Civil Engineering Terminology Complete Guide

Civil Engineering Terminology

Definitions Of Civil Engineering Terms

The civil engineering terminology is a ready reckoner that includes the definitions of various technical terms used in the construction industry.

It is important for all the stake holders to understand the basic terminology used in the construction industry, architecture and interior design projects.

The civil engineering terminology includes the definition of various building plans and architectural drawings, technical terms and the terms used for various structural components.

Civil Engineering Basic Knowledge, Civil Engineering Tutorial

Civil Engineering Terminology

Civil Engineering Teminology

Civil Engineering General Terms Definitions

The building general terms are also used in the construction industry to elaborate the specific function or the purpose of the building component or specifications.

The most commonly used civil engineering general terms include :

Cement

Cement

The cement is a binding adhesive material used in the construction industry. The cement is used to make cement mortar, concrete and other cement products.

Cement is manufactured by firing limestone, clay and other minerals at high temperature. The binding process of the cement called hydration starts only when the water is added to the cement.

The cement achieves its full strength after the completion of its hydration process.

Curing Of Cement

Curing Of Cement

The term curing is the process maintaining the internal moisture added to the cement-based products such as cement mortar and concrete.

The hardening called hydration of cement starts when it is mixed with water. The hardening of cement continues normally for a period twenty one days to achieve its full strength.

The curing methods include covering concrete with moist gunny bags, ponding, and by sprinkling the water on the plaster.

Foundation In Civil Engineering

Foundation

The term foundation in civil engineering is defined as the substructure that is constructed bellow the ground level on which superstructure is built.

The foundation transfers the load of the superstructure to the hard underground strata without exceeding the limits of the load bearing capacity of the soil.

The foundation is designed to support the superstructure built on the top of the substructure. The building construction starts with the foundation work.

The foundation types can be broadly categorized into two groups that is shallow and deep foundations.

The shallow foundations are column footings, wall footing, and raft foundation. The pile foundation is a type of deep foundation.

Partition Wall

Partition Wall

The term partition wall in civil engineering is defined as the wall that is designed as non-load bearing wall and effectively functions only for the purpose of providing partition between the two interior spaces.

The partition walls are basically interior walls made-up of any suitable material. These walls are usually of smaller thickness as compared to the main walls.

The main purpose of the partition walls is to functionally divide the two spaces. The decorative walls are also treated as partition walls.

The partition walls are not designed to carry any weight of the superstructure other than its own weight. For example, in case of RCC structure, almost all walls are partition walls.

Civil Engineering Terminology

Interior design terms, Building Levels In Civil Engineering

Building Levels

The building level terminology includes different types of levels defined for various structural components of the building.

Ground Level

The term ground level is the average level of the ground around the building. All other levels are either directly or indirectly affected by the ground level. It is also referred as zero level.

Floor Level

The floor level is considered same as that of plinth level. A flooring such tile or marble or any other type of floor is constructed on the top of the floor level. The term finished floor level is used to indicate the top level of flooring material constructed as floor.

Plinth Level

The plinth level is defined as the top of the foundation including the damp proof course. The substructure ends at the and the superstructure starts at the plinth level. The standard plinth level should be at least 60 cm above the front side road level.

Window Sill Level

The window sill level is defined as the level at which window frame is installed above the finished floor level. The standard sill level depends upon the size of the window. For example, the French window is installed at floor level.

Lintel Level

The lintel level is defined as top level of the doors and windows. It is the bottom level for the lintel beam. The standard lintel level should be 2.1 meters for the residential buildings and 2.3 meters for the commercial buildings.

Slab Level

The slab level is defined as the level at which either RCC slab or other type of slab is placed or casted. The standard lintel level should be 9.5 feet , 2.9 meters for the residential buildings. and 3.35 meters for the commercial buildings.

Civil Engineering Terminology

PCC In Construction , Civil engineering terminology

PCC

The PCC stands for plain cement concrete. The concrete is prepared by mixing cement , fine aggregates ( Sand ), coarse ( crushed gravel 20 mm ) and water in the specified proportion.

The PCC is used mainly as PCC bed during the various foundation bed. The PCC bed can be placed either on the layer of bolder or a stabilized strata. The PCC bed can be directly placed and compacted on the stabilized soil.

The plain cement concrete ( PCC )  provides excellent load bearing capacity in terms of its compressive strength. However, the plain cement concrete is not considered very good in the tensile strength.

The standard ratio ( cement : Fine Aggregates : Coarse Aggregates ) for PCC mix is ( 1:2:4 ) used for RCC work. The PCC mix ( 1:3:6 ) is used for foundation bed to protect the reinforcement.

RCC In Construction, Civil engineering

RCC

The term RCC stands for reinforced cement concrete. It is a composite building material made up of concrete and steel reinforcement.

The cement concrete is a versatile construction material extensively used for different types of structural components. The structural components such as column footings, slabs, columns and beams are required to be designed for both compressive as well as tensile strength.

The plain cement concrete ( PCC )  provides excellent load bearing capacity in terms of its compressive strength. However, the plain cement concrete is not considered very good in the tensile strength.

In order to improve the tensile strength of the concrete, an additional layer material is placed inside the concrete to handle the tensile stress. This composite concrete is called the reinforced cement concrete ( RCC ).

Civil Engineering Terminology

Scaffolding In Construction

Scaffolding

The term scaffolding in civil engineering is defined as temporary structure created on the elevation of the building that works as platform for the workers to work.

The scaffolding can be erected vertically at any part of the building. The scaffolding serves two purposes.

It provides a stable protected platform for the worker to comfortable work at higher heights. It also provides a platform to keep the tools and the building material during the construction work.

Different types of scaffoldings are used in the construction project. It depends upon the nature of scaffolding requirements and the scale of the project.  

