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Construction Technology


Construction technology is a term used for improvements in industrial methods and processes by using different and more effective technology. This technology would help firms to enhance productivity, save cost, enhance safety and optimise their resources (Chew, 2017). It relates to the materials, methods and equipments required to build structures. The two main elements of this concept are technology used in construction techniques and building materials and technology required to develop effective software which could help manage the construction process. The following report is based on construction of a hotel near Heathrow Airport, London, United Kingdom. The agenda of the report is to successfully build the hotel complex and connect it with the motorway near the airport. It includes terminologies used in construction technology and techniques used to construct a range of substructures and superstructures along with their design selection are and function. The report also involves different types of civil engineering infrastructure technology used in support of buildings. Supply and distribution of a range of building services and their accommodation within the building.


Differences Between Residential, Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Every type of building structure is specific and made for a certain purpose. Before even the construction of the building, it is necessary to determine the purpose of which it is being built. Generally, there are three types of building structures used by civil engineers. These are residential buildings, commercial buildings and industrial buildings. The differences between these three types of structures are described below:


On a practical basis, the purpose of constructing a residential building is to accommodate people for living. These maybe constructed as condominiums, apartments, duplexes or even small family homes. On the other hand, construction of commercial buildings is purely for commercial purposes. This maybe for the purpose of retail chains, restaurants, offices, entertainment hubs or offices. Industrial buildings however, takes into consideration industrial zones or manufacturing units (Sim and Putuhena, 2015). It properly plans and undertakes civil, electrical and mechanical construction work to successfully develop the structure of these buildings.


During the construction of residential buildings, the points of consideration would be ample electricity supply, effective drainage system, convenient laundry set ups and so forth. For commercial construction, the aesthetic appeal and design is very important (Pizzi and Mittal, 2017). This is because mainly the usage of these buildings lies with end consumers, this makes it important for constructors to focus on even the most basic elements of the building. For construction of industrial buildings, the top thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the effective design and methodology to control pollution as well as smooth floor plans that could effectively establish coordination between manufacturing and distribution.

Construction Site

For residential buildings, the site which has convenient access to markets, schools and other commercial buildings serve as the best option. For commercial buildings, the appropriate site is which could be easily accessed by the people with adequate parking space and other facilities. Industrial buildings must have a connectivity with air, sea or land to conduct the basic operations effectively.


Residential buildings must have supportive infrastructure in terms of space, support and adequate supply of electricity for daily usage. The infrastructure of commercial buildings must support heavy footfall and reliable parking, elevator and escalator facilities. The infrastructure of an industrial building with must be sufficient for huge machinery to operate and must be supplied with ample load of electricity.

Ways in which sustainability can be promoted in building projects

For successfully make any construction sustainable, it is necessary that certain aspects be taken into consideration that act as a method while ensuring its long term sustainability (Achal and Mukherjee, 2015). For Hotel complex and bridge, there are certain steps that are explained below:

  • Prefabrication of Materials: It is necessary to construct a structure in a well-controlled environment as it would enhance the quality of the complex. Cutting materials with precision would result in an enhancement in the strength and the quality of the Hotel complex and the bridge.
  • Waste Management: Better sustainability requires to effectively manage and reduce construction waste. It is equally important for the construction firms to fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (Liu, Al-Hussein and Lu, 2015). Uses of equipments like haulers would allow effective waste management in construction of the Hotel complex as well as the bridge.
  • Lean Manufacturing: This refers to eradicating the activities that unnecessarily add to the cost of the firm. In construction of bridge and the Hotel complex, it is necessary that these activities and resources that are inefficient be eliminated so that only those resources are utilised that are actually adding to the value. This would provide better sustainability to both the construction aspects.

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Terminology Used in Construction Technology in the Construction of the Hotel Complex & Bridge

Before constructing the Hotel complex near Heathrow Airport, it is vital that certain terminologies be understood to better understand the required concepts and necessary equipments. These terminologies are as follows:

  • Balusters: This is a term used for decorative pillars that support coping or rails. It is a part of moulding shaft that is cut in a square or a rectangular shape.
  • Concrete: This term is widely used in construction and refers to the material which is an amalgamation of fluid cement, coarse and fine aggregates used to construct walls of a building as well as bridges (Kibert, 2016).
  • Lumens: It is denoted by lm and it helps to determine the intensity of light emitted by specific sources. The higher the rate of lumens the brighter would be the emission.
  • Pressure Relief Valve (PRV): This is one of the most important terminology used in construction technology. For constructing the bridge and the Hotel complex, it is necessary to monitor and limit pressures in systems. PRV is like a safety valve which helps to reduce the pressure for smooth running of operations.


