House building is among the most common of human activity. History tells us that at the beginning of days, man used to subsist in natural caves. This was later substituted with caves curved from natural stone, owing to population growth and diminishing of these natural houses. The curved cave was also not a lasting solution as the natural stone for curving kept reducing and man needed a shelter they could easily shape to better accommodate their families as well as wares property and activities. Then came screened houses, with the screen (wall and roof) made out of natural vegetation and mud. This evolution has continued to the modern day when there more artificial materials than natural ones. Designs are more elaborate and natural hurdles have been almost always very easily overcome.
There are various distinct stages of construction of houses, and although they differ from one type of building to another, the function is almost always similar. These can be broken down into the following;
· Fabric / Frame
· Fittings and Fixtures
· External Works
Though not entirely, this categorization has been done in a logical manner, like happens during the actual process of construction. This may however be done in a different way whereby more than one activities can be done concurrently, whether starting or ending at the same time or overlapping one another. In this case, one activity starts while another is in progress. This is however not possible with all activities. A good example is foundation and fabric. As we will see, the foundation carries the fabric. In this way, the foundation has to be complete for its fabric to be assembled. Other activities must be done concurrently as they are interdependent. An example is conduiting for services like electricity and fabric construction.
This integration of different activities in the building process offers an opportunity for saving on construction time as well as avoiding incidences of repetitive work and duplication of efforts. Taking the previous example of conduiting and fabric construction, if a slab is being cast of in-situ concrete (Concrete laid in wet form on site) conduits for services are easily laid before the concrete is laid. This makes the conduits to be safely secured in place forming a neat work as opposed to running services on the surface. The alternative would be to chase (cut) channels on the concrete slab, a strenuous and dangerous task as it may weaken the slab.
In our ensuing articles, we look at each of the categories, what it entails and their roles to the finished building.
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