Construction Tips

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Construction Tips

The most crucial stage of any construction is when building plans and designs are being finalized. It's important to have a well-planned schedule for a strong construction and pay attention to detail. The best construction practices always follow proper safety measures.

FOUNDATION IN CONSTRUCTION

The most critical factor in increasing your building's strength, durability and safety is to have a strong foundation. Here are some useful points for a strong foundation:

  • Ensure soil testing is done prior to designing the building foundation.
  • The foundation should be done on firm soil and should have a minimum depth of 1.2m from the actual ground level.
  • Transferring the load safely to the ground requires attention and planning, and forms a significant part of building construction.
  • Before excavation, it's very important to mark the construction location and the foundation size as the area of foundation has a direct bearing on the load-carrying capacity of the soil.
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EARTH WORK AND LAYOUT

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The marking of boundary for digging the foundation is called a layout. Both excavation and layout should be done according to the drawing. Some useful tips are given below:

  • A proper survey is important to obtain the layout plan for the construction.
  • All trench excavation lines are to be marked with respect to the centerline of walls.
  • The excavation is to be done true to the levels, slope, shape and pattern.
  • The excavation bed should be consolidated by continuous ramming and watering. Soft or defective soil should be dug out and filled with a lean layer of concrete.
  • The sides of the excavation site should be braced with tight soaring work to avoid the sides from collapsing in the excavation area.

ANTI-TERMITE TREATMENT

Termite infestation can cause damage to the building structure and wooden materials. Here are some useful tips to keep your home termite-free:

  • The soil around the foundation area should be treated with appropriate chemicals.
  • The chemical application process should be complete and done continuously.
  • The termite treatment should be done pre-, during and post-construction stages.
  • It's important to ensure that the chemicals do not contaminate the domestic water sources.
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FORMWORK (SHUTTERING)

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While the concrete work is in progress, a temporary structure known as shuttering should be made to support the construction, and also to develop the required strength of concrete before releasing the concrete.

  • The formwork design and construction should be very rigid during placing and compaction of concrete, and preferably it should be leak-proof to prevent loss of slurry from the concrete.
  • Use of the releasing agent should have a smooth finish of the concrete.
  • The formwork should be free of foreign matter before the casting.

CONCRETE WORK

Within 30 minutes of the preparation time, the concrete mix in the proper ratio needs to be used. For best results Mixer machines are required. Water ratio in the mix needs to be proper as using more water weakens the concrete and increases the chance of cracking. Compaction is to be done with the vertical vibrator. To avoid any separation of aggregates, the concrete mix should be poured within a height of 1.5 meters maximum. To avoid water accumulation on the roof, proper leveling and slope of the roof should be maintained during the placing of concrete.

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MASONRY WORK

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The construction becomes safe when the walls are well-built, strong and sturdy. Here are some useful tips:

  • As per the engineer's guidance, bricks/blocks should be put on a full bed of properly mixed mortar.
  • The joint gaps should be fully filled with the same properly mixed mortar.
  • The block work L/H ratio should be properly maintained and the RCC band with stool columns, etc need to be collected as per IS code.
  • The brickwork should be well cured to add strength to the building.

REINFORCED CEMENT CONCRETE (RCC) WORK SHOULD BE DONE BY A FEW MEASURED STEPS

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Batching, Placing and Mixing:

For convenient batching, using wooden boxes of specific sizes will be helpful. It also helps to maintain a proper ratio of materials. For best results always use a mixer machine.

Place all the mix within 30 minutes of preparation before it starts to harden.

Use proper amounts of water to obtain the required workability. Excessive water weakens the concrete and enhances the chances of cracking.

For proper compaction, the vibrator should be used vertically; it must not be over vibrated.

Never add water during compacting.

To avoid any separation of aggregators, the concrete should be poured within a height of 1.5 meters maximum.

Proper leveling and roof slope should be maintained during the placement of concrete to avoid any accumulation of water on the roof.

Curing:

The curing process is about maintaining moisture in the concrete.

During the process, the concrete starts to harden and gets its maximum strength.

The concrete begins to dry after casting, so the curing should start within 12 to 15 hrs of the casting process. The parts exposed to the environment should get cured before they dry.

Curing is a continuous process, as per the time mentioned in BIS codes. Usually, 14 to 21 days is the ideal curing time for concrete slabs and beams.

For flat surfaces, the curing should be done in pond formation.

For columns, after the shuttering is taken away, it must be wrapped with used jute bags which must be kept wet by the continuous spraying of water at least for 3 to 4 times in a day, for 2 to 3 weeks.

Critical parameters to judge reinforcement bars:

Tensile strength as per requirement.

Consistent physical properties across the whole length of the bars.

Adequate amount of ductility.

Lower rate of impurity.

Easy to bend during fabrication.

Bonds well with concrete.

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