Professor Montgomery

Author: Hubert

Reading #9

In this reading Ching discuses the muse of masonry envelope assemblies, He starts off with the discussion of how surface bonding consists of laying CMU’s dry without any mortar and plastering each of the sides with a bonding compound, once the structure (wall) is assembled rigid thermal insulation could be place inside of the wall cavity or in the CMU/interior face of the back Wythe to help maintain a layer of insulation and prevent the loss of heat/cold air inside the building. Ching also goes into the more detailed features of these envelopes such as the use of a water proof moisture barrier to keep moisture prom penetrating to the inside of the building as well as the use of drips to help water run of the window sill and drip off it instead of running off the building surface. Later, Ching starts to talk about the use of materials like stone, which is a natural durable weather resistant construction material that may be laid in mortar like clay and concrete masonry units to make both a load bearing wall and/or a non-bearing wall. This stone can be laid in different patterns such as Random rubble, Coursed rubble, Squared rubble etc.  Windows are also mentioned in this chapter going into full detail of the element that make up the windows from the mullion all the way to the glass pane itself and each method of constructing a window to swing a certain way (fixed, casement, awning, hopper, sliding, double hung, jalousie, pivoting).The Allen and Iono book proceed to go into further detail of the main ways of masonry wall construction where there are things like ties that hold on to masonry walls and masonry cavity walls and load bearing masonry walls.  This book also covers window construction, swing, components and doors and their components.

Reading #8

In this reading Ching covers a range of Building Assembly’s. He mainly Goes Over Moisture and thermal protection. To start off Ching tells us about how roofs are protected from moisture, Sloped roofs allow water to drip off the side of a roof while flat roofs must wither be drained or just allow the water to evaporate. Flat roofs must have a waterproof membrane to help contain the water that is being trapped on them and the flat roofs must be able to hold a substantial amount of weight like snow, Ching calls these live loads. Some factors that we must take in to account are Roof maintenance (how difficult or easy it will be), Fire/Wind resistance and lastly pattern color and texture (cosmetic). Roof edges must be flashed to keep water from coming inside, this is true for anywhere where water would come in. Exterior walls also handle water differently, for example masonry construction helps manage water by using its mass (this doesn’t stop water from still coming in) and curtain walls will have drainage systems under the cladding or façade. When moisture is present in interior spaces it can condense because of temp changes and will build up in walls and floors. Correctly constructing a building will allow it to be insulated and help keep hot air in and cold air out (vice versa). While building materials can contract and expand we use things called Expansion joints which change with the building on its current temperature condition. On the topic of flashing while it might be difficult to understand, Ching paints us a plethora of examples, the simple’s way to understand it would be a place where water will be able to slide out off through weep holes at the bottom of a masonry wall this water is leaving the cavity inside of the wall. Ching also goes into methods of insulating a building by showing us materials like foam insulation etc. Insulation can be different by where you live and your areas weather conditions. Roof require more insulation due to the drastic temp changes they face. Buildings can also meet LEED code which is its energy efficiency rating.

Reading #7

In this reading Ching covers a plethora of Material spans and their characteristics, He lists things like Masonry arches, Wood beams and joists, subflooring, planks, beams, decking and reinforced concrete. Masonry arches fall into different categories like Segmental arches, gothic arches, Lancet arches, drop arches and roman arches, these arches have different radii points and are pointed or semi-circle, also there are basket and jack arches. Wood beams are essential subsystems and are quick at assembly and very efficient, they can form a level working platform for construction they must be taken care of, so they do not rot. Spans range from 10’ to 18’ depending on 2x(x) ex. 2×4 or 2×6, Wood beams come un different types like Built up, boxed, flitch and spaced beams. Wood subfloor goes under joists and can be used as a platform during construction. The subflooring typically consists of plywood, the under layment provides impact load resistance and a smooth surface for nonstructural flooring, Wood decking comes un different thickness 2×6 and 2×8 and 3×6, 4×6 and can come in a laminated version and comes in simple double and continuous span. Steel cones in different shapes from I, W, C AND Structural steel. Connections can be made by tons of way sake riveting or welding, Open web steel joist are light and can have cabling going through them, decking serves as tensile reinforcement for concrete slabs. Reinforced concrete beams  are designed to act together within longitudinal and web reinforcement.

Reading Summary 6

Reading Summary

Reading 6 focuses mostly on building materials, Ching talks about different materials like Bricks/CMUS and how they are bonded, Wood, Steel and Concrete, concrete reinforcement. Bricks come in different shapes sizes and compositions (same with cmu) Bricks can be made with soft mud all the way to water struck construction, the main difference between all the brick types is how the brick is being assembled and what types of conditions in going to be used  in like SW bricks are tailored more into being resistant to severe weather like rain and snow which make brick deteriorate faster, CMU or concrete masonry units are on a similar level with brick, they are pre cast with cement, water and aggregate and are poured into cast to take on a specific shape which is determined by the function the unit has to fulfil, CMU also has different grade Levels like N OR S which is for loadbearing but one is meant for exterior use because its weather protected while the other is more for walls exposed to moisture, Wood and steel are 2 very different building elements, Wood can range from being hard to soft and is mainly used for manufacturing things such as doors, winds, and mill work. Wood is categorized by Yard lumber or Shop wood (lumber/timber) the wood can have different grades which are made up from moisture content and species of wood. Steel beams are very versatile because they have good tensile and compressive property’s, the most common shaped steel beam is called the Wide Flanged beam, steel could be welded or riveted together, and its strength depends on the size of the steel as well as the connection it has with the other members. And lastly we have concrete, concrete is a very strong material which is made of cement and various minerals, it has very good compressive resistance but is very weak in tension just like bricks, Steel reinforcement is placed inside of concrete to give it more structure and add tensile force to the concrete, cement rages from category 1-5 . if concrete is reinforced the steel rods that are inside must be protected form the elements to prevent rust which will deteriorate the concrete that’s around it.

