Assignments in Writing

Assignments in Writing


Put down the title corresponding thematically to each of the given descriptions.

Titles'. Live Load; Wind Load; Foundation; Dead Load; Superstructure; Substructure; Foundation Bolts.

1. The part of a building that has the purpose of transmitting structural loads from the building into the earth.

2. A load of the building caused by wind pressure and/or suction.

3. Special bolts used for fixing structural members, etc. to concrete or stone foundations. *

4. The weight of the building itself.

5. The above-ground part of a building.

6. The below-ground part of a building.

7. The weight of people, show, furnishings and machines in or on the building.

Titles: Plywood; Laminate; Glue Laminated Timber; Veneer; Member; Column; Beam.

1. A timber made up of a large number of small strips of wood glued together.

2. A thin layer, sheet, or facing.

3. A wood panel composed of a number of layers of wood veneer bonded together under pressure.

4. An upright structural member acting mainly in compression.

5. A straight structural member that resists nonaxial loads.

6. To bond together in layers: lamination n. a material produced by bonding together layers of material.

7. An element of a structure such as a beam, a column, a stud, a joist; a piece in structural framework or timber framing.

Titles: Joist; Joist-band; Rafter; Stab on Grade; Decking.

1. A material used to span across beams or joists to create a roof or floor surface.

2. One of a group of light, closely spaced beams used to support a floor deck or a flat roof.

3. A framing member that runs up and down the slope of a pitched roof.

4. A concrete surface lying upon, and supported directly by the ground below.

5. A broad, shallow concrete beam that supports one-way concrete joists whose depths are identical to its own.

Titles: Fixed Window; Single-hung Window; Double-hung Window; Sliding Window.

1. A window with one fixed sash and another that moves horizontally in track.

2. Glass that is immovably mounted to a wall.

3. A window with two sashes. They both slide vertically in tracks.

4. A window with two overlapping sashes. The lower of them can slide vertically in tracks, and the upper one is fixed.

Titles: Stud; Tile; Mason; Strong Clay; Structural Glass.

1. A clay free from other substances, such as sand, etc.

2. Glass units used for building non-bearing walls. Glass bricks.

3. One of a series of small, closely spaced wall framing members. A heavy steel pin.

4. A fired clay product that is thin as compared to a brick. It may be a thin curved element used for roofing.

5. One who builds with bricks, stones.

Titles: Concrete; Condensation; Conduction; Conductor; Fa?ade; Glass; Conduit.

1. Building material that consists of white sand, soda, and chalk, which are mixed and melted at very high temperatures.

2. a) A channel or pipe to convey water, b) Steel used as a casing to electric cables or wires.

3. Moisture produced by humid atmosphere.

4. A material that easily transmits heat, electricity by conduction.

5. The front or face of a building.

6. The transmission of heat or sound from particle to particle of a body.

7. A mixture of lime or cement, sand, and some form of aggregate, such as broken stone or brick, shingle, etc. The selection of the aggregate depends on the requirements, such as strength, lightness, fire-resistance, etc. The addition of water causes chemical action to take place. The whole is well mixed together, so that the particles make a compact mass.

Titles: Membrane; Membrane Fire Protection; Ventilator; \&por Retarder.

1. A device for keeping the air fresh in a building.

2. A layer of material used in order to prevent the passage of water vapor through a building assembly.

3. A sheet of material that is impenetrable for water or water vapor.

4. A ceiling used to provide fire protection to the structural membrane above.

150 Material for Reading, Translating and Comprehension

Articles for Reading and Translating


Articles for Reading and Translating

Read the article. Find in it answers to the following questions.

1. Where is a membrane placed?

2. What is the function of a membrane?


Vapor retarders have received increased attention and are becoming extremely popular in connection with the problem of fuel econbmy.

A vapor retarder is a membrane of metal foil, plastic or paper. It is placed on the warm side of thermal insulation. Its function consists in keeping water vapor from entering the insulation and condensing into liquid. As thermal insulation levels increase, the role of vapor retarders increases also. That is the reason for high-quality vapor retarders being widely installed in constructions of different types.


