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Structural health monitoring (SHM)
Civil infrastructures such as bridges, viaducts, buildings, dams etc. are valuable national assets that must be maintained to ensure public safety. In a modern society, these structures facilitate our transportation networks, industrial activities, and everyday life.

Currently, most of these infrastructures especially bridges, are either reaching their design lives or have passed their service period so they need to be replaced or retrofitted to remain in service, hence an effective structural health monitoring system is the only key to accomplish the aforementioned tasks.

Continuous evaluation of structural condition and timely maintenance of infrastructures offers the opportunity to prevent the catastrophic collapse and increase the life of structures.
Every structure deteriorates with time due to numerous reasons such as fatigue, effects of environmental conditions, damages due to aging, destructive events like earthquakes or wind-induced vibrations, and floods etc. These circumstances require routine or critical-event based assessments as a means of continuous monitoring of a structure to provide an estimate of changes in dynamic properties such as mass, stiffness and dampness etc. as a function of time and an early warning of an unsafe condition may be issued. Continuous monitoring systems allows for structural monitoring immediately after natural hazards (earthquake, flood and tornado) and man-made disasters (arson and terrorist bombing) reducing the impact of such disaster both economically and socially.

Thus, above discussion elaborates the importance and needs of health monitoring of structures that has been a concerned research topic of structural engineering in recent years.
The ultimate goal of Structural Health Monitoring is to predict the remaining life of structures e.g. bridges, viaducts or buildings etc. so that an efficient repair or replace program may be executed.
While implementing structural health monitoring techniques, its major damage identification levels are needed to be observed viz. identification of existence of damage, damage location identification, extent and type of damage and determining remaining life of structure, respectively. Many methods and instruments are present to estimate these damage identification levels like Strain gauges, inclinometers, Eccentric Mass Vibrator (EMV), Lesser Doppler Vibrometer (LDV), Integrated Accelerometer system, fiber optical sensors and Wireless sensors etc. This is very important to know that these methods or instruments are only helpful for first three damage identification levels and the last level i.e. predicting remaining life of the structures is still a great challenge and a crucial research field.
Methods that efficiently use wireless sensing devices for damage detection are either nonexistent or under development.

Wireless sensors technology is new for structures with following advantages:
·       Wire handling problems eliminates
·       Saving installation and maintenance cost
·       Reduced fabrication cost
·       Real time computational ability.

With the help of developed Wireless sensing devices local damage would be better identified which contributes to effective structural health monitoring and in assessing remaining life of the structure which is ultimate goal of the structural health assessment.

This article is an abstract of Dr. Koji IKEUCHI’s presentation who is a professor at the University of Tokyo since October 2016.
Before that, he worked at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) till June 2016. As a civil engineer of the MLIT, He was in charge of flood control measures and management of natural disasters for many years. He became the Director General of the Water and Disaster Management Bureau in 2015 and he was the Vice Minister for Engineering Affairs of MLIT in 2016, when he left.
In this symposium, He talked about the Water-Related Disasters and Disaster Risk Management in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.
The subject of the discussion is Water-Related Disasters and Disaster Risk Management in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. His discussion can be considered as a case study to deal with the water and flood related disasters, mitigation measures and risk management, for any metropolitan area of the world, since Tokyo, Japan is considered one of the world’s most developed city. 
He started with the outline of the flood control measures in Tokyo and told that there are four water systems in Tokyo (Arakawa River, Tone River, Tama River and Tsurumi River). He said that flood control measures in Tokyo can be classified into three types namely;
1)Measures against large rivers such as Arakawa, 2) measures against small and medium rivers such as Kanda River and 3) storm surge and earthquake countermeasure of river in the lowland areas.   
He showed the historical background of flood control countermeasures to reduce flood damage in Kanto area. He also presented the cross section of the downtown in Tokyo and said that urban areas are located lower than the flooding levels of the rivers and some part of the land is lower than the average sea level. Therefore, the downtown of Tokyo is an extremely vulnerable area against flooding and storm surge. About 1.5 million people are living here so embankment failure will cause tremendous damage. Further, he also talked about typhoons and said that every year, heavy rains due to typhoons are causing flooding damages. Aforementioned issues are critical one and needs to be addressed.
Talking about the measures against large rivers such as Arakawa, he introduced the Arakawa River and said that Arakawa is a class “A” river and managed by the national government. This river is flowing down the central part of Saitama Prefecture and the city part of Tokyo and poured into the Tokyo Bay.
Asakusa, Sumida, Kinshicho and other downtowns in Tokyo were inundated in 1910 due to Arakawa flood. Catherine typhoon in 1947 broke levee of Arakawa River at many points, and Saitama and Tokyo lowlands flooded at a large scale. This was the greatest flood after the Second World War.

