Vastu for home plan- all design tips backed by logic

We have seen how magnificent the concept of vastu shastra is in the previous blog Vastu for home: A gem or a sham? If you have not read it, I highly recommend that you give a peep into it before you continue here because then only you will thoroughly understand why you should spend your money and time on vastu for home plan.

So, I assume that you have checked out the basics. Let me take you through a tour right into different spaces in a building that’s perfectly in agreement with vastu.

Alright. I’m going to start the tour from the favourite place of your stomach.

Obviously kitchen.

1. Vastu for kitchen in home plan

Normally, it is best if the kitchen is located in the southeast quadrant. The southwest quadrant is never a good place for the kitchen. Because of the heavy-duty appliances associated with the kitchen and the heat produced by the stove, the kitchen is related to fire. The southwest quadrant bears the sun’s intensity. Heat naturally collects in this part of the house.

Other points to be considered are,

a. The food preparation area of your kitchen should allow you to face east. Facing east and letting the sunshine on your ingredients makes healthier food.

b. The oven, microwave, and drier, which radiate heat, should be near the southeast corner on the south wall or east wall.

c. The dishwasher and washing machine, which create heat and use water, should be on the east wall in between the northeast and southeast quadrants so that these appliances receive the benefit of the elements of water which is conserved in the northeast and the element of fire in the southeast.

d. The sink should be against the east wall or north wall, near the northeast quadrant.

e. The refrigerator, which is typically heavy and can trap energy inside the room and home, should be placed against a wall in the south or west. If it is placed in the west, the door also opens to the east, which is good for food.

f. Placing the table directly opposite to the eastern wall and a window also allows for the benefit of the morning sun.

g. If you have a window that receives lots of sun, grow spices, or edible flowers. The garden serves an excellent purpose, providing you with ingredients that are good for your health.

See, simple but powerful right?

Okay. From kitchen, we are heading towards the perfect dining room envisaged by vastu for home plan where you have the real talk with the family.

2. Vastu for dining room in design

The dining room in a vastu home should be in the western or the eastern side of your home. Obviously, this room should be close to the kitchen.

Try to avoid placing the table in the center of the room.

Why?  Because the center should be kept empty to allow the air circulation that generates in this area to radiate in all directions and placing your dining table toward the western or eastern side of the room.

The eastern side can motivate stimulating conversation since this is the direction of enlightenment (Just reminding the impact of air you breathe on our brain in case you forgot).

And try to mix materials in seat cushion, by using wood with wrought iron, for instance. Wrought iron adds a delicate airy touch to a dining room.

Last but not the least, do remember to welcome nature. If you have the space, put a couple of tall leafy plants on the floor.

From the dining room, let me take you to the living room. To add a little bit of drama to it, you may imagine yourself having fun there with your close ones there.

3. Vastu for living room in home plan

Vastu for home plan proposes a good location for the living room in the northwest, the north, or the northeast of your house.
You are likely to have many of your heaviest pieces of furniture in your living room.

Do your best to put the heaviest pieces in the southern or western part of the space. For example, if you plan to keep books, which are normally heavy, in the living room, try to put built-in bookshelves into the south and west walls, where they will also act as a barrier to keep the positive energy in the room. If you have a large and heavy sofa, this should also be placed in the south or west.
Another thing is that if you love to relax in your living room, place your favorite chair north facing or the east near the northeast corner. This way it can catch the aura of sunlight for you. After all, who wants to put down a free meal?
So, enough of fun. Let’s be serious now.

Yes, put up a grave face and follow me to the study room.

4. Vastu for study room in the plan

A home office or study should be placed in the east, the north, or the west of your home. The east is a particularly good choice since it is the direction of inspiration and enlightenment.
Regarding other elements,

  • The ideal location for your desk is in the south or west this is especially important if the desk is heavy.
  • If you place your desk in the west and face east, this leads to contemplation, creativity, inspiration, and focus.
  • All heavy items, such as bookcases and file cabinets and sofas, should be kept in the south or the west.

Whenever you feel like questioning on the logic, you can just try to relate with the direction of sunlight and air circulation

Continuing the tour, let’s go to a beautiful corner in your home, which is the spiritual room. You may or may not have this. But just let yourself know about it. Otherwise, skip to the next section.

5. Vastu for spiritual room in design

Spiritual room devoted to yoga or meditation or pure relaxation has its ideal location in the northeast, the east, or the north of your home. If the space has a window looking to the east or northeast, this creates a spiritually charged room.

Tired of the advocacy of vastu for home plan?

Don’t worry. Relax now. We have reached your bedroom.

6. Vastu for bedroom in the plan

Bedroom in vastu homes can be in any area while incorporating vastu for a house, but the preferred locations for bedrooms are the southwest, the west, and the northwest. And,

  • The beds should not be in the direct center of a bedroom. Place them so that there is more open space on the north and the east. Since the bed is normally a heavy object, it should usually be placed in the south, the southwest, or the west of the room.
  • Lighter pieces, such as a bureau, delicate sofa, or reading chair, can be safely placed in the north, the east, or the northeast of the room.
  • If you have a desk with a computer, create a study or work area near the southeast wall so that you can sit facing the north, the northeast or east. The active energy from these electronics can interfere with your sleep and the electrical fields may harm your body (Finally an area where there is no scope for debates)

So, did we miss out any area? Right. Bathroom.

7. Vastu for bathroom in design

The bathroom in the vasthu house situated in the east catches the morning sunrays, which is good on the body. But the bathroom can be located anywhere in the house except the northeast.

And the toilet should face the north or the south.

Cool. The tour has reached at the culmination.

Oh, no! How can we not remember our chilling spot? 

8. Vastu for terrace, balcony in home plan

The preferred locations for a special middle zone are the east, north, and west. The north gives you a taste of the sunrise and sunset. The east is an ideal space for a thinker and an early riser who likes to experience the reawakening of the sun. The west is for individual whose quiet time is in the early evening.

Thanks for accompanying me in the trip. Hope it was insightful.

Looking forward to know your doubts in the comments.

Credit: All of the shared information in this post on vastu for home plan is referred from two books, mainly “Vastu Living: Creating a home for the soul” of Kathleen M. Cox, the founder of vastuliving.com and a renowned vasthu consultant in America and “Vastu: Breathing life into space” by Dr. Robert E. Svoboda, (http://www.drsvoboda.com/) another foremost proponent of vastu.

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Vastu for home: A gem or a sham?

Be yourself an atheist, believer or an agnostic. By the end of this blog, you are going to agree with me that vastu is something you can’t ignore in your life, because it is underpinned at science.

Before I begin to break down the points for you, let me be frank. I happened to stumble on the news that the Apollo Hospital Group, which is revolutionizing the standards of medical care in India with its chain of attractive private hospitals has incorporated vastu into its design. I thought it seems like a very interesting topic. Maybe I can provide some information about vastu to my readers. Let me go through some books and figure out if it’s worth sharing.

And you know what? I ended up searching for a vastu consultant for my own home near me before I started writing! Trust me, it was an eye opening week for me to enthral unknown pathway of vastu in home that literally changed the way of perceiving the influence of my home in vasthu on my well being.

Vastu, it seemed, went way beyond design, form, utility, durability concepts that define construction of a quintessential building.

So, what is Vasthu in simple words?

Vasthu, a traditional system of design and construction of buildings, is a mixture of strong spiritual philosophy and science which revolves around the concept that everything in the universe is interconnected and interdependent.

A successful Vastu of home also encourages optimum vibrations to thrive and flow within the individual. Sounds familiar anywhere?

Indeed. This is exactly what quantum mechanics stands for. The quantum theory researchers discovered that everything is energy and everything is interconnected through fields.

Vasthu looks carefully at the orientation of physical space so that it reinforces the ancient theories connected to the five primary elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth, which are present in our environment and within each of us. Hold on, are we going back to the superstitious beliefs?

Nope, but to the science behind the concepts.


Sun, for example is a significant factor that determines the orientation of a building. The vedha texts say that Surya is the sun god, who lords over the east and enlightenment.

When we match up this with the science, we come to understand that when natural sunlight hits the skin it triggers the body’s production of vitamin D which is a crucial ingredient for overall health, protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps muscles, improves brain function and may even protect against cancer. Also, it helps to make your home energy efficient which is an integral part of a green building.

Diving on to vasthu tips for home,

The first lesson is understanding quadrants.

There are four quadrants.

1. North east

Vastu for house prescribes to situate water resource which can be a stream, pond or well in the east, north, or northeast of a territory, building, or room. This is to promote inspiration in that entire space. Because of the same reason, this quadrant is best for worship.

2. South east

The southeast quadrant of your home is the right area to establish the vasthu kitchen stove and electrical and electronic equipment such as computer and TV.

3. South west

Vastu says to encourage inactivity in the southwest, calling it the best direction in which to store items and information, to perform routine activities, to position heavy furniture. This quadrant is called kannimoola in vastu shastra, which is the best place to keep money and other valuable possessions of yours.

4. North west

Northwest is particularly good if your parties and gatherings tend to run late. This quadrant indicates movement, a characteristic that suits the function of the living room, where people come to visit but don’t stay too long.
Television would be good in the northwest if you can dip into it from time to time.
Communication devices like phone and computer modem often do well being situated in the north western region of a room or structure, for similar reasons.

If there is any disparity popped up in you that contradicted your logic and things I stated above, you are smart. You should read on to clear them out and start afresh. We are going to dive deep.

1. Orientation of the site and home

Vastu exhorts to face the entrance to your property in the north or the east of the northeast corner which creates an open space in the northeast quadrant. An east-facing house receives the benefit of the morning sun and its association with sun who brings us inspiration, enlightenment apart from the health benefits we scoped out earlier. This makes the eastern direction ideal for individuals with a propensity or preference for contemplative or scholarly activities.


2. Shape of the Site and Home

The ideal shape of piece of land and a house is a square or rectangle. The site is irregular in shape, just mark out a square and rectangle on the site and use that as your area for development. The circulation of wind and air can be the possible reason.


3. Flow of Energy


The ideal Vasthu plot would slope to the north and east and rise to the south and the west, since the east is the realm of the sun and enlightenment with an actual barrier (a fence, a rock garden, a cluster of trees, a dense hedge) in the southwest.
If there is a depression or a pool or a pond located in the northeast, which belongs to the element of water, so much the better. I know you want to know the logic, right?

 The presence of a north eastern receptacle draws in the sunlight, which then moves in an arc to the southwest and radiates to the southeast and northwest. A barrier in the southwest, which belongs to the element of earth, helps to hold in the light so that it keeps flowing around the property. A good barrier can be anything heavy and with height.


4. Location of the house on the site

The greatest amount of open land on your site should be left on the east and north, and the house should be set back in the south and west so that your vastu home will receive a greater amount of eastern sun and the positive energy that comes from the northeast.

Any doubt about the positive energy I’m talking about? Then you should definitely pause here and sneak into the concepts of Yoga and the paramount of influence it has had on people who practice Suryanamaskar, a Yogasana which the Yogis practice by paying tribute to Sun.

5. Welcoming door


Ancient Vastu guidelines say that an entrance on the north wall of the northeast quadrant of the building allows the positive energy, which comes from the northeast, to flow into your house. An entrance on the east wall fills your home with inspiration and enlightenment. A southern entrance reminds you of your responsibilities. And a western entrance speaks of the calm of night and is essentially neutral.

Really? How does the position of door matters in the wiring your brain? You asked it right. It’s simple. The interconnection of all elements we figured out in the beginning. Just like your favourite music can sooth your mind, the surrounding conditions such as the flow of air around you which influence your breathing and availability of oxygen to the neuron that involve in decision making. You are picking up the magic in it, right?

6. Interior Layout

Cool! I bet this is the dearest part where your juice of creativity flows seamlessly. Fueling it by vasthu,


I. Enhance positive energies

Because positive energy from Sun, which enters through the northeast, travels in an arc to the southwest of the home, try not to disturb this energy flow. If possible, keep the northeast corner in the home and the northeast corner of each room empty of furniture, at least heavy furniture that can stop the circulation of the energy.

Yup, let’s look into the arrangement of furniture in detail. (If you feel like frowning at the concept of the flow of energy again, first you may have to win over the debate with the scientists who discovered quantum mechanics.

Ii. Furniture Placement

The proper placement of furniture is extremely important to vastu living. First, keep all furniture, such as desks, beds, sofas, bureaus, and chairs, at least four inches from the wall. This gap prevents your own energies from being absorbed into the wall.

Because built-ins, such as cupboards and bookshelves, are incorporated into the wall, consider them part of the wall and just be certain that your desk or chair or any furniture is placed four inches away. More than likely, this gap is already there, so that you can get to these storage areas.

Keep lightweight furniture in the north and the east of the home and in the north and the east of each room or wall-less space that serves a specific function in a one-room studio or loft.

To trap this positive energy inside the home, put your heavy furniture in the south and the west of the home and in the south and west of each room or wall-less space. And, if you can afford it, why not consider elevating the floor in the southwest quadrant of the house or living room?


So, how do you feel now? Even if you can’t incorporate all the factors, do not get discouraged. Aim for Fifty Percent or Better. After all, having it all is an illusion in the universe, right?

Must read: Vastu for home plan- all design tips backed by logic

Let me know your thoughts and doubts in the comments.

Credit: All of the shared information is adopted from two books, mainly from “Vastu Living: Creating a home for the soul” of Kathleen M. Cox, the founder of vastuliving.com and a renowned vasthu consultant for over 20 years in America and “Vastu: Breathing life into space” by Dr. Robert E. Svoboda, (http://www.drsvoboda.com/) another foremost proponent of vastu. Some information was referred from the book Maha Vastu by India vastu shastri Kushdeep Bansal.

A perfect lead to LEED certification of your building

You don’t need me to teach you how to score 100 percent in the game of life. Obviously, because I’m totally out of your life circle. But you definitely want me if I could tell you how to get full marks for your building in the LEED Certification.

Okay, so what’s the big deal about LEED certification?  For that let me quickly walk you through,

What’s leed certification?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental design (LEED) is a building rating system established by US Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998. The rating system awards points to a building in certain categories, with the leap towards eco- friendliness. V4.1, is the latest version of leed certification and we are here to deal with it.

Now you know the leed cerfication definition. Here’s the next question.

Is it worth being leed certified?

  1. It will certainly take your building into the mountain of fame and the brand value skyrockets
  2. It grows your business tremendously because customers will have a connect with you every time they approach your building for a service
  3. It helps you to avoid the rat race with competitors, because you will have the unique advantage of the established benchmark of your responsibility to society.
  4. The productivity of the employees or occupants will improve exponentially due to the features of the building.
  5. The operation costs will downfall

After all, who doesn’t want to build a personal brand and be someone others want to replicate?

Now, I’m going to guide you through the simple steps to achieve this untold secrets of LEED.

Wait. Let me make the journey interesting for you. Imagine LEED as the favourite exam you have written in your life now.

Deal? Cool! Here we go.

How to get LEED certification?

