Course: HND in Construction and the Built Environment

Introduction: In construction, the building is divided into two main parts: the substructure and the superstructure. The substructure, like the foundation and basement, is the hidden underground element that supports the entire structure and transfers loads to the soil. Above that sits the superstructure, which is everything you can see, like walls, floors, and roofs. To make a building functional and comfortable, various building services are installed. Primary services, like plumbing, electricity, and drainage, are essential for the building's basic operation. Secondary services, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, provide occupant comfort and improve efficiency. These services are integrated throughout the substructure and superstructure to create a complete and functioning building.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Description of Supply Arrangements for Primary and Secondary Services
  • 2. Distribution through Large Commercial Building
  • 3. Recommendation
  • 3.1. Superstructure
  • 3.2. Substructure
  • 3.3. Civil engineering structure
  • 4. Appraise How the Recommended Choice Will Accommodate and Facilitate the Primary and Secondary Services for The Building
  • 5. References

Unit 2 Construction Technology

Construction Substructure and Superstructure

Section: Primary and Secondary Services

LO4 Illustrate the supply and distribution of a range of building services and how they are accommodated within the building.

Question: How the design team must consider the supply arrangements for primary and secondary services and explain how they can be distributed through a large commercial building.

1. Description of Supply Arrangements for Primary and Secondary Services

Primary supplies are mainly the water, electricity and the supply of gas into a building for its occupants. These services are the systems that are installed to make it functional, increase its efficiency so that it is safer and more comfortable.

1. The supply of water is drawn as a direct connection to the system from the local company that provides water. This company may even be the same as the one which manages the water. It is quite evident that for medium to high-rise buildings the water pressure is not enough to supply it to more than three stories unless a pump is used.

2. The local company that supplies electricity is going to be the one to provide for the domestic requirements. The supply needs to be good enough with no fluctuations to protect a large number of devices installed and the electricity must go through a fuse for the same purpose. Larger constructions that need more electricity for their industrial purposes might need more power which can be supplied around 11,000 Volts.

3. For the supply of gas to a building, the primary need is for the combustion in the boilers that are there and also for the heating purposes of the rooms. To maintain the pressure of the gas being supplied, a compressor might even be used.

The primary services need to be distributed to the consumers. The primary services are electricity, gas and water supplies.

1. Electricity needs to be generated at the power plants. Power plants can be nuclear power plants, wind turbines or most generally used are the hydropower plants which use the kinetic energy of the water to generate electricity through a turbine and then get it supplied to the consumers in the industries, or the office spaces, even to light up the streets or to people's homes. Generators are used to produce electricity.

2. Suspended ceilings from the floor slab above create voids between the undersides of the floor slabs and the top of the suspended ceilings.

3. The flow of water needs to be kept at a minimal noise level. The walls should be made acoustic proof as far as possible.

4. Water supply is to be done with pipes that run from the central pump in the locality. Drinking water can be sourced directly from the pumps or the water supplied to the homes can be filtered and boiled for drinking purposes.

5. The gas that is supplied to the homes need to be piped, for the proper supply

6. The electricity can also be distributed in the large construction buildings with the help of raised access floorings.

Also read: LO3 Identify Civil engineering technology used in support of buildings

2. Distribution through Large Commercial Building
Commercial buildings are generally large. A lot of different methods are undertaken for the distribution of services within large buildings. The designing, construction as well as the installation and maintenance of all sorts of fixed ducts in the buildings for the distribution of the services are necessary. Suspended floors as well as suspended ceilings and cavities and even raised floors are some of the methods for this purpose.

1. False ceilings are one in which there is a void in between the floor slab and the suspended ceiling. It's used for the HVAC services as well as the plumbing and wiring services. CCTV detectors, smoke alarms and motion detectors among others are all situated here.

2. Suspended do help in the easy accessibility of the services by the removal and replacement of tiles through the access panels, and of course, some headroom is lost in the process.

3. Raised access floorings also help the distribution of services throughout the building area. It allows the free flow of the wires related to the data and telecoms as well as the electrical power and water supply as well as the drainage system.