Comprehensive flood control measures of Arakawa were started after the 1910 flood.

These measures includes; Linearization of river way and construction of cross levee to control flood flow at the middle part were carried out. Improvement of the confluence of three branches such as Iruma River and Construction of downstream Arakawa floodway were also done (Figure 1).

He added that the national government constructed a large-scale floodway which is 22 km long and have a width of 500 m, as a fundamental measure to protect the downtown of Tokyo from flood damage.
This Arakawa floodway is called now Arakawa River and original Arakawa is now known as Sumida River.
Construction of this flood way started in 1911 and completed in 1930. This measure increased the safety of floods in lowland areas of downstream of Arakawa which resulted in advancement of urbanization for the development of Tokyo.
He also told about Arakawa's flood control measures of 1973. The Peak flow rate of target flood is 14,800 m3/s with the probability of 1/200. Various measures were adopted to control the flood such as, construction of Arakawa No.1 retarding reservoir and Urayama Dam for flood control, construction of embankment and excavation of river to improve the flood capacity of river, and reconstruction of bridge which was disturbing flowing flood (Figure 2).

Arakawa No.1 retarding reservoir controls Flood and Supply water to urban area. Speaker shared his experience of working on the same project and he said that he was the in charge of planning and implementation team of this project at site, during its construction which started in 1980 and finished in 1996.
Arakawa No.1 reservoir is an excavated reservoir with the area of 5.8 km2 and the flood capacity of 39 million m3. This reservoir has the ability to reduce the flood flow rate up to 850 m3/s. For flood control of Arakawa, overflow dike was also lowered to allow overflow into the reservoir when the water level exceeds from a certain limit. The surface of this dike is covered with thick asphalt (about 50 cm) to prevent overflow collapse.
He conversed that even though the flood control facilities in Arakawa are in progress but still there are possibilities of flooding of same scale as it was during the Kathleen typhoon, at the location of city center of Tokyo. He described the expected damage in case of the Akabane embankment failure in case of floods. According to him, 110km2 area with papulation of 1.2 million will be inundated and death toll may rise up to 1200. About 147 km length of subway with 17 routes and 97 stations will be affected. He urged that publication and dissemination of hazard map is very important, to mitigate the disaster risks and for effective evacuation plans. MLIT personals are actively considering this fact and are trying to disseminate hazard maps to residents in various ways. Information on near real time such as radar rainfall information, river water level, flood forecast, live image etc. are transmitted through the homepage or data broadcasting on television. The timeline which is the time series action plans is very effective for accurate emergency response at the time of disaster.
The MLIT promotes the formulation of evacuation timelines and evacuation plans in municipalities and promotes implementation of evacuation drills based on these. Other non-structural measures have also been taken such as crisis management and training and strengthening emergency response system in case of disaster.
Talking about flood control measures of small and medium rivers in Tokyo, he informed that these rivers are managed by Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
He stated that in Kanogawa typhoon disaster of 1958, a lots of small and medium rivers were flooded and a wide area of downtown in Tokyo got destructed. This flood damage became the starting point of flood control measures for small and medium rivers in Tokyo. Since than Tokyo has been promoting river improvements for 46 rivers of 324 km length. A rain intensity of 50 mm per hour was considered as a targeting rainfall intensity to adopt measures against floods of small and medium rivers. He explained the Kanda river flood control measures to describe the improvements in small and medium rivers against floods. The population in the catchment area of the river was about 600,000 people and the urbanization rate was about 60%, in around 1955. But later, urbanization rapidly increased and as a result, population in 2005 was about 1.65 million people and the urbanization rate in 2003 reached about 97%. This increase in urbanization has caused the increase in outflow of the rain to the river in catchment. As urbanization progressed, the surface of the land covered with asphalt or concrete and the rain started flowing quickly in the basin and the peak flow rate of the flood became larger. Previously the rain water used to flow slowly in the basin because it used to stored in farms and natural land. This phenomenon has caused frequent flooding in Kanda River. Comprehensive flood control measures has been taken to tackle this situation namely, measures in rivers, measures in basin and non-structural measures. He said that as a measure in the river, River improvement and Construction of flood control reservoirs are implemented. And as measures in basin, retainment of the area to suppress urbanization, conversation of natural land, construction of retarding basin, construction of permeable pavement, infiltration inlet etc. have been taken. Non-structural measures include establishment of warning and evacuation system, strengthening of the flood fighting system and risk communication with residents. Figure 3 shows a schematic diagram of Comprehensive flood control measures.
He said that measures have been taken to utilize everything in the catchment area to store and infiltrate rainwater to suppress flood outflow and its peak. In river improvement, construction was done to enlarge the cross sectional area of the river. He added that construction activities were very difficult because of the very narrow spaces especially in urban areas where houses were densely located along the river way and it was difficult to widen the river width. They adopted the division canal system to mitigate flood damage and to increase the ability of water to flow by using a culvert system under the road. There are parks constructed with the function of a flood control reservoir. There is a flood control reservoirs in the shape of tunnel with an extension of 4.5 km and an inside diameter of 12.5 m under the road, and stores about 540,000 m3 of floods of the Kanda River. Figure 4 shows the above mentioned examples.
He said that at the time of Typhoon No. 16 in 2004, there was a rain of approximately the same size as the Typhoon No. 11 in 1993 which brought about a lot of flooding damage in the middle Kanda River basin but due to the effect of this reservoir and the improvement of the river, flooding damage was greatly reduced.