Outside of the United States, there are plenty of options for using the LEED system. Why would we go for all? Let me choose the best among them for you.

i. Adapt the LEED building ratings to the local system by working with the U.S. Green Building Council. Under this option, certification would be completed by the local system. Countries such as. Brazil, China, Canada, India, the Philippines and Spain have their own versions of LEED.

ii. Certify the international system under the U.S. version of LEED. If this option is pursued, the building is subject to the codes and regulations of the United States and the USGBC and all documentation for certification is submitted through the LEED online system.

Now how do we apply for this?

LEED Certificaion process comprises of 4 stages.

i. Register the building with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Although the U.S. Green Building Council develops and manages the LEED rating systems, the GBCI is responsible for all certification applications

ii. USGBC provides checklists for each rating system that cover the prerequisites and credits.

iii. USGBC’s LEED online system provides online templates that must be completed for each prerequisite and credit, and is used to upload supporting documentation.

iv. Submit the documents to the GBCI for review and certification

See, isn’t it easy to give it a shot?

We will look into the LEED certification levels now.

leed Certified: 40 to 49 points

        leed silver certification : 50 to 59 points

        leed  gold certification: 60 to 79 points

        leed platinum certification: 80 + points

All good. You are one step away from being the owner or resident of the best of best buildings in the world. I will break out the whole pointing system and the step by step activities to achieve them henceforth.

There are different categories in the rating system with the type of the building such as new constructions, existing buildings, hospitals, schools etc. I will be explaining the rating system of an existing building which contains common fields among all the systems.

The table given below shows the leed certification checklist and requirements that determine the total scores.

                                             

At the end of every upcoming section, make a clear mental picture of how you would actually feel when you gain the points in real life. Trust me, that’s a very good feeling.

1. Location and transportation

According to the Study by world bank, transport currently accounts for a quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Ouch! You and I must have put in a lot of effort to push transportation so hard that, it has reached at the coveted position (pun intended). Whatsoever, the latest version v4.1 of LEED rating system has placed transportation in the forefront to measure the eco friendliness of your building. The pointing structure is given below.

Transportation Performance ScoreLEED Points
40 (Required)6 (Required)
47       7
548
619
6810
7511
8312
9013
9714

So how you can crack this?

  1. Introduce telecommuting and compressed workweeks (Yes, what’s impossible with the technology you have.)
  2. Commute in mass transit and make use of navel options such as rideshare.
  3. Leverage human-powered conveyances, carpools, vanpools in the round trips.
  4. Use low-emitting, fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel vehicles, walking or bicycling

Hey, we have confronted a major here. You have 14 points in handy now. Moving on,

2. Sustainable sites

We saw how to choose the most suitable site for your building in another blog on green building GREEN BUILDING: HOW TO MAKE A BUILDING GREEN AND BENEFITS OF A GREEN BUILDING. In this section, As the LEED full form says, they want you to be a leader and shower the wisdom of not disturbing nature. The section is subdivided into 6 categories.

i. Site management

You can grab the point by,

a. Monitor and eradicate invasive and exotic plant species from natural habitat areas.

b. Manage snow and ice in ways that limit degradation of water quality, surrounding plants and soil health from chemical deicer applications.

c. Prevent erosion by maintaining vegetative cover, and restore any eroded soils.

d. Reduce noise and air pollution resulting from gasoline powered equipment.

e. Divert from landfills 100% of plant material waste for composting reuse.

f. Reduce fertilizer use to only as needed for plant health applications based on soil testing. Eliminate preventive applications of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides applying only as needed for occurrences.

g. Prepare an Integrated Pest Management plan.

h. Add one or more inches of organic matter mulch, such as compost, to soil surfaces in planting areas annually.

i. Irrigate vegetation, other than planted containers, only with automatic controlled systems utilizing either rain shutoff, moisture sensing or weather based controls.

j. Monitor irrigation systems at least bi-weekly during the operating season and correct any leaks, breaks, inappropriate water usage, or incorrect timing.

k. Store materials and equipment to prevent air and site contamination

ii. Light pollution reduction

This is introduced to make sure that your building provides necessary features to improve the visibility of night sky.

To conquer this, you need to,

a. Shield all exterior fixtures such that the installed fixtures do not directly emit any light at a vertical angle more than 90 degrees from straight down

b. Measure the night illumination levels at regularly spaced points on the project boundary, taking the measurements with the building’s exterior and site lights both on and off.

iii. Heat island

Well, there are islands at different places around the globe. But the dangerous among them is the heat island, which is the increase in heat due to human (not humane) activities.

Not a good thing, right?

Hmm. How to score the point here?

For non-roofs,

  1. Grow plants that provide shade over paving areas on the site
  2. Vegetated planters.
  3. Shade with structures covered by energy generation systems, such as solar thermal collectors, photovoltaics, and wind turbines.
  4. Shade with architectural devices or structures Shade with vegetated structures.
  5. Paving materials with a three-year aged solar reflectance (SR) value of at least 0.28.
  6. Open-grid pavement system
  7. If newly installed, plant material must be in place to provide full vegetative cover within 3-years.
  8. Have in place a maintenance program that ensures all high-reflectance surfaces are cleaned at least annually to maintain good reflectance

iv. Rainwater management

If there is a lesson you were taught extensively from a very young age and still you have not embraced in your life, I bet that’s managing rain water. This is the wakeup call for you. Rise up and bring yourself to adopt those wonderful techniques. Make sure you do it right with the article RAINWATER HARVESTING; EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

 3. Water efficiency

This section tests whether you adopt measures to reduce wastage of water and actually care for the universal liquid. The chart below shows the points for water performance score. If you adopt ways to conserve water, by presuming a life in every drop of water that gets wasted due to your water management practices, you can score full marks here.

The water performance score is calculated from the data shown by the energy meters in 12 months. Reboot yourself to get there.

Water Performance ScoreLEED Points
40 (Required)6 (Required)
447
508
579
6410
7011
7712
8413
9014
9715

4. Energy and atmosphere

Energy efficiency is a sister topic of every cost effective building. Well, buzz words are not always a good signage.

i. Energy efficiency best management practices

Take a tight grip on your energy management practices as follows.

a. Choose energy efficient appliances and electronics

b. Switch to energy efficient lighting sources

c. Reduce the energy consumption by sustainable construction practices

ii. Fundamental refrigerant management

This subsection takes into consideration the remedial measures to reduce ozone depletion. The best way is not use chlorofluorocarbon- based refrigerants in heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration. But if you have already had them, you really need to be cautious about this.

iii. Energy performance

In energy performance, the total score of 33 splitted as 16.5 leed points for green gas emissions and the remaining for source energy. Reduce the total building energy consumption arising from electricity, natural gas, chilled water, steam, fuel oil, etc. 

iv. Enhanced refrigerant management

To gain the scores, do not use refrigerants, or use only refrigerants (naturally occurring or synthetic) that have an ozone depletion potential of zero and a lower global warming potential as I said before.

v. Grid harmonisation

Let’s go straight into how to manage this sticky spot.

a. Implement techniques to make energy generation and distribution systems more efficient, increase grid reliability, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

b. Participate in demand response techniques that provide an opportunity for consumers to shift their electricity usage during peak periods in response to time-based rates or other forms of financial incentives.

c. Have infrastructure in place to take advantage of future demand response programs or dynamic, real-time pricing programs.

d. Develop a comprehensive plan for shedding at least 10% of the annual on-peak electricity demand.

You know, you have earned 63 scores so far. Good.

5. Materials and resources

There are  4 subsections to this.

i. Purchasing policy

You need to initiate activities to reduce the environmental impacts of materials and products purchased during operations and maintenance of building. Have in place an environmentally preferable purchasing policy for materials and products purchased for the project during regular operations including ongoing consumables such as the five most purchased product categories based on total annual purchases, batteries, food and beverage and electronic equipment such as lamps, office equipment and appliances.

ii. Facility maintenance and renovations policy

Here, take action to reduce harming environment during purchase of items while renovating which can be,

a. Adopting a policy for waste management for safe storage, recycling and diversion of waste and also for furniture waste management during renovations.

b. Protecting stored on-site and installed absorptive materials from moisture damage.

c. Developing a plan to determine whether a flush-out or air quality testing is needed after construction ends and all interior finishes are installed but before occupancy.

iii. Waste performance

Track and reduce the waste generated aiding proper disposal or incineration.

iv. Purchasing

The points to keep in mind while purchasing products are,

a. Opt for recycled and reusable materials and products, those having extended use, bio- based products especially during construction and paper and wood products

b. Choose electronic components with energy star rating

c. Have locally sourced, promoting sustainable agriculture and organic food

d. And never mind about wine, beer, and liquor purchases in the point calculations.

6. Indoor environmental quality

The quality of air comes next.

i. Minimum indoor air quality

For spaces with mechanical exhaust, test and confirm proper operation of the exhaust systems

ii. Environmental tobacco smoke control

This can be tamed with the following considerations.

a. Prohibit smoking in the building.

b. Prohibit smoking outside the building except in designated smoking areas from all entries, Also prohibit smoking outside the property line in spaces used for business purposes.

c. Communicate the no-smoking policy to occupants of the building and have in place provisions for enforcement.

iii. Green cleaning policy

Yes, again another policy. You need to promote the following in the policy.

a. Standard operating procedures for effective cleaning of hard floors and carpets that will be consistently used, managed, and audited.

b. Provisions for addressing protection of building occupants during cleaning, including vulnerable populations.

c. Guidelines for selection and appropriate use of disinfectants and sanitizers.

d. Guidelines for safe handling and storage of cleaning chemicals used in the building, including a plan for managing hazardous spills and mishandling incidents.

e. Strategies for reducing the toxicity of the chemicals used for laundry, ware washing, and other cleaning activities.

f. Strategies for conserving energy, water, and chemicals during cleaning.

iv. Indoor environmental quality performance

Points for indoor environment quality are awarded based on the results from the CO2 and TVOC measurements. You have no worries here since you have prepared well for the test.

v. Green cleaning

USGBC wants to check your performance in cleaning the building through this step.

a. Perform routine inspection and monitoring of the facility’s green cleaning policy to verify that the specified strategies are being used and to identify areas in need of improvement.

b. Conduct an annual audit to evaluate yourself

c. Have in place permanent entryway systems in the primary direction of travel to capture dirt and particulates entering the building at regularly used exterior entrances.

vi. Integrated pest management

This is to minimize pest problems and exposure to pesticide. You can use integrated pest management services for the building and grounds within the project boundary that is certified and in good standing with GreenPro, EcoWise, GreenShield, or local equivalent.

6. Innovation

This is to encourage projects to achieve exceptional or innovative performance. To encourage integration of LEED expertise and collaboration toward project priorities.

That’s it about the LEED. For any further information you may check https://www.usgbc.org/leed/v41

Hearty congratulations on your achievement!

So, have you decided to test the relationship between your bulding and nature through leed?

WHAT’S TRENDING

  1. Welcomhotel Amritsar, the hospitality chain’s leisure upper-upscale property becomes Punjab’s first LEED platinum certified hotel
  2. USGBC released Annual LEED-Certified Ranking list of buildings for 2019 and Colorado topped the list with 102 certified projects.
  3. GBCI released the list of top 10 states for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in India today and Maharashtra topped in the project with 307 projects as of December 2019.

Vincivil FAQ Corner

A. Lead certification course             

These are courses done to become a green associate who can build up a career on consultancies exploiting the current green building principles and practices. There are plenty of courses out there like the online courses offered by Udemy.

B. Leed certification India

GBCI manages the certification process for all LEED rating systems in India, including the LEED India rating system.

C. Leed certification cost

The leed certification fee varies with the category. Check out the complete details here. https://www.usgbc.org/tools/leed-certification/fees

D. Leed certification exam

Leed green association exam is the required exam. See the complete details in https://www.usgbc.org

Buildings with leed certification

There are a lot of leed certification buildings around the world and list grows at a good pace every year. Salt Lake City Library, Salt Lake City, Soldier Field in Chicago, One Bryant Park in New York City, Shanghai Tower in China are famous among them.

Credits: The technical specifications annotated in the blog post is taken from the website of USGBC (https://www.usgbc.org)

Disclaimer: The blog is intended to assist those who wish to get their building LEED Certified and the shared knowledge other than the technical specifications is strictly upon the knowledge of the author. We can’t take the responsibility of any sort of discrepancy pertaining to this in future.

Field Tests For Cement

SIGNIFICANCE OF TESTING OF BUILDING MATERIALS

Every structure comprises of hundreds of building materials like sand, cement, aggregates, bricks, tiles, marble, etc. For creating a quality structure, building material quality plays an important role and needs to be checked frequently at different stages of construction. Cement is the most significant material used in construction and is responsible for the overall strength of the structure. Cement quality has to be ensured strictly for ensuring quality in construction.

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Also Read : MANUFACTURING PROCESS OF CEMENT

WHY TESTING OF CEMENT IS VERY SIGNIFICANT?

Cement plants are mainly located near limestone mines in remote locations. Cement companies produce clinker from a centralised clinkerization plant. Clinkers are ground at the clinkerization plant or conveyed to strategically located grinding units for grinding followed by packing of cement bags. Cement, manufactured and packed are conveyed and distributed to designated locations via road/rail.

During transporting there are chances of moisture absorption by the cement even after ensuring the best protection. The cement tends to harden after absorbing the moisture thereby hampering the quality. Because of these unforeseen issues, cement has to be checked for its quality before using it in works. The tests of cement are conducted in approved labs.

Also read : WHAT IS CEMENT ?

Also read :WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS OF CEMENT?

TESTS TO BE CONDUCTED ON CEMENT

Normally lab tests are conducted to ascertain the properties of cement. Lab tests require time, special types of equipment, and professionals for testing and interpreting the results. It may not be possible to check all the properties of cement at the site. To overcome this difficulty cement tests are categorised into two.

LABORATORY TESTS

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FIELD TESTS FOR CEMENT AT CONSTRUCTION SITE

The quality of cement can be confirmed with the help of some simple field tests. These tests do not require any sophisticated types of equipment and professional skills and get the results very quickly. By conducting these simple tests and analysing the results we will get an idea about the cement quality and can immediately decide on accepting or rejecting it. These are first look tests and quality of cement is ensured by its smoothness to touch, the colour of cement, etc.

Check the manufacturing date of cement

The cement has to be consumed within 90 days from the date of manufacturing when stored in ideal conditions. All cement bags have the manufacturing date and batch no printed on it. By confirming the manufacturing date we can have a fair idea about how old the cement is and can make a decision on using it.
Apart from this, all batches of cement bear a Manufacturers Test Certificate which can also be requested and checked to confirm the manufacturing dates.

Visual checking for Lumps

Cement can be checked for any visual lumps. The cement bag corners can also be pressed to confirm the possible presence of lumps. By this test, we can ensure the cement is hardened or not.

Feel test

Feel a pinch of cement between the figures. Cement has to feel smooth and not grainy. By this test, we can rule out the presence of any adulterated material like sand mixed with cement.

Heat of cement

Insert hand into an open bag of cement. The hand feels cool if the cement is of good quality and not yet started the hydration process.

