Professor Montgomery

Author: Carlos A

#8 Assembly and Performance

Every building needs moisture and thermal protection, Ching explains the performance of roofing materials. Roof structure are built differently, they are either flat or sloped; a sloping roof can shed water away easy, a flat roof requires pipes or a special membrane to drain or evaporate water away. Exterior walls also need protection from the weather. Solid masonry and concrete loadbearing walls use their mass as a barrier to stop water from penetrating inside a structure. Other wall systems such as curtain wall have an “interior drainage system to carry away moisture that finds its way through the facing or cladding.”- Ching B.C.I (7.02)

Material Spans and Rules of Thumb

Every material can span onto a certain point, they all have limits. Wood for example can only have a span of about 40 feet (depends on the load); that is the max in order to carry the wood onto a truck. Rules of thumb means the general concepts on making something, this can vary depending on the material (wood, steel, concrete) you use. In other words, you have to use your own understanding on how to make such material, rules of thumb is not something that is strictly intended to be accurate or reliable. it’s more like a guide on how to start things. Example (Page 4.04 on Building Construction Illustrated) “Rule of thumb for estimating depth of a concrete beam: span/16′”- Francis Ching. What Ching means is that 16′ feet is the “standard” principle on making the depth of the concrete beam.

#5 Material and Properties

Materials and their properties are very important to know when constructing a building.  Ching explains the use of many materials, concrete is made of cement, water, and many mineral materials such as sand, gravel, etc. Concrete by itself is very good withstanding compression, but concrete is horrible against tension. Therefore concrete has to be reinforced with steel so that it can be resistant to tension, these steel bars inside the concrete can be as wide as 32 (mm) in diameter (1.26 inches). However, the more wide they are, the heavier they become, something to be aware of. Brick is another material used in construction. Brick is a rectangular prism made out of clay, sometimes mud to change the surface texture of the brick . Ching explains that there are two types of brick: Face brick is special clay to add color and other features to make it look “pretty”, common brick in the other hand is the opposite because it does no such thing.

#4 Structural Typologies

Yet again, Francis Ching expresses the importance of stabilizing all structure from every force there is. Good ways to reinforce a building is by adding frames (rigid and braced) and sheer walls, bracing is something every structure must have. Every structure has it’s own grid, which helps us to understand their function. In a gird we can see which columns and load bearing walls that are holding the most weight from their horizontal spanning elements. From this, we can determine which columns and or load bearing walls needs to be reinforced in case of an emergency. Ching also shows the limits of every material, some have their limits.

#2 Building Elements

Architecture and Building Construction work in different aspects. Architecture is about having that image of creating a building, the art aspects, building construction focuses more on how to physically create such a thing. It is important to know these things, architects and engineers must work together to figure out the scale and proportions that is appropriate to create comfortable space for human activities. Each have a critical role to play, one cannot work without the other. Francis Ching also teaches about the different systems that run in a building. Structural systems are beams, columns, etc. Enclosure systems is the “shell” (roof) of a building. Mechanical systems is the “essential services to a building”, water systems and sewage disposal is a part of mechanical systems.

#3 Structural Components and Forces

There must be a state of equilibrium in all structures, meaning that all forces should be equal with each other. There are many ways to ensure equilibrium in a structure. Trusses (bracing) are a very good example that is used in all building/bridges. Example: every truss in a bridge is withstanding many forces, two common ones being tension and compression or even both, these forces must be equal to each other or else they fall apart. It’s also important to know which material is best to resist these forces. Concrete itself is good when under compression, very bad in tension, steel in the other hand is good with both, it has it’s limits.