4. Rising ducts are one of the most important attributes of the distribution system as they are a critical component in high-rise buildings, as the water cannot reach the higher floors without the help of pumps and other mechanical devices.

Also read: LO1 Discuss the terminology used in construction technology

3. Recommendation

3.1. Superstructure
The superstructure of a building is what is visible above the ground to the naked eye. The modern distribution of electricity is being used by traditional grids which are hierarch based (Kazmi et. al., 2017). The superstructure of large buildings would need special care and work for the better distribution of the primary supplies. The modern distribution network is also facing the ramping issue, so a large amount of research work is being done on the subject (Ghaemi and Salehi, 2020). Newer methods are coming up every day for the storage as well as the supply of electricity in the supply chain (Wang and Zhu, 2017).

The power efficiency needs to be increased as well as the wastage needs to be checked to increase the amount of electric power available for use for genuine purposes (Scripcariu, et. al., 2020). It is also recommended to use fewer materials for the construction of the buildings to reduce the carbon footprints also (Ranathungageet. al., 2018). Geotechnical works can also work towards building a large amount of sustainable construction models (Song et. al., 2020).

3.2. Substructure
The substructure is the foundation of a building, it needs to be strong enough to support the entire weight of the building as well as take proper care of all of the primary services wires that are entering the building through the substructure. The cost implications of the method considered need to be looked out for. Different foundation types need to be compared. Piling, if considered we need to understand that the cost of a CFA piling is going to be quite less than driven piling. Maybe at higher loads in the design process, it may be feasible to use fewer design loads. The use of fibres in the concrete, especially the high-strength concrete allows us the reduction the dimensions of all small elements which are precast (Pazderka and Hájek, 2017).

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3.3. Civil engineering structure

The civil engineering structures are needed to be designed constructed, maintained as well as improved upon the physical environments including the bridges tunnels as well buildings. The proper amount of site remediation needs to be done as a recommendation. The site surveys done are required prominently. Construction activities often have detrimental effects on the surrounding areas, especially the soil so the effects need to be taken into strong consideration and the developmental process also needs to go hand in hand. For this purpose, a detailed study of the soil needs to be done.

A soil study is necessary. Samples need to be gathered from all around the estate before going in for the construction work. A soil survey must include a detailed study of the characteristics of soil in the area and it needs:

1. Classification of the soil concerning the classification systems which are considered standards by the engineering society

2. The recording of the soil boundaries on a map particularly

3. Clear predictions on the behaviour of the soil
Surveys made on soils can help us get information about the use of the land, information of the developmental issues and also predict the effects of the various kinds of land use on nature, in the surrounding area.

Disturbed soils do not contain the in-situ attributes of the soil during the process of collection, and are used for testing of soil texture as well as the moisture content among others. The undisturbed soil samples retain the integrity of the attributes of the soil simple and have a pretty high rate of recovery.

A. Contamination testing also needs to be undertaken, by the design team.
B. If the underlying soils are comparatively stable and can offer settlement only in a limited manner, then the designers can opt to go for pad foundations.
C. For soft and unstable soils, a foundation of reinforced concrete is necessary.
D. The ground can also need to be improved by vibration and compaction to increase the bearing capacity.

4. Appraise How the Recommended Choice Will Accommodate and Facilitate the Primary and Secondary Services for The Building

The choices undertaken through the recommendations are going to be beneficial for the building as it is going to see tremendous savings and opportunities for growth.

1. An enormous amount of savings of power, leading to cost-saving are going to be there.

2. Soil study by the civil engineers would lead to savings in matters of repairs due to the appearance of damps and cracks in the building

3. Financial savings are going to be there in the building

4. The storage and supply of electricity is going to be better in a manner so that the dispensing of heat is not there unnecessarily.


  • Q: What are the different types of civil engineering technologies used in buildings?
  • Q: What about infrastructure technologies used for buildings?
  • Q: Are there any other technologies used?
  • Q: What are building services?
  • Q: How are these services supplied and distributed?
  • Q: How are building services accommodated within the building?
  • Q: Are there different approaches to service accommodation?

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