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Technical Design Report for Selection Criteria of Buildings

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Architecture
Wordcount: 4589 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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You are working as an Architectural Technician for a large design practice and your

employer has asked you to produce a ‘technical design report’ to be distributed to new

employees. The report is to consider the functional requirements and design selection

criteria for different elements of typical residential, industrial and commercial buildings with this report concentrating on both above and below ground activities. The promotion

of sustainability is considered a key driver in all building projects.

LO1 Explain the terminology used in construction technology


There are several aspects of construction and the design stage is one of the most crucial in moulding and delivering a building that is fit for purpose for your client’s needs. Depending on the client’s preferences and budget we can use different techniques, materials and plant for fill the clients desired result. Below are examples of different building types:

Residential Buildings

Commercial Buildings

Industrial Buildings

If more than half of the floor area is typical used for living purposes. Typical houses whether they be terraced or detached as long a as they have each have their own entrance leading in from the ground floor.

Generally, consist of office blocks or retail units. However, if this building is issued for business operations and activities constitute the commercials peewit. A commercial building is any structure in which a business purpose is pursued or operated.

Purposes are buildings that are used for altering, repairing, manufacturing, adapting these are typically factories. Slaughtering houses and power stations also fall under this banner.


The differences between these building are that residential buildings tend to have general requirements most commonly kitchens, bedrooms and bathroom. Flats, Houses or bungalows are the main examples of residential buildings. These buildings will need to take into consideration day to day requirements of residents.  Commercial buildings are generally laid out according to its uses. An office environment would usually have meeting rooms, offices and storage spaces. Different building codes are used for commercial spaces, an example of this would be maximum occupancy limit, bathrooms that are DDA Compliant, fire extinguishers, lighting requirements. These deviations determine the best method to construct the build with. Industrial buildings tend to be large open spaces; factories or warehouses are most common. These buildings are usually machinery workshops. These buildings will have similar codes to commercial buildings for fire protection and life safety.All these buildings and property that are designated as commercial or industrial in nature are subject to different tax and financial rules, as well as additional or different legal requirements and prohibitions, in many cases. Commercial and industrial designations also trigger different financing rules for purchase, lease and improvement.These are generalizations, of course, buildings are built individually and have distinct design differences specific to the user’s needs.

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A clear understanding of the functional and physical requirements of a project is essential to ensuring the triumph of a project. A client’s / owner’s intent to develop a project is derived from a need, a purpose or mission, and a desired result. When the design of a facility satisfies the emotional, cognitive, and cultural needs of the people who use it and the technical requisites of the programs it houses, the project is functionally successful. Program and functionality are also characterized by building type. A building that functions as it is intended is the underpinning of a quality “whole” building. The qualities of such a building may not even be noticed or recognized, but a poorly functioning building can be costly to correct, if the opportunity to correct ever becomes available. When designs fall short of this goal, the cost can be modest to extreme, but the failures are generally noted more significantly than the expected successes

Some of the characteristics of project success from an owner’s point-of-view

include shorter duration, reduced costs, innovation in design and reduced claims (Songer &

Molenaar, 1996).

Minimal aggravation, quality workmanship, meeting performance

specifications, conforming to owner’s expectations, on budget and on schedule were also

identified in a later study as success criteria for public agencies (Songer & Molenaar, 1997).

Within all three described schemes, residential, commercial and Industrial buildings the aesthetics, durability, usability and service life all have to explored. General functional characteristics of a residential building consist of protection from the elements e.g. wind and rain, inquisitive onlookers etc. Privacy, safety and security are key. Each building should be built so that the disturbance from others is minimal. Primary elements should be considered within the design selection, health, welfare and quality of life. In most cases the design of a residential building, the aesthetics of a building is determined by where it is built. In most cases the building would have to blend into its surroundings. 

Protective function: protection of people and property against harmful influences

and dangers, e.g. wind and rain, inquisitive onlookers, interference.

Domain or territorial function: buildings make it possible to operate in a place of one’s own, without disturbance from others. Key words are privacy, safety and security. Social function: buildings create spaces and places in which people can carry on their activities optimally. Primary elements here are health, welfare, communication and quality of life.

Cultural function: a building must also satisfy requirements relating to the form and

character of the spatial environment. The cultural function involves aesthetic,

architectonic, urban design, planning and environmental factors. Culture also

includes the notion of civilisation, one of whose implications are that buildings

and the activities they accommodate should not be nuisance or cause damage to

the environment.

In the last ten years Sustainability on construction sites has become increasingly strict this is due to the environmental regulations and increase in legislation leading to large company fines so the pressure for cost reductions increase. Architects, project developers, project managers etc. have had increase their knowledge in sustainability as projects now have environmental requirements to abide by as well as all construction legislation we have to abide by. Optimal use of the different flows in the project in order to minimize water usage and the ecological footprint.

