LetsBuild, 2019).

Interior walls
The interior walls present within the meeting room, offices and workspaces can be used for network jacks, electrical outlets and data ports installation. These walls can be used for fulfilling power requirements of specific areas.

D2: Design report identifying superstructure, substructure and civil engineering structure for given construction project

Substructure design
The load bearing superstructure will be best for commercial building. The load is transferred vertically downward the wall. The load from the floors and roofs gets transferred to wall.

The mat foundation will be best for the building as it is shallower foundation and it will be provide stability and support.
The recommendations for flexi industrial building include

a) Super structure: The steel frame has high strength and flexibility so, it is recommended for the Flexi industrial building. The steel frame can allow easy modification for the accommodation of various industrial processes and open floor plans.

b) Substructure: The flexi industrial building must use shallow foundation such as mat foundation or spread footing as they provide support and stability for wide range of the configurations and industrial equipment.

c) Civil engineering structure: The measures such as site grading, soil stability, proper drainage and erosion control must be implemented. This will provide stable base for building and prevent water related issues.

FAQ: Building Services - Supply, Distribution, and Accommodation

  1. What are building services?
  2. How are building services supplied and distributed?
  3. How are building services accommodated within the building?
  4. What are some factors to consider when designing building service systems?
  5. Where can I find more information?

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