Hidden Beam

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It is also known as “Concealed Beam”.

The Hidden beam is a means to describe the load dispersion on to supporting slab.Hidden beams are generally inserted within the suspended slabs where slab thickness is considerable.

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If the cantilever beam is with a HIDDEN beam it can not act as a pure beam and will only distribute the loads over the slab area and it can not be considered as simply supported one.-In other words, “The hidden beam is not a beam and the only means to spread the concentrated load of the walls on the slab area. The Hidden beam is a virtual beam that was originated by some one to make use of the BEAM free head room.Hidden beam is provided between living and dining spaces right angle to each other. This gives a neatand level ceiling surface that is good for the look.

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Structurally it creates a spanning problem, as spans for structural support are at right angle to eachother. This means one slab structurally rests over the other.

Hidden beam between balcony and room is very common to facilitate easy inclusion of balcony into room space later.

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Construction Technical specifications

The technical specifications are the portion of the documents the layperson usually thinks of when referring to the specifications, or ‘specs’. They contain the detailed technical provisions related to installation or construction of the several portions of the work and the materials incorporated therein. The order and grouping of the technical specifications vary depending on the type of work and the organisation preparing the documents, but most such materials tend to be grouped by the general order of construction. The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) (Construction Specifications Institute, 2001) and Construction Specifications Canada (Construction Specifications Canada–Devis du Construction Canada, 2001) have developed a format for technical specifications that is especially suited to the construction of buildings, although it has been used in other types of construction, such as heavy construction. The format is based on 16 divisions, each related to a technical specialty such as concrete or electrical. The numbers assigned to each division are always used, even if a project does not use a certain division; for example, CSI Division 15 is always the mechanical specifications. Each division is subdivided into sections, which are defined for the particular project. In Figure 3.3, we show the 16 divisions, with a sampling of the kinds of section topics that might be included in a typical project.

There may be some confusion over the inclusion of general requirements (Division 1) in the technical specifications, because the totality of the documents also includes general conditions and supplementary general conditions. The distinction is that Division 1 general requirements contain technical requirements that apply generally to the project and thus to more than one of the divisions. All technical sections in the CSI format are divided into three parts, always in the same order, as follows: (1) general, covering scope, related work, testing and inspection, standards and certification; (2) products, including requirements for materials, equipment and fabrication, often including the names of allowable manufacturers; it is common practice to allow ‘or equal’ products, with the burden on the contractor to demonstrate that the product is at least equal to the named allowable products; and (3) execution,  which includes explicit workmanship standards for installation, erection and construction, required finishes, special instructions, testing requirements and closeout requirements.

While the divisions listed in Figure 3.3 can be applied to any type of construction, the breakdown is most suitable for buildings. For a highway construction project, the breakdown in Figure 3.4, as suggested by Clough and Sears (1994), might be appropriate. Another approach sometimes used in transportation construction is for the agency to publish a manual of ‘standard’ general conditions and technical specifications that could apply to any typical highway, bridge or street improvement project. Then, for a particular project, a set of ‘special provisions’ is issued that (1) amends and adds to the general conditions (as in the special conditions discussed earlier) and (2) provides technical construction details only for those provisions in the standard specifications that must be modified.

It is common practice to refer in the technical specifications to codes and standards developed by industry associations, rather than to repeat those standards in the specifications themselves. For example, a UK technical specification for concrete testing might refer to the provisions of BS EN 12350 Testing Fresh Concrete, which is a European standard test method developed by the European Committee for Standardisation and published by the British Standards Institution (British Standards Institution, 2001). If this reference is part of the concrete technical specifications, the contractor will be obligated to follow its provisions for such practices as sampling, slump tests and air content testing, even though the requirements are not contained directly within the specifications.

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Raised floor system

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raised floor (also raised flooring, access floor(ing), or raised access computer floor) provides an elevated structural floor above a solid substrate (often a concrete slab) to create a hidden void for the passage of mechanical and electrical services. Raised floors are widely used in modern office buildings, and in specialized areas such as command centers, IT data centers and computer rooms, where there is a requirement to route mechanical services and cables, wiring, and electrical supply. Such flooring can be installed at varying heights from 2 inches (51 mm) to heights above 4 feet (1,200 mm) to suit services that may be accommodated beneath. Additional structural support and lighting are often provided when a floor is raised enough for a person to crawl or even walk beneath.

