The following are the basic elements of a building:
3. Walls and columns
4. Sills, lintels and chejjas
5. Doors and windows
8. Steps, stairs and lifts
9. Finishing work
10. Building services.
The functions of these elements and the main requirement of them is presented in this article.
- Foundation is the most important part of the building. Building activity starts
with digging the ground for foundation and then building it. It is the lower most part of the building. It transfers the load of the building to the ground.
- Its main functions and requirements are:
- Distribute the load from the structure to soil evenly and safely.
- To anchor the building to the ground so that under lateral loads building will not move.
- It prevents the building from overturning due to lateral forces.
- It gives level surface for the construction of super structure.
- The portion of the wall between the ground level and the ground floor level is called plinth.
- It is usually of stone masonry. If the foundation is on piles, a plinth beam is cast to support wall
above floor level.
- At the top of plinth a damp proof course is provided. It is usually 75 mm thick plain concrete course.
- The function of the plinth is to keep the ground floor above ground level, free of dampness.
- Its height is not less than 450 mm. It is required that plinth level is at least 150 mm above the road level, so that connections to underground drainage system can be made.
3. Walls and Columns:
The function of walls and columns is to transfer the load of the structure
vertically downwards to transfer it to foundation. Apart from this wall performs the following functions
(a) It encloses building area into different compartments and provides privacy.
(b) It provides safety from burglary and insects.
(c) It keeps the building warm in winter and cool in summer.