Essay Sample on Components Used in the Substructure Works

Published: 2024-01-11
Essay Sample on Components Used in the Substructure Works
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Environment Government Sustainable development
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1851 words
16 min read


The development has emerged as one of the key aspects of the current world. Many countries have put their emphasis on development to ensure that they are moving forward and keeping up with the new trends in the world. Development is associated with various factors; one of them is construction. For a place to be considered developed, there have to be many construction activities carried out that have aided the process. For example, many cities or towns have been considered developed due to the stature of the buildings that have been constructed. Some of these cities have a building that has been built using the latest technology, making them last for many years, and it can be sustainable (Tay, Panda, and Paul, 2017, p.270).

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Most of the construction is done in urban areas due to the influx of people that come to look for various opportunities. Construction has been evident in urban areas, but it has also been spread to rural areas as people as now taking up new ideas and the trends to develop new structures. In construction, a lot of emphasis has to be put on how different activities are carried out to ensure that the final structure that is constructed meets all the required standards. In the construction of a building, several parts are involved, and two of these parts is the substructure and the superstructure (Ortiz, Castells and Sonnemann, 2009, p.30). The substructure part refers to the lower part of the building that goes into the ground, while the superstructure parts is the one that is above the ground of that particular building. This paper will focus on the substructure parts detailing the works that are carried, the components used, its sustainability, environmental impact, and the innovation associated with the component.

Substructure Works

As mentioned above, the substructure works refer to the work undertaken during construction that involves the lower part of the building that goes into the ground. The substructure work's main purpose is to make sure that as the building goes up, it is strong, and it can sustain heavyweight (Babic and Rebolj, 2016, p.90). For many years, the population growth has led to reduced land spaced since people are continuously occupying the available spaces. Due to the lack of space, many people have resorted to looking for space below the ground.

According to Zhu et al., 2018, p.12), the success of construction entirely depends on the efforts that have been put below the ground. When the substructure works are done properly, the building that will be constructed will be firm. Whereas, if the substructure works are not done properly, it is more likely that the building will be substandard.

In the substructure works, various components are used to ensure that the required standards are met (Watts, 2012, p.45). However, the most common and the most important component used in the substructure works is the concrete. Concrete is used to ensure that the building elements are enjoined together firmly (Babic and Rebolj, 2016, p.90).


For many years, concrete has been continuously used to construct buildings to ensure that they are firm and structure. There are several reasons why the use of concrete in substructure works is considered to be sustainable. Some of these reasons are mentioned below.

Most of the structures that have been entirely building using concrete stay for a long time (Van Damme, 2018, p.22). The use of concrete in the substructure works effectively because it ensures the building lasts for a long time (Naik, 2008, p.100). Moreover, the use of concrete in the construction helps the buildings stay for many years as some have lasted for more than 100 years and are still strong due to the use of quality concrete material (Van Damme, 2018, p.22).

A low life cycle costs mean that the concrete does not require much maintenance (Babic and Rebolj, 2016, p.90). When using concrete for the construction, few materials are needed and energy (Hrabová, Teplý, and Hájek, 2019, p.23). Also, once the concrete has been used, and the construction has been completed, there is no other maintenance needed to last for a lifetime.

The use of concrete in the construction in the substructure works is considered safe as well as reliable. The best thing about concrete is that it does not rust, burn, or even rot. Therefore, once the concrete has been used in the substructure works, it can be relied on since it will guarantee a stable structure and cannot deteriorate soon.

The resilience nature of concrete is evident in the sense whereby it can easily sustain man-made and natural disasters (Babic and Rebolj, 2016, p.90). In the event of a natural disaster such as floods or earth, concrete is the main component that helps sustain a building and prevent it from total damage. On the other hand, concrete helps maintain the building in the event of a tragedy such as fire, which is considered a man-made disaster (Babic and Rebolj, 2016, p.90).

Environmental Impacts

As much as the use of concrete in the substructure works is considered sustainable, it may have certain impacts on the environment. One of the negative impacts associated with the use of concrete is that it is one of the large contributors to harmful carbon emissions (Babic and Rebolj, 2016, p.90). For concrete to be used in the substructure works, it has to be manufactured. During concrete manufacture, about 0.9lbs of CO2 are produced for every pound of cement (Babic and Rebolj, 2016, p.90). The widespread use of concrete has led to its manufacture in large amounts (Marinkovic et al., 2010, p.2260). Therefore, the amount of CO2 produced increased, which causes a danger to the environment as it may lead to global warming.