Colour

Cement colour is usually greenish-grey. We can check the colour of the cement and confirm it at the site. But cement colour can vary with ingredient source and type.

Water float test

This test is done to determine the presence of impurities in cement. A hand full of cement is thrown to a bucket of water. If it is a good cement without impurities or any foreign bodies, the cement floats for a while before settling down. The presence of impurities can immediately settle the cement into the water.

Setting test

A thick paste of cement is placed on a glass piece and immerse slowly in water and kept there for 24 hours. The cement piece will retain its shape and sets without any cracks or changes in shape. This is considered as a good cement.

CONCLUSION

In case of any doubts in quality, we have the privilege to be in touch with the cement manufacturers through their customer services and can address our concerns. Laboratory tests can also be conducted to confirm field observations. Cement quality is an element that never has to be compromised on construction. Because cement is the most important material which determines the quality and life of a structure.

ALSO READ : WHAT ARE THE PROPERTIES OF CEMENT?

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TOP 15 WATER CONSERVATION METHODS – UPDATED 2020

Paani, thanni, vellam, mool, naam plao, neu- uhck… whatever the world calls it by, the necessity and utility of water remains fixed and so is the need and selection of a water conservation method.

Let’s ask the inevitable before diving in to methods for water conservation

What is water conservation?

It is the practice of using water efficiently to reduce unnecessary water use. 

Cool. That was a simple definition on what is water conservation.

“Save water, dave the world.” Remember the number of slogans and posters you used to have fun with, when you were a kid? Let’s give a quick look at why we had to do all that (except for scores)

Importance of water conservation

Regardless of the method of conservation of water, every method stands by the following points;

1) To ensure availability for future generations, the withdrawal of fresh water from an ecosystem should not exceed its natural replacement rate.

2) To save the significant amount of energy needed for water pumping, delivery, and wastewater treatment facilities

3) To preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating water flow, as well as reducing the need to build new dams and other water diversion infrastructure.

4) To save money on the utility bills

5) To extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation and reducing pollution due to leaks

You got an idea on why is water conservation necessary. So let’s get our hands into each method for water conservation.

Water conservation methods

There is a variety of methods of water conservation. We are going to meet some majors here.

1. Make effective use of soil water reserves

How many times did you have goozebumps looking at nature?

True. Be smart like nature. Soil and water conservation methods include planting deeper rooting crops, such as grasses or cereals that will leverage soil water reserves more effectively than shallower rooting crops such as vegetable crops and therefore can be grown in drier period.

2. Take measures to avoid run off

An important part of conserving anything is avoiding spilling out. When it comes to water, the part played is runoff. This is equally important as the conservation methods of water resources.   The various types of run-off management are those increase water intake and storage and so reduce runoff, control water movement over the soil surface, dispose safely of the excess rainfall as runoff or concentrate inadequate rainfall runoff. Remedial measures such as incorporating plantings especially in areas where runoff collects protecting trees that help absorb and filter runoff, choosing permeable materials for pathways etc. can potentially contribute to reduce run off.

3. Use rainwater effectively

Well, here you need to be very systematic. Check out the full article on rain water conservation methods here: RAINWATER HARVESTING; EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

4. Rational Use of Groundwater

We should always bear in mind that groundwater is a candy that should not be consumed uncontrollably. Because it takes time to recharge it back to its initial level. Only by conscientious exploitation of groundwater can it be proportionately conserved. For this to happen, ground water conservation methods such as crops requiring less water given priority over crops requiring more water need to be considered. Less water should be used by industries. The necessary drainage area should also be made available for recharging ground water.

5. Redistribution of Water

Sharing is a great habit that benefits all who are involved in it. Whether it’s knowledge, love, physical goods, anything, right? That’s exactly what it takes to turn the cries of people around the world for water into a smile of gratification. Extensive re-wiring of the supply of water in water conservation system from areas with lower demand to areas with higher demand is needed.

How do you do that?

This can be accomplished through the development of water reservoirs and a network of canals. Excess rainwater that flows away from rivers without being used can be stored by the construction of water reservoirs from which it can be supplied for agriculture, industry, urban areas, etc. These reservoirs are also designed to protect against flooding and, apart from flood protection, they can also be used for a variety of purposes. Water distribution is also possible through the canal system. The canal system transfers water from excess rainwater to scarce rainwater areas and conserves water for various purposes.

Now we have seen 5 methods of water conservation. But we are yet to hit some more wonderful ways to save on water. Moving on…

6. Protection of Water from Pollution

Pollution is a taboo that has disturbed our ears since the day we can remember. Activities such as disposing of different wastes without treatment in rivers, pollution caused by tourism on lakes and sea coasts, bathing and other similar activities in the vicinity of drinking water sources and Weeds produced in water are the main causes of water pollution.

So how to reduce water pollution?

There is a need for a cooperative policy at international level for conservation of water bodies by regulating oil and nuclear waste in the oceans. Water should become reusable after physical, chemical, mechanical and organic processing processes, and lakes should not be used as outlets for the transport of products.

7. Traditional Water Conservation Methods

One of the fascinating practices in every culture is that they have developed innovative techniques for all necessary human needs. Water conservation is no exception to this. If so, then can you think about how would it be in India, the land of diversities. Sneaking on to the water conservation methods in rural areas,

Traditional water conservation methods in India

a) Bamboo Drip Irrigation System

Bamboo is too expensive to use for a low- cost building, but is a boon for people of Meghalaya. Because, they have been leveraging it for traditional ways of conserving water. This system of water conservation is a brilliant drip irrigation system. It uses bamboo of various sizes and reduces the output to 20-80 drops per minute, which is excellent for betel leaf and black pepper crops.

b) Johads

Johad is a crescent shaped small check dam built from earth and rock to intercept and conserve rainwater in Rajasthan. This helps to improve percolation and increases groundwater recharge.

c) Kul

Kul is one of the unique the water conservation methods adopted in India where there are diversion channels that carry water from a glacier to village. Often spanning long distances, with some over 10 km long, kuls have been around for centuries. They are the lifeline of people of Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh and in Jammu too.

d) Eri

One of the oldest water conservation systems in India of Tamil Nadu is still widely used around the State. With over a third of irrigation in the State being made possible due to Eri, the traditional water harvesting system plays an important part in the agriculture. They also have other advantages such as prevention of soil erosion, recharge of groundwater, and flood control.

e) Zabo

This method of conservation of water in India is a unique combination with animal care, forests and agriculture. Mostly practised in Nagaland, Zabo is used to deal with a lack of drinking water supply. During monsoon, rainwater that falls on the hilltops is collected into the pond like structures that are carved out on the hillsides. The water is then passed onto cattle yards below from where the water enters the paddy fields rich in manure.

See, such still in use water conservation model that tells the beautiful story of water use and conservation doesn’t have copyright and patent problems. It’s open to the whole world. So why can’t we be inspired by them and use suitable conservation method of water in our own lives?

8. Use of Modern Irrigation Methods

On average, 80 percent of the fresh water withdrawn from rivers and groundwater is used to produce food and other agricultural products. Therefore, we need to pay attention to improved methods of irrigation such as sprinkler and drip irrigation that save 50 per cent water.

In the drip irrigation method, the hole pipes are spread over the surface of the soil so that the crop receives water directly. There is no loss due to evaporation and approximately 95% water is used. This process therefore uses maximum water.

9. Increasing Forest Cover

According to recent reports, forests cover 31 percent of the world’s land surface, just over 4 billion hectares which is down from the pre-industrial area of 5.9 billion hectare. This needs to be addressed since trees bear drought conditions for a long duration as compared to crops and they are helpful in reducing the demand for water along with recharging water sources.

10. Flood Management

Floods carry with it harmful contaminants such as soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, and oil which can potentially impact drinking water wells and water quality. By construction of embankments and canals a large part of land can be conserved besides minimizing flood losses. Intensive afforestation can also provide security from floods which will be helpful in absorption of water in the soil.

After such disasters, construction of green buildings aided by eco- friendly materials are preferred. Because they are built with all necessary measures for water conservation.

11. Conserving Water in Industries

Water has to be re-used after processing. Recycling of water should be developed because normally industrial units dispose off water on the ground surface after using it only once. Because of not re-using it after processing, it also pollutes other water sources. Water demand can also be reduced by recycling used water in industries.

12. Reuse of Urban Waste

Demand for water has increased in cities due to increasing urbanization. There is no provision for waste water treatment in many cities of various countries of the world. After use of water in urban areas, disposed waste water can be treated and conserved for use in agriculture in the peripheral areas of cities. Such policies should be incorporated while planning urban development.

13. Population Control

The world’s population is growing by approximately 80 million people every year. Changes in lifestyles and eating habits in recent years require more per- capita water consumption. Biofuel production has also increased sharply in recent years, with a significant impact on the demand for water. It’s obvious that a controlled population can avoid a tug of war for water by reducing the demand as well as the quali­tative deterioration of water.

14. Water conservation by Municipal bodies

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Risk report, around one third of the global population is currently water stressed, with about one billion people not getting safe drinking water. the water crisis is perceived as a top-order threat. In this nerve wracking situation, a governing body is indeed and they should exhort awareness on how to conserve water and capacity building among people.

15. Use of water from hot waterfalls

Scientifically, there are hypotheses that negative ions that are present in waterfalls increases serotonin levels, which ultimately enhances our mood. Wah! That’s great. And this geothermal water serves as a source too in the battle against water scarcity.

Now let’s sneak into the fun and exciting section which introduces the brand new updates on the topic.

WHAT’S TRENDING:

  • Geographic Information System (GIS), a computer system capable of holding and using data describing places on earth surface has been found to be applicable to monitor ground water resources as well as to ensure water availability in remote and rural villages.
  • Artificial intelligence(AI) can be leveraged for optimal usage of ground water which prevents over depletion of water table. Government has linked port with IBM India for undertaking pilot study to utilise AI and weather technology for developing navel features like soil sensor to avoid over irrigation
  • Biotechnology, a significant branch that contributes to COVID-19, has been successful to develop drought tolerant crops and salt tolerant crops that saves water for irrigation
  • Space technology helps through advent of hydrological mapping via satellite, weather forecasting that reduce uses of water in agriculture
  • Electrostatic precipitates, ionic filter and pipe that precipitates organic and inorganic pollutants at the discharge and groundwater recharging technology helps to save water at home

Now let me give you a water conservation tip. If you still feel like lazing out to adopt any conservation method of water, try to imagine a day without water!

Vincivil FAQ Corner:

1. Define water conservation

Water conservation refers to the preservation, control and development of water resources, both surface and groundwater, and prevention of pollution. The extent to which conservation is possible depends on the types of water conservation methods.

2. Water conservation methods at home

Use of water-saving dishwashers and clothes washers, installation of water saving shower heads or flow restrictors, taking shorter showers, checking your toilet for leaks are best solutions on how to save water at home.

3. Water conservation methods in agriculture

Making sure of the quality of soil, crop rotation practices, installation of better watering systems, storing of rain water and optimal usage are robust water conservation methods for agriculture.

4. 10 ways to conserve water

Conservation awareness, using less water when doing laundry, planting native plant species in your yard, turning off water when brushing your teeth, tracking cooling tower water, repairing leaks, having a home energy audit, installing faucet aerators, wait until you have a full dishwasher to operate the unit and reducing overuse of water are 10 recommended strategies for water conservation.

RAINWATER HARVESTING-EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Rainwater harvesting is the processes in which precipitation that falls on a site is diverted, captured, and stored for use on-site, as opposed to allowing it to run off, evaporate, or infiltrate into the soil. Let’s get to know it in the best way through the course of journey in the blog.

 “Slanting silver ropes slammed into loose earth, plowing it up like gunfire”- When Arundhati Roy described the rain as beautifully like this, how many of us thought we are taking the boon of no cost from nature. It’s high time that we understood the worth of rainwater harvesting in our lives.                     

Let’s start from scratch.

How rainwater harvesting is important?

This is a sad story of ground water. It all started with the over population. water supply agencies became unable to cope up demand from surface sources like dams, reservoirs, rivers etc. They resorted to ground water sources by digging tube-wells in order to augment the water supply. Indiscriminate exploitation of ground water resulted in lowering of water table rendering many bore-wells dry. To overcome this, we started to drill bore wells to greater depths. The exploitation of ground water in brutal unscientific methods by soft drinks, mineral water and similar industries further declined ground water table. The solution to all these problems is to replenish ground water bodies with water conservation methods like leveraging rain water by man made means.

That’s it. And we are here to know the hero of the story, Rain water to solve all these issues.

Let’s look at its components now.

Components of rainwater harvesting

Rainwater conservation is a must need element of every green building. Let’s see the components below.

1. Catchment area

The catchment area is the surface on which the rain water falls. This may be a roof top or open area around the building.

2. Coarse mesh / leaf screen

To prevent the entry of leaves and other debris in the system, the coarse mesh should be provided at the mouth of inflow pipe for flat roofs

3. Gutter

Gutter is required to be used for collecting rainwater from sloping roof and to divert it to downspout. These are the channels all around the edge of a sloping roof to collect and transport rain water to the storage tank.

4. Down spout or conduit

The rain water collected on the roof top is transported down to storage facility through down spouts / conduits. Conduits can be of any material like PVC, GI or cast iron.

5. First flushing device

A first flush system is incorporated in the rooftop to harvest rainwater by avoiding all the debris, dirt, and other contaminants especially bird dropping, etc. accumulated on the roof during the dry season. The first flushing device, dispose of the first spell of rainwater so that it does not enter the system.

6. Filter

The filter unit is basically a chamber filled with filtering media such as fiber, coarse sand and gravel layers to remove debris and dirt from water before it enters the storage tank.

7. Settlement tank

The settlement tank facilitates the settling down of suspended materials like silt and other floating impurities before the water recharge the aquifer.

8. Storage tank

Storage tanks are used when the water from the rain water harvesting is used directly for various purposes.

Okay. That’s done. Now we are getting into the important part which is how to make rainwater harvesting.

METHODS OF RAINWATER HARVESTING

1. Storing rain water for direct use

Fig. Storing rainwater for direct use

In place where the rains occur throughout the year, rain water can be stored in tanks However, at places where rains are for 2 to 3 months, huge volume of storage tanks would have to be provided. In such places, it will be more appropriate to use rain water to recharge ground water aquifers rather than to go for storage. If the strata is impermeable, then storing rain water in storage tanks for direct use is a better method. Similarly, if the ground water is saline/unfit for human consumption or ground water table is very deep, this method of rain water harvesting is preferable.

2. Recharging groundwater aquifers, from rooftop runoff

Fig. Recharging ground water aquifers from roof top run off

In this groundwater harvesting, rain water that is collected on the roof top of the building may be diverted by drain pipes to a filtration tank from which it flows into the recharge well. The recharge well should preferably be shallower than the water table. This method of rain water harvesting is preferable in the areas where the rainfall occurs only for a short period in a year and water table is at a shallow depth.

Alright. How to increase groundwater level further?