Pre-design studies to be carried out and the type of information gathered to design the most suitable foundation type for different various structures

As per the current scenario, a hotel complex needs to be built near the motorway which links to Heathrow Airport. To successfully execute and implement the project it is very necessary to conduct pre-design studies and gather relevant information required to design the most suitable types of foundation for various structures. The pre-design studies include a thorough analysis of site and and cost of construction, programming, and engineering. The pre-design studies include:

  • Generation of Geotechnical report to determine the geological condition beneath the surface of the construction site. It would help to identify if the area could be subjected to liquefaction or subsidence in future and fault zones. This study would also determine the characteristics of the soil (Yu and et. al., 2015). During construction, geotechnical reports would help in decision-making as to if soil has to be replaced or measures regarding the groundwater that could have an impact on the construction.
  • Performing hydrology studies that would help in determining water drainage patterns, ground water depth, areas for erosion hazards, etc.
  • Land surveys could be another major pre-design studies that would help to determine the legal and project boundaries so that the construction could be conducted in an ethical and rightful manner. It would also help in identifying various structures like trees, roads and land formations.

Construction of various foundations and their suitability for use with different types of structures

For any construction, it is necessary to use the most suitable and most effective foundation to support the structure of any type of building. These foundations are divided into two segments mainly, deep and shallow foundations (Types of Foundation for Buildings and their Uses, 2017). The types and their suitability are discussed below:

Deep Foundation

This type of foundation transfer the load down the surface at large depths through compressible and weak soils. Pile is the major form of deep foundations used for construction. These are long cylindrical structures made of concrete that are pushed deep into the surface upon which the structures are built (Nicholas and Steyn, 2017).

Shallow Foundation

These foundations are made by digging the surface of the earth. For this reason, these foundations are also called as open footings. The land is dug up to the end of the footing in shallow foundation. In its initial stages, footing is open and visible, hence, the name open foundation.

There are various types of shallow foundations that must be taken into consideration. These are:

  • Individual Footings: These foundations are the most common and simple type of shallow foundation. Under this, columns are used to carry the load of the building. Each column would have its personal footing. The structure of footing is a concrete rectangular pad upon which the column rests (Nawi and et. al., 2015).
  • Strip Footings: These footings are most commonly used in masonry construction. The structures of these footings are in a manner of long strips that support the weight of a wall. The suitability of these footings is on the buildings where the load is carried out by walls rather than columns.
  • Raft Foundations: Often known as mat foundations,  the suitability of raft foundations is most when basements are constructed beneath the building structure. The floor of the basement becomes the foundation. The weight of the building in raft foundation is equally distributed over its entire footprint. The usage of raft foundation is best in cases where the soil is weak and the columns are placed closely.

Raft Foundation, 2018

(Source: Raft Foundation, 2018)

For the construction of the hotel, the best type of foundation would be the raft or mat foundation. This is because a basement for parking is required to be constructed. Moreover, it is necessary to distribute the weight evenly in the building to ensure its sustainability in the long run.

As per the scenario, a bridge needs to be constructed that could provide a connectivity in the hotel and the roadway. The best type of foundation to effectively serve the purpose would be deep foundation.

Impact of Site Information on Foundation Design

Before constructing a building, it is necessary that a thorough information of site is collected before executing the project. There are major factors of a site that could impact the foundation design of the Hotel complex being constructed. These factors are:

  • Building Loads: Information about the expected structure of the building is crucial to gather so that the load of the structure over the foundation could be determined. This would have an impact on foundation as its selection will be based on this and other loads such as wind, snow, earthquake (Higgins, 2015).  
  • Soil: Information on the type of soil is a great determinant for foundation design. This is because it is necessary to determine soil's bearing capacity.Moreover it is necessary to have information about the type of soil. Reason for this is identification of the support the soil type could give to a certain foundation.
  • Foundation Type: Correct information about the type of foundation could save the building in terms of natural disasters. Moreover, it would ensure a long-term sustainability of the Hotel structure (Labonnote and et. al., 2015.).


