Basics of Building Construction
Understanding the basics of building construction helps to build a building project successfully. The steps involved in building construction are described in this article.
Basic Steps in Starting a Building Project
When there is a plan to build a new building, it is necessary to have an overview of the start and end of the construction project. The flow chart below shows the construction flow from start to finish of a building project.
There may be variations as each project is unique and follows a different design and construction process. In general, the basic steps involved in a building project are briefly described.
- Construction Site Preparation
- Foundation Construction
- Superstructure Construction
- List of Punch
- Building Warranty Period
Planning in building construction involves three main steps:
- Developing a Building Plan
- Analyzing Finances
- Choosing a Construction Team
Once the location where the building project will be built is selected, the expertise of engineers and architects is taken up to develop the site and building plans. Sometimes, a suitable location is chosen after the building layout has been prepared. The building plan is developed based on the needs and budget of the owner. Once a plan is in hand, the finances and total costs are estimated. Structural design details, material estimates are prepared which helps to get project cost estimates. The calculated costs include:
- Material costs
- Construction costs
- Labor costs
- Miscellaneous expense
Read More: Estimated Construction Costs Based on cost estimates, either the tender process is carried out or the project is to be submitted to a known contractor. The contractor and owner must agree on the contract on which the project is implemented. The contract specifies the period for completion and guidance required, exceptions to write off claims. Read More: Types of Images used in Building Architecture
2. Licensing and Insurance in Building Construction
Before starting construction of a building, the owner must ensure that someone has the necessary permits to start construction. Permits and insurance are obtained from various sources in cities and states. Construction work carried out without a permit results in project delays or project demolition or large fines. Having insurance for needed parties helps save owners and contractors.
3. Location Preparation
From here, the actual construction process begins. Based on the site and building plans, the necessary excavation, leveling and fillings can be carried out to prepare the site. Excavations necessary for utility, electricity, water and sanitation lines, temporary storage facilities are prepared. Much of the work required for setting up the utility has already been prepared. Then proceed with examinations from government officials. Read More: Steps in Preparing a Site for a Construction Project – Soil Report, Excavation Inspections are carried out at different stages on structures, building codes, utilities, HVAC, electrical work etc. After completion of the entire project, a final inspection is carried out.
4. Development of Foundation / Substructure
The building structure is generally built on a concrete foundation. Based on the type of soil and the water level of an area, the foundation chosen can vary. If it is necessary to conduct soil testing to check its bearing capacity. Shallow foundations are required for low-rise buildings. For high-rise buildings, pile foundations are used. After the foundation is selected, the soil is excavated to build the foundation. It is carried out on the basis of the layout of the foundation. The formwork is placed in the foundation trench and the reinforcement is placed based on the detailed design of the foundation prepared at the planning stage. The strengthening work carried out by the contractor is checked periodically by the technician in charge. Read more: Foundation Construction – Depth, Width, Layout and Excavation Concrete mixture in the required proportions is poured into the formwork and preserved to form the finished foundation.
5. Upper Building Construction
The superstructure is built after the substructure is completed. Generally, framed structures are developed which are then finished with masonry walls. Adequate exterior windows and doors are placed based on the building plan. Other works included in this section are:
- Roof construction or coating
- Installation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning
- Provide adequate power lines and water lines.
- Provide insulation work as needed to protect against lighting
- Provision of waterproofing for walls.
- Plastering and finishing of walls and surfaces
- Floor job
- Exterior and Interior Painting
6. Punch List
After the project is finished, the contractor checks all the work one by one and makes a punch list. Structural units or areas that are not properly constructed or are below the quality level are listed in the punch list. This is then fixed by the responsible contractor.
7. Warranty Period
After the project is completed and submitted to the owner, the contractor determines the warranty period. During this period, any defects found in buildings constructed must be repaired and replaced by the responsible contractor. Material and equipment warranties are obtained from manufacturers and suppliers.