3. Recharging groundwater aquifers with runoff from the ground area

Fig. Recharging ground water aquifers with runoff from ground areas

The rain water that is collected from the open areas may be diverted by drain pipes to a recharge dug well / bore well through filter tanks. The abandoned bore well/dug well can be used cost effectively for this purpose.

Now you have become a savvy in rain water harvesting. But this is not all. Even if you have completed all the procedures with at most care, precautions should be taken to ensure quality of water. Let’s see them.

1. Roof over which water falls, should be cleaned before rain fall.

2. The suitable type of first flushing device to be installed and initial 10 to 15 minutes of runoff should be diverted.

3. The water collected from roof top only, should be stored in storage tank for direct use.

4. The runoff from surface/ground should be preferably be used for recharging ground water aquifers after proper filtration.

5. The rain water collected from roof top should pass through suitable type of filter and only then it should be stored in storage tank / used for recharging ground water aquifers.

We are almost near of completion. its time to look at the results of your efforts.

Advantages of rain water harvesting are,

 (a) Promotes adequacy of underground water

 (b) Mitigates the effect of drought

(c) Reduces soil erosion as surface run-off is reduced

(d) Decreases load on storm water disposal system

(e) Reduces flood hazards

(f) Improves ground water quality / decreases salinity (by dilution)

(g) Prevents ingress of sea water in subsurface aquifers in coastal areas 6

(h) Saving rainwater improves ground water table, thus saving energy (to lift water)

(i) The cost of recharging subsurface aquifer is lower than surface reservoirs

(j) The subsurface aquifer also serves as storage and distribution system

(k) No land is wasted for storage purpose and no population displacement is involved

(l) Storing water underground is environment friendly

But all these doesn’t earn you a penny. Below are the points that illustrates how rain water harvesting can add to your pockets.

Energy savings

  • Rainwater collector systems are typically designed to be gravity fed.
  • Storage areas are typically lower elevation, so a pumping system is generally required for intended reuse.
  • Since collected rainwater is generally used close to its capture, the energy needed to convey the water tends to be minimal.
  • Compared to conveyance from other supplied sources of water rainwater harvesting would likely have lower energy costs.
  • Systems are simple and tend to be robust. Monitoring and maintenance require additional effort. This includes maintenance of roofs used as collection areas, cleaning of gutters, maintenance of storage tanks and vaults, puumps and maintenance of water treatment systems

Water savings

  • A reasonable goal for an aggressive rooftop collection for a custom building could be to reduce domestic water supply by 40 to 50% for that building; this would then allow the building to meet LEED goals for sewage reduction.

Well… limitations too are important to see if it’s worth trying.

Happy to see the cost savings? Then you should definitely check out A BUILDING AT ZERO COST!!

Disadvantages of rain water harvesting are,

  • Unpredictable Rainfall
  • Initial High Cost
  • Regular Maintenance
  • Certain Roof Types may Seep Chemicals or Animal Droppings
  • Storage Limits

Now, it’s up to your decision. But I would say this is an offer you can’t refuse.

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Vincivil FAQ CORNER

What is the main purpose of rainwater harvesting?

The main aim of rainwater harvesting is to use locally available rainwater to meet water needs during the year without the need for major capital expenditure.

How to catch rainwater?

The rain would accumulate in the gutters that would funnel the water into the downpours and then into some kind of storage vessel. Rainwater collection systems can be as easy as gathering rain in a rain barrel or as complex as storing rainwater in large cisterns to supply your entire household demand.

How rainwater harvesting is done?

Rainwater harvesting extracts the run-off from a building or other impervious surface to be preserved for later use . The rain would accumulate in the gutters that would funnel the water into the downpours and then into some kind of storage vessel.

How rainwater harvesting works?

Rainwater collection systems collect rainwater by transferring it from large surfaces to underground or overground storage tanks. The rainwater harvested is filtered and then pumped directly to the appliances or header tank.

What are the rainwater harvesting techniques at home?

There are several techniques such as Storage of direct use, recharging groundwater aquifers, recharging of bore wells, recharge pits, soakway or recharge shafts, recharging of dug wells etc.

How do you make a rainwater harvesting pit?

Excavation is to be performed before soft dirt, weathered rock or fracture is reached.   You need jelly of different sizes and sand at the top of the pit. The big jelly at the bottom creates large gaps for the water to pass through.

What are the two methods of rainwater harvesting?

Surface runoff harvesting and rooftop rainwater harvesting are the main two methods of rain water harvesting.

What are the main uses of rainwater harvesting?

  • Non-potable uses, such as toilet flushing, irrigation, dust control, and vehicle washing. Some of these applications may require specialized plumbing.
  • Potable water uses including drinking water, food preparation, showering, and washing.

What are the properties of cement?

Cement is the most significant and highly recognized structural material used in construction. Cement can be used in any type of structures starting from small homes to skyscrapers. Cement stands out as an integral part of industrial structures like power plants, refineries, steel plants, cement plants, bridges, roads, etc. Cement, when mixed with sand and aggregates, forms concrete and when mixed with sand makes mortar. The serviceability, strength, and durability of a structure purely depend on the quality of cement which is being used for concrete and mortar. The properties of cement are directly related to the proportioning of ingredients, grinding, packing, storing etc.

The cement properties are classified into PHYSICAL PROPERTIES and CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

build builder construction equipment

MUST READ : FIELD TESTS TO BE CONDUCTED ON CEMENT

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PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF CEMENT

The physical properties of quality cement are based on the following factors.

FINENESS OF CEMENT

Fineness is the measure of the particles of cement or the specific surface area of cement. The hydration rate of cement is directly related to its fineness. Higher the fineness of cement higher is the specific surface area available per unit volume of cement. ie More area is available for cement and water action (hydration). This increases the rate of hydration and early gaining of strength in concrete. Bleeding can also be reduced by an increase in the fineness of the cement. But this in turn leads to dry shrinkage which can be managed by using more water.

Fineness can be determined by using sieve analysis test, or air permeability test or sedimentation method.

MUST READ : HEAT OF HYDRATION OF CEMENT

MUST READ : FINENESS TEST OF CEMENT

SOUNDNESS

Soundness refers to the ability of hardened cement paste not to shrink or expand and retains its volume. If there is any change in volume, cracks may develop and the cement can be distinguished as unsound cement. Unsound cement can affect the durability and life of the structure. Soundness can also be defined as the volume stability of cement.

The cement manufacturing quality also has a very serious impact on cement qualities. Inadequate heating can leave excess lime in cement. Even though cement plants have full-fledged quality labs to check the ingredients in detail, still cement has to be checked for its soundness before being used for any structure. Le Chatelier apparatus is used to test the soundness of cement.

CAUSES OF UNSOUNDNESS OF CEMENT

The soundness of cement is affected by the presence of excess lime and magnesia. The excess lime hydrates very slowly to form slaked lime and will affect the properties of cement. The hydration difference between free lime (CaO) and slaked lime can change the volume of concrete on hardening and these changes make cement unsound.

Excess magnesia also reacts with water and affects the hydration process making cement unsound.

Gypsum is added to control the setting time of cement. Excess gypsum can react with Tricalcium aluminate to form calcium sulphoaluminate which can expand the concrete while hardening. The addition of gypsum has to be done with utmost care or else can make the cement unsound.

MUST READ : SOUNDNESS TESTS OF CEMENT

CONSISTENCY OF CEMENT

Consistency of cement is the ability of cement-water paste to flow under normal conditions. The optimum water-cement ratio has to be maintained in dry mixes to make it workable. Consistency of cement is the measure of the optimum water-cement ratio of a cement paste which can allow a Vicat apparatus plunger to penetrate a depth of 5-7 mm measured from the bottom of the mold. In that case, we can consider the paste is at normal consistency. The optimum water percentage for normal consistency ranges from 26% – 33%. The standard consistency test is conducted using a Vicat apparatus.

ALSO READ : STANDARD CONSISTENCY TEST OF CEMENT

STRENGTH OF CEMENT

Cement is the material responsible for imparting strengths in mortar and concrete. The cement hydrates react with water and induce strength in concrete. The strength of cement has to be checked before it can be used for works. The strength can be affected by a lot of factors like water to cement ratio, ingredient proportioning, curing conditions, age, etc. The cement has to be checked for compressive, tensile, and flexural strength. The strengths are measured as grades in the cement bags

The strength is determined by checking the compressive strength of cement.

ALSO READ : COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF CEMENT

SETTING TIME OF CEMENT

The setting time of cement starts from the point water is added to cement to a point where the cement reacts with water and hardening of the paste. It is the time taken from the production stage to the hardening stage which involves activities like, mixing, conveying, placing, and hardening. The setting time depends on a lot of factors like the fineness of cement, water-cement ratio, chemical content, and the presence of admixtures, etc. The setting time has to be adjusted in line with the structural requirements but has to ensure that the initial settling time should not be too low and the final setting time should not be too high.

Initial setting time is when the mix starts to stiffen and attains its plasticity. The initial setting time is 30 minutes for cement.

Final setting time is when the cement hardens to a point where it can take loads. The final setting time is 10 hours.

ALSO READ :INITIAL SETTING TIME AND FINAL SETTING TIME.

ALSO READ : HOW TO CONTROL SETTING TIME OF CEMENT?

HYDRATION OF CEMENT

For using cement in any construction work, it is necessary to mix cement with water. On mixing water with the cement, a chemical reaction happens between water and cement leads to heat generation. This process of heat generation is known as the heat of hydration. It is very critical in mass concrete work and works done in hot and humid conditions.

When water is added to cement, a chemical reaction takes place between cement and water and is called hydration. Hydration generates heat, which can control the quality of the cement and helps in maintaining curing temperature in cold conditions. While using in mass concrete the heat generation tends to be very high which can cause undesired stresses in the structure. The heat of hydration is affected mostly by the presence of C3S and C3A in cement, water-cement ratio, fineness, and curing temperature. The heat of hydration of Portland cement is calculated by determining the difference between the dry and the partially hydrated cement.

ALSO READ : HOW TO FIND OUT HEAT OF HYDRATION OF CEMENT.

ALSO READ : DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OPC AND PPC CEMENTS

Manufacturing process of cement.

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Cement is considered as the most significant substance used in construction which acts as a binder which can adheres the materials together. Cement is a hydraulic binder when mixed with water and sand transforms into mortar and when mixed with water and aggregates converts to concrete which can be used for a number of applications. As per World cement association concrete comes second only to water as the most used resource. China is the largest producer of cement with 53% and India follows with 8% with this production likely to be doubled in next ten years.

The basic raw materials used for cement manufacturing is lime stone or chalk and shale or clay. Cement clinkerisation plants are normally located near the raw materials areas and most of the the times the plants are equipped with conveyors which can directly feed the raw materials from the mines

MUST READ : WHAT IS CEMENT ? WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS OF CEMENT

MANUFACTURING PROCESS BASED ON MIXING TECHNICS

Based on the technic adopted for mixing raw materials the manufacturing process is divided into wet process and dry process. Wet process is normally used now a days. But dry process is also gaining popularity due to their energy efficiency and when the ingredients are hard.

WET PROCESS OF CEMENT MANUFACTURING

The wet process of cement manufacturing is divided into a number of stages

a) Raw material extraction

b) Grinding

c) Proportioning and mixing and preparing composition based on the raw material purity.

e) Preheating the composition

f) Burning the composition in a kiln to form clinkers

g) Clinker cooling with gypsum addition and grounding to fine powder.

h) Storing in silos and packing and loading for conveying.

The raw materials needed for cement manufacturing are

a) CALCAREOUS (i.e. chalk consists of limestone.)
b) ARGILLACEOUS (i.e. clay consists of silicates of alumina.)

a) RAW MATERIAL EXTRACTION

Major raw material involved in the cement manufacturing process is limestone. Cement manufacturing plants are located near the limestone sources for easy access to the raw materials or else it turnout to be expensive to transport the materials from outside. The next major ingredient is clay which have to be located around 25-30 km within the plant premises to minimise the cost incurred in transportation.

Lime stone obtained from open cast mines are transported and feeded to a limestone crusher and clay is placed in a clay crushers. Other raw material like sand which controls the kiln temperature and iron ore etc can be transported or supplied from outside sources.

b) RAW MATERIAL GRINDING

The raw materials calcareous (lime)  extracted are crushed to make a size of 6 inch and further crushed to make it 3 inch in secondary crushers. The argillaceous materials (clay) are washed to remove the organic contents and stored in basins and limestone is stored in silos.

c) PROPORTIONING MIXING AND PREPARATION OF COMPOSITION

The washed Clay and crushed lime stone are conveyed and mixed in desired proportion and further grinded in a wet grinding mill where both the materials are closely mixed in the presence of water to form a slurry .The slurry is stored in storage tanks where minor corrections in the compositions are carried out. The slurry which constitutes around 35-40% water is constantly kept in agitation to prevent the settling of limestone and clay.

d) PREHEATING THE COMPOSITION

The preheaters are used to heat the raw mix and drive off carbon dioxide and water before it is fed into the kiln.The raw meal passes down the preheater tower while hot gases rise up, heating the raw meal. At the entry point of kiln the raw meal largely decarbonates .

e) BURNING OF COMPOSITION IN KILNS

The decarbonated slurry is fed directly to an inclined steel cylinder which is called rotary kiln .In the rotary kiln through a series of reactions clinker is produced. The kiln is made of a steel casing lined with refractory bricks which have to withstand the reactions happening inside the kiln. The kiln is divided into three zones depending on the process happening in each zone and the temperature at each zone. The kiln is heated from the bottom using coal, oil or gases.

In the first zone water and moisture from the decarbonated slurry is evaporated at a temperature of 400C and the process is known as drying zone.

In the second part which is the calcination zone temperature is around 1000 degree and carbon dioxide is removed and is  immediately converted into flakes after loosing the moisture. These flakes or modules are taken into the third stage with the help of rotary movement of the kiln.

In the third stage which is called the burning zone or clinkering zone and the temperature their will be around 1300-1500 degree . In this zone the lime and clay reacts to produce calcium aluminates and calcium silicates. Immediately on entering the burning zone aluminates and calcium silicates get fused and  the modules are converted into a dark greenish balls and is called clinker. The size of the clinker ranges from 5 mm to 20 mm. These are the chemical reactions happening in the kiln.

2CaO + SiO2 = Ca2SiO(declaim silicate (C2S))

3CaO + SiO2 = Ca3SiO5 (tricalcium silicate (C3S))

3CaO + Al2O= Ca3Al2O6 (dicalcium aluminate (C2A))

4CaO + Al2O3 + Fe2O3 = Ca4Al2Fe2O10 (tetracalcium aluminoferrite(C4AF))

F) CLINKER COOLING WITH GYPSUM ADDITION AND GROUNDING TO FINE POWDER

The cooled clinkers are finally grinded in ball mills. At this stage gypsum(2-4%) is added which functions to reduce the setting time of cement. The grinded powder is take to the cement silos for storage. The particle distribution is also done in a graded manner. The stored grinded powder is taken to the packing plant and packed for distribution

ALSO READ : DRY PROCESS OF MANUFACTURING OF CEMENT

ALSO READ : DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRY PROCESS AND WET PROCESS OF MANUFACTURING.

