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Practical Building Construction | by John Parnell Allen



In this work, which is intended primarily for students in every trade concerned in Building Construction, - and which has been arranged on the basis of Notes prepared for a Course of Lectures on the subject, - the Author has endeavoured to deal, in a concise and practical manner, with all the details of the construction of a building. He has aimed also at giving such a description of the nature and characteristics of the various Building Materials in general use, as should be sufficient (with other subjects dealt with in the volume) for the purposes of the examinations in Building Construction prescribed by the Science and Art Department, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the Surveyors' Institution, respectively.

TitlePractical Building Construction
AuthorJohn Parnell Allen
PublisherCrosby Lockwood And Son
Year1897
Copyright1897, Crosby Lockwood And Son
AmazonPractical Building Construction

A Handbook For Students Preparing For The Examinations Of The Science And Art Department, The Royal Institute Of British Architects, The Surveyors' Institution, Etc.

Designed also as a Book of Reference for Persons Engaged in Building

By John Parnell Allen

Surveyor, Lecturer On Building Construction At The Durham College Of Science,

-Preface
IN this work, which is intended primarily for students in every trade concerned in Building Construction, - and which has been arranged on the basis of Notes prepared for a Course of Lectures on the s...
-Chapter I. Bricks And Their Composition
Bricks As Building Material Bricks, the chief material of the bricklayer, are hard rectangular blocks, of an originally clayey substance, which has been tempered and moulded into the shapes required,...
-Bricks And Their Composition. Continued
Manufacture Of Bricks After the removal of the turf and surface-soil, which is called encaltowing, the clay is dug out, in the autumn, and placed in heaps or places called kerfs, and there the differ...
-Varieties Of Bricks
The chief kinds of bricks at present in the market, and their characteristics, are as follows : - Gaults are bricks made from a natural clay with sufficient lime in the form of chalk to act as a flux...
-Varieties Of Bricks. Continued
Candy bricks are of a similar character, though perhaps harder and yet more brittle, and they are supposed to wear rougher. They are of a lighter colour, of a more watery appearance, and suitable fo...
-Chapter II. Brick Bond And Its Applications. Bond In Brickwork
Brickwork strictly speaking is understood by the trade to mean work executed with standard-sized bricks, i.e. 9 inches long, 4 1/2 inches wide, and from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches high, and any larger-size...
-Bond In Brickwork. Continued
one of stretchers on the face of the work, the bricks only break joint properly at every other joint - i.e., one joint in two, as shown in fig. 38; whereas, by alternating the headers and stret...
-Different Kinds Of Bond
There are a considerable number' of different bonds, including the following: - Heading bond, which consists entirely of headers, is very seldom used because of the difficulty there is in making a fi...
-Application Of The Various Bonds
The angles of walls are given below; the attention of the student having been called to all really essential points, except that the closer course in pairs comes alternately on each side of the angle,...
-Chapter III. Brick Reveals, Arches, And Pointing. Reveals
A reveal is that part of an opening which returns at right angles from the front of the wall - i.e., that part which shows vertically between the necessary angle from the face line and the front of th...
-Forms Of Arches
An arch is an arrangement of bricks, placed to any shape or curve over an opening, so that each brick is supported by mutual pressure from its neighbours, the whole being wedged in, as it were, over t...
-Construction Of Arches
The principal kind of arch, most commonly used, is the ordinary brick relieving or discharging arch, made of rough bricks, over the inside openings of doors and windows and internal openings. It sprin...
-Bond Of Arches
The bond of arches is not generally so intricate as that of walls, etc.; though there must necessarily be some system of binding the component parts together. Before entering into this subject, howeve...
-Pointing
Pointing is the finishing off (with the trowel) of the mortar in the rough joints between the bricks, so as to give the work a better appearance on the face; and the stipulation should be specified,...
-Fireplaces
As fires are a source of danger to a building, which must necessarily have some wood floors, it becomes essential that some means should be employed to reduce those risks to a minimum, and with that v...