Reading Summary #5 Building Materials

Reading Number 5, In this Section Ching discusses the different types of building materials that are used and what purpose each of the material fulfills. The materials include Stone, Brick/CMU, Wood, Steel, and Concrete/Reinforced concrete. Each of the building materials Listed has its own select properties: Stone is useful as a load bearing material but has plenty of other uses like making aggerate, decoration purpose and structures like posts or flooring. Bricks/CMU could be used for common building or making masonry walls bricks are listed in 5 different categories each consisting of a different process of manufacturing (soft,sand,water,stiff,dry) and bricks have different ratings to see how durable they are from the elements (SW,MW,NW) Cmu on the other hand is concrete poured into specific shapes but are also used to create walls since these cmu’s are precast they can be made into any shape that will be needed on a building site (come in different weights and exposure ratings to the elements) Wood which come in all shapes, sizes and durability is a strong building element that is very versatile like all these other building elements certain woods are used for different  functions based on rating (N,A,B,C,C-Plugged, D) Steel which is common used as wide flange can be used to create beams but is also versatile and lastly concrete and reinforcement, concrete is made by mixing an aggerate with various minerals and water. Once the concrete is mixed it is than poured into casts with steel reinforcement to add structure and reinforcement to the cement.

Reading Summary #4


Reading Number 4, Ching goes into vivid detail on Structural elements and how they function, He tells us about elements like Structural spans and how long certain materials can be able to span as a beam, Structural patterns which allow us to use grid lines and critical points to indicate columns or load bearing walls, lateral stability  which tells us that while a building is being built it must be able to not only resists vertical loads like gravity but also have the ability to resist things like wind and seismic forces for any direction he tells us supports can be made by using things like rigid frames, shear walls and braced frames which can range from Timber/ Steel/ Reinforced concrete. During the beginning of the reading changes states that a structural unit has to have a structural system which also has to consist of things like columns, beams, slabs etc.

Reading #3 Structural Components + Forces:

When we construct buildings (this applies for anything) we have to take into account that there is a driving force working against us, this force is known as gravity, this driving force pulls everything down ( or to the center of the planet) we also have to take into account Newtons Third law of motion which states that “ For every force acting on a body, The body exerts a force having equal magnitude in the opposite direction along the same line of action as the original force” This basically tells us that there has to be a balance between forces when we are constructing let’s say buildings. Structural elements all have to follow these base lies of rules. Structures like Coulms which help support the weight of an object above it. We must take into consideration that these objects are sturdy, so they don’t get crushed or buckle under their own weight. Beams must be sturdy enough, so they don’t cave in on loads bearing above them (bending stress), Arches have to be able to support a mass above them as well and be able to disperse the load, so they don’t slide apart.

Building Components Reading #2

While a building might look like a simple creation there is plenty of thought that goes into it. During this reading Ching shows us that there is a difference between Building Construction and Architecture. It is important to understand how a building is constructed, what elements go into it and what components are used, this will allow us to build architecture but it’s not a full guarantee. There are systems that architects must understand like scale, proportion, organization and essentials like lighting, space, color etc. When a building is constructed there are usually 3 systems that go into account: Structural (holds the building up against gravity), Enclosure (Shell of the building that protects from the elements) and Mechanical (Essential systems). All elements like Columns, beams, exterior walls, windows, and HVAC go into account to create a functional building.

Reading Summary 1

Francis Ching goes into detail of describing stairs, he views stairs as a special entity, Stairs don’t always affect the exterior of a building but do affect the internal organization of a building this could be a structural pattern of a layout of a building. Ching goes into detail to show us what a stair is made up of and the required dimension they have to meet. Stairs are made up from Risers and Treads, Riser being how tall the base is and tread being how long a stair is. Ching provides a formula for stairs: Tread(in) + 2x Riser(in) = 24-25 this formula can be used to calculate if the stairs that are being made meet building code in terms of dimension this is used mostly for interior stairs because exterior stairs are not as steep because they can propose a danger in certain weather conditions.


Stair should be a minimum of 36/44in for 49 people or less.

Handrails should be 4-1/2 inches from the wall and should be on both sides of the stair and should be 34-38 inches of height and should have guard rails.

Landings should be the width of the stairs and have a minimum length of the width of the stairs.

Treads/Risers/Nosings- there should be a minimum of 3 risers per flight in order to help prevent people from tripping.

Doors in stairwells should be facing the way of egress for emergency purposes.


The purpose of a stair is to provide a way of transportation from one level to the next they also help organize a circulation.


Stairs also take up a good amount of space, there are different varieties of stairs: Straight run, Quarter Turn, Half turn, Winding stair, Circular stair, and Spiral stair.

Quarter turn stairs make a right-angle L shape, Half turn stairs make a 180 degree turn, Winding stairs are any stairs that are constructed with winders, circular stairs are circular and spiral stairs are made of wedge shaped treads (these are the smallest type o stair but can only be used in private individual dwellings due to code.