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Cement – Ingredients and Properties

WHAT IS CEMENT?

Cement is one of the most significant structural material used in construction. Cement is a binding agent that sets and hardens to adhere to building materials like sand,bricks,stone etc. Cement is a fine powder made of limestone,clay, bauxite and iron.

Cement when mixed with aggregates and sand produces concrete and when mixed with sand produces mortar which is used for brickwork, plaster,flooring etc. Cement is the most unavoidable element which dominates the construction sector.

MUST READ : MANUFACTURING PROCESS OF CEMENT

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INGREDIENTS OF CEMENT

Cement is manufactured from Lime, silica, alumina and iron oxide. Lime is obtained from limestone and oxides of silica, alumina and iron which is found in clay and shale.

a) Lime

Lime is the major and main constituent of cement and which accounts to about 60-65%. Lime is the main ingredient  for production of calcium silicates aluminates and responsible for the cementing properties and strength of cement. The proportion of lime content can alter the properties of cement. Less quantity of lime can reduce the strength of cement and higher lime content can make the cement unsound. Lime in correct proportions is responsible for the strength of cement.

lime stone

b) Silica

SiO2 or silicon dioxide is called silica. Silica is responsible for the formation of dicalcium silicate and tricalcium silicate in reaction with lime . Right proportions of silica plays a major part in inducing cement strength.

c) Alumina

Alumina is responsible for lowering the clinkering temperature and controlling the setting time of cement. Alumina imparts quick setting properties in cement and any increase in proportions can weaken the cement.

e) Iron oxide

Iron oxide is responsible for colour of the cement and it acts as a flux in the cement manufacturing process . It acts as a flux in high temperatures and combines with calcium and alumina to form tricalcium alumino ferrite which is the main ingredient behind the hardness of cement.

f) Magnesium oxide

Magnesium oxide is found in minor traces but increase in the quantity can reduce the strength of cement.

g) Sulphur Trioxide

Sulphur trioxide is available in traces but any increase can effect the cement quality.

PROPERTIES OF CEMENT

Cement is the most significant structural material used in construction.Cement is the most recognised binding material and can be used in any nature of structures starting from a home to sky scrappers, industrial structures ,bridges, roads etc. Cement when mixed with sand and aggregates forms concrete and when mixed with sand makes mortar.The serviceability, strength and durability of a structure is purely depend on the quality of cement which is being used for concrete and mortar.The properties of cement is directly related to the proportioning of ingredients, grinding, packing etc.

Also read : PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF CEMENT

Also read : CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF CEMENT

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Green Building – How to build

Have you ever seen a Green Goddess? Well, such an appropriate question to ask in the persisting situation, right?

Then you guessed it wrong. I was talking about green buildings.

So ready to take part in this great build? Before we start…

Why green buildings?

i. Protect occupant health

ii. Optimal environmental and economic performance

iii. Reduce overall impact to the environment

iv. Quality indoor spaces

v. Improve employee productivity

vi. Use energy, water and other resources more efficiently

vii. Increased market value of the building

Now that you have the answer of the big y, shall we move on to the main elements to achieve this?

a. Cherry pick powerful sites

b. Wizardry in construction

c. Showering aura through energy & water efficiency

d. Rating tools to standardise

Let’s dig in.

a.) Cherry-pick powerful sites

  1. Site selection

A canvas is as important as the drawing brush. So is a site of construction. The following points are to be considered diligently.

  • Set preliminary environmental performance targets

A well revised plan is the ablest key. The plan should take into account the inevitable like water, energy, materials, waste, the mode of construction, indoor environmental quality, and economic performance.

  • Select appropriate land

We have two options in handy during a hunt for a building. Either we can renovate existing structures or select a land. If you are going for later, make sure that is a short walk from public transit, pedestrian and bicycle routes, exists in an already-urbanized area, is walking distance from amenities, is already serviced by the requisite urban infrastructure (roads, utilities, etc.), is a brownfields site and remediate it, allows infill development and allows mixed-use development. And the important point to be noted is that the land shouldn’t come under any restricted zones such as farmlands, the natural habitat of wildlife, wetlands, waterways.

2. Site design

This is a vital facet of a green building and opens up wide possibilities to embed creativity of a civil engineer for the purpose. It includes,

A. Protect or enhance site’s ecological integrity and biodiversity

The color green itself highlights the importance of this aspect. The construction should be such that it preserves the site’s natural areas, re-establishes damaged native ecosystems and makes connections between the natural ecology of the site and natural systems both within and beyond the site.

B. Reduce or eliminate disturbance to water system

You can celebrate your life with the natural water conservation methods by making them into attractive landscape elements. Also increase site infiltration where soil conditions allow by maintaining the natural pervious landscape or designing a pervious landscape. Use pervious surfaces for as much as possible of the surfaces that are usually paved where soil conditions permit. capturing rainwater for site or building use is also a simple act to contribute to this.


C. Reduce urban heat islands

Maximize green space through the clever designing techniques including native gardens, trellises, roof gardens, green walls etc. and provide shade on impervious surfaces where high-albedo materials cannot be used.

D. Design infrastructure to support alternative transportation

In between the continuous run to balance work and life, there is no way you can compromise on this aspect. Location of the building should be such that it has access to public transit, bike routes, and pedestrian routes. And the feature should encourage walking, bicycling and battery operated vehicles, by designing attractive, safe pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

3. Building orientation& configuration

The orientation of the building and the configuration of each element is significant to make a strong connection with nature. Use existing and proposed trees & plantings to reduce heating, cooling, and lighting loads and utilize the site resources to reduce building loads and enhance indoor environmental quality. Finally, orient the building to optimize prevailing winds and solar opportunities.

b.) Wizardry in construction

After setting up the site, the next stage is obviously construction. Here, we have the opportunity to take out the technical skills to weave the green blanket for our building.

i. Design stage

  • Choose environmental friendly materials

Try to use recycled and efficient materials, Use locally harvested or manufactured materials and materials that cause very less damage to nature as much as possible. You can find more elaborate details in A JOURNEY TO ECO- FRIENDLY MATERIALS

  • Design for reuse

Design a structure that allows for changes in use over time.Select building systems that can be deconstructed at the end of the building’s useful life.This is where the importance of a good design team arises.

  • Design envelope

Design envelope to reduce heating, cooling, lighting, and ventilation loads. Also it should incorporate all possibilities that make it energy efficient and allows for maximum natural light without glare and pollution and maximum wind intake. Remember to consider individual control for all the features because that is a determining factor of the comfort of the residents.

  • Reduce or prevent the use of potable water to treat human waste

Installation of water-efficient toilet fixtures and alternative wastewater technologies like constructed wetlands and monitoring the usage with something like water meters is very efficient to make sure that we protect each drop of water and ourselves.

  • Reducing impact of environment

While ozon depletion is growing on a daily bases, let’s do our bit to reduce it.Use HVAC systems, refrigerants and fire-suppressant equipment that do not contain CFCs, HCFCs or Halons.

ii. Building stage

  • Prevent erosion during construction

The prevention of erosion is important because properly done, it will also prevent the accompanying air pollution, and sedimentation of streams and storm sewers. Different strategies like maintaining or providing vegetated ground cover and controlling erosion with mulch or grass can be done.

  • Minimize the disposal of construction waste

A formal waste management plan can be adopted for minimizing the construction waste envisaging reuse, recycle or salvage the waste for later reuses.

c.) Showering aura through energy & water efficiency

First, let’s close the deal with energy efficiency.

Thanks to technology and the human quest for innovation, new techniques and strategies are emerging every day. Smart home technology is one of the blessings in which interesting products like highly programmable thermostats reduce your heating and cooling bills and saves the environment by reducing energy production. Furthermore, your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system works more efficiently, meaning less wear-and-tear on the system and longer life.

Another remarkable trend is energy star windows that reduce heating and cooling costs and thereby rise in home values. To boost the windows’ insulating effect, you can draw blinds in both summer and winter. Also, seal all air leaks in the house with caulk or weather stripping and clean and change furnace filters frequently. Having all the new lessons taken, don’t forget your roots. Aid renewable energy as much as possible.

So, you have set up your home for better energy treatment.

Now let’s see the practices for methodical water management.

Use rainwater collected for suitable domestic purposes and Install tank less water heaters, which heat up water at the source that avoids having to run the tap to bring hot water from a remote water heater. See more details about rainwater harvesting at RAINWATER HARVESTING; EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW. Consider fixtures and appliances that conserve water such as low flow faucet aerators. And home automation can help you too in monitoring, measuring, and controlling water usage. Another thing worth doing is systematic wastewater management. Wastewater can be recycled using recharging pits and used for landscape watering.

d.) Rating tools to standardize

Congrats! You have a green building ready to receive you now. Next you need to know how to market it with verification. Here is the significance of rating tools. These tools can even help you gain incentives for clients. Building rating and certification systems are in a state of change and evolution and continue to be refined to reflect new standards and goals. So it is essential to investigate the most current versions of these programs to gain an understanding of particular requirements that must be met in order to achieve the best results.

There are a number of green building rating tools that exist but are not administered by a World Green Building Council. Let’s look at some of the tools which are administered by them.

1. BREEAM or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method started in the UK where it is now a voluntary initiative in the private sector and compulsory in the public sector. Points are awarded in line with sustainable approaches to energy and water use, internal environment, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology, management processes and the life-cycle of buildings.

 2. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design started in the US and is now popular worldwide as well as in North America. It covers new, existing, commercial and residential property and is concerned with energy, atmosphere, water efficiency, materials, resources and indoor environmental quality.

3. HQE (High Quality Standard) is a French initiative. Not as widely adopted as LEED or BREEAM, HQE is still committed to common aims including reducing energy and water use, minimal environmental impact on surroundings, a healthy internal environment and the full life-cycle of a building. It covers new and existing buildings from commercial properties to multi-family housing.

4. DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council) focuses on around 50 criteria ranging from environmental, economic, technological and work process aspects to sociocultural and functional dimensions. “A holistic approach is taken” meaning the system assesses the entire lifecycle of the building. Buildings are awarded DGNB certificates in bronze, silver or gold. In addition, there is the option of simple precertification in the planning phase.

5. WELL focus on “advancing health and well-being in buildings” through issues such as thermal and acoustic comfort and good air quality.

Drop a message in the comment section to reach out to us for Green Building Consultancy Services. Let’s make the bond for a lifetime of prosperity by sharing the joy with green.

GFRG panels – a trending innovation in low cost housing

“Home is where the heart is “

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When you look from outside a house is a building of brick and cement but from inside it is a soul’s dream. For affording a house an individual is ready to spend his hard-earned money without a second thought. The increase in housing demand is exhausting the raw materials/sources and keeping the dream of affording a house, to be more of a dream rather than a reality.

In the urban sector, there is a huge requirement of affordable housing as people migrate and make their settlements for their jobs.

While chasing the dream of affording a house, everyone thinks of innovative, highly efficient, and cost-effective sustainable options. This search terminates in GFRG ( Glass Fibre reinforced gypsum ) which addresses all these concerns and presents us with one of the most affordable walling and roofing system which have the qualities of a perfect innovation. GFRG privileges in using a superior and sustainable material that can reduce the overall cost by 40% and ensure a speedy construction when implemented professionally.

CONCEPT OF GFRG

GFRG is an innovative Australian technology gaining footage in the construction sector. The conventional system of using country burnt bricks is creating massive environmental degradation like excessive removal of topsoil and converting the fields into barren lands. In an initiative to protect the environment, the authorities are forced to restrict the manufacturing of red bricks which in turn increased the cost of bricks drastically. This method is used in China, the middle east, India, etc, and is one of the most trending building materials. GFRG panels are also called rapid wall system.

The concept of the rapid wall system can eliminate the most time-consuming construction activities like brickwork, shuttering, casting, removal of RCC slabs, plastering, curing, etc. These activities generate a lot of debris lead to environmental degradation to some extent. Rapid walls in turn are fast and easy, consume less time, and creates negligible wastage. The construction time is reduced to 20-25% and painting can be applied to the wall directly after the application of special primers and putty. 

MANUFACTURING PROCESS OF GFRG

GFRG is a calcined gypsum plaster spread with glass fiber reinforcement for imparting tensile strength. Raw gypsum an industrial waste from the fertilizer plants is heated at a temperature of 140-150 degrees centigrade and is stored in tanks for later use. The slurry is mixed with water and other chemicals (retarders and water repellents ) and spread over a table and is interspersed with glass fibers. Aluminum plugs are used for creating hollow cavities. The glass fibers are added to induce tensile strength to the panels. Aluminum plugs are removed in around 30 minutes and panels are dried to a temperature of around 275 degrees for 1 hr before being cut to the required size. The transporting shall be done by keeping the panels vertical in stillages.

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DIMENSIONS AND PROPERTIES

TYPICAL MODULAR HOLES

The panel sizes are 12 mtr x 3 mtr and have a thickness of 124 mm. These panels are used for walls as well as roofs and applications like staircases, boundary walls, etc. These panels are factory cut as per the design requirements. Cutouts for doors and window openings, air conditioners, etc are done in the factory before conveying to the site.

TYPICAL PANEL

Each panel constitutes 48 modular holes of 230 mm x 94 mm x 3000 mm dimension. The weight of one panel is around 1440 kg. The load-bearing capacity of the panels can be increased by using concrete infills embedded with rebar.

APPLICATION OF GFRG PANELS

The applications of GFRG panels are as follows:
GFRG panels are used as lightweight load-bearing walling & roofing in single-storeyed and multi-storeyed buildings. The panel can be used with or without filling the core with concrete. The core can also be filled with nonstructural materials like sand, sawdust, quarry dust, etc.

When used in a multi-storeyed building the panel core is filled with concrete and embedded rebar as per the design to resist the lateral as well as gravity loads..

GFRG panels can be used as intermediate flooring and roofing elements for flat as well as the sloped roof. This will function as a composite member with RCC Microbeams and slabs making it a T beam structure.

GFRG can also be used in sunshades , facades , boundary walls etc.

Rapid wall buildings are resistant to earthquakes, cyclones, and fire. The panels are fixed on the foundation with a unique locking system . GFRG panels do not require any plastering on the internal and external sides of the wall and roof.

INSTALLATION METHOD OF GFRG PANELS

a) FOUNDATION

The foundation can be decided as per the site conditions. It can either be a spread footing, continuous footing, column footing structure, or rubble masonry /brick masonry with a plinth beam where the panels can rest. The plinth beam shall be embedded with reinforcement steel 12 mm dia 75 mm protruding over the beams.

b) DIMENSIONING OF PANELS

The panels are cut into required sizes as per the drawings. The cut-outs for door, window, and Air conditioner, etc shall be factory cut. Panels are marked and conveyed in stillages from the factory to the concerned sites.

b)ERECTION OF PANELS FOR WALLING

The GFRG walls are designed to resist axial force from gravity loads, lateral in-plane shear force, and in-plane bending moment from wind and seismic loads. The cavities inside the GFRG panels are filled with concrete, to enhance the compressive strength of the panels and reinforced to enhance lateral load-bearing capacity. This option is essential for multi-storied buildings.