 Our current national objective is to limit the damaging effects of climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The long term goal is to reduce C02 and other greenhouse gases from all UK Sources by 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels. There is an expectation of reductions of 34% by 2020 and 50% by 2027. Going forward the Government introduced a “code for sustainable homes” This was a plan to progress standards of energy conservation and management of resources as applied to the design and construction of new dwellings.

Ways in which sustainability can be promoted in buildings projects includes:

Thermal Energy

Solar thermal energy is a preferred solution to produce

Water Use

Optimal use of Storm Water, Re-use of grey and black water

Material resource

Procurement of materials alignment with programme dates 

Surface Water Run off

Waste Management

Pollution Control

Health and Wellbeing

Zero Carbon Homes

In the planning stages we are increasingly looking for energy efficient premises. Whilst it is a fact that much of the pollution emitted from construction sites comes from both the building and transportation process of materials etc. Efficient energy management of on-site offices is also an important consideration. Using site accommodation with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of A B or C can help reduce energy usage. To help in the transition towards more energy efficient or renewable alternatives to traditional site power considering an on-site combined heat and power (CHP). Imbedding sustainability into an effective waste management policy is an important part of combatting the industry’s waste problems. Taking care of construction waste inclusive of segregation of materials for recycling. Disposing of hazardous substances in the correct manor not only sits well with legislation but is also a positive stigma on your business                                                                                                        

By having large parts of the build constructed off site this then leads to a shorter project delivery time that then leads to a reduction in on site waste and reduced impact of onsite activities such as machine usage. This is a significant decrease in emissions caused throughout the traditional construction processes.

The use of such careful planning to promote a sustainably designed project will often reduce the running and maintenance costs of a building, will is always appealing to a client. 


LO2 Describe the different techniques used to construct a range of substructures and superstructures, including their function and design selection criteria


LO3 Identify the different types of civil engineering/infrastructure technology used in support of buildings


Pre-design is the phase of analysis that occurs after some form of funding is available and before design begins. During the pre-design phase, studies are done to analyse space requirement issues, the constraints and opportunities of the proposed site, and the cost versus the budget. The amount of funding available in the pre-design phase varies and is a critical factor in determining which studies take precedence. Funds may be available to develop a detailed project program or only to investigate certain technical issues in order to determine scope, budget, or project schedule

There are several stages of pre-design studies as stated below.

  1. Pre-Design –
  2. Site Analysis
  3. Existing Building analysis
  4. Data Compilation
  5. Facility and Infrastructure analysis
  6. Programming
  7. Construction Costs

In the Pre-design analysis of a project, surveys and reports will be conducted such as, Soil sampling and existing structure surveys in order to determine the condition of the land or existing site. These results and surveys are used to identify the constraints that may be imposed on a project and its design. Reports such as Geotechnical report will identify Areas that are at risk from subsidence and

landslides, while soil samples will determine Depth of groundwater, depth of bedrock, shrink and swell potential and bearing capacity. These results and surveys are used to identify the constraints that may impose on a project or the design. Soil surveys determine depth of groundwater & shrink and swell potential. All these surveys are compiled and use to best determine the best substructure for the land.

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Sub-structure or Foundation is the lower portion of the building, usually located below the ground level, which transmits the loads of the super-structure to the supporting soil. A foundation is therefore that part of the structure which is in direct contact with the ground to which the loads are transmitted. Once this is determined budget and cost can be established. These studies are important as they allow the design team to plan and design in accordance with its constraints.  Contaminated land is one of the most common issues that come from the surveys. Contaminated land can often require remediation in order to make the ground suitable for foundations to be installed. These measures tend to be expensive so it is extremely important to get the pre-design information accurate. Once the remediation of the soil has taken place civil engineers will be able to carry out calculations based on the proposed design in order to determine what foundations to use. Where ground is not suitable we may use a technique called piling this is a method where large excavations and piles are inserted in order to create a base and support the structural integrity of the built.  The number of piles and their positions will be determined within the drawings and setting out which is completed by civil engineers. The calculations achieved will determine the load bearing potential. How deep the piles go are determined on the substructure it will be holding.

Fig 1

When looking at different types of superstructure there are several sections you have to explore. This is generally columns and walls that are constructed in super structure. Following are the important parts of super-structure.





5.Sun Shade

6.Drip Course

7.Doors & Windows

These types of characteristics are not only used for design purposes to achieve desired internal design features but also to achieve certain values and requirements required to confirm with regulations for domestic properties. Insulation to soundproof party walls to achieve sufficient thermal performance and adhere to current regulations. etc. However, in larger industrial projects we now tend to use a combination of both types of construction methods depending on the size of the building. Larger commercial buildings need to be erected quickly giving large expansion spaces for merchandise and storage purposes. Buildings like these tend to be built on large concrete PAD foundations. Construction techniques nowadays can capture smaller based commercial units that are often converted and amended to suit. For example, residential units are converted to suit a new purpose e.g shops beneath flats.