-Flues
Flues should be cored - i.e., tested for their uniformity, and all obstruction cleared off; and the interior surface must be smoothly parged at pargeted, or covered with mortar mixed with cowdung, to ...
-Chapter IV. Damp And Its Prevention. Danger Of Damp
The chief, if not the greatest, enemy of the builder is damp. It will ascend, descend, and penetrate - i.e., attack materials in all directions; and wherever it makes - or is allowed from inattention,...
-Protection Above Ground
The walls of rooms above ground-line are protected from damp by the following methods : - 1. The use of the Hygean Rock composition (as before mentioned). 2. The cement rendering. 3. Blue brick fac...
-Prevention Of Damp Rising
The ascent of damp is guarded against by the use of damp-proof courses, of different materials, laid across the whole width of the walls, a little above the general surface of the ground, and under al...
-Chapter V. Building Stones And Stone Walling. Stone As A Building Material
It is only proposed, in this chapter, to draw attention to some of the chief points requiring attention with regard to building stones generally, after which a short account will be given of the natur...
-Sandstones
Sandstones are used for paving, general building purposes, carving, or for heavy engineering works, on account of their great power to resist compression, some of the best qualities being capable of r...
-Limestones
Limestones, as a whole, are inferior as building material to sandstones generally, though Portland may be considered as excepted from that category. They consist of almost pure carbonate of lime, and ...
-Stone Walling
In stone walls, the material should be bonded just the same, and for the same object, as in brick walls - i.e., as regards breaking joint both vertically and horizontally; though this, for obvious rea...
-Limestone and Sandstone Facings
Limestone Facings Limestone Facings (as shown in figs. 206, 208, 210, 211, and 212) may have the faces of the stones treated in various ways, as follows: - 1. Axed, by which is meant that the face i...
-Chapter VI. Stone Dressings, Joints, And Stairs
Stone dressings are used for the ornamental finishings of a building, being worked to various details out of free-working stones; and they may be said to include the following different members (vide ...
-Stone Dressings, Joints, And Stairs. Continued
A chamfer on each joint or bed, forming a V joint between the two beds, is often substituted for the plain rebate, as fig. 240; or again, the joint may be moulded, as fig. 241. Fig. 240. Fig. 24...
-Chapter VII. Wood For Building Purposes. Carpentry And Joinery
In one or other of its many and varied kinds and forms wood is the material which, in the building trade, almost exclusively, as it were, belongs to the carpenter and joiner, being the chief material ...
-Wood In The Tree
All trees which provide us with material for the carpenter and joiner's use are what are called outward-growing trees - that is to say, those whereof the gradually increased size is brought about by s...
-Good And Bad Timber
The characteristics of good and the defects of bad timber may be dealt with simultaneously. Good timber should be cut from the heart wood of a well-matured tree, free from sap (of either white or blue...
-Seasoning Of Timber
On the principle that prevention is always better than cure, we will deal first with the seasoning of timber, which is the next thing in importance to be attended to after the wood has been procured f...
-Preservation Of Timber
The object in preservation of timber is to save it from rot, whether wet or dry. There are many different ways and patented methods of trying to prevent these forms of decay; but, before proceeding to...
-Deal Or Fir
Pine, red and yellow fir, or deal, as it is commonly though incorrectly called, is obtained from the northern pine, a fir-tree which is grown a little in Scotland, but chiefly in Norway, Sweden, and...
-Oak
The chief varieties of this wood are English, Stettin, Wainscot, and American. It is very hard, tough, close, and durable, and is used by both carpenter and joiner. It is of a light brown colour, has ...
-Chapter VIII. Wood Floors. Naked Floors And Floor-Boards
Wood floors are, practically speaking, made up of a skeleton framing, called naked flooring, surrounded and supported by a brick, stone, wood, or iron enclosure, and covered by boards of different k...
-Wood Floors. Naked Floors And Floor-Boards. Continued
On account of the risk of fire to which the building would be exposed if the ends of the joists rested on or near the chimney breast, it will be noticed on the plan, fig. 267, that the joists are trim...