He delineated that in recent years, heavy rain downpour exceeding 50 mm/h have been increased and he explained that 50 mm/h is planned target rainfall. He presented the fact that most of the flood damages in recent years are caused by rainfall which exceeds from 50 mm/h. He talked about the flood damages which occurred in 2005. According to him, 8 rivers were flooded due to the torrential rains exceeding 100 mm/h and about 6000 houses were inundated. He spoke about the Effects of measures against floods targeting 50 mm/h and said that the number of inundation damaged houses in the past 30 years steadily declined with the progress of river improvement but however, in recent years, due to the frequent occurrence of rainfall exceeding 50 mm/h flood damage has been increased. He argued that in order to cope with the frequent occurrence of torrential rain of recent years, the current plan is insufficient. He introduced a new flood control policy which was formulated with goal of preventing flood damages against rain fall of 75 mm/h. He further explained that 65 mm/h rain fall is dealt by measures in rivers and sewers and in particular improvement of rivers and construction of flood control reservoirs. For the part of 10 mm/h rain fall, measures in basin are taken such as permeable pavement, infiltration inlet and infiltration gutter. He informed that measures for parts beyond 50 mm/h are accommodated by flood control reservoirs and infiltration measures (public spaces such as under the road and parks are efficiently used). In order to cope with the local concentrated torrential rain which has been increasing in recent years, several underground flood control reservoirs are connected by a tunnel and mutual utilization across the watershed. He presented the example of a regulating reservoir using a tennis court and local government school ground use, as a flood control storage (figure 5).
He said that as a measures in basin Tokyo Metropolitan Government has adopted permeable pavements while updating the pavement of the sidewalks and nowadays many sidewalks are permeable pavements in Tokyo. He also showed the infiltration facilities such as Infiltration inlet and infiltration trench (figure 6).
He added that measures such as publication and dissemination of hazard map and development of a system to provide disaster information to residents are also being promoted.

In the summary of measures against small and medium rivers he told that previously, river improvement were conducted targeting the rain of 50 mm/h and with this measure, flood damage could be reduced but however, frequent flooding happened due to the rain exceeding this limit therefore Flood control measures for 75 mm/h (65 mm/h in the suburbs and 10mm/h in basin) have been formulated. Due to the fact that it is difficult to further widen the river channels due to congestion in urban areas, construction of flood control reservoirs, Rainwater storage, Infiltration in basin and enhancement of warning and evacuation system are being advanced.
While summarizing the whole discussion he said that Tokyo has greatly developed through measures against floods, storm surges and earthquakes over the years. However, it is necessary to continue measures against flood control using all means. In his conclusion he said, “The flood control measures are investment, not cost. For sustainable development, it is indispensable to take preventive structural and non-structural measures. After a disaster, it is important not to recover to the same state as the former, but to build back better, based on lessons learned from the disaster.

Tameer Construction (PVT) Ltd. A concern of Izhar Group of Companies, dealing in diversified fields of building construction for its needs and expansion in work, is looking for following dynamic professionals as part of their team at Head Office in Lahore and for its projects at various location in Pakistan. 

1. Name of Position: Project Manager (Civil) B.E. with 15 years of relevant experience, of which minimum of 5 years should be at managerial position or DAE with minimum 20 years of relevant experience.
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4. Quantity Surveyor (Billing & Estimation) : DAE with minimum 8 years of relevant experience. 
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7. Civil Foreman
8. Store Incharge
Please apply in confidence to “Manager Human Resources” alongwith C.V & one passport size photographs latest by 22 April, 2017 on the following address/e-mail mentioning the post applied for on time envelope / subject. 
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Apply to: info@tameer.com.pk

The joints between bricks in brick masonry are very important from aesthetic as well as structural point of view; because these joints are mostly remained rough and are a basic source through which the moisture penetrates from bottom to top of the wall.

 To make this weak point of brick masonry a strong and long lasting strength a treatment is usually done that is called pointing. Today in this post we will be dealing with what is pointing, why the pointing is done, what is the purpose, when the pointing is suitable in brick masonry and what are the different types of pointing in brick masonry. 


