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VII. THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING
A building is a construction which is raised on a foundation and is generally made of stone, concrete blocks, bricks and mortar or cement. Bricks and concrete blocks are held together by mortar. Houses are built of wood, brick, stone and concrete. Many new types of houses are made fr om reed slabs, rolled gypsum panels or wooden sheets. Nowadays houses are often built of complete concrete structural units, prefabricated blocks (prefabs), which are factory-made and assembled on the spot.
Every detail of a house must be carefully planned. The working plan itself is called a blueprint. Without a blueprint the workmen would make all sorts of mistakes and waste a lot of time. Plans for building a house are drawn by an architect. The architect draws a separate plan for each individual floor. He shows all the parts of the house exactly as if the house were already built. It is from the blueprint of the architect that the workman sees wh ere to place the walls, the windows, the doors, the staircases, etc. The size of the rooms, the width of the doors and windows, the height of the ceilings are also marked on the plan by the architect.
First the excavation is dug for the basement, then the foundation walls below ground level are constructed. Foundations are to keep the floors and walls from contact with the soil, to act against the action of the frost and to prevent from settlement. The part upon which the stability of the structure depends is the framework. It carries the loads which are imposed on it. The floors, walls, roofs and other parts of the construction must be carefully designed and proportioned. The floors divide a building into stories. They may be either of timber or, in brick buildi