The Importance Of Construction Materials

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1.0 Introduction
The choice for construction materials is endless. Knowing the particular attributes of these materials allows for the most efficient and productive application which will lead to many years of satisfaction. Civil engineers must have an in-depth knowledge of the main construction materials available in today’s market so that their client receives the best end product for the lowest capital investment.

To gain experience in material selection through observation of past construction projects, our group performed a material survey on the Critical and Creative Studies building at the UBC Okanagan campus. This survey allowed us to learn about civil engineering materials in a real-world application. We looked into the intended
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2.0 Building Background
The Critical and Creative Studies building was constructed in 2001. It was originally built for the Okanagan University College campus which has since been converted to UBC Okanagan. Two faculties call this building home: Critical & Creative Studies and Health & Social Development. The building has a footprint of 2,180 m2 and is comprised of three floors. This building houses workshops, exhibit rooms, classrooms, and labs. Two separate wings of the structure are separated by a central entrance as shown in Figure 2 1 below.

3.0 Materials Survey
The Critical and Creative Studies building at UBCO is comprised of an interesting mix of both aesthetic and structural materials. After taking a tour both through and around the building, we kept a record of any structural and aesthetic materials that were used. For this report, however, we excluded such typical interior materials such as drop ceiling tiles, drywall, linoleum, et cetera.
3.1 Aesthetic
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The cast-in-place concrete was used to create the majority of the shallow foundation, columns (including the elevator shaft), and slabs. The prefabricated cinder blocks were used in a small portion of the foundation at the rear of the building surrounding the natural gas meters. The uses for concrete are shown in Figure 3 5 below.
Reinforced concrete is a beneficial structural material because it is durable, low maintenance, and most importantly excellent at supporting compressive loads. Interior columns benefit from the fact that heat during a fire does not cause the concrete to fail. The foundation and slabs benefit from the workability of fresh concrete and resilience to wear and moisture after curing. Unfortunately, concrete has a very high self-weight, and curing times can slow the pace of construction. Affecting all types of cast-in-place concrete, there may be variations between mixes which can cause significant difficulties. Specifically for foundations, the final condition of the product is not known until the formwork has been removed. Overall, concrete is best suited for foundations, large flooring surfaces, and columns which is exactly where it was used in this

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