Questions tagged [building-design]

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31 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why dig out and then fill in before building a large structure?

I work in the middle of London, in an area full of large office blocks. Across the road from my office they have started construction of a large building (10 stories plus). Over the last few weeks, ...
AndrewD's user avatar
  • 413
14 votes
8 answers
12k views

What are those large poles for that are always in front of US stand-alone store buildings?

Screenshot of a video where they are featured in the background: They appear to have no electronics built in, such as an electric charge station, or a parking ticket dispenser or something like that....
Elijames Gosha's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
648 views

Foiling vortex traps around buildings

I have had three houses with right angles in the layout, and in each one that configuration causes vortices to form that suck in leaves, snow, and any debris blowing by and keep it in the nook of the ...
feetwet's user avatar
  • 1,757
9 votes
9 answers
9k views

Why aren't counterweights used more for garage doors?

One of my garage door torsion springs broke again. It makes me wonder why some sort of counterweight system isn't used instead. Torsion springs seem to have a 90 day warranty generally and are "...
Jason Goemaat's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
12k views

Humidity in home is much higher than outside

We have a two year-old, two-story town house with: fiberglass insulation in the walls; a Tyvek vapor barrier under foam board on the exterior walls; blown cellulose insulation in the attic; stucco ...
Todd Takala's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Design of transverse reinforcement in a wide beam

Besides satisfying nominal bar provision in the code, is there any special requirement in the provision of transverse reinforcement to ensure that the longitudinal reinforcement is fully effective in ...
Rebar Lor's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
956 views

What concerns would I need to consider for building a swimming pool of gold coins?

If I wanted to build a gold coins swimming pool [as in DuckTales], what engineering (not security) concerns would I need to address to make such a pool feasible? For example, since gold is much ...
durron597's user avatar
  • 179
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How is biaxial bending considered for reinforced masonry design?

I am faced with a problem where I have to design a reinforced masonry beam for biaxial bending. The governing code is ACI 530-11. I cannot find a provision in this Code for biaxial bending. The only ...
user32882's user avatar
  • 573
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

What's the concrete core for in a building?

I'm watching the progress of a new office building being built over the road (essentially a manual timelapse). The way the building progressed was by the pouring of a concrete core in the centre of ...
thosphor's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
1 answer
70 views

How does infill material affects the capacity of a tubular section with H-section inside?

How does one consider the moment capacity of a combined pipe plus H-section if the infill material is: Sand, friction angle 30 degree Grout, C20 Concrete, C45 Eurocode has a section on composite ...
Jennifer's user avatar
  • 271
4 votes
2 answers
555 views

Can a dry-pipe or preaction valve be used to create a branch off a wet pipe sprinkler system?

Individual-head (i.e. not deluge) sprinkler systems come in three flavors: Wet-pipe systems have water pressure at the head at all times -- they are the quickest to respond, but can't be subject to ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
245 views

What are some advantages of masonry over prefab for homebuilding, or, why are prefab homes so rare in the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom has a housing crisis (see Financial Times, Shelter, The Independent, The Telegraph) and a housing quality crisis (killing 3000–15000 per year), due to poor insulation. Cash-strapped ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 321
4 votes
1 answer
4k views

What's the difference/advantages/disadvantages to a tower with a moving jib, vs a flat jib

Apologies if I've got the terminology wrong, I'm in now way involved in engineering, but I work in a high rise in a city with a lot of construction going on. I see a lot of different types of cranes, ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 143
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Will lightning strike an aluminum rod in a pot on my balcony?

I have some tomato plants on my balcony (4th floor in a 7 story building). The balcony is a recessed one. The building has lightning protection on top. To support them, I put a 2 m long aluminum rod ...
A Zoli's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
1 answer
201 views

Why is it more common to use ceiling fans instead of air pumps?

As the title suggests, why not use high-powered air pumps instead of ceiling fans to inject hot air from the ceiling down to the cold, bottom floor? I understand it may seem silly (especially since ...
tempestwing0101's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
19k views

Water pump at top floor or bottom?