Final treatment with cement or lime mortar made to the joints of the masonry to provide neat appearance is termed as pointing. The joint on the face of stone or brick masonry are roughly filled in while the walls are being raised. They are after wards neatly finished off to make them water tight. 

The joints thus finished, give a better appearance to surface and prevent rain water from entering the interior of the masonry.

Purpose of Pointing

To prevent the moisture and the rain water from entering the interior of masonry through joints and to make them durable. To improve the appearance of the structure.

Suitability of Pointing

Pointing is preferred to plastering under following conditions.
1.  When a smooth and even surface is not essentially required.
2.   Where it is desirable to exhibit to view the natural beauty of the materials (bricks or stones) used in construction.
3.    When the workmen ship is neat and good.

Types of Pointing 

The selection of particular type of pointing depends upon the types of bricks or stone used and the appearance  required.

1. Flat or flush pointing

 In this pointing, the mortar is pressed  tightly and the joints are filled up and made flush with the face of the wall. This is the simplest type of pointing and is provided extensively. It is economical and durable because it requires less labor than all other pointing.  It does not afford a lodging place for dust.

2. Struck pointing

In this pointing the face of the mortar joint instead of  keeping it vertical, its upper side is kept about  12 mm inside the face of the masonry and the bottom is kept flush with the face of the wall as shown in fig 14.2.  This pointing has a better effect of throwing rain water.  This is also known as ruled pointing.  This pointing is the best in ordinary circumstances.

3. Recessed pointing

In this pointing the face of the mortar  joint is pressed inside by means of a suitable tool and is left vertical instead of being made inclined.  This pointing is provided when face work of good textured bricks with good quality mortar is used.

4. V-pointing

This type of pointing is provided by forming a v-shaped groove inside the mortar of the joint with a special tool (steel or iron jointer). This pointing is commonly recommended for brick work in case of governmental buildings.

5. Weather pointing

This is similar to V-Pointing but in this case instead of pressing a v shaped groove inside, it is provided by forming a v shaped projection outside the wall’s surface. This pointing is generally recommended for superior brick work.

6. Keyed or grooved pointing 

In this case, the joints are first filled up flush, and then a circular piece of steel or iron is pressed in and rubbed in the middle of joints. Grooved pointing has a big groove in the face than keyed.Keyed pointing gives an attractive appearance to the structure and is generally used for superior work.

7. Tuck pointing

In this pointing, the mortar joints are filled with the face of the wall. Then 6 mm wide and 3 mm deep groove is immediately and carefully formed in the centre of the joint and the groove is filled with or tucked in with white lime putty. The lime putty is given a maximum projection of 6 mm. Tuck pointing has a neat attractive appearance. But the lime putty is not durable and in due course of time becomes defective.

The access or penetration of moisture content inside a building through its walls, floors, or roof is known as DAMPNESS.

Damp rising from the soil either through the bottom or through the ground surface, adjacent to the walls. Moisture penetrating the walls as a result of rain beating on them during continued wet weather. Moisture penetrating into the building through defective construction, such as rain water pipes, leaking roofs, leaking or choked gutters, etc. 

Damp rising from the ground either because there is no damp proof course or because the existing D.P.C. has been bridged by the earth outside, being banked up to form a flower bed or any other purpose.

The continuous layer of an impervious material, which is provided in between the source of dampness and part of the structure, is called a Damp Proof Course.

Types of Damp Proof Course 

Damp proof course is of two types:


It is provided in the walls at plinth level in the form of  1 ½ in. thick layer of 1:2:4 cement concrete covered with two coat of hot bitumen or a polythene sheet or metal sheets of lead, copper or aluminum. 

It is also provided in the roofs in the form of two coats of hot bitumen, bitumen felt, mastic asphalt or sheets of polythene, lead, copper, or aluminum over the R.C.C. slab. 

Horizontal D.P.C. is also provided in floors if the sub-soil water table is high and moisture is likely to rise in the floors by seepage, added by the capillary action of the soil.


Vertical D.P.C. is mostly provided in the external walls in the form of ¾ in. thick 1:3 cement sand plaster, coated with two washings of hot bitumen. 

It is also provided to prevent the dampness into the walls of the basements from the adjacent soils.


As basements are built below ground level, these are most likely to be attacked by dampness from the soil below as well as from outside the walls. 

A typical basement section showing the damp proof courses is shown in fig

If the head of the water below the level of the floor is high, a layer of gravel 4 ½ in. thick, is laid under the bottom of concrete of floor as shown in fig

Also, gravel is filed between the walls of the basement and adjacent soil.