Windows were formerly made on the job site by highly skilled carpenters, but are now produced almost exclusively in factories. Some manufacturers make a range of standard sizes from which the designer can select, while others build windows to order. The rationale for factory production in either case is one of higher efficiency, lower cost, and most importantly, better quality. Windows need to be made to a very high standard of precision if they are to operate easily and maintain a high degree of weathertightness over a period of many years. In cold climates especially, a loosely fitted window with single glass and a frame that is highly conductive of heat will significantly increase heating fuel consumption for a building, cause noticeable discomfort to the people in the building, and create large quantities of condensate to stain and decay finish materials in and around the window.

Types of Windows

Figure 6 illustrates in diagrammatic form the window types used most commonly in Wood Light Frame buildings. Fixed windows are the least expensive and the least likely to leak air or water because they have no openable components. Single-hung and double-hung windows have one or two moving sashes, which are the frames in which the glass is mounted. The sashes slide up and down in tracks in the frame of the window. In

older windows the sashes were held in position by cords and counterweights, but today's double-hung windows rely on a system of springs to counterbalance the weight of the sashes. A sliding window is essentially a single-hung window on its side, and shares with single-hung and double-hung windows the advantage that the sashes are always securely held in tracks in the frame. This allows the sashes to be more lightly built than those in projected windows.


The ancient Romans discovered a mineral on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. The mineral when mixed with limestone and burned, produced cement, that hardened underwater as well as in the air. This cement was harder and stronger than the ordinary lime mortar they had been using. As time passed, the new material not only became the preferred type for use in all their building projects but changed the character of Roman construction. Masonry of stone or brick was used to construct only the surfaces of masonry piers and walls but the interiors were filled with large amounts of the new type of mortar.

We now know that mortar continued the main ingredient of modern Portland cement. Thus, one can say that the Romans were the inventors of concrete constructions.

With the fall of the Roman Empire, knowledge of concrete construction was lost. But in the eighteenth century English inventors began experimenting with both natural and artificially produced cements. In 1824 an artificial cement, named Portland cement, was patented. This type of cement soon became very popular and the name Portland is in common use in the present day.


Orientation and construction of buildings should receive special attention in places where environmental and climatic factors have a significant effect. Structural design, style and materials should be compatible with local climatic and weather conditions. For example, flat roofs should be avoided in areas with frequent rainfalls. Snow and wind are variable loads that should be taken into account while designing a structure and its roof. Tall buildings are not recommended in places where strong winds, humidity or fog are likely and bring damage.

Material for Reading, Translating and Comprehension

Articles for Reading and Translating 153


Solar radiation can be also unpleasant, but if it is controlled, it can bring many advantages. Among these advantages there may be water heating through solar panels.

Local industries and their disposition should be also taken into account and controlled as atmospheric and noise pollution may be highly injurious and bring much harm.

Location and coordination of all services must also be preplanned and located on a site plan, worked out in accordance with the local,climatic conditions. Sanitary accommodation is of primary importance. All conveniences must have ventilation, a cover, partitions and doors with suitable fasterings.

Fair work. Put these questions to your groupmate.

1. Why should flat roofs be avoided in areas with frequent rainfalls?

2. Which variable loads should be taken into account?

3. For what reasons are tall buildings not recommended in areas where winds and fogs are frequent?

4. What advantages can solar radiation bring?

5. For what reasons should local industries be controlled?


Cladding is a material used as the exterior wall enclosure of a building. The cladding of a building is its most visible part. Its major purpose is to separate the indoor environment of a building from the outdoors.

Cladding must prevent the entry of water, snow and ice into a building. Water on the face of a building is known to be driven by wind not only in a downward direction, but in every other direction, even upward.

Water problems, that is keeping water out, are especially great on very tall buildings. These buildings rise to height where wind velocities are extremely high.

They are much higher than at ground level. It should be taken into account that on tall buildings water tends to penetrate the smallest crack or hole and enter the building.

Construct the questions in writing and answer them.

1. Cladding, is, what_______________________ ?

2. The cladding, a visible or an invisible part, is, of a building__ ?

3. Major purpose, what, is, its________________ ?

4. In what directions, driven, is, water on the face of a building_ ?

5. Why, water problems, so great, are, on tall buildings_______ ?

6. On what buildings, water, does, tend, the smallest crack or hole, to

penetrate_________________________ ?

