How to Build a Career in Civil Engineering: My Personal Narrative

My third career episode took place in a firm named Vineesh and Associates during the period from September 2017 to July 2018.

In this career episode I am explaining about my second project, which was a milestone in my Civil Engineering career. This project provided me with a new learning experience as this was dealing with both residential and commercial areas in a single building. Moreover, this gave me an idea of combining and planning of two divergent building types in a fruitful manner.

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The main aim of this project was to include both commercial space and residential space in a single building. The building comprises ground plus 2 floors. In which two floors are considered for the commercial area that means for business and its warehouse purpose while, the topmost floor is considered for the residential purpose of the same family who own that business.

In this project, my nature of work was similar like my first project which I explained in career episode number 2, here they had given more extra duties and responsibilities I need to take care of.

· Dealing with client side and knowing their needs for the building.

· According to the client ideas prepared a rough sketch of the proposed building.

· Collected ideas and sanction from my senior Engineers and incorporated those in the most effective manner.

· Assisted senior Engineers for Material Management and steel designing.

· Prepared 2D and 3D plans using planning software.

· Did frequent site inspections.

· Checked quality of work and assured the adequate quality of materials.

· Made weekly reports and submitted to the senior Engineers.

In this section I intricate my duties as well as responsibilities as a Civil Engineer. Majorly I can divide my nature of work into three categories:

a) Client side

b) Office works

c) Site inspections

Firstly, I’ll start with client side this is the area where me and the client had interacted and discussed the project for the first time. In the meantime, the senior Engineer had given some ideas about the project and later I had discussed and collected the further ideas and interest of the client.

The second section is an important section where I need to input my ideas that is the office work section. Office works section majorly constitutes a plan, Estimation and the final report that I submitted on a weekly basis.

In planning section, the first step was to draw plans, according to the discussed specifications. AutoCAD was the software used for 2D plan. So, using AutoCAD I had completed the 2D drawings, including plan elevation and sections. Simultaneously, I cross-checked the survey reports, soil test results and the site conditions. These were the initial steps I did before going deep into the construction works. Leveling, getting sanction from Municipal authorities, approval of senior Engineers where happening contemporaneously.

And my next task was to take a detailed estimate of the building considering the specifications and materials used. Before taking estimate, I did homework regarding the site and its vicinity, detailed specification of each room, labor costs in that area, material cost according to the current market value. Detailed study of each department made me confident enough to express my innovative suggestions to reduce the cost of building and thereby managed the materials economically.

I suggested using aerated concrete blocks in toilet areas which is cost effective and long standing.

Later, my task was to complete the 3D outlook of the building both interior and exterior. Revit architecture was the software used for 3D designing. Revit is a BIM (Building Information Modeling) software. BIM brings together all the information about each component of a building in one platform. So, architectural, structural and MEP (Mechanical Electrical Plumbing) drawings were done in the same platform. Using Revit Architecture, both interior and exterior can be drawn, and I was working for the same. Parallely, as I was trained for Revit MEP, I did conflict and clash detection among MEP drawings and structural with the help of my senior Engineers.

And here I go with my 3rd section that is site inspections which includes the site supervising, quality checking and billing of quantities. On site supervising my major duties were following:

Firstly, to cross-check the proper alignment and level of structural members such as plinth beam, column, etc. with the structural drawings provided from the office.

Secondly, checked whether all the reinforcement works are following the details provided in the drawing.

Thirdly, before concreting checked whether a sufficient number of cover blocks are placed.

And finally, checked the spacing of stirrups, whether it is less than 12 meters, or else we need to give lap as per IS standards.

Later, my duty was to check the quality of materials. The quality of each material should be ensured before using in the site.

So, for that I collected design mix report from the design section and I cross-checked the design mix report value of cement and sand test with the quality test conducted in the site.

For cement, soundness test, standard consistency test and initial and final setting time are the common tests that we did in the site. And for the sand, bulk density, sieve analysis and specific gravity had tested.

For every load of cement as well as M sand we need to check the quality, whether it is matching with the previous result. So, my duty was to cross verify all the test results.

Also, I checked in the site whether they are using an approved brand of materials (Cement, Steel etc.) to maintain the quality of work.

Checked the silt content of sand using some physical test such as rubbing between fingers. Amount of silt should be less than 8% for an ideal M sand.

Checked the quality of water, i.e. potable water, means water which is feasible for construction purpose.

And cross-checked the concrete test results on site with the design mix report. Slump test for fresh concrete and cube test for hardened concrete are the common concrete tests that I did.

Major challenge I faced was to ascertain and rectify the clashes between MEP (Mechanical Electrical Plumbing) and architectural drawings. There were some exhaust and plumbing connection clashes which was an arduous task to detect. So, I have given height offset to determine them, which made easier to discern separately each connection, thereby helped for a flawless and fast workflow in site.

As years pass, new methods of construction as well as constructing materials are introduced to the world. Each project is giving its own lesson which is new to me and thereby helped to improve my technical knowledge. In this project I came across through some new areas of construction, thereby I studied to maintain the strength of building in the most economical way.

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How to Build a Career in Civil Engineering: My Personal Narrative. (2022, Nov 21). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/how-to-build-a-career-in-civil-engineering-my-personal-narrative/