The gravel under the floor collects the seepage water and delivers it to the gravel outside the external walls, through the communicating pipes, buried horizontally through the concrete foundation walls. 

Drain pipes or footing drains are laid around the footing buried inside the gravel. These footing drains lead the seepage water to a natural drain, if nearby, or to a dry well. A dry well is a pit excavated in permeable soil or one having its bottom in such soil and filled with gravel or crushed rock. 

If permeable soil is not present nearby, the water is pumped out of dry wells by hand pumps or other techniques.

Applications are invited from the suitable candidates domiciled in Punjab having qualifications / experience in the relevant field as mentioned below against the post on Contract Basis

Name of Post: Assistant Director (Engg) / SDO 
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Upper Age Limit : 25 years

Name of Posts: Assistant Director (P&D) / Private Housing Scheme 
No. of Posts: 01 
Minimum Qualfication: B.Sc. Engg / B.E. (Civil / Environmental) from HEC Recognized University 
Max. age Limit : 25 years 
Application form can be downloaded from nts.org.pk 
Candidates must submit the application forms duly filled in along with test fee of Rs. 600 /- in favour of National Testing Service (on Prescribed bank challan in any branch of UBL, MCB, HBL, or ABL) attached with application form, copy of CNIC and two recent photographs, directly to NTS through courier by 17.04.2017. 

This Civil Engineering Job is a very good job for fresh civil engineers who has just passed out and does not have any experience, just get prepared for your NTS test and you can have a chance to be appointed in a very high paying department of Punjab Government. 

Public Procurement Regulatory Authority, Cabinet Division, Government of Pakistan has opened vacancies on Regular basis as under :- 

Name of Post: Director General (Monitoring & Evaluation) PPG-4/BS-20 
No. of Posts = 1 
Qualification / Experience: Minimum B.E. / BSc Degree (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical) or MA/MSc Procurement (16 years education), at least 45 % marks or equivalent from HEC recognized University. Minimum 17 years recognized and verifiable post qualification experience in the relevant field. 
Max Age Limit: 35 – 47 years. 

Name of Position: Director (Monitoring & Evaluation) PPG-3 / BS-19
No. of Positions: 02 
Qualification / Experience: Minimum B.E / BSc degree (Civil, electrical, mechanical) or MA / MSc Procurement (16 years education), at least 45 percent marks or equivalent from HEC recognized University. Minimum 12 years recognized and verifiable post qualification experience in the relevant field. Max age : 30 -42 years

Name of Position: Deputy Director (Monitoring & Evaluation) PPG-2 / BS-18
No. of Posts: 01 
Qualification / Experience: Minimum B.E / BSc degree Civil electrical mechanical or MA/ MSc Procurement (16 years education), at least 45 % marks or equivalent from HEC recognized University. Minimum 5 years recognized and verifiable post qualification experience in the relevant field. Age: 30 -42 years. 

Application form can be downloaded from website nts.org.pk which should be submitted by post along with Deposit Slip of fee Rs. 500 /- which should be submitted by post along with Deposit Slip of fee Rs. 500 /- 
This job is a very excellent opportunity for Procurement Engineers, Civil Engineers Electrical Engineers or Mechanical Engineers. This job is for positions in Regular Basis. 

Tunnels and their stability mechanisms


Tunnels can be defined as underground construction for the connection between two destinations to build up an effective means of transportation. Tunnels are made for various purposes such as Railway transportation, for highways, for water supply and for communication cables etc. Tunnel construction has several benefits e.g. less disturbances to surrounding environment and reduced communication distances which results in saving of energy and resources.

What’s a Tunnel Made of?

Tunnel is underground passage constructed through the ground which may be consists of rock or different type of soils. Construction process involves excavation, ground temporary support system and muck removal, erection of permanent support such as lining and provision of other facilities which are required for smooth operations. So one can say that tunnel is made of rock or soil which is supported by permanent supports such as lining to provide adequate stiffness and support to structure against damage and collapse. Various methods based on geological, environmental and economic conditions etc. are available for tunnel construction. New Austrian Tunneling method (NATM), Shield Tunnel method and Cut & Cover method are the famous method of tunnel construction.

Mechanism of Tunnel Stability in the Ground

Tunnel is a thin walled closed excavated cross section and according to peck’s theory, tunnel get stability in a ground through deformation of its shape and/or support from surrounding ground makes it stable (Fig.1). After excavation a loosened zone is created and stress redistributes outside the loosened zone due the formation of ground arch (Fig.2), only few part of ground which is present in loosened zone, imparts load on the support or lining because of this arch action. Trapdoor experiment (Laboratory experiment) reveals this stress redistribution phenomenon. Figure 3 shows that ground will deform upon loading in order to attain stability. This is important to realize that if tunnel supporting pressure will be less, than tunnel will deform more so in case of urban area tunneling, strong lining is required. Fenner-Pacher curve can also be seen to understand the ground stability which explains relationship between supporting pressure and displacement of excavated surface (Fig. 4).

