Civil Engineering Basic Knowledge

Civil Engineering Basic Knowledge

civil engineering basic knowldge

Civil Engineering basic knowledge is the basic parameters related to different civil engineering fields and structures. All engineers should know these basics and especially expected from freshers. The civil engineer does many activities at the construction site and there is certain work that is repetitive in nature.


So below is the list of civil engineering basic knowledge, tips, and tricks, and important points which a civil engineer should remember for faster calculation as well as ultimate solutions to construction site problems.


Civil Engineering basic knowledge is very useful in day to day work, So you must read all points, and implement them in real site work to gain more experience in the field. Because of basic knowledge of civil engineering you can make calculation easy as well as it can save time at the site work.


Top 70 Points to Remember

-Some of the very important types of cement are


Low Heat cement used generally in the construction of dams


Sulphate resisting cement used in corrosive type environment like sewage contact surfaces


Rapid hardening cement


Quick setting cement


-Concrete is represented by nomenclature as M-25. M is Mix and 25 means compressive strength at the end of Civil Engineering basic knowledge is very useful in day to day work, So you must read all points, and implement them in real site work to gain more experience in the field. Because of basic knowledge of civil engineering you can make calculation easy as well as it can save time at the site work.28 days considering concrete cubes of 15 cm. Concrete has two setting types


Initial setting time – 30 min


Final setting time – 10 hrs


-Substructure:- Part of the structure which is below the ground the level


-Superstructure:- Part of the structure which is above the ground level


-Plinth level:- The level on which the actual structure stands on


-Clear cover:- It is the clear distance maintained from concrete face up to face of the reinforcement steel


-Effective depth:- It is the distance from the top of the concrete face up to the CG of reinforcement


-Singly reinforced section:- A section of the concrete member with reinforcement at only on tension zone


-Doubly reinforced section:- A section of the concrete member with reinforcement on both tension and compression zone


-Stirrup:- Steel bent in the closed shape of either rectangular or circular shape. These are generally to hold column bars in position and also effective in shear carrying capacity


-Cantilever beam:- A beam with a fixed support on one side and other is free


-Propped cantilever:- A beam with a fixed support on one side and other end is pinned support


-One way slab:- When the ratio of length to width is more than 2, its one-way slab


-Two-way slab:- When the ratio of length to width is less than or equal to 2, its two-way slab


-Slender column:- When the length to width ratio of the column is more than 12, then it is a slender column


-Frog:- A small depression on top of the brick. This is for proper bonding with other bricks


-Scaffolding:- A temporary structure, when work needs to be carried out at higher elevations


-Retaining wall:- A wall constructed to retain earth


-The volume of one bag cement = 0.0347 cubic meters or 1.23 cubic feet


-Dimensional tolerance of cube size = 2 mm (less or more)


-Maximum diameter of the bar in slab = 1/8 x Thickness of slab


-The minimum thickness of the lintel should be 150 mm


-The height of the parapet wall shall be a minimum of 1 m


-The cement must be used in 3 months from the manufacturing date of that cement bag


-The minimum thickness of DPC(damp proof course) = 75 mm


-The weight of first-class brick = 3.85 kgs


-The binding wire is used for binding 1MT(metric tonne) bars = 10-12 kgs


-The unit weight of steel = square of (dia of the bar)/533 kg per feet


-The weight of rod per meter = D^2 L/162.2


8 mm = 0.395 kg


10 mm = 0.616 kg


12 mm = 0.888 kg


16 mm = 1.578 kg


20 mm = 2.466 kg


25 mm = 3.853 kg


32 mm = 6.313 kg


-The minimum diameter of the bar in dowel bar = 12 mm


-The length of the crank bar = 0.42D, where D = slab thickness – 2 x cover block


-The standard length of steel bar = 12 meters or 40 feet


-The minimum cover is as follows:-


Footing:- 75 mm (bottom side) and 50 mm (top side)


Column:- 40 mm


Slab:- 20 mm


Beam:- 40 mm


-Steel density = 7850 kg/cum


-The unit weight of steel is 78.5 KN/cum


-Cement density = 1440 kg/cum


-Sand density = 1100 to 1600 kg/cum


-Brick density = 1680 to 1920 kg/cum


-Lintel provided at a height of 2.4 meters


-The unit weight of water is 10 KN/cum


-The minimum diameter of bars shall not be less than 8 mm(HYSD) or 10 mm(Plain bars)


-The machine used for the compression test is called UTM (Universal testing machine)


-The unit weight of concrete is 25 KN/cum ( cum = cubic meter )


-One cement bag is equal to 50 kgs


-The standard size of brick is 19 cm X 9 cm x 9 cm


-One cubic meter volume has 500 no of bricks


-The slope of stairs shall not exceed 40 degrees


-In stairs, preferably limit the number of steps to 12 per flight


-One cubic meter of cement = 30 bags of cement


-Minimum dia of the bar used in column = 12 mm


-Lapping in tension, L = 50D to 60D (D = dia of bar)


-But lapping in compression = 24D


-Also lapping is not allowed for the bars having diameters more than 36 mm


-Minimum percentage of steel in column = 0.8% of the gross area of the column


-The maximum percentage of steel in column = 6% of the gross area of the column


-Most important concrete tests


Compression test


Split tensile test


Soundness test


Initial & Final setting test


-Most important soil tests


Core cutter test


Sand replacement test


-Mortar thickness joint should be 10 mm


-Minimum no of bars in circular column = 6


-Minimum no of bars in square column = 4


-Maximum chair spacing = 1 meter and minimum dia of steel used for chair = 12 mm


-The freefall of concrete is allowed a maximum of 1.50 m


-Lap slices not be used for bar larger than 36 mm


-Water absorption of bricks should not be more than 15%


-PH value of water should not be less than 6


-The compressive strength of brick is 3.5 N/mm^2


-In soil filling as per IS code, 3 samples should be taken for core cutting test for every 100sm


-Curing time of RCC members for different types of cement


Super sulphate cement: 7 days


Ordinary portland cement: 10 days


Admixture added cement = 14 days


-De-shuttering time of different RCC members


For column, walls, vertical formwork: 16-24 hrs


Soffit formwork to slab: 3 days (so that props to be refixed after removal)


Soffit to beams props: 7 days (so that props refixed after removal)


Beams spanning up to 4.5 m: 7 days


Beams spanning over 4.5 m: 14 days


Arches spanning: 14-21 days


-Minimum hook length of stirrup = 9D


So, now you have the knowledge of some important civil engineering basics but for designing, site work, and other related work you should remember these.


And below you can download the PDF version of the above list


    Civil Engineering Basics Pdf


    List of major American codes


    ACI 318 – Specification for structural concrete for buildings
    ASCE 7-05 – Specification for loads on buildings
    AASTHO – Specification for bridges
    AISC 303 – For structural steel building


    List of major Indian codes


    Code for reinforced concrete – IS 456
    Specifications for steel construction – IS 800
    Wind load on the building – IS 875
    For seismic specification – IS 1893
    For water retaining structure – IS 3370

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