WHAT ARE THE BASIC COMPONENTS OF A BUILDING STRUCTURE?

Basic Components of a Building

A building consists of following basic components.

Basic Components of a Building
Basic Components of a Building

1. Foundation

A foundation is necessary to evenly distribute the entire building load on the soil in such a manner that no damaging settlements take place. Hence, the foundations need to be constructed on good/solid ground.

2. Plinth

A plinth is normally constructed just above the ground level and immediately after the foundation. It raises the floor above the ground level and herewith prevents surface water from entering the building.

3. Damp proof course (DPC)

Damp proof course is a layer of water proofing material such as asphalt or waterproof cement. Walls are constructed above the damp proof course.

Damp proof course prevents surface water from rising into the walls.

Dampness reduces the strength of the walls and creates unhealthy living conditions. Also it affects the paint and plaster and increasing the cost of maintenance.

Damp proofing layer is not required where a plinth beam is constructed, because the plinth beam already performs like a DPC.

4. Plinth beam

A plinth beam is constructed depending upon the type of the structure of the building and nature of the soil. It provides additional stability in regard to settlements of the building and earthquake damages.

5. Floor

This is the surface on which we do most of our activities. Floorings is laid over the filling of the plinth and on subsequent floors.

Flooring can be done with different materials, but care must be given that the ground below the floor is well compacted. Flooring is done to prevent dampness from rising to the top and to have a firm platform that can be kept hygienic and clean.

6. Walls

Walls are the vertical elements on which the roof finally rests. They can be made of different materials like bricks, stones, mud, concrete blocks, lateritic blocks etc. If the walls are very long, columns can be provided to carry the roof.

Walls provide privacy and enclosure. Walls also provide security and protection against natural elements such as wind, rain and sunshine.

Openings are to be provided in wall for access and ventilation.

7. Openings

Openings are normally provided in the walls as door, windows and ventilators.

Doors provide access; windows and ventilators provide light and ventilation.

Lintels are constructed just above the openings. It is normally a stone slab or a concrete slab.

Sill is the part of the wall that is just below the window.

Lintels are constructed to hold up the walls above the openings. In earthquake prone areas a continuous lintel beam is provided all over the walls.

8. Stairs

A stair is a sequence of steps and it is provided to afford the means of ascent and descent between the floors and landings.

The apartment or room of a building in which stair is located is called staircase. The space or opening occupied by the stair is called a stairway.

There are different kind of stairs are used in buildings, like RCC stair, wooden stair, metal stair, brick stair etc.

9. Roof

The roof provides protection for the building and the people living in it. The roof rests on the walls and requires proper anchoring so that wind and other mechanical impact cannot destroy it. A roof can have different shapes but it is always either flat or sloping.

Roof is typically made of RCC, stone slab, tiles etc.

10. Surfaces / Finishes

External finishes are the outer most layer of protection, which protect the structure from weathering. Internal finishes are the layers given on internal faces. They give durability and pleasing appearance to the inside.

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