-Floor Joints
All joints in carpentry should be made in such a manner that the timbers are weakened as little as possible by loss of wood; and wherever one bearing timber has to support others it is of great advant...
-Double Floors
Double floors are used for spans of over 16 feet, to reduce the bearing of the bridging joists; for which purpose large beams called binders are placed - at intervals of every 10 feet, at most - betwe...
-Framed Floors
Framed floors are used for spans of 24 feet and over, and consist of girders placed 10 feet apart, in addition to the binders. Bridging and ceiling joists known in connection with other kinds of ...
-Flooring
Flooring is the covering of the naked framing, and consists of one or other of the many different kinds of floor boards from 1 to 1 1/2 inch in thickness, nailed (on each of their edges) on to each of...
-Chapter IX. Partitions. Partitions Defined
A partition* is a skeleton wood framing, used instead of a wall to divide one room from another. It is only suitable for use above the ground-floor, so as to be free from the effects of damp. The prin...
-Framed Or Quartered Partitions
An ordinary framed or quartertd partition consists of head H, sill S, posts P, studs or quarters Q, and nogging pieces N, and generally, though not always, braces B (see fig. 315). The partition is 4...
-Chapter X. Roofs. Local Adaptation Of Roofs
A roof is a framing which covers die top of the whole building, as a protection against the elements. In different countries, having different climates, and being subject to different kinds of weather...
-Couple-Close Roof
The couple-close roof is a step higher than the last, and consists of rafters, ridge, and wall-plates, with the addition of a tie fixed to the foot of each rafter, which often does duty for a ceilin...
-King-Post Roofs
The king-post is the next roof which circumstances, as it were, bring before the carpenter, and to his help into the bargain, as has been explained earlier in the course of these notes. This form o...
-Queen-Post Roofs
Queen-post trusses are used for spans over 30 feet, and contain two perpendiculars to brace up the tie-beam spanning the walls. Fig. 379 is a queen-post truss for a 32-feet span. The same form is s...
-Details Of Roofs
Hips are the external angles made by the junction of the roof and its return round the ends, where the end walls are not carried up to the underside of the rake of roof to form gabks, as fig. 393. Va...
-Chapter XI. Iron And Steel. Pig Iron
It is only proposed to deal with the subject of iron and steel from a builder's point of view, and not as would be required for an engineer or ironfounder, a brief resume being given of the various po...
-Wrought Iron
Wrought iron, which has now, to a great extent, superseded cast-iron, except for ornamental purposes, is the product of Forge Pig the resulting metal containing not more than 0.15 per cent of carb...
-Steel
Steel has a tensile strength of 32 tons per square inch, ultimate or breaking weight, and the same of compression with shearing at 24 tons - each of which, it will be noticed, exceeds the power of res...
-Chapter XII. Rivets And Riveting. Riveted Work
Riveting is the means by which first-class wrought-iron and steel framings are connected together, and especially girders built up of several members, the common class of work being connected by bo...
-Machine Riveting
Machine riveting, of course, has to be done in the shops at the ironbuilder's yard or works; so that only certain parts, though often the majority, can be riveted together, by machines, which work o...
-Size Of Rivets
The rule for proportioning the size of the rivets in punched holes, as laid down by Sir W. Fairbairn, is: For the diameter of the rivets, double the thickness of the plate under œ inch thick, the lar...
-Chapter XIII. Iron Roofs. Iron Versus Wood
The student will have noticed (in Chapter XI (Iron And Steel. Pig Iron).) how the use of iron tends to supersede that of wood in roofs originally designed and executed in wood; and as excellence in th...
-Joints And Connections
The foot of the truss is collected together and connected to the supports by means of a cast-iron shoe (as figs. 442 to 445), which, it will be seen, is a flat-bedded casting, with, as it were, two ja...
-Chapter XIV. Coverings For Roofs. Lead Work
Lead is a material of a soft, heavy, highly fusible, and extremely flexible nature, used as a covering to flat roofs, and as a means of rendering slated and tiled roofs watertight; being, on account o...