When it comes to retirement, your money is what secures your future.  Financial security does not occur overnight, but you do not need to be intimidated.  With proper planning and responsible commitment, you can create and stick to a budget that will give you what you need after you retire. Despite this, most Americans have never even calculated how much money they need to save to sustain themselves after retirement.  Even more alarming is that a significant number of people are failing to contribute to a defined retirement plan.  Planning for retirement does not have to be an intimidating and frustrating experience.  In fact, putting aside money now will save you time and energy in the future.  Here is a quick guide on how you can plan for your retirement.

Start Saving Now

There is simply no better time than the present to save.  If you have already been saving for years, then you may be on the right track.  However, if you have not been saving, it is best advised that you start right away.  Saving is, by virtue, a rewarding habit.  By putting off some spending now, you are able to save for much bigger ventures.  Start by cutting some unnecessary expenditures, or simply by limiting your monthly spending budget.  If you already have a strict monthly budget, then try to divert a small portion of your savings into a retirement account.  Simply by making your retirement a priority, contributing every month will become second nature and you will be rewarded in the long run.

Invest in Your Employer’s Retirement Saving’s Plan

Many employers offer a 401(k) or equivalent retirement plan.  If this is available to you, then by all means, invest.  Employer retirement plans have many advantages, namely that your retirement will be automatically deducted from your paycheck without your needing to physically do it yourself.  You also fetch a hefty tax break every year for contributing to a 401(k) plan.  By contributing to a plan, your tax deferrals and compound interest will make a huge difference in the amount of money you accumulate by the time of retirement.  Research your plan by asking your employer questions about how much you need to contribute to gain a certain amount of money.  Keep in mind that these plans allow you to adjust the amount you contribute each year depending on your financial situation.  For example, if you are about to send a child off to college, you can change the amount you contribute to make up for the cost.  If, however, you are making much more money that year, you may want to take advantage by contributing more.

Learn About Your Pension Plan

When you become employed, you should ask your employer about whether they have a pension plan.  Sit with a representative from your employer’s human resources department so they can educate you on how the plan works, whether you are covered, and what would happen should you leave the job.

Do Not Take Money Out of Your Retirement Plan

The best way to treat your retirement plan is to not take money out.  Once you begin to take money out of your retirement plan, you will start to lose tax benefits and precious principal interest that accrues over time.  Be sure that if you change jobs, investigate whether it is more advantageous to keep your current savings or create an IRA under your new employer.

Invest in an IRA

There are two different types of IRA’s—either a traditional or Roth IRA.  Depending on which plan you choose, your tax breaks and contribution amount will change.

Know How Much Retirement Savings You Need

Retirement is more expensive than ever.  When you stop working, all of the money you earn goes toward your future.  Therefore, you do not want to go spending right away.  What’s more, people are living much longer than they did before retirement plans were first administered, therefore you will need to consider the type of life you want to live before you begin spending.  Not only do you want to go on big retirement trips or maintain your lifestyle, but you likely will want to invest in other insurance policies that will help you and your family as you get older, such as supplemental medical insurance.  In addition, burial insurance can protect your family and future. Death isn’t something we like to think about, but it’s an important thing to plan for to ensure your loved ones aren’t saddled with impossible bills after your eventual passing.

As you plan your retirement, make sure to touch on each of these facets and strategies to ensure financially secure Golden Years. 

Working as a Civil Engineer at site is a challenging, demanding and exigent task. You might have been worked as a Design Engineer, Planning & Accusation engineer in a suited-booted environment with 9-to-5 working hours; but believe me your nerves and your mental / physical abilities might not be tested. 

Condition of Civil Engineers at site is like those of warriors who are fighting on front lines with the forces of nature; from one end you are bound to work under the streaks of heated sun and in other scene you are working within the stream of cold windy rivers with such a thrust that you are always doubted about your helmet to fly off. Imagine you are already standing in a weather temperature of 45 degree centigrade and you are bound to stand on asphalt of above 100 degree centigrade; so you look, life as a civil engineer is never easy at all!!!

Despite of all the difficulties, you are a human being with the right to live a happy professional routine life and that is only possible if you love your job and are always ready to accept challenges and are stand- up-and-be-recognized sort of behavior. 
In this post we would be dealing with some common mistakes which must be don’ts and to be avoided while working at site :- 

1. Don’t ever use Mobile Phone or  a Gadget Unnecessarily 

Aww!!! It’s difficult to avoid actually and if you are recently engaged or are in a long distant relationship and casually spend hours of texting and calling than it might be difficult in the start but it’s really dangerous.  After all you don’t want your loved one to live with someone else after your death! Sorry for my harsh words really but that is actually what could be the consequences of using a mobile phone at site. 

