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Superstructure
All
structures
above
internally and externally.

substructure

both

a) Frame
The purpose of any framed buildings is to
transfer the loads of the structure plus any
imposed load through the members of the
frame to a suitable foundation.
This form of construction can be clad externally
with lightweight non-load bearing walls to
provide the necessary protection from the
elements and to give the required degree of
comfort in terms of sound and thermal
insulation.
Framed buildings are particularly suitable for
medium and high rise structures and for
industrializes low rise buildings such as single
storey factory buildings.
Frame consists essentially of pairs of columns
with members spanning between them, spaced
apart to enclose the volume of the building.

These are classified as;


i.

Building frame of columns and


horizontal beams for single and multi
storey buildings.

ii.

Shed frame of columns and roof


truss for single storey buildings

iii.

Portal or rigid frame of columns and


horizontal of pitched beam for singlestorey buildings

The advantages of the framed structure;


i.

Saving in floor space, particularly when


internal structural supports must be
provided.

ii.

Flexibility
in
plan
and
building
operations because of the absence of
load-bearing walls at any level

iii.

Reduction of dead weight

Structural Materials
The materials which are commonly used for
framed structures are steel, concrete, timber
and, aluminum alloy all of which have
characteristics which make them suitable for
this purpose in varying degrees according to
the building type and nature of the structure.
b) Upper Floors

The function of any floor is to


provide a level surface which is capable of
supporting all the live and dead loads
imposed.

A ground and basement levels full


support from the ground is generally
available at all points and a slab of
concrete resting directly on the ground
may be used. This is known as solid
floor construction.

At upper levels the floor structure


must span between relatively widelyspaced supports in order to leave
unobstructed the floor area below. The
forms of construction used in these
circumstances are known as suspended
floors.

Reinforced concrete with its


flexibility in design, good fire resistance
and sound insulating properties is widely
used for the construction of suspended
floors for all types of buildings.

Functional Requirements
The main function of a floor is to provide
support for the occupants, furniture and
equipment of a building.
Therefore, the floor must satisfy a number of
requirements in its design and construction
such as below;
1.

Strength and stability.

A suspended upper floor is required to be


strong and stiff enough to bear its own selfweight and the dead weight of any floor and
ceiling finishes etc.
2. Fire resistance
Fire resistance is
upper floors which
as highly resistant
different levels of a
3.

important in respect of
are often required to act
fire barriers between the
building.

Sound Insulation

The degree of insulation required will vary


with the type of building and the noise
sources likely to create a nuisance and the
form of sound insulating construction
adopted will vary with the type of floor used,
particularly whether it is of timber or
concrete construction.
4.

Thermal Insulation

Thermal insulation is normally not required in


upper floors except in those which are
exposed to the external air or to an unheated
space, or in relation to certain forms of floor
or ceiling heating.

5.

Damp and ground gas resistance

The problem of damp penetration into the


building generally arises only in connection
with ground and basement floor. In the case
of basements, the problem becomes severe
when the floor is below sub-soil water level
and its solution involves the use of
waterproofing methods resistant (Damp
proof Course and Damp Proof Membrane).
Types of Floor Structure
1.

Solid Floors

These may be of plain or reinforced concrete.


In most buildings without basement the ground
floors are of solid construction, of concrete on
hardcore resting directly on the ground. There
are invariably so in the case of basement floors
and in floors taking heavy loads or traffic.

The thickness of the slab will vary according to


the loading which the floor is to carry and the
bearing capacity of the ground.
A concrete floor slab designed as a reinforced
element to transmit the whole of the building
load to the soil becomes a raft foundation.
2.

Suspended Floors

These may be constructed in timber, reinforced


concrete or steel and, as in the case of roof
construction.
The choice of floor type for small-scale
buildings will usually be governed by
considerations of loading and span, cost, sound
insulation and speed of erection.
For large scale buildings and multi-storey
buildings other factors such as the nature of
building structure, accommodation of services
and fire protection will also need consideration.
3.

Timber Floors

The timber floor has advantages of light selfweight and of being a dry form of
construction. It is simple to construct and this,
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together with the savings affected in the


supporting structure because of its light
weight, make it economical particularly where
the imposed loads are small.
It has a relatively low fire resistance which
depends on the thickness of the boarding or
other flooring, size of joists and especially on
the nature and thickness of the ceiling lining,
but it is sufficient for many forms of two storey
small-scale buildings including houses.
The degree of sound insulation provided by a
boarded timber floor is much less than that of
a concrete floor and is generally acceptable
only in the floors of a house. In most other
buildings it is inadequate.
4.

Concrete Floors

The concrete floor has the advantage


strength and good fire resistance.

of

Its use is now normal in most forms of multistorey building, particularly because of the
requirements in respect of fire resistance which
apply to such structures.
It provides better sound insulation than the
timber floor and for this reason it is used
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where the sound insulation provided by a


timber floor would be inadequate.
The choice of a concrete floor can be made
from a wide variety of types including in situ
solid concrete and hollow block floors and
precast floors of numerous forms.
The in situ cast concrete floor is a wet form
of construction incapable of bearing loads until
quite set and hardened and requiring
shuttering which must be left in position with
all the supporting props until the concrete has
gained sufficient strength. It usually a matter
of three days at least, followed by a further
four or more days of boasting by a reduced
number of props.
Precast concrete floors have been developed
in order to reduce or eliminate shuttering and
to reduce site work and the use of wet
concrete as far as possible, these being factors
which lead to speedier erection.
5.

Steel Floors

Apart from open metal flooring used in


industrial buildings steel floors always involve

the use of concrete in their structure, often


acting structurally with the steel elements.

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