Apart from the negative impacts of concrete that have been identified above, some measures have been carried out to ensure that there is a positive impact (Babic and Rebolj, 2016, p.90). In this case, one of the positive effects that relate to the use of cement is reduced energy consumption (Bonic et al., 2015, 220). Energy consumption is reduced in the sense that it is resistant to temperature changes. Since the concrete is resistant to temperature changes, the cost that would have been used in cooling and heating will be saved (Van Damme, 2018, p.22).

The other way that concrete has a positive impact on the environment is that it is made of industrial waste. For example, the green concrete utilizes between 25% and 100% of fly ash. In the industry, fly ash is the by-product obtained from the combustion of coal. It is collected from different industrial plants' chimneys where coal is used as a power source (Van den Heede, 2014, p.67). The fly ash is used for the construction of green cement. This approach saves the environment from pollution because the fly ash will not be disposed of on the bare land (Van den Heede, 2014, p.67).


Innovation is the art of developing new ideas that help improve the effectiveness of an activity. In using concrete for the substructure works, innovation has played an essential role in making sure that it turns out effective (Van den Heede, 2014, p.67). The use of concrete for the substructure works is associated with specific issues that may make it ineffective. An example of such issues is that there is a lot of cracking that can occur when concrete has been used for construction purposes (Van Damme, 2018, p.22).

Cracking has emerged as one of the major problems in the construction industry because of the weak links that may damage a building or a structure (Van Damme, 2018, p.22). In substructure works, there are scenarios where cracks may be evident, which will affect the outcome of the building as it will not be firm (Van Damme, 2018, p.22). The main factor that leads to cracks among the buildings are that the concrete has been exposed to concrete and water, making it weak.

With this problem in place, researchers have sought ways to ensure that the problem is minimized, leading to innovation. In this case, the innovation that has been adopted is the development of self-healing concrete (Van Damme, 2018, p.22). Self-healing concrete is manufactured by using a mix that contains bacteria within the microcapsules. The microcapsule will help in innovation through germination when water enters the cracks that are between the concrete to develop limestone.

The limestone will then be used to plug the crack before water and oxygen have the chance to eat up the steel reinforcement (Van Damme, 2018, p.22). This innovation has been vital in the construction industry because many buildings have been building in a way that they cannot easily crack, which has increased the lifespan.


Concluding, it is just to say that concrete is one of the vital components within the construction industry. Concrete ensures that the materials used to construct a building, such as steel and blocks, are firmly enjoined to ensure that quality buildings are developed. As much as concrete has been used for many years, there have been certain problems associated with it, and this has pushed researchers to come up with ways that would solve these issues. One of the innovations that have been developed in the manufacture of self-healing concrete. The self-healing concrete makes it possible for the concrete to plug back together after cracks have occurred. This innovation has been valuable to the construction industry as it has helped to ensure that the quality of developed buildings is high. In this case, most of the developed buildings cannot easily show the sign of cracking. If a building starts cracking, the mechanism employed by the self-healing concrete will ensure that the cracks disappear within a short time. In this case, the building will remain stable, and it will last for many years.


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Ortiz, O., Castells, F., and Sonnemann, G., 2009. Sustainability in the construction industry: A review of recent developments based on LCA. Construction and building materials, 23(1), pp.28-39.

Zhu, C., Xu, K., Chaudhuri, S., Yi, R., and Zhang, H., 2018. SCORES: Shape composition with recursive substructure priors. ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), 37(6), pp.1-14.

Watts, K., Sustainable substructures. BRE Trust Review, 2012, p.64.

Babic, N.C. and Rebolj, D., 2016. Culture change in the construction industry: from 2D toward BIM-based construction. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon), 21(6), pp.86-99.

Naik, T.R., 2008. Sustainability of concrete construction. Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction, 13(2), pp.98-103.

Hrabová, K., Teplý, B., and Hájek, P., 2019, June. Concrete, sustainability, and limit states. In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (Vol. 290, No. 1, p. 012049). IOP Publishing.

Van den Heede, P., 2014. Durability and sustainability of concrete with high volumes of fly ash (Doctoral dissertation, Ghent University).

Marinkovic, S., Radonjanin, V., Malešev, M., and Ignjatovic, I., 2010. Comparative environmental assessment of natural and recycled aggregate concrete. Waste Management, 30(11), pp.2255-2264.

Bonic, Z., Curcic, G.T., Trivunic, M., Davidovic, N., and Vatin, N., 2015. Some methods of protection of concrete and reinforcement of reinforced-concrete foundations exposed to environmental impacts. Procedia Engineering, 117, pp.4.

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