The unloaded panels have to be erected using a crane with the requisite boom length. The panels are lifted and placed over the plinth beam with the protruded rebar going inside the infills and concrete is filled from the top after plumbing it. Door and window frames can be fixed at this stage for better stability with anchorages in the infills properly filled with concrete. Sunshades over windows and door openings to be provided with conventional shuttering by cutting the external part of the rapid wall.

The wall corners and T junctions has to be provided with the rebar as shown in the figure. The concrete shall be done with 12 mm aggregate and filled in a layers of 1 mtr height.

RCC tie beam running on the full length of the wall has to be provided as per national building code for protection against earth quake. The web of the infills are removed upto the beam depth for this purpose and reinforcement shall be placed and casted

For up to 3 storeyed high low rise GFRG buildings there is no need to infill all cavities with reinforced concrete. We recommend concrete infill for every third cavity

FIXING ROOF PANEL

After casting of tie beam shuttering for fixing roof panels shall be done with 1 foot width wooden planks or any acrow spans . Support shall be provide in areas where the micro beams are coming. The panels are lifted and placed over the supports and care should be taken to maintain a gap of 40 mm. These gaps are provided to take up the rods from the floor below to maintain continuity. For providing mirco beams the flanges are cut with 25 mm offset as shown in the figure. Weld mesh is placed over the rapid panels and casted for 50 mm thick . The micro beam and the weld mesh slab provides a T beam action

The panels of the first floor are provided in the same way as done in the ground floor over the plinth beams. The internal of the rooms are applied with putty and painted . Electrical conduitng has to be done through the cavities Plumbing fixtures shall be provided as per design .

WHY GFRG CAN BE PREFERRED OVER CONVENTIONAL WALLING AND ROOFING SYSTEMS

The panels possess high flexural strength, shearing strength, compressive strength etc. It is an approved and accepted construction material by the Building Material and Technology Promotion Council of India (BMTPCI).Concrete filled with vertical reinforcement rods improves it’s vertical and lateral load capacities and improves the earth quake resistant properties.

a) THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY

Rapid walls posses very low thermal conductivity and high resistance to heat. GFRG panels can make the indoors cooler by 6-7% than conventional buildings.The high resistance to heat can keep interiors cooler in summer and warmer in winter which in turn can drastically reduces the air conditioning loads and energy bills.

b) GREEN TECHNOLOGY

The manufacturing process involves using very advanced and green technology in recycling the raw materials. This process consumes less energy and reduces carbon emission making GFRG an environmental friendly material.

c) COST EFFECTIVE AND AFFORDABLE

As the demand increased there was a drastic increase in the in cost of labour, energy, bricks, cement, river sand, water, labour and hire charges for scaffolding etc. . The introduction of rapid walls which is much cheaper construction material and has the potential to reduce the cost drastically and can make the housing an affordable one for all .

d) FAST CONSTRUCTION

The construction speed can be drastically increased by elimination of time consuming brick work, shuttering, concrete, deshuttering , plastering etc. The time taken for construction will will be reduced to 25%. A conventional G+1 house with takes 6-8 months for completion and with GFRG the same shall be constructed in a span of 2-2.5 months.

e) FIRE RESISTANT, WATER RESISTANT, EARTHQUAKE AND TERMITE RESISTANCE

GFRG panels are fire resistant, water resistant, earth quake resistant, heat resistant , rodent and termite resistant which can be used for any type of atmosphere. GFRG panels can resist upto 1000 degree and have a fire rating of 140 minutes

f) STRENGTH,DURABILITY & SERVICEABILITY

Strength and durability of GFRG is not behind any other building material but in turn is is more superior to them . This makes GFRG houses much stronger than conventional houses and have a life of more than 100 years.

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g) INCREASE IN CARPET AREA

As we are using 124 mm walls in place of conventional 230 mm walls there is an increase in the carpet area which amount to about 4% of the overall area.

h) USAGE OF INDUSTRIAL WASTE AND ELIMINATE SITE DERBIES

GFRG Technology uses fertiliser industry waste which is abundantly available .The system is very easy to erect and can be done effectively and fast with the help of experienced people. It can eliminate lot of wastages accumulating at site.

i) OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR USING GFRG

GFRG panels can be used without filling for single storied houses . For G+1 houses and above it is safer to fill concrete in one out of three cavities with embedded rebar . Multi storied houses can be constructed upto 10 floors as load bearing walls. For multi storied building we can even go with a conventional beam column structure with slabs and walls of GFRG . The system has to be designed accordingly.

GFRG panels can be utilised for the construction of staircase waist slabs. All the top flanges of panels shall be cut open and concreted with reinforcement. Steps for the stair can be done with any building material.

DISADVANTAGES OF GFRG PANELS

The panels have to be handled with extreme care and specific machinery is needed for their erection. Spaces have to be allocated for crane movement all around the building.

The panels cant be used for walls with circular or higher curvature.

The panels need to be neatly stacked in order to avoid breakage and scratches.

The clear span is limited to 5m in the case of residential buildings.

A specially skilled team is required for erection and supervision. The panels are cut as per requirement and transported to the site and hence onsite changes are difficult.

Typical design has to be followed in all floors.

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MICROPILES – TYPES,ADVANTAGES,INSTALLATION METHOD

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INTRODUCTION TO MICROPILES

Micropiles are introduced as an efficient and cost-effective alternative to conventional pile foundations. Micropiles possess the capability to withstand heavy loads and can be installed with compact and sophisticated machinery using cutting edge technology. The main advantage of a micropile is its ability to work in very congested and low height areas and on any soil surface irrespective of its type. Micropiles are best suited for piling, retrofitting & underpinning works, slope protection, soil stabilisation, etc. Another important feature of micropile is their ability to work with minimum disturbance to the existing structures and people around the area. Micro piles provide a very reliable and cost-effective alternate which is becoming an inevitable part of urbanisation.

ALSO READ : PILE FOUNDATIONS, CLASSIFICATIONS OF PILE FOUNDATIONS

WHAT IS A MICROPILE?

Micropiles are bored /drilled cast in place friction piles whose diameter ranges from 50 mm to 300 mm. The drilled / bored holes are grouted with cement after placing the reinforcement bars. Micropiles can withstand axial loads, lateral loads, or both and can negotiate loads ranging between 3T to 300T and more. Micro piles are also known as mini piles, pin piles, root piles, etc based on their applications. The micropiles can penetrate any obstructions that can sometimes cause premature refusal while installing using conventional piling methods.

COMPONENTS OF A MICRO PILE

TYPICAL SECTION

The figure represents a typical section of a micropile resting on a hard soil/ rock strata. The steel casing is restricted to the compressive strata and extends a bit into the hard strata for some anchorage. The surface area of contact between the ground and the concrete below the casing is known as bearing stratum.

REINFORCEMENT

The reinforcement used in micropiles are divided into four categories

a) Standard rebar cage with centraliser
b) API pipe system 
c) Solid threaded rebars with or with out pipe casing
d) Hollow bar or Drill hollow bar system

a) STANDARD REBAR CAGE

The rebar cage is the same as the cage used in conventional piling. Threaded couplers are used to join the bars together with staggered joints. A centraliser (as per fig) is used for positioning the rebar cage inside the bore.

b) API PIPE SYSTEM

API pipes (American petroleum Institute pipes ) are high-grade pipes having a diameter of 5 inches to 11 inches. These pipes are joined using high strength machined flush type joint threads. Both inside and outside of the API pipes shall be grouted with or without placing rebar. Centrally reinforcing type of solid threaded or standard rebar type (ref fig) can be used as rebar. API PIPE SYSTEMS are recommended for compression piles to maintain their lateral stability.

c) THREADED SOLID REBAR SYSTEM

Threaded solid rebar can be used alongside permanent/temporary casings and with API pipe as central reinforcements. Solid threaded rebar constitutes a full threaded high strength bar that can be cut and jointed as per requirements. These bars not only functions to produce full tension and compression capacity but also enhances much-needed bonding with the grout.

d) HOLLOW THREADED BAR OR DRILL HOLLOW BAR SYSTEM

The hollow threaded rebar system is also known as a self-drilling hollow bar system. In this system, the hollow bar can function as a sacrificial drill bit which gets converted to a central reinforcement and can also be used to flush out the debris. This system can eliminate predrilling, frequent removal of pipes and drills, etc and can handle any condition relating to the installation of micropiles. On completing the final stage of drilling, the cement mortar is injected into the hollow core of the drill bit by an injection adaptor (ref fig) mounted with the drilling unit. The grout flushing simultaneously serves in stabilising the borehole and filling the area.

DRILLING METHODS ADOPTED FOR MICRO PILES

The installation process of micro piles involves drilling or driving a bore through soils, rocks, overburden, etc. The most common methods adopted for drilling are:

Percussive Drilling used with a driving point/drill at the bottom of the permanent casing is defined as displacement method whereas when air is used as a flushing medium it is defined as a non-displacement method.

Rotary drilling uses air or water as a flushing medium for removing the drilled materials from the drill hole. The air jet or water pumped through the drilling system exit at the drill bit end flushing out the cuttings.

GROUTING METHODS ADOPTED IN MICRO PILES

Grouts used for micropiles constitute a mixture of cement and water. Sand can also be added as per design requirements to reduce the overall cost. The micro piles are divided into four types based on the method of grouting

a) TYPE A MICROPILES

Type A micropiles use tremie grouting and through gravity head. The grouting is started from the bottom and follows a similar tremie grouting procedure followed in conventional piles.

b) TYPE B MICROPILES

After performing the initial tremie grouting, a pressure grouting is followed simultaneously with the lifting of the casing from the bond zone. The second stage pressure grouting is done through a preinstalled tube. Second stage grouting serves in enhancing grout soil bonding. The grouting will be done up to the bearing stratum and can be extended to the full length of the pile if required.

c) TYPE C MICROPILES

In these types of piles, pressure grouting is followed by tremie grouting. On completion of pressure grouting, a global injection grouting is performed through a pre-installed sleeve port pipe. This grouting shall be done before the hardening of primary tremie grout.

d) TYPE D MICROPILES

This method is similar to Type C . In this method primary grout is done under pressure and after hardening secondary grout is done through installed sleeve ports. Packers are also provided for multiple injections.

METHODOLOGY OF MICRO PILES

a) Drilling shall be commenced using a rotary rig or Rotary percussive drilling machine with casing attached to the drill bit and simultaneously pushed with the drill bit.

b) On reaching the founding level the drill bit is removed with casing left in the borehole.

c) Place reinforcement with centraliser in the borehole and followed by tremie grout with cement water mix.

d) The tremie grouting will be followed by a pressure grouting through preinstalled grouting tubes with simultaneously lifting of the casing.

e)The casing lifting to be done up to the compressive soil level with adequate bearing to the hard strata. (ref.fig) Complete pressure grouting of the bearing stratum area.

WHY MICRO PILE IS PREFERRED AGAINST CONVENTIONAL PILE?

a) Micropiles can be engaged in any challenging conditions involving soil and rock..

b) Micropiles can be customised and applied for difficult terrains and applications. The applications can either be in the form of new loads being added to an existing structure, for arresting structural settlement, for resisting uplift and dynamic loads, for seismic retrofits or works involving underpinning and slope stabilisation.

b) Micropiles are used for rehabilitation projects as well as new constructions in difficult and access constraint terrains and settlement prone locations. For rehabilitation works in congested and low headroom height basements, micropiles prove to be a preferred option.

c) Micropiles penetrate any surface and can be installed even through an existing foundation making it one of the best possible solutions for foundation rehabilitation and strengthening works.

d) Micro piles can be used for slope stabilisation, embankment stabilisation, and other soil improvement and ground improvement works.

e)Micro piles can be used in areas where water table is high, urban back fills, areas having floating boulders or other difficult terrains that can’t even be accessed with a conventional pile.

d) Used extensively in the rehabilitation of monuments, old structures, sinking structures etc in all parts of the world.

Conculsion.

Micropiles are emerging as a perfect cost-effective option without any alternatives. Because of its design flexibility and wide range of applications micropiles are gradually entering into urban destiny.

COVID- 19 and the fate of CONSTRUCTION SECTOR!!

When the little kiddo was caged out from her mother’s care to explore the widened garden in the lobby of the home, she yelled in the curious voice “mummy, see the Corona flower, it even got kids with it!”
“That’s football flower baby!”

While all of us are living with the humming and chanting of the notorious COVID-19, it’s high time we spoke about its impact on the lifeline of the world, Construction and civil engineering.

Let’s look at the important aspects to reboot ourselves to face the situation gracefully.

  1. Economic uncertainty

Being the second largest provider of blue and white collar jobs, construction sector is the industry that has the worst impact from COVID- 19, after agriculture. According to the COVID- 19 impact and Implementation survey 2020 of ASCE, as of May 26, half of the responding organizations have experienced corona virus related delays in receiving materials from suppliers owing to the disruption in the global supply chains. It’s alarming to note that two large airlines, Delta and United, announced plans to reduce capital investment by $2 billion each as a result of the pandemic’s economic impact.

These shed light into the fact that companies are revising their plans about their capital investment and they are focusing on implementing cost cutting measures into the form of layoffs, increase in working hours which is about a tiresome 12 hours a day and pay cuts.

In the light of the gruesome provisions, government has issued a number of notices and instructions to companies in India not to deduct workers ‘ wages or to refrain from lay-offs or withdrawals during the lock-down period. But we know how unsure when the lock down extension is uncertain.

So how are you going to tackle these?

If a tiny virus that can’t even be seen by eyes can transform the entire universe in its working, then our brains should be given a chance to prove its part. By doing the calculations with investment reduction and changing the business plan and strategies accordingly, we can be robustly prepared to confront that.

Pro-tip:  You should also bear in mind the scope of the business insurance policies and if you deserve it, you should get yourself to claim it!

  1.  Managing remote work force

This aspect could be a phoenix to rise from all that hinders you from visiting the construction site.  But remember we have comprehensive software tools and technical support systems. Let the building site be anywhere in the world. You can use 360 cameras to digitally capture site conditions. This effectively creates a street view of your construction site. All that is required is a mechanism to carry out the survey, so all stakeholders will have access to the site tour staying at home itself. Also, the advent of robotics which offers wide possibilities in  3D printing a building, brick laying and masonry,can even change the fate of the sector. They’re all an asset to the future. Only that, thanks to Corona, it all happened in the blink of an eye.


   3.  Overall management of safety requirements / regulation

Employee safety is of paramount importance no matter the company’s business status. They should be provided with mandatory safety equipment in good time and should be treated gently to make them comfortable amid the prevailing pandemic. Major government instructions must be strictly applied to construction sites and offices which include:

1. Keeping a safe distance between workers

2. Mandatory hand washing for at least 20 seconds before work begins, after workers remove gloves, before and after the use of shared items such as tools, before and after any restroom breaks, and after shifts end.