-Zinc Work
Zinc is a very thin, light metal, used for roof-covering on a cheaper scale, being about one-third of the cost of lead. It is used for gutters, valleys, soakers, and flashings, in common work, in like...
-Lead On Roofs
Fig. 461 represents a plan of a roof, and will show most of the positions in which lead is used on a roof, the letters on the plan referring to the following members: A, a ridge; B, a hip; C, a valley...
-Lead On Roofs. Continued
E and F. Gutters between roofs and behind parapets, as G, are subject to similar rules to the last-named with regard to falls and the lengths of the sheets of lead between drips M, or drips and rolls ...
-Slates
Of the two materials - slates and tiles - generally used in towns for roof-coverings, slates are the more common, being cheaper and better suited to the flatter kind of pitched roofs (of about 30 degr...
-Tiles
Tiles, as compared with slates, are a more expensive roof-covering material, not only from their composition and manufacture, but also on account of the extra trouble and battens they require for thei...
-Chapter XV. Fireproof Floors. Essentials Of Fireproof Construction
The highly inflammable nature of wood as a material used in the construction of floors, and the risk to life which it entails, has of late years received particular attention from the architectural an...
-Special Systems
The principles of concrete floors having been explained, and the various points to be considered and guarded against thus brought to the notice of the student, it only remains to set forth the differe...
-Special Systems. Continued
Pease's Patent Pease's Patent, Figs. 53IG and 532H, a very ingenious arrangement, consists of sheet iron or steel tubes, so constructed that a cup, as it were, is formed to cany the concrete as a cen...
-Chapter XVI. Joints And Mouldings In Joinery. Joinery Defined
The term joinery, applied in a general sense, includes all the finishings to the carcase of a building, whether they be external or internal, such as doors, windows, stairs, skirtings, skylights, la...
-Angle Joints
Tongued angles are used for internal angles of dadoes, skirtings, grounds, casings, etc., as Fig. 541. Mitred angles are made by simply cutting half a right angle alternately off the two pieces, to b...
-Mouldings
Mouldings are a series of sinkings and projections of various forms - mostly parts of circles, ellipses, etc. - worked on the edges of the wood to produce light and shade by shadows, and give it an or...
-Chapter XVII. Doors: Their Finishings And Fastenings
Before dealing with the doors themselves it will be advisable to acquire a thorough understanding of the frames or cases which are designed to contain them. These frames, being generally built up in r...
-Doors
Doors are wooden framings, hung to frames or doorcases, or on hooks, in external positions, and to casings or linings, internally. No door should ever be less than 2 feet 9 inches in width, 6 feet 9 i...
-Fanlights
Some internal as well as external doors are made with transoms and fanlights over them, to give additional and regular light as Fig. 632, X being the fanlight, which can be either fixed, or hung on bu...
-Panelled Doors
This kind of door is the most general in ordinary use, and consists of a framing, made up of narrow pieces, mortised and tenoned together, and grooved in the inside to receive the panels. Fig. 645 re...
-Miscellaneous Doors
Some doors, called sash doors, are made with the top part of them prepared for glass panels, in which cases the styles are often diminished at the lock or middle rail, as at X, Fig. 662. Fig. 660. ...
-Miscellaneous Doors. Continued
Those for 14-inch walls must, of course, be cross-tongued, having to be made out of two widths of stuff, 11 inches being the widest procurable. Fig. 682 is a plan of a cross-tongued double-rebated ca...
-Chapter XVIII. Windows And Window Finishings. Windows And Frames
Window openings are filled in with two classes of joiner's framing - cased frames filled in with sashes, or solid frames with casements. Sash Frames Cased frames are of two parts, as stated above, c...
-Windows And Window Finishings. Windows And Frames. Part 2
Those in the direction of the jars or blows are made the through bars, with the mortises. The other joints between styles and rails are scribed, mortised and tenoned together, and wedged up. When s...
-Windows And Window Finishings. Windows And Frames. Part 3
It will be gathered from the drawings that these last casements have the advantages of sashes, in that they neither open inwards nor outwards, which may be said to be disadvantages in casements and so...
