Civil engineering is about the design, construction and maintenance of human-made structures and/or natural structures in the environment through the use of physics and mathematics. Actually, civil engineering includes many subcategories such as environmental engineering, geotechnical, structural, biomechanics, nanotechnology, transportation and many more.
The purpose of having civil engineers are to design the properties of the structures, such as its ability to support its own weight and the materials used for the manufacturing of it. For example, a water treatment plant can be made to aid in the purification of water to help people in developing countries obtain clean water; and civil engineering will aid in deciding the pressures, temperatures, material and other properties of the strucutre to ensure that it lasts long and strong. This is the differences between an architect and a civil engineer. The architect would play a greater part in designing how the building/structure would look and its purposes while the civil engineer would pay more attention to the background of how everything will work out.
As explained in my last post, a lot of the condominiums in Toronto are pretty messed up in that many of them have structural and aesthetic flaws. The Ontario Building Code only looks at whether the condominium is safe to life in and that it follows all the regulations according to the Ontario Building Code (like making sure that there’s a fire escape, which is also very important); however it doesn’t look at things like unpainted or cracking walls. Hence, to solve this we will need people to look at the manufacturing of the condominiums, and to report all things going wrong (improper installation of devices/structures) to someone of greater power (a big government agency); someone like a Building Inspector.
As said just now, Building Inspectors are in charge of inspecting the flaws in the condominiums, to make sure that the condos are safe, and that the condominium is complete (painted everything, no cracks anywhere). Similarly, Compliance Officers make sure that the condominiums follow all the policies and laws, such as the Condominium Act, the Ontario Building Code, the Municipal by-laws and other legal requirements. From this, the policies for the condominiums can be developed to keep improving the quality of the condominiums.
Policy development is another big thing that will help out in the condominiums in the future. It makes sure that everything is up to date to help the evolving needs of the people. These new policies can be created from common flaws seen from building inspection, from relations with other agencies or from public engagement processes (check out this link: http://news.ontario.ca/mcs/en/2012/06/building-a-better-condominium-act.html).
If an agency is to have relationships with other agencies, then it will let them share information between each other to get a better understanding of what to do to make themselves better, like having a homework study group, or a sports team.
After completing all the thumbnail designs and the rough designs, now I must complete the Final Design. There are many different programs that can be used to create the Final Designs, like Autocad, Google Sketchup or by drawing it. Autocad is a very precise, VERY DIFFICULT, program that professional architects and designers use when working on buildings. I know only very little of how to use Autocad (probably less than the basics), and if I were to create my drawing with Autocad, then it would probably take many hours to do, as there are SO MANY steps and things to remember for how to draw 2-D drawings (Autocad is capable of 3-D drawings as well, although I know nothing of how to do that). Google Sketchup is far more user-friendly, and it is able to produce 2-D or 3-D drawings in less than a thousand steps! Also, Google Sketchup is FREE. I chose to draw my final design by hand, not for any specific, advantageous reasons, but because I enjoy drawing things by hand than on the computer. Drawing the image will take far longer than in Google Sketchup, and it also won’t be 100% precise as Autocad; however drawing the Final Design (in my opinion) allows more flexible designs; I guess it’s like a computer generated picture compared to painting something by hand.
After finishing my 3 condominium thumbnail designs, I have chosen one to do for a rough drawing. I’ve already finished my rough drawing, with all the specific wall thickness (approximately half a foot) and room sizes. All I need to do now is to choose specific things (by specific I mean the kitchen cabinets that you can find at Home Depot) to place into the condominium. Because the budget to the condominium is unlimited, and the ceiling size can also be any number I choose, I will probably add a gigantic chandelier above the living room and add, I don’t know… golden floor tiles? I’m not that creative with interior designs, so I’m viewing the different luxury designs I see through the internet. There are Swarovski crystal studded toilets ($75, 000), Swarovski crystal studded fridges ($20, 000) and even an outdoor kitchen barbecue (for the balcony)!
So far, the entire condominium is rectangular in shape and all the rooms are also rectangular. I did this because condominiums usually try to fit as many different rooms as possible; therefore having rectangles will most probably fit best. The sizes of the bathroom and master room and the room for the HVAC and storage are all ridiculously large, which I really like. However, they only bad thing about this is that it greatly limits the size of the kitchen and living room. As a result, I had to fuse my kitchen and living room in a small compact space. But then condominiums are quite small overall themselves, so I’d assume that not many people would host large parties in their condominium. So I guess the condominium I created is more for the owners of the condominium than their friends or visitors; it’s a Hermit’s Condominium.