CLADDING (continued) A. Preventing Air Leakage

The function of a cladding is to prevent the passage of air between indoors and outdoors of a building. For this purpose it is necessary to regulate air velocities within the building. Even small air leaks are extremely

harmful. Why is it so?

It is because air leaks carry water though the wall, allow vapor to condensate inside the walls, and allow noises to penetrate the walls of the building from outside.

B. Controlling Light The function of the cladding of a building is also to control the passage of light. Especially important is controlling the passage of sunlight

It is a well-known fact that sunlight is heat that may be harmful or harmless. It can be useful for illumination but harmful if it produces glare within a building. Besides, sunlight includes ultraviolet wavelengths that can be harmful for human skin. They may also cause harm to interior materials.

Answer the following questions.

1. What is the function of a cladding?

2. Why are small leaks harmful?

3. Why is controlling the passage of sunlight so important?

' 4. What kind of wavelengths does sunlight include? Why are they harmful?


Circuits that convey information or control other circuits are classified as communication systems. They are usually low voltage (commonly 12 to 24 V), in contrast to power systems, which start at 120 V. Communication systems include all types of signal systems - telephone, telegraph, and alarm. They also include remote control for power systems.

Alarm Systems. These systems cover security, fire detection and fire alarm. Fire-protective signaling systems are divided into non-power-limited and power-limited. Of these two, power-limited circuits are limited to currents less than 5 A. As to non-power-limited circuits, they may carry up to 600 V.

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154 Material for Reading, Translating and Comprehension

Telephone Systems. The utility company pulls all the wire for telephone service in a building, provides the equipment, and makes all final connections. In new constructions the required empty conduits with a pull wire inside must be provided.

Television Systems. Large apartment buildings usually generally provide a master antenna and amplifier systems. For buildings which are up to 20 stories high, the amplifiers may be located at the roof. In very tall buildings, taller than 20 stories, the amplifying equipment may be located at midheight. It may serve both upfeed and downfeed risers.

Translate the following extract in writing.

Adjusting a Movement. A building is never at rest. Different kinds of forces are always at work throughout a building. These forces push and tug both the frame and the cladding, thermal expansion, and contraction. These forces and their influence on the inside structure of a building should be taken into consideration in designing a building.


The fundamental purpose of a door is to provide access into or out of a building. Doors also serve for providing access into or out of various compartments of a building.

Doors also have the following functions. They provide:

Sliding door French door Fig. 8

1. Security;

2. Weather resistance;

3. Fire-resistance;

4. Thermal insulation;

5. Sound insulation.
As to exterior doors, they must be well-
designed and properly constructed. They must
not leak air, wind, heat and water.

Answer the following questions. Try to consult the article as little as possible.

1. What are the fundamental purposes of a door?

2. What are their functions?

3. What kinds of resistance do they provide?

4. What kinds of insulation do they provide?

5. What mustn't the exterior doors leak?

Articles for Reading and Translating


F. Hennebique was born in France, in the family of a farmer. Already in his childhood he became fond of natural sciences and spent his free time on reading books on natural sciences.

At the age of 18 he became an apprentice of a builder and at the same time he continued his studies of theoretical technology. At the age of 25 years Hennebique specialized in restoring churches. He travelled all over the country (France) visiting cathedrals and examining their architecture

and construction.

As years passed by, he grew interested in railway works, including

bridges and viaducts.

In 1844 he designed a house for a client and, to prevent damage by fire, combined good-quality steel (as opposed to iron) with concrete in compression. In this way he realized a new idea to put steel rods in the bottom of the slab in order to prevent any damage by fire. That building with its fire resistance guarantee was completed in 1880 and stood until destroyed during the First Wsrld War.

From that time on, F. Hennebique concentrated on the development and production of reinforced concrete constructions.

One of his reinforced concrete buildings of that time, a single-storey structure in Paris, had a concrete and glass roof.