-Window Finishings
The finishings to cased and solid frames being alike, the student must understand that the various framings, mouldings, etc., explained in this chapter equally apply to both kinds of windows, although...
-Window Finishings. Continued
The edges of the styles of all shutters and back flaps are rebated out alternately, so that when they are unfolded they fit together and form one surface, with no spaces at the joints, as they would i...
-Chapter XIX. Wooden Stairs. Stairs And Staircases
Stairs are the means by which ascent or descent is made from one level (or floor) to another. They can be made of stone, iron, concrete, or wood; but it is only intended to deal with wooden stairs in ...
-Kinds Of Stairs
A straight stair is that on which the person ascending moves up in the same forward direction from bottom to top, as Figs. 798, 799, and 800, in plan, section, and elevation. This is a very common for...
-Construction Of Stairs
Fig. 818 is a section of the treads and risers of a common narrow stair between two walls. The treads have rounded nosings, and are grooved and tongued to the risers, glued together, blocked and house...
-Construction Of Stairs. Continued
In best work these boards are not nailed down, but are glued together and secured by hardwood buttons underneath, each button being screwed to the underside of the board, and the tongue on them turned...
-Chapter XX. Skylights And Lanterns
Both of these classes of framing are used for the purpose of light, either fixed in the roofs, flats, etc., or forming a roof in themselves. Their object is to give light from above, where, from vario...
-Chapter XXI. Plastering, Painting, And Glazing. Plaster Work Materials
Plastering consists in covering with a smooth surface all rough walls, ceilings, partitions, etc., in the superior apartments of dwellings, etc., where a more finished, better-looking, and more sanita...
-Plaster Work Processes
Brick and stone walls are - as it is termed - covered by two or three coat work, consisting of a rendering or pricking up coat, a floating and a setting coat. The first consists in covering the w...
-Plaster Work Processes. Continued
Selenetic lime is a mixture of hydraulic lime and plaster-of-Paris, often used for ordinary plastering; its advantages being that it is quicker in setting between the coats, and will take more sand, w...
-Painting
Painting is the covering of wood, iron, plaster, or other materials, either for the purpose of protecting them or for ornament. The ingredients employed in the various mixtures used for the different...
-Glass And Glazing
Glass is a transparent material, used for giving light through openings, while excluding the elements. It is a mixture of white sand, soda, and chalk, in various proportions, melted together at a very...
-Chapter XXII. Centring, Foundations, Shoring, Scaffolding, Sewers. Centring
Centres are framed structures for temporary purposes, used in throwing arches over apertures, etc. They have their top shaped to the required curve of the arch, are made specially for the dimensions o...
-Different Soils
In dealing with the following different kinds of ground, it must be understood that the remarks are made in a general sense, and are not intended to lay down any hard-and-fast rule, as in all cases pe...
-Shoring And Strutting
Sharing, as applied to excavations, has been dealt with previously; and it is now proposed to give the student an idea of shoring to buildings which require additional support, when the adjoining or p...
-Hoisting Tackle
Stones are lifted and set into position in the work by means of ropes and pulleys supported by shear-legs (as Fig. 925), which are scaffold poles let into or bedded in the ground securely; or the pull...
-Chapter XXIII. Miscellaneous Materials. Asphalte and Granite
Asphalte It is proposed in this chapter to deal with certain building materials which have not been treated of in (as it were) their proper places, in reference to their application and use. Asphalt...
-Lime
Pure lime, in itself, has neither power of setting nor ultimate strength, and it is only when combined with clay and burnt that it is of value as a building material. The presence of clay, up to a cer...
-Cement
Generally speaking, cement is made from cement-stones or pebbles, containing from 30 to 35 per cent, of clay, which proportion is the best for the complete combination of the different constituents, a...
-Concrete, Marble and Terra-Cotta
Concrete Concrete is a mixture of gravel, broken stone, slag, or brick, called agglomerate or aggregate, with either ground lias lime, Portland or Selenitic cements, known as the matrix when mixed wi...