If you have to use your mobile phone in case of an emergency than rush for some shade or safe area; make a phone call, convey your message and then continue your work. It is also not recommended to use handsfree or Bluetooth device, as this will reduce your hearing efficiency which might drag you towards trouble while working in a region having abundant vehicular movement. 

2. Don’t Ever Walk on Formwork and Shuttering Boards

You know what, in my first project I was walking without safety shoes, but not barefooted at all haha!, during this awesome beach walk I was injected by a nail of a wooden formwork; reason behind walking on that board was actually there was mud and while saving my brand new shoes from getting dirty I finally get them punctured. 

So take some inspiration from me in reverse and never try to save your shoes from mud because if you want to play in mud and don’t want to get your hands dirty then it’s better to leave playing such dirty games !!!. 

Use of safety shoes is a must because it has metal base that protects you from projected sharp corners, nails etc and save your feet from getting wet and cold, but keep in mind that top beauty salons recommend to open up your feet to sky after wearing shoes for a long time. 

3. Don’t try to be a Tarzan or a King Kong !!!

You are a man not an animal, so if you think your abilities of jumping and hanging on the walls will inspire others than I think you are being adopted by some humans but surely you belong to somewhere else. 

If you are going to some spot at site and it does not have proper safe access than don’t indulge in danger although you might love Mr. Micheal Jackson’s Dangerous song but let me tell you this song is not for you. 
Never jump over some high elevated places or walking somewhere at some heights as it can disasters. 

4. Don’t go to site at night without High Visibility Safety Jacket

If you have to work during night times, as at any site the lighting arrangement is not always up to the mark so if you are crossing some vehicular passage without wearing any reflective safety jacket then you might be dragged into trouble and chances are that you might hit by some vehicle. 

5. Don’t Do anything Haphazardly 

I have faced this problem, every time you try to start some activity without proper planning or arrangements or in a hurry you will surely meet some unexpected outcome which will waste time, energy and resources. Chances are that you might lose your job or you will face the dirty words of your immediate boss. 

So before starting any activity make a proper plan and methodology; for this I have observed one practice that before starting any major activity contractor prepares a method statement / methodology and submit it to the consultant for approval. After proper approval the activity is started as per the submitted document. 

Read all the relevant documents / technical specification, drawings both shop and construction drawings. If you are working as a leader of the team than assign each small activities to an individual. 

6. Don’t take all decisions on your own 

You know what decision means responsibility, if you are taking any decision than you should first properly go through any possible consequences. If you have faced any technical problem at site then before solving any activity you should try to get approval from your construction manager or project manager or even CRE whoever is your immediate boss so as to share the responsibility with them.

We all know that it is different to design / plan something in a serene environment of office than implementing the same at ruthless working site. Therefore you are liable to face problems / difficulties and from time to time your engineered aptitude would be tested. 

7. Don’t skip your lunch or Food in the midway of your Working Shift

This is a very common mistake I have witnessed, committed by engineers working at site. Although the reasons are sometimes valid; like not have much time or not that great quality of luxurious food but after all you are expected to reach the fullest of your potential at site and that is only possible if you get proper fuel in terms of food and energy. Be well hydrated take plenty of water as working in hot environment will waste much of your water in the body.

If you think that quality of food available at site is not good then you can take your lunch food in lunch boxes while coming from home. If you live at site then you can take the same amount of food you cooked at night in the morning. 

8. Don’t ever go near heavy moving machinery or underneath them 

I have witnessed so many disasters due to neglecting the above titled DON’T, going near the radius for movement of heavy excavator, walking underneath the hooks of crane lifting different things; this is always to be avoided. 
You can never completely rely on the manmade machines; they can go wrong any time so it is better to avoid indulging in such tricks to inspire others. 

9. Don’t ever walk on site without seeing your path

I have witnessed many troubles due to this reason, in one of our project pilling work was underway, auger has bored one pile and was preparing to bore the other one in the meanwhile one of the labor walking by while looking somewhere else fell into the pile and was fortunately rescued after hours of hard work. 

So never ever try to be a batman because you can’t see everywhere while having just two eyes. 

I Know there are so many other Don’ts your mind might have, so buddy keep sharing them, instantly post them in comments and let us include it here for other enginers to get benefit from. 

The art of covering the surface of masonry work with a suitable material is called plastering. 

A fine paste of mortar made by mixing cement with sand or fat lime with sand or surkhi in addition to sufficient quantity of water if called plaster. 

When cement is used as a binding material, the plaster is called cement plaster and if lime is used as the binding material, it is called lime plaster. An ideal plaster should be smooth, non absorbent and washable. It should not be affected by weathering agencies.

