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Responsibilities of a building contractor Essays

ABSTRACT
Building contractors are normally given a number of responsibilities which they are supposed to execute during construction operations. These involves coming up with designs for buildings to be constructed and fixing appropriate security measures. Building contractors are also assigned the job of obtaining required materials which should cater for environmental conditions where the building is located. In this particular case, very strong materials are required since the apartment to be constructed requires high level of security and safety. This is because; it is bordered by a neighborhood where industrial operations take place and another consisting of a large number criminals.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BUILDING CONTRACTOR
Introduction
Building contractors have a number of responsibilities that they need to consider when planning as well as during actual practice of construction. Among their areas of consideration include territoriality, design guidelines, defense strategies, natural surveillance as well as strategies that build confidence regarding safety. In this particular case, it will involve constructing a residential apartment within high-rise area. The locality of this particular construction site is bordered with two sensitive localities where one is an urban area characterized by high crime rates while the other is occupied by industrial facilities. Characteristics of these two areas need proper consideration before initiating the project in order to incorporate future occupants’ needs within the final construction approach. (Ambrose, 2007)
Territoriality Consideration
Territoriality involves consideration of the actual locality where a construction is based which requires building contractors to study locality’s characteristics closely in order to ensure defense. Main features of the location are pointed out particularly those that are capable of affecting future occupants of that building. In this case, the area seems unsafe considering its neighborhood activities. These include presence of crimiminal activities and vulnerability to accidents associated with industries. Since locality of the apartment cannot be changed, fixation of security measures will help ensure that occupants are safe from industrial and criminal attacks. This will be undertaken through controlling physical access to the apartment by fixing entry and exit points in opposite directions of these areas. Entry points will be located in such a way that effective monitoring can be undertaken. Line markers will also be fixed in the apartment’s borders which will be in form of fencing and landscaping. (Ambrose, 2007)
Natural Surveillance
Natural surveillance is another important consideration that will be put into consideration while planning for this apartment. This will involve consideration of possibility of monitoring the apartment’s by occupants as they carry out their daily activities. That is, apartment construction will be in such a way that occupants can view most of the places very clearly in order to detect danger in good time. More so, entry points will be positioned in a manner that allows visual surveillance by neighbors as well as patrol cars that are supposed to assist in monitoring. Bushes around the apartment will have to be cleared in order to ensure that they do not serve as hiding place for offenders. With regard to industrial facilities found in the other neighborhood of this apartment, efficient and clear viewpoints will help occupants to clearly view neighborhood undertakings. They will be in a position to point out dangers like fire in good time necessitating timely escape plans. The apartment’s windows will be made from transparent glass material which will help occupants to view operations taking place outside the apartment. (Woodson, 2004)
Design Guidelines
Appropriate design guidelines will need to be put into consideration to ensure that the apartment’s design necessitates other considerations like natural surveillance. This apartment will be a storied house which will have constituent houses’ with windows facing the two neighborhood areas. This will allow occupants to view long distances from their houses and spot any danger from far. The fence will be built from stone material which will be firm enough to avoid easy breakage into the apartment’s compound. Balconies will also be fixed in the apartment’s houses which will serve as clear viewpoint areas thereby ensuring there is proper monitoring during execution of daily activities. With regard to the industrial neighborhood the apartment’s fence made from stone will prevent dangerous chemicals and bi-products from being damped within the compound. Every house will also have both front and back doors to assist in case of danger such as fire outbreaks from the industrial neighborhood. Security lights will be adequately positioned at the corners of apartment’s wall to allow easy monitoring of movements during the night which will also discourage criminals from getting into the apartment. (Lacinski, 2000)
Territory and Personal Defense Strategies
Defense strategies for individual occupants of the apartment and that of the apartment’s territory will also be put into consideration. This will involve ensuring that an individual’s security is well catered for as well as that of the building. The main consideration will be ensuring that all building regulations are implemented appropriately. Stair cases will be spacious enough to accommodate several occupants in case of danger for them to run for safety. Doors and windows will be fixed in positions adjacent to main corridors which will help the occupants to free in case of danger. Materials to be used in building the apartment will be made from inflammable materials since flammable materials like paraffin paints are highly susceptible to catching fire. Apartment’s territory defense will be acquired through adequate positioning of security officer’s room which will help in detecting intruders’ before they get access to the apartment. Strategic places in which to fix fire fighting apparatus will be adequately built in order to allow quick access when fire breakouts from the industrial neighborhood occur. The apartment will also be fitted with a security zone in one of the floors allowing occupants to cross over to adjacent stairwell near the exit in times of danger. Apartment’s windows will be reinforced by strong framing and will also be minimized in order to avoid direct attacks through the windows. Windows will also be reinforced with a film that does not allow shattering of glass when blasts from industrial neighborhood occur. (Woodson, 2004)
Confidence Restoration Strategies
Strategies that will build confidence within occupants concerning the security of the apartment will be considered. This will involve proper implementation of all the above guidelines especially the designing guidelines. Proper fixing of escape roots and viewing points will also build confidence within occupants as they will be assured of successful escape in case of danger. The main gate and doors will be in-built to make it difficult for criminals from getting an easy access to the apartment. (Lacinski, 2000)
Conclusion
Evidence shows that building contractors have several responsibilities that require them to keep a building in proper conditions in accordance with the existing conditions. With regard to this particular apartment, the locality is situated in a very risky area where industrial dangers may extend to the apartment including fire. On the other hand, criminals from the other neighborhood may get their way to the apartment hence; building contractor will ensure that security measures are fixed appropriately. The apartment’s design will incorporate considerations of both neighborhoods’ situations in order to make it secure and good for occupants’ habitation. (Ambrose, 2007)

REFERENCES
Ambrose J. (2007): Building engineering and systems design, Michigan: University of Michigan pp 46-49
Lacinski P. (2000): Serious straw bale; a home construction guide for all climates, California: Chelsea Green Publishing pp 37
Woodson D. (2004): Be a successful building contractor, New York: McGraw-Hill Professional pp 18-21

 

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