Functional Characteristics and design selection criteria of elements of Superstructures

Superstructure refers to the construction that is completely above the foundation. As per the current scenario, superstructure is the whole Hotel complex above the basement. The functional characteristics for each element of super structure is as follows:



These provide support to the structure of a building. It is very important that these walls are stable, durable, strong, weather and moisture resistance, immune from fire and sound resistance. These characteristics are necessary for walls built in the hotel complex. The selection criteria of the walls for the project would be the one which satisfy all these characteristics.


These are an integral part of the construction of a building. As per the scenario, characteristics of the roof must be to protect the people and their possessions. Protection could be from the natural climatic issues like rains, sunlight, storms, etc.

  • Floors – Ground and Intermediate: Similar to the walls, the floor of the hotel campus must be stable and strong, resistance to ground and weather moisture, durable, fire resistance, and resistant to heat and sound passage (Baldwin-Philippi, 2015).
  • Windows and Doors: The characteristics of door includes giving access to people to travel between rooms easily and internal connectivity in the hotel. Characteristics of windows however, are slightly different. They provide ventilation and light which is necessary in a hotel. Moreover, it is essential that the window must provide a soothing and desirable view to the customers.
  • Staircases: The utmost characteristic of stairs is safety. They must be safe to use and fire resistant. They also must be stable and sound insulated so that the noise levels at the Hotel complex could decrease.
  • Finishes: These refer to the final finishing of civil engineers after the construction of the building. The characteristics of finishing is that it must protect the structure from rain, heat, water, etc. Another feature is that they provide the customers with decorative outlooks which enhances the experience of customers (Jiang and et. al., 2015).

The selection criteria of the superstructure of the hotel would be the one that could satisfy the characteristics and strengthen the structure of the Hotel complex.

Pre-design Studies carried out for the Hotel complex Construction Site

Before laying out the superstructure, it is very necessary to carry out pre-design studies for the construction site as well as the superstructure.

  • The information must be gathered about the basic equipments and tools available near the construction site. The study of the types of equipments requirement would identify the kind of labour force required to execute the project.
  • Another pre-design study would be to identify the feasibility and the availability of the workforce required to conduct the process.
  • A pre-design study of environmental impact must also be performed.
  • The study of electricity required to successfully execute the project must be conducted and the information about its availability on the site must be gathered.

All these pre-design studies would enable to construct a hotel with effective structure which enhances the experience of the customers as well as safety of the environment (Zhou and et. al., 2015).

Illustration of how the component parts of an element allow it to fulfil its function

To completely implement the project, it is essential to determine the components used in the elements of substructures in order to successfully fulfil their functions (Paslawski, Milwicz and Nowotarski, 2015). The components that help walls to be reliable, durable, water and fire resistant are as follows:

  • Concrete: This is one of the major components of building a wall used in the hotel. The concrete helps the wall to be fire resistant. This is because it does not burn and does not emit toxic fumes. Moreover cement added with concrete has poor thermal conductivity which is beneficial for the hotel as it would not catch fire under any circumstances.
  • Drywall: This is a panel composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate. This would keep the wall resistant from water.
  • Plaster: Use of plaster coating during finishing would add to the strength and would allow the walls to be sound resistant, durable and moisture resistant.

Different types of structural frame used to carry the primary and secondary elements of the superstructure

Frame structures refer to amalgamation of columns, slabs and beam to effectively resist gravity and lateral loads. The usage of these structures is to overcome huge developing by applied loading. There are two different type of structures used to carry primary and secondary elements of superstructures of the Hotel complex as well as the bridge:

  • Rigid Frame Structure: These structures could withstand deformation, hence the name rigid. These are the structures where columns and beams are developed monolithically and together resist the load. Depending on the construction, curved or straight components are interconnected in ways which resist movements at interconnected joints of the components (Shim and Choi, 2017).

rigid frame steel building system 

(Source: Rigid Frame, 2018)

  • Braced Frame Structure: These structures are designed and developed to resist natural forces like wind and earthquakes. Components of these structures are restricted to sway laterally. Mostly these structures are concentric. This allows them to work effectively at times of seismic risks.