Formwork In Construction

Formwork

The term formwork in construction is defined as temporary mold erected for casting the RCC structural components of the building.

The reinforced cement concrete RCC is the most commonly used building material used for constructing structural parts such as footings , slab , columns, and beams.

However, the concrete mix takes considerable time ( minimum 21 days ) to gain its full strength. During this period the concrete work needs to be cured and cannot be subjected to any loading.

And for this reason a temporary mold any suitable material ( wooden, steel , plastic or composite plates ) is created for all the structural components. The steel reinforcement is placed inside the mold as per the structural design.

The reinforcement position is secured by using the cover blocks and the steel chairs. The concrete mix is then poured into this mold.

The concrete mix is compacted with mechanical compactors to remove cavities and air trapped into the concrete mass. This formwork is retained till the time the RCC structure gains its full strength.

The formwork is removed after specified period is complete. The formwork can be reused for casting other structural members with same dimensions.

Cantilever Slab

Cantilever

The term cantilever in civil engineering is defined as a structural member that is embedded into the structure from one end and the other end is protruded to support the overhanging structure of the building.

The common example of the cantilever includes house balcony projections, window canopy, porch and other such overhanging structures.

The cantilever structural member can either be RCC beam or steel beam or wooden beam or any other suitable material. The cantilever member should be designed for sufficient anchorage and calculated load.

Civil Engineering Terminology

Brick Masonry In Construction

Brick Masonry

The term brick masonry in the construction is defined as any construction work built by using a bricks and joined together with cement mortar.

The bricks used in the masonry work can be either traditional clay bricks, fly ash bricks or cement blocks and other types of bricks available in the market.

The most common form of brick masonry work is the brick wall construction. The brick wall can be constructed in different thickness.

Rubble Masonry In Construction

Rubble Masonry

The term rubble masonry in the construction is defined as any construction work built by using different types of stones and joined together with cement mortar.

The rubble masonry can be constructed in two types. In case of coursed rubble masonry, a design pattern and the course size are maintained throughout the rubble masonry.

Whereas, for uncoursed rubble masonry the design pattern and the course size are not maintained throughout the rubble masonry. The rubble masonry work is more expensive as compared to the brickwork.

CPVC Water Supply Plumbing Pipes

Plumbing System

The plumbing system is essential component of both residential and commercial projects. The residential projects include home improvement , remodel and construction of new apartments.

The term plumbing system is in civil engineering is defined as system of water supply lines, drainage lines and the vent pipes designed for a specific project.

 The Plumbing system is designed as per the prevailing building code in the respective country.

Waste Water Drain Plumbing Pipes

Drainage System

The drainage system is essential component of both residential and the commercial projects. The drainage system is designed to safely dispose both sewage and sullage waste water.

The term drainage system is in civil engineering is defined as system of waste water disposal pipes, manholes, inspection chambers and the vent pipes designed for a specific project.

The drainage system is designed as per the prevailing building code in the respective country.

Interior Electrical Wiring , Home Improvement work

Wiring System

The electrical wiring system is a system designed to provide the electricity supply for a specific project. The electrical wiring system is designed for both residential and commercial projects.

The scope of the wiring system include the selection of type of electrical connection, planning for electrical load calculation, electrical wiring layout and the lighting system.

Civil Engineering Terminology

Grouting In Civil Engineering

Grouting

The grouting in civil engineering is defined as a process of injecting a cement slurry called grout into the cavities and cracks.

The grouting machines are used for the grouting work. The grout is a mixture of cement, sand, admixtures and water.  

Sometimes, cracks and cavities develop into the concrete structures, brick masonry, retaining walls, tunnel lining, hills and rock formation and the soil mass.

These structural cracks can significantly reduce the strength and stability. These cracks are sealed by injecting grout with high pressure grouting machines.

For home improvement projects, the grouting simply means sealing the tile joints with special joint sealant.

Superstructure And Substructure

Substructure And Superstructure

The building construction levels can be broadly split into two levels. The term substructure is referred to the part of the structure that is bellow the ground level.

Whereas, the term superstructure is referred to the part of the building structure above the ground level.

The substructure foundation parts such as column footing, PCC bed and other elements bellow the ground level.

The superstructure includes building parts such as columns, walls, slab and other parts above the ground level.

Civil Engineering Terminology

Damp Proof Course DPC

Damp Proof Course

The term DPC stands for damp proof course. The DPC is layer of waterproof material to prevent the rise of moisture from underground substructure into the superstructure.

The building foundation often comes in contact with the water. This ground water gets absorbed by the substructure parts such as brick masonry.

This moisture present in the foundation can find its way to the building superstructure due to capillary action.

This is a major cause of the dampness in the lower portion of the wall. The DPC is a impermeable layer ( usually concrete up to 4 inch thick ) placed at the plinth level between the substructure and superstructure.

The DPC acts as a barrier and protects the superstructure. The DPC prevents the entry of the ground moisture into the building superstructure.

Reinforcement In RCC Slab

Reinforcement

The term reinforcement in construction is referred to the placement of steel bars into the concrete structures. The composite material of concrete and reinforcement is called RCC that stands for reinforced cement concrete.

The main function of the reinforcement is to improve the tensile strength of the concrete. In RCC structures, the main reinforcement and distribution reinforcement are used.

Different grades of steel reinforcement are used to achieve the desired strength of the RCC construction.

The reinforcement is designed by the structural engineer for specified design load and technical specifications.

Interior Electrical Wiring , Home Improvement work

Wiring System

The electrical wiring system is a system designed to provide the electricity supply for a specific project. The electrical wiring system is designed for both residential and commercial projects.

The scope of the wiring system include the selection of type of electrical connection, planning for electrical load calculation, electrical wiring layout and the lighting system.

Civil Engineering Terminology

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