While growing up nearly every kid are fascinated by the built and design of houses and building and wonders how they get built in the first place. One of the most important and fundamental parts of the construction is the framing process, where different building materials and pieces are fit together to provide adequate support and particular shape to the construction. The framing materials usually consist of structural steel, wood, and engineered wood. The framing process is divided into two categories, which are heavy frame construction and light-frame construction.
The heavy frame construction is essential when vertical supports are few and heavy such as required in steel framing and timber framing. The light frame construction, on the other hand, is necessary if the support is smaller but numerous such as a platform or light steel framing. One of the most common and popular construction methods is the concrete frame construction, which consists of a network of several columns and beams where the load is transferred from the structure to the foundation in an effective manner. Concrete is an indispensable part of most types of construction whether it is residential, commercial, or industrial. The horizontal members are called beams, the vertical members are called columns, and the flat planes on which people walk are called slabs. The concrete construction allows civil engineers to convert extraordinary building designs into a reality and accommodate the modern and demanding lifestyles.
The concrete frame is produced from readily available materials and considered the best when it comes to strength, durability, and sustainability. Concrete is a mixture of different building materials, which are sand, gravel, crushed stone, and paste is made by mixing cement and water. The concrete frame provides the basis of the complete construction which helps to support other elements of construction, which include floors, walls, roof, and claddings. There are generally two types of a framed structure
Rigid Framed Structure
The rigid structure from the word suggests a strong foundation and these structures have columns, beams that are formed by a single large block of stone. The rigid structure provides more stability and resists any rotations. The best feature and advantage is that the rigid frame resists both negative and positive twisting throughout the structure due to the coming in contact with the beams, slabs, and walls. These types of structures resist the moment, shear, and torsion more effectively as compared to other frame structures.
Braced Frame Structure
The braced frame structure resists the lateral movement by positioning the diagonal members on the columns and beams. This type of frame structure provides effective resistance against severe wind forces and earthquakes. The structure is braced by inserting diagonal members into a rectangular area of the frame and the braced fame is said to be more efficient as compared to the rigid structural frame.
Beams and columns are the two most vital parts of the construction. Beams are horizontal members of the frame where the load is transferred and there are classified as
- Main beams: They transfer the floor and secondary beam loads to the columns
- Secondary beams: These transfer floor loads to the main beam
Columns, on the other hand, are the vertical part of the frame and the prime element that bears the load. Columns transfer the loads from the beam to the foundations. The materials that can be used for walls in frame structures are vast, including masonry options such as brickwork, stone, and blockwork, which are for heavyweight while timber and drywall come under lightweight options. A wide range of cladding materials can be used to clad the concrete frame. The concrete frame construction process includes a reinforcement process as the concrete frame has little tensile strength and needs to be reinforced. The reinforcing steel is a mesh of steel wires called a reinforcement bar or rebar, which is used to not only provide strength but also hold the steel in tension. The surface of the reinforcement steel is often patterned to improve the quality of the bond with the concrete.
The rebars car placed in the foundation as specified by the construction designs by the engineer. The reinforcement bars are placed and died done using wires; the tied steel is called a reinforcement cage. Once the steel is in place, then concrete is prepared by mixing cement, sand, gravel, and water in the cement mixer, and then the liquefied mixture is poured on the formwork. The concrete becomes hard within hours but it takes a month for concrete to reach its full strength.
The concrete frames can be manufactured off-site and also on the construction site. The concrete members can be transported to the construction site where a heavy-duty crane lifts and places them into the designated position on the foundation to build the frame. The concrete members can be built on-site by using formwork, which is a temporary mold into which the concrete is poured. The conventional formwork is made by using timber but it can easily be constructed from steel, reinforced plastics, and other materials. One of the most popular types of formwork is shuttering which uses timber and plywood on the construction site. The important aspects of concrete frame structure are
The columns are one of the most vital parts of the construction and provide structural members in the frame of the building. They are part of the vertical members that transfer the loads from the beams to the footings of the foundation. The load type can be axial or eccentric and the design of the column is more significant than the design of beams and slab as if one beam falls, then a floor may be damaged, but if one column fails than it can lead to the collapse of the whole structure.
The horizontal elements that bear the load are called beams and they carry the load from the slabs and the masonry walls. The beams are usually supported by other beams and columns which form an essential part of the frame. There are two types of beams, main beams, and secondary beams.
Slabs are horizontal and flat pieces that cover the building from above and provide shelter to the inhabitants. Slabs are usually meant to carry vertical loads. They can also transfer the loads to the beams.
The main purpose of the foundation is to transfer the load from the columns and beams to the solid ground.
One of the basic elements of high-rise buildings is sheer walls that are large columns and resist severe winds and earthquakes. They also carry vertical loads.
The concrete box which allows the elevator to move up and down is called an elevator shaft. The shaft carries vertical loads and resists horizontal loads