3.Temperature checks when the workers arrive on site and when they leave for home

4. Limiting crossover of subcontractors

  1.  Customers going out of business

The sustaining epidemic conditions can change the mind of your customer anytime. So you better keep in touch with them through the virtual communications and strengthen the bond by testifying other customer’s success with your service.

  1.  Employee morale

It’s not at all worth a big bet that employee morale is directly connected to their productivity. Construction economists say construction loses 975,000 Jobs in April, Because of COVID-19 Impacts. The results of the April 9 survey of ASCE showed a similar statistics. One-quarter of the organizations have furloughed/ laid off/ terminated employees since March 1, 2020. These statistics tell us that boss to the caregiver is a must-have shift in this intense time. There’s no better feeling than that when you feel your job is secure.

6.  Troubles in contract period

The reports say that two-thirds of the responding organizations have experienced cancellation or delay of contracts. One out of seven organizations are facing potential contract penalties due to project delays. It implies that you should be well versed in our law to keep your client in peace.

The extra bout: Section 55 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 (‘Contract Act’) provides for the effect of failure to meet the specified timeline. However, the intention of the parties must be examined, not the letter of the clause.

7. Expectations from government

Though government has taken required measures, it needs to think innovatively to save the sector that has been growing tremendously and contributing considerably to the economy. Even if banks have given moratorium options, they are still adding interest for the months we are not paying. Banks can avoid charging interest for these months when we are not able to pay EMIs. Also, some exemptions in GST will be a great relief. There shall be measures to mitigate impact on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) workforce, defer utility and social security payments, enhance access to credit and specific measures for self-employed. There is no better time to usher the commitment and care of the government to the people of the country.

8.  Work from home challenges

Every difficulty is an opportunity. The pandemic era is an opportunity to improve digital infrastructure, communication skills, automation and mechanized construction methods that can potentially replace manual intensive labour by machinery. Moving away from the difficulties, you’d better make it a rocking platform to improve all these things about your company.

9. Work- life balance

Suddenly, when your home desk says hi and your office desk misses you, it’s not easy to work normally and then move on to your personal life all of a sudden. A thick line is always to be drawn. A dedicated workspace and schedule can make a perfect balance.

IN NUTSHELL:

  • Being the second largest provider of blue and white collar jobs, construction sector is the industry that has the worst impact from COVID- 19, after agriculture.
  • Companies are revising their plans about their capital investment and they are focusing on implementing cost cutting measures into the form of layoffs, increase in working hours which is about a tiresome 12 hours a day and pay cuts.
  • The pandemic era is an opportunity to improve digital infrastructure, communication skills, automation and mechanized construction techniques.
  • By embedding navel technologies like 360 cameras, robotic assistance for brick laying , masonry and virtual communication systems, the challenges can be confronted gracefully.
  • Boss to the caregiver is a must-have shift in this intense time. There’s no better feeling than that when you feel your job is secure. Also employee safety is of paramount importance no matter the company’s business status. 
  • One out of seven organizations are facing potential contract penalties due to project delays. But section 55 of the Indian Contract Act clearly states the relaxations during unpredictable situations.
  • There shall be measures to mitigate impact on micro, small and medium enterprises workforce, defer utility and social security payments, enhance access to credit and specific measures for self-employed. Some exemptions in GST will be a great relief.

Bonus: Which the following do you find an advantage of COVID- 19, that helped the growth of your company/your work life?

1. It led digital transformation of your company

2. It helped you show gratitude and care to your employees

3. It helped you to explore the world of productivity

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Pile foundations- Types and Advantages.

WHAT IS A DEEP FOUNDATION

The foundations having the depth more than the width are called deep foundations. Deep foundations are proposed when the sub soil strata lacks the safe bearing capacity to handle the loads induced by the structure. In such a case the founding level of the foundations are moved to a deeper area with required bearing capacity. The loads on the structure are transferred vertically into the ground.

TYPES OF DEEP FOUNDATIONS

  • a) PILE FOUNDATION
  • b) PIER FOUNDATION
  • C) CAISSON OR WELL FOUNDATION

PILE FOUNDATION

Pile foundations are long slender members, which can be concrete, steel or any other material used for transferring the loads of a structure when the subsoil lacks the bearing capacity . The pile foundations transfer the load vertically through the less denser top layer to a high denser soil/rock layer which can negotiate the loads without failure.

CHOICE OF PILE FOUNDATION

Pile foundations are preferred

a) When the groundwater table is very high and other types of open foundations require huge dewatering by well point or deep bore well method which turns out to be quite expensive and not feasible.

b) When heavy and non uniform distribution of loads from the superstructure which causes unequal settlements in open foundations.

c) When the low soil bearing capacity and site conditions tends to make the design of shallow foundations very conservative and uneconomical.

d) When the settlement of soil exceeds the permissible limit while designing a shallow foundation.

e) When the chances of soil washing or scouring away from the foundation sides may happen due to the presence of any underground systems , river or canal nearby.

f) When any type of soil excavation is impossible due to very poor soil strata .

CLASSIFICATION OF PILES BASED ON FUNCTION/LOAD TRANSFER

  • a) END BEARING PILES
  • b) FRICTION PILES
  • c) FRICTION CUM BEARING PILES
  • d) BATTER PILE
  • e) ANCHOR PILE
  • f) SHEET PILE
FIG 2 END BEARING, FRICTION & END BEARING CUM FRICTION PILES

END BEARING PILES

A bearing pile is a slender member/ column which transmits vertically all loads coming from the super structure. It is transmitted through a lower density weak layer of soil to a denser strata much below the ground which is capable of negotiating the loads. The pile acts as a column member which transfers the loads to the bearing strata.

FRICTION PILES

This type of pile is used when a suitable strata for  negotiating the loads are available at a very deeper area and  taking piles to that  depth is not economically feasible. Friction piles  utilises the shear stresses/skin friction along the surface of the pile.  The load transfer is done through the frictional resistance between the pile surface and the surrounding soil. The total surface area of the pile is involved in the load transfer process. Greater the embedded length more is the load carrying capacity of the pile. Load carrying capacity of pile is directly proportional to its length.

FRICTION CUM END BEARING PILES

These type of piles  negotiate the loads through the combined action of end bearing and skin friction . In this case the piles can be terminated in a medium or stiff clay rather than resting on a hard strata. These types of piles are preferred and considered economical hence it is the most commonly used type of pile foundation.

CLASSIFICATION BASED ON CONSTRUCTION METHODS

The execution of piling is done in two methods

  • a) DRIVEN OR DISPLACEMENT METHOD
  • b) BORED OR REPLACEMENT METHOD

DRIVEN OR DISPLACEMENT PILES

In this method the piles are driven into the soil/sand which causes lateral displacement of soil and hence it is called displacement piles. Displacement piles are basically designed to be installed without removal of soil. Special equipment are used to drive the piles and displace soil laterally. Depending on situations these types of piles are preferred over bored piles.

ALSO READ : METHODOLOGY OF DRIVEN PILE WITH VIDEOS (COMING SOON)

BORED OR REPLACEMENT PILES

In this type of foundation bores of required diameter is made and are filled using RCC. It can be a cased or uncased types depending on the collapsible nature of the soil.

ALSO READ : METHODOLOGY OF BORED PILE WITH VIDEOS (COMING SOON)

CLASSIFICATION BASED ON MATERIALS

  • a) TIMBER PILES
  • b) STEEL
  • c) CONCRETE
  • d) COMPOSITE PILES

TIMBER PILES

The timber piles are sharpened logs obtained from trees like sal, teak, deodar, babul, etc. These piles are used in water and can resist sea water better than other piles. These piles are basically friction piles and are driven into the ground. The timber pile length varies from 20-25 mtr and is designed for a load of around 20 t.

Advantages of timber piles

a) Timber piles are available in varied sizes and is cheaper than any other type of piles.

b) It is easy to install and can be cut into any size as per the requirements.

c) Timber piles is more reliable in marine works.

d) Timber piles doesn’t decay even when submerged in water for a prolonged time.

Disadvantages of timber piles

a) It is difficult to get Straight and long timber piles.

b) Timber piles may not pass through all strata. It is difficult to drive piles in hard and dense strata.

c) Timber piles can be used only as friction piles and not as end bearing piles. Splicing of a timber pile is difficult.

d) As a prevention against possible decay timber piles has to be treated with preservatives.

STEEL PILES

Steel piles may be of H-section or hollow pipe (Fig) . They can be used for an optimum length of 20-40 mtr. The size can be upto 600 mm dia pipes and can also done using HP sections having the same flange and web width as shown in the fig. These piles are mostly designed as end bearing piles . These piles are driven as open ended or closed ended . The closed ended pile shall be filled with concrete.

Advantages of steel piles

Steel piles are very easy to install. Due to their less cross sectional area it can penetrate through any type of soil layer with minimal soil displacement.

Splicing of steel piles are easy and it can go to any depth compared to other type of piles.

The penetrating properties of steel piles helps to go deep and hence can carry more loads than other pile types.

Disadvantages of steel piles

Steel piles are corrosion prone and has to be coated with anticorossive coatings before driving.

While encountered with a hard strata the H sections tends to deform or sometimes the verticality of pile is lost while driving.

The steel piles are very expensive.

CONCRETE PILES

Concrete is the most common material used for construction of piles due to their design flexibility and ease of execution. Concrete piles are normally used in the following categories.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONCRETE PILES

  • a) PRECAST CONCRETE PILE
  • b) PRESTRESSED CONCRETE PILE
  • c) CAST IN SITU
  • d) COMPOSITE PILE

PRECAST CONCRETE PILE

Precast pile uses conventional RCC. Piles are casted in a fabrication yard and conveyed to the location for erection . Precast pile are either square or round . The rectangle or square shaped piles are casted in a horizontal fabrication bed and round pile is casted vertically. Precast piles are designed to take care of the loads/stresses developing while lifting, conveying and driving.

PRESTRESSED CONCRETE PILE

Prestressed concrete pile is preferred when the sizes of the precast piles go beyond a certain limit. Prestressing can optimise the pile size drastically making it very easy to lift ,convey and erect. Prestressing is done by stretching the tendons and pouring concrete keeping the tendons in a stretched position. Once the concrete develops full strength the tendons are released . The released tendons in the process of regaining its shape induces compressive stresses in the member.

Prestressing convert the pile into a high load carrying member which can resisting the stresses. due to the impact loads generated on driving, the uplift forces and the combined moments. These piles can be used for an optimum design depth of 25-35 mtrs.

CAST IN SITU CONCRETE PILES

Cast in situ piles are constructed by drilling a bore hole to the required level and filling it with Reinforced cement concrete. The bore hole can be formed by excavating ground with the help of a rotary drilling equipment or hydraulic rigs. Casings are driven into the bores locations before drilling . The casing will be removed gradually during concreting process or sometimes left in the bore as a permanent casing

Advantages of Cast-in-Place Concrete Piles

Cast in situ piles are very flexible and the process of execution is easier compared to driven piles and other type of piles.

The reinforcement cages are light weight and easy to handle. The rebar cages are fabricated with the help of simple and conventional tools.

No chances of breakage during installation stage .

If there is some issue with the pile that prompts the customer to abandon, additional substitution piles can be done.

Disadvantages of Cast-in-situ Concrete Piles

a) Installation requires careful supervision and quality control. Because once a pile gets abandoned executing a replacement pile is expensive and time consuming.

b) Cast in situ piles generate a lot of pile muck ( mix of bentonite and soil). The pile muck has to be removed and disposed as per environmental policy . The pile head chipping also generates lot of concrete waste which has to be disposed.

c) Requires space for movement of Rigs, cranes, stocking of materials and bentonite tank.

d) Under water flow can collapse the piles.

e) Concrete quality cannot be visualised. Hence health assessment tests like pile integrity test are to be conducted to confirm the pile integrity.

COMPOSITE PILES

A composite pile is made up of two or more sections of different materials or different pile types. The top portion shall be casted using concrete and the other portions shall be of steel or timber. These type of piles are used in special applications

ALSO READ

DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEEP FOUNDATIONS (coming soon)

SHEET PILING (coming soon)

epoxy floor ,types of epoxy floor.

INTRODUCTION

Epoxy is a system based on a combination of RESINS & HARDENERS. On mixing ,the resins and hardeners chemically react to form a homogeneous rigid plastic material. The final product has good adhesive properties to bond well irrespective of the surface where it is applied. Epoxy floors are very strong , abrasion resistant and inert and can resist heavy traffic . The reason for this, is that epoxy flooring proves to last many years, and offers a durable, smooth, easy to clean, water impermeable and high-performance floor surface that is able to resist heavy loads.That is why epoxy floor is used in industrial facilities , sports complex, hospitals ,commercial areas etc.

THE TYPES OF EPOXY FLOORING

A ) SELF LEVELLING EPOXY

Self-levelling epoxy is applied over new, old, cracked, or damaged concrete floors to create a smooth, durable, and a levelled texture on the surface of the floor. Self-levelling epoxy floors comes with different colours and it can be used in commercial, industrial, and residential spaces. Upon application the epoxy resin coating forms a smooth and level texture on the surface of the floor .The resin has a tendency to “self-level” unlike applying the coating with a roller. The self levelling epoxy shall be used as flooring and floor coatings.

EPOXY MORTAR FLOORS

This flooring option is the most stringent epoxy floor system available for use. This epoxy floor is made up of 100% solid epoxies and graded or quartz sand. Mortar systems are ideal for floors that has to be highly chemically-resistant and has to negotiate a great deal of impact. This epoxy mortar can also be used to repair cracks and level a pitted floor prior to the application of self levelling epoxy floorings.

QUARTZ FILLED EPOXY FLOORS

Quartz epoxy flooring is a combination of a high-performance epoxy polymer resin and stained quartz grains. Normally 150 micron to 2 mm quartz sand is used in this type of flooring. This epoxy is used for decorative spaces that require sanitary and slip-resistant properties.

ANTISTATIC EPOXY FLOORS (ESD FLOORS)

This is also called ESD floorings (Electro static Dissipate). For taking care of static hazards anti-static epoxy floors are applied.This epoxy floor typically holds a conductive compound that accumulates static electricity that dissipates any potential discharge. An anti-static solution is a highly recommended epoxy floor for spaces that contain flammable materials. This type of flooring is commonly used in electronic, chemical, or pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, healthcare facilities, or any spaces that use flammable gases or liquids that bring a risk of combustible dust buildup.

EPOXY FLAKE FLOORS

This type of epoxy floor contains colored flake materials that are inserted in the epoxy to create a vibrant, multi-hued look. The flakes not only offer a seamless look but also provides each surface with subtle grooves to reduce any slips and falls. Epoxy flake floors come in an infinite variety of sizes, colors, styles, and textures that is customizable for any space. and used in sports venues , showrooms etc.

COMING UP

EPOXY FLOORING AND EPOXY COATING A COMPARISON




METAL FALSE CEILING-TYPES, CLIP in and lay in tiles

WHAT IS A METAL FALSE CEILING?