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This type of floor consists of a gridded metal framework or substructure of adjustable-height supports (called “pedestals”) that provide support for removable (liftable) floor panels, which are usually 2×2 feet or 60×60 cm. The height of the legs/pedestals is dictated by the volume of cables and other services provided beneath, but typically arranged for a clearance of at least six inches or 15 cm with typical heights between 24 inches to 48 inches.

The panels are normally made of steel-clad particleboard or a steel panel with a cementitious internal core, although some tiles have hollow cores. Panels may be covered with a variety of flooring finishes to suit the application, such as carpet tiles, high-pressure laminates, marble, stone, and antistatic finishes for use in computer rooms and laboratories. When using a panel with a cement top surface the panels are sometimes left bare and sealed or stained and sealed to create a tile appearance and save the customer money. This bare application is used most often in office area, hallways, lobbies, museums, casinos, etc.

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Many modern computer and equipment rooms employ an underfloor air distribution to ensure even cooling of the room with minimal wasted energy. Conditioned air is provided under the floor and dispersed upward into the room through regularly spaced diffuser tiles, blowers or through ducts directed into specific equipment. Automatic fire protection shutoffs may be required for underfloor ventilation, and additional suppression systems may be installed in case of underfloor fires.

Many office buildings now use access flooring to create more flexible and sustainable spaces. When underfloor air is designed into a building from the start of the project, the building can be less expensive to build and less expensive to operate over the life of the building. Underfloor air requires less space per floor, thereby reducing the overall height of the building, which in turn reduces the cost of the building facade. The blowers and air handlers required for underfloor air are much smaller and require less energy, since hot air rises naturally through the space as it comes in contact with people and equipment that warm the air and it rises to the ceiling. Additionally, when buildings are designed to combine modular electrical, modular walls, and access floor, the space within the building can be reconfigured in a few hours, as compared to historical means of demolishing walls and drilling holes in the floor to route electrical and other services. As more companies construct or renovate buildings to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) underfloor air and access floor usage will continue to grow. The USGBC (United States Green Building Council) states that 40-48% of new nonresidential construction is green.

Because the flooring tiles are rarely removed once equipment has been installed, the space below them is seldom cleaned, and fluff and other debris settles, making working on cabling underneath the flooring a dirty job. Smoke detectors under the raised floor can be triggered by workers disturbing the dust, resulting in false alarms.

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Structural problems, such as rocking panels and gaps between panels, can cause significant damage to equipment and injury to personnel. Regular inspections for the structural integrity of a raised floor system can help to identify and mitigate problems.

Equipment and floor damage can happen when using flooring that does not meet load demands. Load ratings range from 1,000 pounds to 25,000 pounds. Higher panels can be used on heavier areas of a floor where as lower panels can be used on lighter areas.

Use of recycled carbon fiber to improve permeable pavement

Water runs through WSU pervious pavement in test.

Although the production of carbon fiber goods may be steadily increasing, recycling the material still remains challenging. Thanks to research being conducted at Washington State University, however, it may soon be possible to grind up carbon fiber waste and use it in new-and-improved pervious concrete.

 

First of all, what is pervious concrete? It’s highly-porous concrete that stormwater run-off can drain straight through, passing into the soil underneath. Not only does it help prevent flooding, but it also reduces aquatic pollution – with traditional non-pervious concrete, the water runs the length of the road, accumulating more and more pollutants along the way, before going down a storm sewer and into the local waterways.

Unfortunately, though, because it’s so porous, pervious concrete isn’t as durable as its regular counterpart. That’s where the carbon fiber comes in.

 

Led by Karl Englund and Somayeh Nassiri, a Washington State research team used an inexpensive mechanical milling technique to grind up scrap carbon fiber provided by Boeing. When that ground carbon fiber was added to the team’s existing pervious concrete mix, the durability and strength of the resulting material was greatly increased.

“In terms of bending strength, we got really good results — as high as traditional concrete, and it still drains really quickly,” says Nassiri.

 

Additionally, because the carbon fiber is left in its cured composite form, no heat or toxic chemicals are required in order to process it.

 

The scientists have demonstrated the effectiveness of the technology on laboratory samples, and now hope to conduct large-scale tests. A paper on the research was recently published in the Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering.