His first concrete bridge was designed and constructed in 1899. Soon his name was associated with bridges all over the world, and, by 1906, he had designed 700 (with an average of over 100 a year), since the construction of the first reinforced concrete bridge. And by 1920 he had completed 3600 bridges (!).

Fig. 9. Franqois Hennebique (1842-1921)

F. Hennebique travelled all over Europe setting up his agencies and firms. Contracts with his numerous clients had doubled each year and by 1917 his firms had completed 35000 contracts. He also constructed reservoirs and water works and by that time there were 7500 of them completed. As to his railway works (total 300), they included offices and hotels in Cairo. He built the enormous

pioneer - ,




Material for Reading, Translating and Comprehension

Articles for Reading and Translating


sports stadium in Turin covering an area of 11 ha, with places for 70000 spectators.

Fig. 10. Lion Chambers - first reinforced concrete multi-storey building in Glasgow

In Britain the first building in reinforced concrete was a six-storey concrete framed construction. As to the 15-storey Royal Liver Building in Liverpool, it was built in 1909 and up till now is considered to be Britain's first "skyscraper". Built with an entirely reinforced concrete frame, the building has become a symbol of the city. F. Hennebique left behind a great number of very fine and famous buildings and structures. But that is not all! Maybe his greatest contribution to the industry was the fact that he attracted and trained a great number of talented engineers who were to go on and develop their own practices. Many of them became consulting engineers working not only with reinforced concrete. They dealt also with many fields of general engineering.

Answer the questions.

Did you find anything new for you in the article? What is it?


A new anti-icer liquid is successfully used for melting snow and ice on roadways and bridges. The liquid looks like molasses in colour but is less viscous. It can be used alone or mixed with other anti-icer agents. It can also be added to salt/grit mixtures and melts snow on roadways. The advantages of the liquid are ease of use, effectiveness and relatively low cost. The liquid has been tested and compared with other agents. Laboratory and field tests indicate that the product melts snow and ice faster and at lower temperatures than other ice control agents. The product was also found to produce a longer effect than magnesium chloride solution widely used as deicer. It turned out to be reactive during the next snowfall.

If the liquid is mixed with salt, it can reduce corrosion of highway infrastructure. It is found to cause less corrosion than pure water. Answer the questions.

1. What are the advantages of the newly produced deicer?

2. Do you use any deicers? What are they?


The insulation of a building is its extremely important feature. It keeps a building comfortable for life; it helps make buildings cooler in summer and warmer in winter by retarding the passage of heat through the exterior surfaces of the building. It helps keep the people living in the building more comfortable by raising the temperatures of the interior surfaces of the building. It also reduces the energy consumption of the building for heating and cooling. The most important types of thermal insulating materials are the following: glass, wool, treated cellulose, polyurethane, polystyrene foam, glass fibers and some others.

Answer the questions.

1. Why is insulation of a building so important?

2. In what way does it make the people living in the building more comfortable?

3. Does it reduce the energy consumption?

4. What are the highly popular types of thermal insulating materials?

Read and translate the article. Use a professional dictionary. Describe the diagrams of a one-pipe system and a two-pipe system.


From campfires to fuel cells, man has discovered many ways to keep warm. One method is heating with steam. A vessel fueled by coal, oil, gas, or wood boils water and produces steam. The steam travels through piping to radiators and gives off heat. There are tens of thousands of such systems in use nowadays. Because many of such systems have been altered over the years, it is necessary for today's technicians to have a working knowledge of steam heating systems. There follow some of the basic components of a steam heating system.

The Boiler

Fueled by various sources such as gas, wood, oil, or coal, the boiler fires automatically, boils water, and produces steam. System controls maintain pressure and also protect the boiler.

Piping Arrangements

There are two different types of piping arrangements commonly found today in steam heating systems one-pipe and two-pipe systems.

Material for Reading, Translating and Comprehension

Articles for Reading and Translating


A one-pipe system uses a single pipe to both supply steam to radiators and return condensate to the boiler. (See Fig. 11.)

Vent Valve

Two-pipe systems incorporate one pipe to supply steam to radiators and a separate pipe to return condensate to the boiler. (See Fig. 12.)

Supply Valve
Seppfy Valve


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