Constructing buildings of any kind is a very detail-oriented process. No matter what you are constructing, there are very definitive steps that must be taken. This is to ensure the safety of construction workers, employees and patrons of the future building. While specifications and permits can vary from project to project, the general order of operations in any construction project remains the same. Here is an overview of the stages of construction.
Creating a concept and design
The very first stage of construction is to create a concept, followed by a design and blueprints. Typically, this is done with the help of an architect to ensure everything is up-to-code and that the design will be structurally-sound.
Obtaining building permits
Once you have blueprints and construction plans, you need the right building and construction permits. This process is ongoing throughout the duration of the project, meaning you need to obtain different permits at different times.
Clearing and excavating the land
After obtaining your permits, the construction project will commence by clearing and excavating the land on which you want to build. This includes removing any trees, boulders or other obstacles that are in the way, as well as levelling the ground.
Pouring the foundation
When the space you are building on is cleared and excavated, the foundation can be poured. Depending on the size of your building and the stability of the land, preparing the subsurface may need to be done prior to the foundation being poured.
Completing the framing
Once the foundation has been poured and cured, framing begins. This may include installing wood frames or steel beams. This process takes a while and it is important that everything is done correctly.
Rough electrical and plumbing
After the building has been framed out, a contractor will come in to complete rough electrical and plumbing work. This involves installing the pipes and wires which will later help for the drywall, insulation and ceilings to go up.
Installing the roof
About the same time that the rough electrical and plumbing work is done, roofers come in to complete the roof on the building. Contractors will also be called in to complete the exterior of the building, further protecting the interior work that is about to take place.
Heating and cooling needs
Once the building has exterior walls and a roof, heating and cooling needs are addressed. Vents, ductwork and the heating and cooling unit are all installed.
Completing the interior
The following on the stages of construction includes adding insulation, putting up drywall and adding ceilings. An electrician often comes out during this stage and finishes up adding outlets and lighting fixtures.
Once the interior walls are up, all of the fixtures inside of a space can be added. This includes things like toilets, cabinets, windows, doors and elevators.
The last stage involves putting the finishing touches on the building. This involves installing flooring, painting the walls, putting countertops in or adding facets. Once this stage is done, the building process will be completed.
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If you are interested in joining the field of Civil Engineering, you should be familiar with the following programs. In particular, these programs help civil engineers in their daily duties. Whether it is modelling pipe networks or detention/water quality ponds, or making sure they are staying on schedule, these five programs are fundamental to the job!
AutoCad Civil 3D
Easily the most used program in the industry, Civil 3D is a civil engineering drafting software with a multitude of design, analysis and simulation tools for civil engineering design. If we are talking high level, we use CAD to create sets of plans known as construction documentation. From polylines to feature lines, pipe networks to profiles, Civil 3D’s range of tools will allow you to create innovative and detailed designs.
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Considered a standard for hydrologic simulation, The Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS) is designed to simulate the hydrologic process of watershed systems and provides you with nearly all the drainage values you could need. In the program, you describe the physical properties of a watershed and the meteorology that act on the watershed during a defined time span of simulation. Additionally, the simulation results are easy to understand. Furthermore, summary tables for each element include peak flow, total volume, depth and storage values in reservoirs and ponds, and more.
Developed at the Hydrologic Engineering Center of the US Army Corps of Engineers, HEC-HMS is available to the public.
In addition to HEC-HMS, the Hydrologic Engineering Center of the US Army Corps of Engineers has also created the River Analysis System (HEC-RAS). This program models the hydraulics of water flow through rivers and channels of many cross-sections. This program will help you determine if water can travel through specific structures (channel, stream, bridge, culvert, etc…) safely without causing adverse flooding in the area. The system is able to analyze both steady and unsteady flow, sediment transport computations and water quality components. Additionally, it is used for floodplain management with the help of its mapping tools.
This program is also available to the public.
Project is Microsoft’s project management tool. It is similar to Microsoft Office, specifically Excel, with its user interface, making navigating the program easy. Scheduling is very important when it comes to managing engineering projects. With the knowledge of basic scheduling concepts such as activity relationships, critical paths, Gantt Charts, and more, Microsoft Project will enable you to create detailed schedules to manage your different projects.
Try Microsoft Project with a free trial.
StormCAD is a modelling and analysis program for drainage system, stormwater and sanitary sewer design. Civil engineers use it daily to size pipes and structures for a variety of development projects. StormCAD can provide calculations for drainage area runoff, inlet capacity, gutters and pipe network flow and more. The outputs and custom report generator are helpful in providing necessary information to ensure your system is engineered correctly. With GIS and AutoCAD support, importing and exporting between programs makes doing the job that much easier!
Want to know more about StormCAD? Check out their overview video!
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post about programs in civil engineering. Do you want to study abroad in Spain? Take a look at our Civil engineering study programme and feel free to talk to our counsellor for more information.