Fig 2

LO4 – Illustrate the supply and distribution of a range of building services and how they are

accommodated within the building.

P8 Describe the supply

arrangements for

primary services

P9 Explain the distribution

arrangements for primary


   Project design and categorising a project can help to determine where and how services are run to best suit and accommodate individual project’s needs. It is important when designing a project to make it as easy as possible to run incoming services without compromising aspects of the internal finishes. In residential building such as flats incoming services are usually run to a certain point in a communal part of the project. This area will be the main hub and service point for any engineers or servicing at a later date. From the central control point on the ground floor services will often run straight up the building to the highest level through what will be formed into a riser cupboard. The benefit on keeping the run of services local to one location means the pipework or ducting is kept neat and to one area resulting in less chance of damage due to other works that will be going on simultaneously. As part of the design stage a Civil engineer would need to carefully plan the layout and adequately size set up to suit the maximal possible workload. This will initially be designed as a schematic drawing to detail how the set up works and is run before being transferred into the architectural drawings once the design phase develops and moves forward. This means that the building services design must be integrated into the overall building design from a very early stage, particularly on complex building projects such as hospitals. Whilst it is usual for a building design team to be led by an architect, on buildings with very complex building services requirements a building services engineer may be appointed as the lead designer.

The primary services in modern day construction are your mains water supply, Mains electric, gas, Telecommunications and drainage supply, although gas is not always used in modern day construction as the development of more advance electrical goods means construction is far less dependent on gas supply. In order to gain access to these supplies if they are not already on site from whatever previously stood. Appointments with the governing boards who look after the mains supplies, such as Thames water and UKPN, will need to be made to enable isolation and tapping into the closest existing mains feed in order to Tee – off and create a new feed for the new building project. In the construction industry the common electric supply network is based on a 400 kV AC super grid and a 275 kV transmission network.

Fig 3

As for mains water supply, mains water pipes are usually run under streets and roads as a main means of distribution, from this point it then splits off from the main supply pipe a various junction to supply groups of houses or units. These junctions are known as communication pipes; these pipes carry water from the main distribution pipe to the boundary of a domestic dwelling. If the governing body such as Thames water has fitted a stop-tap, this will normally mark the end of pipework that is the responsibility of water board and the start of the pipework that is the responsibility of the property owner. Not all properties will have their own stop-tap in the footpath but where one has been fitted, this is normally the responsibility of the company to maintain.

      Drainage is also a key and fundamental part of the building services, not only is it very important to distribute the likes of water and electric to a building put it is just as important to carry the waste and foul away into the sewer system to avoid contamination of our water supplies. Drainage follows a similar set up to water working from large distribution pipes that carry off to mains sewers the have smaller connections pipes such as 8 – 4-inch waste pipes that run underground with the building boundaries depending on the size and volume of waste produced by a building. Waste pipe will often enter into the proper sewage levels. Drainage is also a key and fundamental part of the building services, not only is it very important to distribute the likes of water and electric to a building put it is just as important to carry the waste and foul away into the sewer system to avoid contamination of our water supplies. Drainage follows a similar set up to water working from large distribution pipes that carry off to mains sewers the have smaller connections pipes such as 8 – 4-inch waste pipes that run underground with the building boundaries depending on the size and volume of waste produced by a building. Waste pipe will often enter into the property in communal areas via 4-inch waste that then tess off into smaller 2 inch pipes that travel direct to waste outlets such as your common sinks and shower and bath waste. Toilets on the other hand usually tee directly into the 4-inch waste rather than reduce to 2 inch.  Telecommunications such as data cables phone lines etc., are distributed similarly or alongside the electric cables and are run into the building boundary by the likes of British Telecoms. It is then the landowner’s responsibility to employ a suitable contractor to distribute and supply to wherever needed using service risers and ceiling voids before reaching desired data points.

    As previously discussed all incoming and outgoing service runs are adapted to suit the building superstructure, however in larger developments during the planning phases a building service engineer can make adaptation to form work in order to accommodate the desired service plans. These adaptations can be made after of during the building phase, i.e. As simples as laying pipes or running pipes within the concrete slabs through rigid ducting below ground or cutting holes in existing floor slabs using core drilling techniques to achieve the clear runs for services up and down the building. As stated previously it is often with in the builder best interest to keep service runs in one location to a building to minimise space lost to service without compromising on the design layout of the final build. In some cases, in some industrial buildings and even some commercial units the need to hide services is not important so services are left exposed or on show, usually neatly attached to the ceilings, this is either because the need to be cosmetically appealing is not necessary or in some cases it is seen as modern design to leave some exposed elements exposed as a form of artwork. 




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