Page 1


This week’s activity is an off campus site visit. The company working here is called Maxstra. According to the site manager, this residential building will be built up to 10 storeys using concrete. Pre-casted panel and PT slab will be mainly used.

The first place we get in is the ground floor which is part of the footing system. The footing is 8 meters deep. In order to hold the building, they applied strip footing on the sides as well as pole footing in the middle.


Steel Pipe


Copper Pipe



The pictures show that many pipes and cables are hanging on the ceiling. There are PVC pipes which are for stormwater sewage. There are also Steel pipes, copper pipes and many cables that are connected to machines. Obviously, this is the area where supplying all the services such as water, electricity and gas for the whole building. The lines on the ceiling are the sign of formwork which means that the slabs are in-situ concrete slab.

Pre-casted concrete wall


According to the site manager, the building is constructed by in-situ concrete slab and pre-casted concrete walls. There are also mass masonry structure where the bricks are reinforced by steels. This is considered to be reinforced concrete unit masonry where all cells containing reinforcement are filled solidly with grout (Ching, 2008, p.5.18).

This is one of the confusing part. I am not sure about what this area is for. There are some yellow steels but not sure what they are for. On the ceiling there are some secondary structural elements. This is where we got on the temporary lift in the construction site to get to the highest level to see the constructing process since most of the part on lower levels are finished.


This level is dominated by steel construction. The design is conveyed as well. The insulation for roof system indicate that this is the highest level of the building.

There are holes on the steel for cables to go through and provide services for rooms. Since structural steel is difficult to work on-site, it is normally cut, shaped, and drilled in a fabrication shop according to design specifications which result in relatively fast, precise construction of a structural frame (Ching, 2008, p.4.14). There is a big pipe hanging on the ceiling. It is wrapped by materials that can reduce the noise pollution. There is a steel header on the top of the door frame. This structural element is constructed to carry to load that coming down to the door.


truss Steel beam

Ventilation According to the pictures, the structure is considered to be a triple beam system of structural steel framing. The truss works like long-spanning members. Instead of a solid beam, truss is stiff but light at the same time. The steel beams are the I beams working as the primary beams. They are painted to be prevented from rust. The C shape purlins are the secondary beams laying perpendicularly on the steel beams (Ching, 2008, p.4.15). Also under the steel beam there are two

strips of steel. Double plasterboards will be installed since there will be two separate homes.

The piece of timber is screwed and attached to the steel to avoid twisting. In the other picture are the plasterboards. According to the site manager, a red plasterboard is 13mm thick and is used for places that need fire resistance such as kitchen whereas a blue one is denser and is used for places that need waterproof such as bathroom.

Frame Bracing

There is a steel bracing going across the ceiling. In order to make it stiffer, there are two separated steels bolted together. There is a frame of sliding door laying against the wall. The wood is clear.

From the picture it is obvious that this will be a bathroom. There are PVC pipes, copper, steel and timbers. It is a bit confused why a sheet of silver-looking thing is sealed onto the pipe.

There is a package of wires laying on the floor. The wires are used to hold the insulation

Galvanised steel

Load-bearing column

Some non structural steels are galvanised steel that can protect the steel from rusting but galvanisation can only be applied to small element but hard for big structural elements.

There are stairs for workers to access to the roof. The roof is corrugated and the materials used are for flashing covering. This way it can be attached to the concrete of the ceiling more tightly.

Furring channel

The furring channel is attached to the structural elements so that later on the facade can be attached to the furring channel.

Steel studs

There are steel studs supporting the steel beams. The blue and red plasterboards indicate that these two room may be the kitchen and bathroom and there are ventilation pipes going through the steel elements. The wires hanging down are for lightning.

The two tubes popping out from the wall are installed for air-conditioning. The blue lines on the wall are used for caulking which seal the gaps.

I think the machine in the picture is the machine that can fix up electricity for the whole building. The pipes that popping out from the ground is there so that more concrete can be poured into the slab.

There are holes on wall on our way out. When these pre-casted concrete walls are placed on top of each other using reinforcers. The opening of the pipe on the wall is there for workers to pour concrete into the pipe to make the wall stronger.

Week 07 activity  

Week 07 activity Weekly Journal submission Constructing Environments University of Melbourne

Week 07 activity  

Week 07 activity Weekly Journal submission Constructing Environments University of Melbourne