 

Source: Washington State University

Trenchless technology

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Trenchless technology is a type of subsurface construction work that requires few trenches or no continuous trenches. It is a rapidly growing sector of the construction and civil engineering industry. It can be defined as “a family of methods, materials, and equipment capable of being used for the installation of new or replacement or rehabilitation of existing underground infrastructure with minimal disruption to surface traffic, business, and other activities.

 

Trenchless construction includes such construction methods as tunneling, microtunneling (MTM), horizontal directional drilling (HDD) also known as directional boring, pipe ramming (PR), pipe jacking (PJ), moling, horizontal auger boring (HAB) and other methods for the installation of pipelines and cables below the ground with minimal excavation. Large diameter tunnels such as those constructed by a tunnel boring machine (TBM), and drilling and blasting techniques are larger versions of subsurface construction. The difference between trenchless and other subsurface construction techniques depends upon the size of the passage under construction.

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The method requires considering soil characteristics and the loads applied to the surface. In cases where the soil is sandy, the water table is at shallow depth, or heavy loads like that of urban traffic are expected, the depth of excavation has to be such that the pressure of the load on the surface does not affect the bore, otherwise there is danger of surface caving in.

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Trenchless rehabilitation includes such construction methods as sliplining, thermoformed pipe, pipe bursting, shotcrete, gunite, cured-in-place pipe(CIPP), grout-in-place pipe, mechanical spot repair, and other methods for the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of existing buried pipes and structures without excavation, or at least with minimal excavation. Mechanical spot repair is applied where damaged pipelines require the re-instatement of structural integrity. Sliplining, CIPP, and thermoformed pipe lining involve pulling or inverting a new liner into an existing pipe, then applying heat and/or pressure to force the liner to expand to fill the pipe. CIPP technologies combine a carrier (felt or fibreglass) impregnated with heat, ultraviolet light, or ambient curable resin to form a “pipe within a pipe”. Pipe bursting fractures a pipe from the inside and forces the fragments outwards while a new pipe is drawn in to replace the old.[2] The other methods are primarily for fixing spot leaks. Trenchless rehabilitation methods are generally more cost-effective than traditional exhume (dig) and replace methods.

Women are allowed to drive in the Kingdom

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Saudi Arabia is set to reap an economic windfall as millions of women are allowed to drive in the Kingdom for the first time, in a move that is expected to spur spending across a range of sectors.
Retailers, insurers and car hire companies are among the potential winners from the decision, while employers will be able to overcome one of the main barriers to boosting female participation in the workplace.

Investors inside and outside the Kingdom are today assessing the likely impact of the momentous move on the Kingdom’s $650 billion economy.

John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh, said women driving would give a significant boost to the Saudi economy.
Although difficult to quantify at this stage, the benefits could surpass $150 billion in terms of output gains per year over the medium to long term, Sfakianakis said.
“Just look at how many women will be able to be gainfully employed over time and the multiplier effects of employment on consumption. It’s a new era for Saudi Arabia.”
The move to allow women to drive, announced on Tuesday and set to be implemented by June, is the latest of a string of social and economic reforms in Saudi Arabia.

Analysts expect the move will produce a major economic dividend as more women are able to enter the workplace with the trickle-down impact providing a boost for everything from the insurance sector to banks. There are about 10 million women in the Kingdom over the age of 20.
“We see long-term support for growth in retailers and sellers of discretionary items, due to increased mobility and employment among women in Saudi Arabia,” said Mohammad Kamal, a director at Arqaam Capital.

Increasing female participation in the labor force is a central plank of the country’s Vision 2030 economic diversification blueprint.
“The decision to allow women to drive indicates that the authorities remain committed to implementing their ambitious reform agenda, despite an apparent slowing of economic reform momentum in recent months,” said Dubai-based Emirates NBD in a research paper.

Among the companies picked by Arqaam as potential beneficiaries is Fawaz Alhokair, one of the leading retail conglomerates in the country.
Tawuniya, the insurance group, is also set to cash in as the potential pool of insurable drivers doubles.

Other publicly traded companies picked by Arqaam include Budget Saudi Arabia, Saudi Marketing Co., Abdullah Al Othaim Markets, Al Rajhi Company for Cooperative Insurance and Axa.
Abu Dhabi-based NBAD Securities also sees Fawaz Alhokair as a potential winner as well as retailer Jarir.
“Other industry sectors that could benefit include banks, in the event that the demand for auto loans increase,” said Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, head of research at NBAD Securities in Abu Dhabi.