To fulfil the needs of the scenario, rigid frame structure must serve appropriately for the construction of the Hotel complex as it would help the building to resist the load and shocks experienced by the roadway nearby.


Techniques Used for re-mediating the site Prior to Construction Commencing

Commencement of the construction are mainly involves with the commercial construction projects along with the date of projects and overall project schedule. There are various techniques that are used for re-mediating the site prior for the construction commencing. The main two techniques that is used for re mediating the site prior to construction commencing are discussed below:

Biological Treatment

Biodegradation mainly refers as the breakdown of the organic compounds through microscopic living organism that eventually results in release of carbon dioxide, water or methane. In organic compounds are not degradable by micro organic compounds. Biological in-site and on-site treatment can be divided to aerobic and anaerobic process. Aerobic process are used mainly for PAHs and Petroleum hydrocarbons and anaerobic process are used mainly for chlorinated solvents.

Many construction companies utilizes an inexpensive and above ground bioremediation techniques while doing construction near streams.In this process the high percentage of hydrocarbons contaminates are totally removed from the soils through the implementation of bioremediation and volatilization. Environmental conditions such as pH, temperature, nutrients directly and indirectly influence the result of biodegradation. The main advantage of this biological treatment is that it includes low land requirement with low capital and operating costs along with good process control.

Chemical Treatments

Another technique that is used for re mediating the site prior to construction commencing is the chemical treatments. The basis of the chemical treatment is the addition of a chemical into contaminated ground water or social which oxidises the contaminants into harmless or less harmful compounds. The main goal of the technology is to rapidly produce the radicals which can react with the contaminant and degrade them to harmless compounds. The major benefit of chemical treatment is the shorter timeline than with the biological treatment (Mok, Shen and Yang,, 2015).

Types of Substructure Works Required for the Infrastructures

In order to build any infrastructure there is requirement of various substructure. Some of the types of substructure works are discussed in detail below:

Site clearance: It is an important factor that is considered in the job layout plans before the commencement of project work. There should be not be any obstruction like plants, trees, stones.

  • Preparing job layout: A plan in which the arrangements for the placing site office, store room, labour quarter, medical aid centre, go downs for keeping the construction materials and other facilities are properly prepared and termed as site layout. This arrangements for the processes should be such that the work is done smoothly and in orderly manner.
  • Timbering and Strutting: Timbering and Strutting is a method of giving the temporary supports to the sides of the trench, when the depth of trench is large or when the sub soil is loose. Timbering is also called as shoring and it consist of timber boards ans struts to give temporary support to the side of the trench.
  • Box Sheeting: It is used if the soil is very loose, that time horizontal sheets are provided and supported by vertical wales and made tighten on both sides by horizontal strutting.

Identify superstructure, substructure and civil engineering structures necessary for a given building construction project

To construct a building the necessary structures required are superstructure, substructure and civil engineering structure. Following are the details of these structures:


It is a type of structure used in the construction of upper part. Here upper part include the steps of floors in which building is prepared. The building here constructed is of five floors. Therefore it requires a strong base to construct it (Tay and et. al., 2016). Since the hotel which is going to be constructed is near the bank of river therefore the foundation of the structure should be strong. The superstructure of hotel should include walls, roofs, floor, windows and doors, staircases and finishes.


It is type of structure which is required to build a building. This is called base of the building. This should be strong enough to weigh the weight of building and should be stand in future also. There is a bridge required in between the hotel and river. The substructure of bridge should be deep because it is going to be on river. While the substructure of Hotel should be shallow and raft foundation must be applied to construct the same.

Types of Deep Foundations used in Construction and Their Uses

(Source: 6 Types of Deep Foundations used in Construction and Their Uses, 2017)

Civil Structures

These are the structures in a series of connected, inter related elements which form together to bear the load of effects applied on it. It also bears the weight of itself. In civil engineering structures are moistly made up of Beams, Columns, Cables, Slabs and Foundations. These are strong enough to bear their own weight and weight of

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