Which position of the water pump in the below diagram provide maximum water output to the overhead tank? Each floor is 12 feet in height. I already have the pump (Centrifugal Regenerative Self ...
user343272's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
84 views

Office Complex Foundations/Base Depth and Undeground Water

I have a school case study to prepare a (business) plan for office building construction with at least one level of underground parking. I have it pretty much done, but I still need to clarify one ...
NeverStopLearning's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
559 views

Gas kitchen stove in skyscrapers

I have watched a property tour around an apartment in the Steinway Tower (NY) on YouTube and I noticed one detail that bugs me, namely gas stoves. In Poland it is very uncommon for new blocks of flats ...
user1075940's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
106 views

Translating the name of a type of beam from Russian to English

I am trying to translate the name of a special kind of beam from a set of Russian-language drawings. The dictionary translates the name as simply supported beam, but it's not that simple. There is a ...
Vladimir Markiev's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
699 views

Do we need to use cracked section in Fundamental period calculation for a building?

When using modal analysis to determine the building period do we need to use the stiffness modifiers (or in another word use the cracked section) to calculate the building period ? Can Anyone refer to ...
J.Daou's user avatar
  • 503
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to estimate the required thickness of a transfer floor

I am examining a high rise building project of 30 floors with a podium underneath and 2 basements. The structure in the tower and the podium varies between flat slabs, steel structure for wide spans, ...
Menna YaQ'oub's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
14k views

What is the effective depth of a beam with two layers of tension reinforcement?

In EC2 for calculating crack width and deflection, does the effective depth d refers to the depth from compression face to centroid of the tension reinforcement or is that calculated to the centroid ...
Jennifer's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is it safe to slightly cut the edge of RCC beam for passage of AC Vent and wiring? [closed]

My electrician made a cut in the wall and the beam as in the image in my absence. The cutting is done with hammer and chisel and it is around 1.5inch deep..I'm really worried that it might impact the ...
user2523796's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
440 views

What's the purpose of these small closet-like-rooms-without-a-door?

I was recently on the UCLA campus (University of California Los Angeles) and I saw the Bunche Hall. I love the design and the architecture of the building. However I saw a little (what I would call) a ...
Fixed Point's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
184 views

Is there any way I can be sure a wall is NOT load bearing?

I've Googled the hell out of this and it doesn't seem to be, i.e. It's structured like a standard stud (not reinforced top) It doesn't run along a floor joist The uprights are pretty badly cut and ...
Ross Drew's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
2 answers
65 views

How is electrical building code defined and applied to new constructions?

A new home (completed in early 2020) in San Jose California does not have GFCI outlets in all the bathrooms. I thought this was a requirement (according to https://www.redwoodcity.org/home/...
Klik's user avatar
  • 247
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

When an elevator has two buttons next to it, ^ and v, what do they actually mean?

Both as a kid and as an adult, I've encountered elevators lined up next to each other, or single ones, which have two buttons on each floor (outside of the elevator): ...
Demonie's user avatar
  • 29
2 votes
2 answers
83 views

Can a horizontal foundation safeguard against earthquakes?

I have not taken any course in civil engineering. What I was taught was that a broad base would prevent something from toppling. So it makes me wondering instead of nailing the foundation of a ...
Chong Lip Phang's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
369 views

Concrete Slab Deformation

The concrete slab (?) supporting the swimming pool (≈ 10 x 10m x 1m) of my building has clearly a 'belly': I'm not sure whether this was built this way or evolved over time, however, my best guess is ...
Mark Messa's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
72 views

Are the design load values in this floor determination table (span chart) inclusive or exclusive of the given floor weight (inherent dead load)?

So, I have been doing research into the use of Insulated Composite Concrete Forms (ICCFs) for small-scale construction, and that has led me to looking at the Rastra ICCF system, as it has been in ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
139 views

Can a crisscrossed metallic skeleton resist earthquakes for buildings?

To follow up with my previous question on the seismic design of buildings, I would like to ask if it makes sense to support buildings with strong thick 'crisscrossed' metallic frames. I have the ...
Chong Lip Phang's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
528 views

Why rectangular windows are so common?

Most of the windows in our rooms are mostly rectangular. Why don't we chose any other shape like circle, triangle or trapezium? Does it affects airflow through room? Is the reason is that they look ...
Shreyansh Pathak's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
282 views

How are IFC file material relationships maintained across platforms

IFC files have an IFCMATERIAL property which names a material and is referenced by other components in the model. The IFC file doesn't point to a materials library, doesn't indicate a system variable ...
CBusBus's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
2 answers
94 views

How to make an Idol always strictly face the rising Sun?