It is not all upside for the economy however as attention turns to the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of men employed as domestic drivers.
“Male chauffeurs may need to find new jobs as female passengers become drivers. If the decree merely leads to the replacement of a chauffeur by the passenger, auto dealers may not see demand increase as much as they would like,” added Manibhandu.
He expects demand for auto insurance to increase and that was reflected in the sharp rise among some publicly traded insurance companies on the Tadawul stock exchange on Wednesday.

Al Rajhi rose almost 7 percent on heavy volumes while car hire firm United International Transportation, also known as Budget Saudi Arabia, jumped 4 percent.
However the overall market retreated by about 0.1 percent as positive investor sentiment over women being allowed to drive was countered by concerns that Saudi Arabia may not be given emerging market status by index provider MSCI this month.
The economic empowerment of women in the Kingdom is a key part of that process.

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Civil Site Engineer’s Roles & Responsibilities

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A site engineer offers advice in the planning, co-ordination and supervision of technical aspects of construction projects. A site engineer’s role is vital to a construction project: they have a number of responsibilities including solving technical issues, providing advice, management and preparing reports.

Role and Responsibilities of a Civil Site Engineer

The site engineer should possess basic knowledge about the practical construction procedures in site, along with the details of how they are planned. This idea of planning and coordination will help him to have proper execution of the activities in the site with desired performance.

A site engineer is very essential for a construction project. The responsibilities of a site engineer are wide as he must provide sufficient advice and supervision when there are any technical issues, or for proper management and for the preparation of day to day reports of the construction works.

The responsibilities that is put on a site engineer in construction is mentioned briefly in below section:

1. Construction Site Responsibilities

The site engineer is the person who spends most of his time at the construction site compared with other managers or designers. Site engineers are updated daily about the coming day’s design and activities based on which he implements them at site.

The top members of the construction organization get a clear picture about the daily activities happening at the site through the site engineer.

2. Travelling

The site engineers are supposed to move from one site to another (based on the size of the project or number of projects) for any special needs. He must also be required to reach with the procurement of resources to get the materials as per the correct specifications if any discrepancies happen.

This means every sector of activities say its design, materials or execution, the site engineer has the role of advice.

3. Technical Activities

Site activities like establishment of the level and the survey control, which is required for the control of contracts must be performed by site engineer in required conditions. The works have to be set out as per the contract drawings. This requires checks at regular basis on the construction site.

The records maintained have to be accurate and they have to satisfy with the organizational and the legal requirements.

The site engineer has to face any unexpected difficulties raised from the technical side at any point of time. He must study the problem and resolve it in the most efficient manner as possible.

4. Preparation of Reports and Schedules

The site engineer is the one who have to ensure that the site have adequate resources to complete the tasks. This is conducted by having procurement schedules for the jobs carried out and liaise with the procurement department regarding the same.

A report on the future works to be carried out at site are prepared and produced by site engineers two weeks ahead. This is carried out in conjunction with the site agent.

The site engineer is responsible for keeping site diaries and the respective sheets for allocation.

5. Site Engineer for Health and Safety

For highly dangerous work site, the site engineer will take up the role of safety engineer. He has to ensure that the work carried out by the workers and other related activities are as per the safety regulation of the respective state or area.

Every construction organization must possess a safe working culture and practice. Its implementation and practice of following is supervised by the site engineers. There may be other safety, health officers for the organization, but ensuring safety is a common need.

Other responsibilities are to undergo construction activities that will promote the environmental compliance. Each work has to be carried out safely within the deadline.

6. Quality Assurance by Site Engineer

As we know, quality is a parameter that have to be kept in practice from the initial stage of planning to the end of the project. The major issues with design and documentation can be corrected during the construction by the site engineer based on advice from the structural engineers.

Any undesirable activities in construction brings high loss of quality and money. The site engineer assures quality by the following means:

  • Promoting the best construction practices
  • Undergo activities and practices that comply with the procedures of the company and the specification.
  • Assures the work is completed and delivered without any defect and delay
  • One must highlight value engineering opportunities

7. Communication and leadership duties

As the site engineer have to know the technical details from the above levels and make it in practice in the site, he must be efficient enough to coordinate the information that is communicated. He must take up the detail from the higher levels accurately and pass them to the below contractors, supervisors or labor workers. It not how efficiently you as a site engineer understand the idea, but it’s on how you convey it to your sub-workers. This will reflect to have the need for leadership quality to convey and make the workers do the work.