A false ceiling that uses metals either in the form GALVANISED IRON, STEEL OR ALUMINIUM is called metal false ceiling. Metal false ceilings are hard and durable and very easy to install. The ceilings are plank type (linear pattern) or grid type. These ceiling tiles can be removed and refixed easily after maintenance .These ceilings are economical and maintenance is very low.The self life of the metal ceilings are high compared with other false ceilings.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPE OF METAL FALSE CEILINGS?

a) Metal ceiling lay in type

b) Metal ceiling clip in type

c) Metal ceiling plank type

d) Open cell type

c) linear pattern C shape, U shape, R shape panels, 150 F panels

 d) customise ceiling panels.

e) plain & perforated patterns

The thickness of a metal false ceiling mostly ranges from 0.4 mm to 1 mm. Thickness more than 1 mm is also available . The metal false ceiling is available in GALVANISED IRON , ALUMINIUM & STEEL types and the surface coating shall powder coated type which is used in aluminium and coil coated type used in steel false ceilings. The tiles used for metal false ceiling shall be square type or plank type or perforated type.

Following are the commonly used types of metal false ceiling.

METAL CEILING WITH LAY IN TILE

In these type of ceilings the tiles are laid over a T grid (as shown in fig) which is hanged to the ceiling using hangers/ wires 3 to 4 mm thick. The tiles used can either be plain type or perforated type. The size of grids normally used shall be 600×600 mm. In this type of false ceiling the grids are exposed and can be seen from outside. Tiles are simply placed on a T-shaped runner (ref fig), generally between 10 and 25mm, and can be easily installed and can be demounted as individual tiles during maintenance of services like AC, fire fighting,electrical etc.


This ceiling system comprises of Galvanized steel /Aluminium lay in tiles ( 600 mm x 600 mm) are manufactured out of 0.50-1 mm thick polyester coil coated steel 120 gsm zinc coating or powder coated with 50 microns polyester paint. Aluminium tiles are manufactured out of 0.70mm – 1 mm thick aluminium sheets and are powder coated using polyester paint 50 micron thick. The lay in tiles used can be plain tiles or perforated tiles. The perforations depend on the client requirement and manufacturer specifications.

Advantages of lay in tile
Lay-in tiles are easy to remove and flexible for services related to electrical, fire ,plumbing and air conditioning facilities concealed in the false ceiling etc. They are also the easiest to move around when renovating and shifting office spaces.Installation and maintenance is very easy.The tile can be removed and remounted without any skilled assistance.The material is very durable and moisture and fire resistant.

METAL CEILING WITH CLIP IN TILES

In the clip-in system, ceiling tiles clip into the suspended runner. Due to their washability clip-in tiles see consistent use in industrial and commercial uses. Ceiling tiles clip on to the suspended grid and therefore conceal the grid from view. Manufacturers have their own unique clip-in systems that match their boards but generally they all consist of a spring tee runner from which boards clip on to.

This ceiling system comprises of Galvanized steel /Aluminium lay in tiles ( 600 mm x 600 mm) are manufactured out of 0.50/1mm mm thick polyester coil coated steel 120 gsm zinc coating or powder coated with 50 microns polyester paint. Aluminium tiles are manufactured out of 0.70mm-1 mm thick aluminium sheets with powder coated 50 microns polyester paint. The CLIP IN TILES used can be plain tiles or perforated tiles. The perforations depend on the client requirement and manufacturer specifications.

Quality Tests on Concrete-Slump test

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY CONCRETE?

Concrete is a composite material, which is produced from a mixture of cement, aggregates (coarse & fine), water and sometimes admixtures in required proportions. These mixture consolidates in course of time to form a dense mass called concrete.

INGREDIENTS OF CONCRETE

a) CEMENT

b) COARSE AGGREGATE

c) FINE AGGREGATE

d) WATER

e) ADMIXTURE

f ) AIR

WHY QUALITY CONTROL OF CONCRETE IS IMPORTANT ?

Concrete is designed for a particular strength and the total structural stability is dependent on a good quality concrete. and that is why quality control is one of the most important aspects taken into account during the production of concrete . A little variation in water to cement ratio, ingredient proportioning, increase in slump etc will have a major impact on the desired strength of the structure which in turn affects the structural stability.

The quality control of concrete is done in three stages

a) Production stage ( On fresh concrete before placing)

b) Hardened stage ( hardened concrete specimens)

c) On structures ( tests done on the structures )

TESTS TO BE DONE ON FRESH CONCRETE

a) SLUMP TEST

b) Compaction Factor test

c) Vee- Bee Test

d) k slump test

e) Kelly ball test

f ) Flow table test

TESTS TO BE DONE ON HARDENED CONCRETE

a) COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH TEST (CUBE TEST)

b) WATER PERMEABILITY TEST

c) WATER ABSORPTION TEST

NON DESTRUCTIVE TESTS ON STRUCTURES

a) REBOUND HAMMER

b) UPV TEST

CONCRETE CORE TEST

SLUMP TEST

WHAT IS A SLUMP TEST?

Slump cone test is to determine the workability or consistency of a concrete mix prepared at the laboratory . Slump test shall be done on fresh concrete immediately after production at the batching plant to ensure the workability is in line with the design mix requirements and also at the pour point immediately after releasing from the transit mixture.

HOW DO YOU DO A SLUMP TEST (AS PER IS 1199:1959 REAFFIRMED 2013)

The nominal size of the aggregate shall be less than 38 mm . The cone has 20cm bottom diameter and 10 cm top diameter. The height of the cone is 30 mm. It consists of a 16 mm tamping rod having a length of 600 mm

The mould shall be filled in four layers, each approximately one-quarter of the height of the mould. Each layer shall be tamped with twenty-five strokes of the rounded end of the tamping rod. The cone is removed gently and the decrease in the height of concrete is the slump of concrete.

The slump tolerance shall be +/- 25 mm . If a design mix recommends a slump of 100 mm it cant go beyond 125 mm and go below 75 mm.

Also read

COMPACTION FACTOR TEST

READY MIX CONCRETE-OVERVIEW

READY MIX CONCRETE (RMC)

Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world. Concrete is perfectly inert, and has exceptional durability without the need for special maintenance.Concrete is basically a mixture of Portland Cement, water and aggregates comprising sand and gravel or crushed stone. In traditional construction sites, each of these materials is procured separately and mixed in specified proportions at site to make concrete.
Ready mix concrete refers to a concrete manufactured from a batching plant according to customer/clients requirements & approved Design Mix and conveyed to the site in a ready to use condition. The concrete is conveyed through transit mixers of capacity ranging from 3 cum to 10 cum and more. 6 cum trucks are most commonly used. Batching plants are available in a wide range of capacities and types. ranging from 10 cum per hour to 125 cum/hr and some manufactures have much higher capacity plants.Most commonly used capacities are 30 cum, and 60 cum.

MAJOR CONSUMERS OF READY MIX CONCRETE

a) BIG CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES

They have there own batching plant set up along with expertise for installation, operation and maintaining it. These are used for there own use in construction sites depending on the feasibility in terms of space,quantity and economy.These plants are site specific and no commercial selling may not be permitted.

b) COMMERCIAL RMC SUPPLIERS

They setup there own plant in a specified location with all arrangements for stocking raw materials and commercially manufacture the materials as per customer/ client requirements.

COMMON METHODS USED FOR CONVEYING RMC

a) Transit mixed or truck mixed concrete

b) Shrink mixed concrete

c) Central mixed concrete.

a) Transit mixed concrete

The materials are batched at a central plant and are thoroughly mixed in the truck in transition. Transit-mixing separate water from the cement and aggregates and allows the concrete to be mixed instantly before using at the job site, Frequently partial mixing happens in transit and remaining mixing shall be done at site just before casting. This avoids slump loss, segregation, premature hardening, delays due to traffic jams, pouring delays due to equipment failure etc. The main disadvantage is the truck capacity is less compared to the one carrying fully mixed RMC.

b) Shrink mixed concrete

In shrink-mixed concrete, concrete is partially mixed at the plant to reduce or shrink the volume of the mixture and mixing is completed in transit or at the jobsite. The disadvantage is that concrete that has been remixed tends to set more rapidly than concrete mixed only once.

c) Central mixed concrete

The concrete is batched and completely mixed in a stationary mixer at the plant site before discharging it into the truck mixers. This can enhance the quality of concrete and cater higher production requirements.

HOW RMC IS MANUFACTURED

Ready mix concrete is manufactured from a centralised plant having facilities for storage of raw materials, Lab for inspection of raw material quality and concrete quality, having a series of batching plant/plants of different capacities etc.

The raw materials are checked to ensure compliance with relevant Indian standards so that there shall no be any quality issues to the end product. The raw materials are stored in separate areas on a firm ground. The RMC plant uses there In house design mixes most to the time. Customisation can also be done with the help of quality engineers. The design mixes are done in a way to give maximum quality with economy.

The running time, distance covered, initial settling time, slump etc are controlled using addition of special admixtures(mineral and chemical) etc without hampering the concrete strength. RMC is a totally controlled concrete having high work efficiency.

The raw materials stored shall be conveyed to the mixing drum using conveyor belts or bucket elevator. Cement is stored in silos also are conveyed using screw conveyors attached to the batching plants.

VIDEO SHOWING THE MIXING METHOD OF RMC

Once  the weight of all material types meets the needs of specific amounts,  the door of the weighing hopper is opened automatically. The materials  will then be mixed by a concrete mixer. Once the setting time is over,  the loading door of the concrete mixer opens and the concrete flows into  a transit mixer.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF READ MIX CONCRETE

a) Uses the updated technology in proportioning, mixing and conveying and hence RMC plants can maintain excellent quality.

b) Transportation and placing is very easy. Once the concrete transit mixers reaches site concrete placing can commence immediately through concrete pumps, concrete buckets or boom placers.

c) As the concrete production and mixing is done in another place the site will be free form noise and dust pollution and free from raw material and cement trucks.

d) By using RMC the construction speed can be enhanced and schedule delays can be avoided upto an extent.

c) The concrete produced from RMC plants can be customised as per the client/ customer requirements.

d) RMC plants are a great relief when the site do not have sufficient spaces for stocking of raw materials and locating a batching plant with its raw material bins. RMC plants can cater any quantity of concrete starting from small residences to big construction sites.

e) Onsite wastage of raw materials and concrete can be eliminated by using Ready mix concrete.

d) Labour required for production of concrete and manpower for operation and running of batching plant & its associated machinery can be eliminated .

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF RMC

a) Requires huge investment to set an RMC plant.

b) Labour force shall be ready to place the concrete as and when it comes

c) Unforeseen delays and traffic jam leads to concrete rejection.

d) A very efficient and effective transporting system has to be maintained.

e) Quality has to be checked at site as per is standards on fresh concrete and also on hardened specimen.

f) Very effective quality system to be maintained for adjusting the setting time and slump according to the time of transit.

g) For residential construction the customer may not get a better idea of the quality of concrete due to lack of site testing facilities.

h) There are problems due to discrepancies in quantities which cant be convinced properly to the RMC vendors.

green walls/living walls – types – Advantages

INTRODUCTION

Green walls are independent vertical structures or structures attached to the wall having a medium for plants built in irrigation systems. We are living in a polluted environment so it is very much advisable to keep indoor plants which purifies air and makes us free fresh and energetic. The green walls are the best option to make us feel close to nature. The concept of Green walls are getting popular nowadays. It was earlier confined to big commercial and residential establishments. Now getting into the residential atmosphere as an architectural concept detaching people from the clutches of urbanisation and taking them back to nature. Surprisingly the green walls are much more than a back to nature architectural concept.

WHAT ARE GREEN WALLS?

Green walls are made of plants that are grown in a medium and placed on horizontal walls using a framing system. The system members are assembled structurally and fixed to the wall. The system includes both automatic and manual watering facilities.

BENEFITS OF GREEN WALLS

Environmental and healing benefits

Plants naturally take in carbon dioxide and absorbs pollutants and then expel fresh, clean oxygen. Living walls or green walls make us more happier and energetic with its close to nature abilities. Green walls can lift our moods and help us to forget the feel of a busy urban atmosphere. It is a proven fact that nature can heal a lot of human behaviourism like anxiety, depression,aggression stress,mental fatigue etc . Ashrams built around the world are full of greenery which signatures them as the best destinations for controlling minds positively.

Architectural and visual appeal

The green walls are visually appealing and and gives an entirely different feel from the conventional interiors. The space looks bright, charming and pleasing due to the presence of green walls.

Energy efficiency

The outdoor green walls are considered as energy efficient as they can reduce the heat transmission to the interiors where they are exposed to sun directly. The transpiration process of plants can reduce the indoor heat to an extent and function as an energy efficient solution. Transpiration is a process in which the plants release water in the form of moisture or water vapour. Green walls also reduces the heat loss in winter seasons.

Acoustic properties

The green walls are known to have good acoustic properties. Plants can reduce noise levels. By using indoor vertical garden the high frequency noises can be absorbed.

Improving air quality

The environmental pollution is the biggest challenge we are facing now a days due to industrialisation. Being close to nature we can reverse the urbanisation effect to some extent. Apart from the action of photosynthesis plants are known to absorb poisonous gases by purifying the the air. Studies show that the green walls can reduce harmful pollutants to an extent of about 25-30 %.

Recreating eco systems.

The vertical gardens can recreate a natural ecosystem which is missing in the urban areas and serves as a natural extension of the eco-system.

Biophilic effects ( productivity increase)

Being close to plants can have a positive impact on an individual’s well being. Studies have shown that even seeing nature while working can increase job satisfaction. The installation of a green wall also makes the employees feel ease with the companies commitment in maintaining a healthy work environment. By spending about 8 -12 hours in offices people develop a lot of discomforts due to inadequate ventilation, chemical indoor pollutants etc . Green walls can reduce such discomforts to an extent.

Leeds certification

Green walls are internationally recognised green building certification (LEEDS) system to help transform the design, construction and operation of buildings. By adopting green walls LEEDS points can be gained because of its eco-sensitive and sustainable solutions in terms of water usage and environmental friendly qualities. The LEEDS certification tends to increase the property values too.
Green walls contain a large amount of plants placed horizontally in a relatively small area. This can provide the maximum benefit, as they are installed using minimal floor space.

INDOOR AND OUT DOOR GREEN WALLS

OUT DOOR GREEN WALLS

Outdoor green walls are basically visual elements and the plants chosen are in line with the climatic conditions of that particular areas. The plants have to survive even the worst climate usually prevailing in that particular area. The plants have to look excellent , can absorb rain water, insulate buildings and has to be cost effective .

INDOOR PLANTS

Unlike outdoor plants indoor plants have space restrictions , size restrictions and species restrictions . The plant choice will be limited to indoor plants with air purification abilities.This systems are suited to be fixed length wise than height wise for easy maintenance.

Hence it can be concluded that green walls are not a mere architectural concept for visual appealing , but an environmental friendly, sustainable, energy efficient, accounting option which can give mental peace, and feel the nurturing of nature.

Updates in civil engineering, architecture finishes, building construction,quality control.

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