I recently came to know that the Sun rises on a different place in the horizon everyday : https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/q/39670/14624 To me the change in the direction of Sun rise seems ...
happybuddha's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
321 views

What is the definition of Ecm in equation 7.10 of EC2?

In the old British standard we use a time dependent modulus of elasticity of concrete to calculate crack width, which is usually about half of the 28-day Ec for long term modulus. In Eurocode EN 1992-...
Jennifer's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
996 views

How to predict shadows of a house (3D modeling + sunlight)?

Imagine a house/building, seen from outside, at sunrise. As the the sun moves in the horizon, a) the shadow of the house is displaced/deformed, and b) some faces of the house have more/less sunlight ...
terauser's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
84 views

What would happen if the air conditioning failed in a skyscraper for an extended period?

I'm writing some fiction which involves the AC in a modern glass curtain skyscraper (50-80 floors?) in an American city failing for a period of weeks, maybe even for up to two months. Could anybody ...
Reverend Speed's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
18 views

Sun light illumination on a lower floor vs high building closely

there is an investor that wants to build very close to our building. In case we agree, the buildings will stand like on the pictures below, 3 meters apart from each other. I tried to draw them in ...
akostadinov's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
49 views

Increase in target emission rate (TER) when using a air source heat pump (ASHP) in standard assessment procedure (SAP) calculation

I am running a SAP calculation on a proposed building which will be utilising a 8.5 kW ASHP for space and water heating. I am also running a comparative analysis against a mains gas boiler to show the ...
H.B. Finn's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
150 views

Clarification of cover definition in Eqn 7.11 of EC2 for calculating crack width

In EC2 clause 7.3.4(3), cover c is defined as the cover to longitudinal reinforcement. Say for a beam with cnom of 40mm and outer links of 16mm, the cover to longitudinal reinforcement will be 56mm. ...
Jennifer's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
553 views

General formula for calculating torsional and warping constants of built-up section

In order to calculate the elastic critical moment of a laced double I-section, I need the torsional and warping constants. Is there a general formula to obtain this? BS 5950 only has formulas for ...
Jennifer's user avatar
  • 271
1 vote
4 answers
88 views

Why are there horizontal spaces in walls of many large buildings?

Many buildings, especially in the Europe, have horizontal gaps in their walls. For example, the walls of the Royal School of Mines and the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington (See attached ...
RNG's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
6k views

Is it OK for a 2 story house not have a column or pillar

sorry for my english. I was looking to buy a house. I saw some in my hometown, which is very affordable. but on a picture of the house they are selling I found on the net troubled me. no pillar/column,...
pia's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
5 answers
588 views

Reinforced concrete by steel, poor durability, why?

I've been reading up about reinforced concrete, as it is one if not the cheapest way how to build (with some solid foundation). I found out that it actually has quite poor durability (50-100 years or ...
eXPRESS's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
2 answers
334 views

What is the strongest way to fasten 8020 extrusions in this arrangement?

I am making a project using 10mm aluminum extrusions. I am trying to connect all three extrusions like the picture below shows and I am going to make my own bracket (in red) out of aluminum since the ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 255
1 vote
2 answers
336 views

Does attic insulation help cool a building?

Given that hot air rises, it's easy to understand how attic insulation can help keep a building warm; say, in the winter, for example. But when winter changes to summer, does the attic insulation help ...
Mowzer's user avatar
  • 519
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

How to calculate the square footage of a duplex building

In a college project, I was instructed to design the floor plans and the conduit layout of a duplex building. It was instructed that the duplex is 2500 square feet. No other instruction was provided. ...
Imran's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
1 answer
47 views

Torque for rotating base

I'm designing a simple robot arm but I don't know how to calculate the torque of the rotating base for the robot arm so I can choose the right gear ratio for the stepper motor that will be in the base,...
kamal MKA's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
202 views

Grade Beam vs Wooden Pile Foundation

We are in the design phase of a home at the New Jersey seashore. We are having a hard time deciding between a grade beam over pile foundation or having the home built on a regular pile foundation. The ...
Frank Pileiro's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
74 views

Horizontal "external beams" on a steep section of a roof

The pictures below are screen shots of what appears to be a barn in the Ukraine. One is a top down aerial view and the other a ground up, side view. What intrigues me is the purpose of the apparent &...
Fred's user avatar
  • 9,667