Building or housing is the most fundamental need for humankind. It shelters us. When we see or hear the “Building” word, we imagine that a building is tall and has a roof, walls, rooms, etc. However, in a broader sense, the definition of a building is structurally constructive based on bricks, sands, types of cement, water, concrete, metal, etc.

What is Building?

The building is a kind of structure which is built with materials and including with foundation, plinth, walls, floors, roofs, chimneys, plumbing, and building services, fixed platforms, veranda, balcony, cornice or projection, part of a building or anything affixed thereto or any wall enclosing or intended to enclose any land or space and signs and outdoor display structures. For example, houses, factories, shopping malls, hospitals, etc.

A building aims to give shelter along with security. Other purposes such as buildings serve several needs of society primarily as shelter from the weather, security, living space, privacy, to store belongings, supplied electricity, and to comfortably live and work.

Types of Buildings

Buildings may be load-bearing masonry buildings, RCC, or steel-framed structure buildings. There are many different types of Buildings. Such as-

  • Residential houses,
  • Schools, Colleges & Universities,
  • Hospitals,
  • Factories, Workshops,
  • Mosques, Churches, Temples,
  • Malls etc.

Basic Components & Parts of Buildings

Building components or parts are essential materials for building construction. All buildings are built with the same components such as foundations, walls, floors, rooms, and roofs. Buildings need to decorate or renovate with paints, plasters, supplied electricity, and doors and windows fittings, fencing, and external other works to finish accurately. All these works are called Building Service.

A building has three basic requirements and components. They are -

  • Foundation
  • Plinth
  • Superstructure

A brief description of these basic parts of a building is given below.


Foundation is the most critical work of building construction. A load of buildings depends on the foundation which is the strength of buildings. It is one kind of substructure. Foundations can be divided into two categories such as Shallow and Deep Foundations. The words shallow and deep indicate the depth of foundation in the soil. Shallow foundations are used for small and light buildings e.g. a small or medium-size houses, small shopping centers, etc., and deep foundations are used for heavy and large buildings e.g. tall buildings, huge shopping malls, large hospitals, and universities, etc. Generally, shallow foundations can be made in the depth of as little as 3ft (1m), and deep foundations made at depth of 60-200ft (20-65m).

There are various types of foundations in building construction.

All these foundations work to make columns, walls, rooms, and living spaces. Depends on different types of foundations, workers use various amounts of building materials, for example, in beam work, workers make pile foundations.

Functions of Foundations:

  • Load distribution
  • Provide firm and level surface
  • Protection against soil movement
  • Reduction of load intensity
  • Reduction of differential settlement
  • Safety against sliding and overturning
  • Safety against undermining


The plinth is that part between the surrounding ground surface and floor space immediately above the ground of a building. Plinth resists entry of rainwater and insects inside the building. General plinth height is 45, 60, 75, 90, 120 cm.


The Superstructure is constructed above the underground level. The location between the underground level and the ground level is known as the plinth. In this structure, walls and rooms are constructed and transfer loads from the upper part to the substructure. In this part, a building has the following components:

Floor Structures

It is an important element of building construction. It is located at the lower level surface of a room. Floors can decorate in various ways. Floors are here to move around e.g. walking from one room to another room.

Roof Structures

It is located at the upper-level surface of a room. Depends on the weather, roofs can be different categories such as- blue roof, cold roof, collar roof, fabric roof, a domestic roof, domestic roofing, fiber cement, flat roof, green roof, pitched roof, mono-pitched roof, warm roof, shell roof, metal roof, roof tiles, skillion roof, etc. Most of the time, flat roofs, domestic roofs, and fiber cement roofs are used in building constructions.

Lintel, Sunshade & Parapet

Lintel beams are provided near openings to bear the load coming from the superstructure above the door or windows. Lintels can be steel lintels, reinforced brick lintels, stone lintels, timber lintels, etc.

The sunshade is one kind of slab, which is made on the top of windows and doors. It protects the doors and windows from rain and the heavy heat of sunlight. Based on their position, sunshades can be Internal, External, and Inter-pane. Internal Sun-shading is protecting from solar radiation and balance useful daylight availability; for example- curtains and Venetian blinds, roller blinds, pleated blinds, blackout blinds, etc. External shading can be horizontal, vertical, or egg-crate devices. External Sunshades are considered better to protect the building from weather or climate changes. Sunshades maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and minimize the solar radiation and coolness of the weather, which dramatically affect building energy performance.

The parapet is a low wall constructed above the roofline that usually spans around the perimeter of a building. A parapet wall can be constructed around balconies or at the edge of terraces and stairs.

Door & Windows

Doors provide a connecting link between rooms, allowing free movement from to room-to-room. Windows are opening provides in walls. Doors and windows provide lighting, smooth sound of outsides places, and ventilation. Undoubtedly, both provide security and privacy. Different buildings have different sizes of doors; for example -Residential area’s doors are completely different from industrial buildings’ doors. There are different types of doors that engineers and architecture used in buildings construction.

Considering Material Used

  1. Wooden Door
  2. Metal Door
  3. UPVC Door

Considering the Mechanism & Usage

  1. Sliding Door
  2. Composite Door
  3. Swinging Door
  4. Revolving Door
  5. Folding Door

There are also different types of windows such as:

  • Fixed
  • Pivoted
  • Double Hung
  • Sliding
  • Casement
  • Sash
  • Louvered
  • Metal
  • Bay
  • Corner window
  • Dormer window
  • Gable window
  • Lantern
  • Skylight

Walls & Columns

The walls are building blocks of bricks or stones. They divide the building space into various support space slabs into various beams and rooms. They safely transmit the loads coming on them from beams and slabs to the foundation. They provide privacy and protection against heat, cold, rain, noise, dust winds. Walls can be Brick masonry walls and Stonemasonry walls.

Columns are vertical members along which beams and slab /roof is supported. The shape of the columns can be square, rectangular, and circular.

Building Finishes works

The concluding appearance of a building depends on such works. Such as:

  • Plastering and pointing
  • Kitchen setup
  • Painting walls
  • Furnishing wooded doors & woodwork
  • Oiling & painting grillwork & metal-work.
  • Positioning & maintenance of lifts & stairs works

Building Services

There are other building services after the construction, which are also counted as components of building construction. Such as- water supply, electricity supply, drainage, and sanitation supply, internal closets’ and cupboards’ services.



Please note that the information in is designed to provide general information on the topics presented. The information provided should not be used as a substitute for professional services.


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