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The following can be considered as the nine steps involved in the construction of a residence:

Step 1. The first step is a visit to the site by the owner and architect to evolve a suitable plan for the building which can satisfy the owner's requirements. Investigation of foundation condition also has to be made. We have to arrive at a brief specification of various works as given in the Tables below


Step 2. The second step is to get the approval of the drawings from the competent authority.


Step 3. During this time, the structural drawings are made. Detailed estimation of works and adjustment of specifications to suit the budget is also done. Finalization of electrical and plumbing diagrams is also to be completed.


Step 4. Site preparation, construction of sheds, fences, etc. is the next step.


Step 5. Taking up and completing civil works is the fifth step. It should be preferably started just after the rains when ground conditions are ideal or started at least three months before the rains are due so that part of the civil works can be completed before the rains. (This is the major part of construction described in detail in this book. See below for the major items of work.)


Major Items of Works for Construction of a Single-Storey Residential Building

The following items can be taken as the major items of work to be completed for the construction of a residential single-storey building:

·       Bore well installation for water

·       Site clearance and laying out of the building

·       Excavation of foundation and anti-termite treatment

·       Brickwork up to plinth

·       Filling up of trenches

·       Plinth and DPC constructions

·       Filling up of basement and surroundings

·       Brickwork to window sill level and lintel level

·       Construction of lintels

·       Brickwork to roof level and preparation of slab bearings

·       Laying of base concrete for floor slab

·       Construction of roof slab with ducts for electrical wiring

·       Hacking and ceiling for plastering

·       Providing ducts for wiring on walls

·       Installation of door and window frames

·       Wall and ceiling plaster

·       Insulation, waterproofing and drainage of roofs

·       Laying of floor

·       Laying water supply and sewerage pipes

·       Fitting of doors and windows

·       Electrical wiring

·       Painting and varnishing

·       Fitting water supply and sanitary appliances

·       Electricity and water supply connection from the municipality

·       External works, fencing, compound wall and gates


Step 6. Starting and completing of electrical works


Step 7. Starting and completing of plumbing works


Step 8. Construction of interior features like shelves and other carpentry works


Step 9. Construction of boundary walls, fences, gates, etc.


Each of the steps involved in the construction of a residential building is a specialized activity, but in this book, we will deal principally with the elementary aspects of the execution of civil works only, which are common to all types of buildings. Other works will only be described very briefly.

The steps from the beginning to the end of the building construction process are as follows


Building Construction Process Start To Finish


Building plans that are made for approval by the municipal authorities show only the arrangements and dimensions of the rooms, passages, etc. with very brief descriptions or general specifications of the construction of various parts such as foundations, floors, walls, doors, windows, roof, etc. Details regarding the materials and workmanship are given separately in what is known as detailed specifications.


The drawings and specifications together define the type of construction. Each item of work and the total work are then estimated on the basis of the drawings and detailed specifications. Thus, specifications are of two types—general or brief specifications and detailed specifications.


General specifications give only a general idea of the whole work and are useful in estimating the approximate cost of construction. They give a general description of the different parts of a building. These specifications will depend on the type or class of building to be built. Examples of general specifications for Class I, Class II and Class III types of buildings are given in Table below 1.


At the outset itself, we should make up our mind on the specifications that we would like to adopt for the construction of a given building as the cost of the building will depend on its specifications.


Five-star hotels and cinema theatres should have expensive specifications, while residences of middle-class people should be planned for moderate specifications they can afford. Similarly, factories for light and heavy works will be built on specifications much different from those of residences.


Low-cost and temporary housing projects will have different specifications. Examples of general specifications for permanent residential buildings are given in Tables 1 and 2 taking into account the seven important items of construction.


General Specifications for Residential Buildings


General Specifications for Residential Buildings



Note: Usually the above seven items are taken to classify buildings with respect to civil works. In buildings having two to three storeys, the specifications for staircases and in buildings having more than four floors including the ground floor, the specifications for stairs and lifts are also to be provided. A framed structure with infilled walls may be also planned. For example, a set of residential flats in a city may have the general specifications given in Table 2 below


Table 2 Examples of General Specifications for a Set of Flats





Detailed specifications give details of each of the different types of work in the order in which the work is carried out at the site. "Specification (Ref. 69, 70)" published by CPWD India, "Tamil Nadu Building Practice", published by Tamil Nadu PWD in 1977 or specifications published by other state PWDs are examples of such detailed specifications. They form part of the contract documents and all works for the governmental organizations have to be carried out according to the respective specifications.

As already pointed out, the first task of the owner constructing a building is to decide on the general specifications of the work depending on the money available for the construction and the manner the building will be put to use.

Hope You like this article, 




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