-Chapter XXIV. Stresses. Definitions
It is only proposed, in this chapter (which is a preliminary to Chapter XXV (Calculation Of Strains. Computing Strains)., where the subject is more fully discussed), to deal with the above subject as ...
-Reactions
The principle of equilibrium demands, for the sake of stability, that the strains which these stresses impose upon structures and their different members shall be met by a resistance in the nature and...
-The Discernment Of Strains
Common sense, consideration, and judgment are all required in distinguishing what parts of girders and the like, and what members of trusses and other framed structures, are in compression, and what p...
-Chapter XXV. Calculation Of Strains. Computing Strains
The strains which the various stresses produce, as hereinbefore enumerated, can generally be calculated arithmetically and graphically, to check each other; and it is intended in this short chapter to...
-Load Distributed
Coming to uniform loads on cantilevers, it is usual to take the collected load, or total weight, as located in the centre of the loaded area, as Fig. 933, from which it will be seen that it is in this...
-Under Several Disttnet Loads
When a girder is loaded with several different loads the strains are found graphically, as Fig. 970 (similarly to Fig. 957); and, arithmetically, they are proved by working each load out separately an...
-Framed Structures
Coming to framed structures, the student must thoroughly understand, and never lose sight of the fact, that the forces acting at any point, to be in equilibrium (which is the foundation of the struc...
-Queen Post Truss
Fig. 985 represents the diagram for a queen post truss ( w/12 being equivalent to 10 cwt. and w/6 20 cwt), which should explain itself; abed a being the reciprocal of A, bcefb of B, dcegd of E, f h ...
-Chapter XXVI. Sanitation
This is one of the vexed subjects of the age; though it must be understood that the great differences of opinion only take place as to the means and methods by which it is attempted to get rid of evil...
-Air And Ventilation
Human beings, on an average, require, per head, 300 cubic feet of fresh air per hour to keep them in a healthy state; and for this purpose they must be supplied with that amount of cubic space of pure...
-External Ventilators As Inlets
External ventilators, connected by flues to the inside, where valves, flaps, and shutters should be utilised to shut off and regulate the supply at pleasure. A common place to fix these is a little ab...
-Ventilating Fans
Another means of ventilating apartments, and promoting a circulation of air, is by the use of fans propelled by mechanical means, which drive the collected fresh air through flues into the rooms, the ...
-Drainage
Coming to drainage, we will start from the outfall into the main or public sewer, and deal with the drains, water closets, baths, lavatories, sinks, and other apparatus in connection therewith, callin...
-Drain Pipes And Testing
The next point for consideration is the house sewer and its branch pipes from this disconnecting trap to the various positions required to receive the solid and liquid matter from the house appliances...
-Inspection Openings And Ventilating Inlets
Where these pipes take a different angle (forming an elbow), or have a junction one with the other, inspection chambers should be provided, having air-tight covers if in a situation where open grates ...
-Cesspools
When cesspools are used, they should be situated as far as possible from the building and clear of any storage tanks or source of domestic water supply, their walls and bottoms being perfectly water-t...
-Water Closets And Soil Pipes
Every water-closet apparatus, on whatever principle, whether valve, wash-down, or wash-out, should have the following properties, to secure safety:- 1. Simplicity in its working parts. 2. A proper t...
-Baths, Etc
The next question is that of the baths, lavatories, and sinks, which it is necessary should be constructed in such a manner as will allow of themselves and their surroundings being kept thoroughly cle...
-Water Supply
Good pure water is naturally most essential for the welfare of human beings; and, as a rule, it is supplied by private or public bodies, so that it is only necessary here to deal with its storage and ...
-Appendix. Examinations in Building Construction. Syllabus of the Subjects
Syllabus of the Subjects in which Examinations in Building Construction are held by the Department of Science and Art. [Note. - The Department announce that a larger number of questions will be set i...
-Examinations in Building Construction. Syllabus of the Subjects. Continued
Second Stage, Or Advanced Course In addition to the subjects enumerated for the Elementary Course - in all of which questions of a more complicated nature may be set, combining work done by the diffe...









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