The finished surface of walls constructed in bricks or stones are generally so coarse textured that they provide unsuitable finish for the internal walls of most of the buildings. These surfaces are rendered smooth by the application of one or two coats of plaster. The ceilings are also rendered smooth with plaster.

The object of external plastering is to cover the surface to enable it to resist the effect of weathering agencies. However, a good brick work made of sound, well burnt bricks or neat stone masonry constructed of durable stones does not require external plastering.

The object of internal plastering is to provide a smooth surface in which dust and dirt cannot lodge and to form a smooth surface for applying white or color wash, distemper or paint.



The mix ratio of mortar in case of cement plastering depends upon the nature of the work to be plastered. 
For rich plastering work at sensitive places (e.g. in side bathrooms, W.C. etc.), 1:3 cement plaster mix is used. For general plastering of walls 1:5 to 1:8 cement plaster mixes are used.

Preparing the surface

Before applying the plaster, the surface should be prepared properly. The joint of masonry are properly raked to a depth of 10 to 15 mm to provide key to plaster. The surface is then thoroughly wetted with water, washed well and kept wet for six hours. When the surface is ready, plaster is applied.

Applying the plaster 

Cement plastering may be applied in one or two coats.In case of plastering of single coat, the mortar is dashed against the prepared surface into a uniform thickness with the help of trowel.Wooden screeds 7.5 cm wide and of required thickness of the plasters are generally fixed vertically 2.4 to 3 m apart to act as gauges guides in order to keep the plaster to the required thickness. Careful plumbing should be done in fixing of these screeds.

Surplus mortar is removed with the help of mason’s straight edge and then the mortar is pressed well with a wooden float so that mortar may fill in the joints of the masonry. The surface is then finally polished with a trowel or iron float. The thickness of this coat should not be more than 16 mm.
In case plastering is to be done in two coats the first coat is applied as described above with the only difference that it is not polished. Before applying the second coat, the first coat is allowed to set but it would not become dry and it is also roughened with a scratching tool to provide key to the second coat. 

The second coat is then applied in a thin layer not exceeding 3 mm in thickness within 48 hours. It is then well trowelled and rubbed perfectly smooth with the help of a steel float. It is then allowed to set for 2 days and cured for more than 7 days.


 This type of plastering forms an ideal coating for external finishings. It is also used for internal renderings of common as well as important buildings. It is specially suited for damp conditions i.e. bathrooms, etc.


The proportioning of the ingredients of a lime plaster is adopted according to the number of coats to be applied. If the plaster is to be applied in one coat, 1 part of lime to 1.5 parts of sand is used. If two coats are to be applied, the proportion for the first coat is same as above while the second coat consists of two parts of lime and one part of sand.

If three coats are to be applied, the proportion of the third coat consists of 4 parts of lime to one part of sand.In actual practice, all the coats consist of 1 part of lime to 2 part of sand. Thickness of the lime plaster varies from 15mm to 20mm. 

Preparing the surface 

The method of preparing the surface is same as described in case of cement plastering.

Application of first coat

It is applied by dashing the lime plaster with the help of trowel against the wall surface between the screeds. Plaster is pressed well in the joints. Function of this coat is to fill all the irregularities of the surface. Average thickness of this coat is 10 to 12 mm. It is then left to dry for 3 to 4 days.
Application of second coat
Before applying this coat, the first coat is well washed and scratched over with the edge of a trowel. The second coat is then pressed against the wall with mason’s trowel and rubbed with a straight edge. Thickness of this coat is 6 to 10 mm.
Application of final and finishing coat 
This coat usually consists of  fat lime which is called lime putty. It is applied on the second coat, made perfectly plain and then rubbed first with wooden float and then with a steel float to polish the surface, It is about 3 to 6 mm in thickness. It is allowed to dry for two days and then the surface is cured for 7 to 10 days.


This type of plastering is suitable for internal renderings of buildings. But it is not commonly adopted these days.


The wall surface is first prepared as described in case of cement plastering. The mud plaster is then evenly dashed against the wall surface with a wooden float. After 24 hours, the surface is tamped. The function of tamping is to compact the layer and to drive it deep into the joints. It also helps to avoid developments of cracks due to hollows.

After tamping, water is sprinkled slightly and the surface is polished with a steel trowel. A thin wash of cow dung is then given and tamping is done again at the places where small cracks have formed. Finally the surface is given a wash of fine white earth and cow-dung. Sometimes, surface is given a wash of fine earth, cow dung and cement in proportion of 3 : 2 : 1.


This type of plastering is done on walls of temporary sheds and country side buildings.


This is special type of plaster.Stucco is the name given to a decorative type of plaster which provides an excellent finish like that with marble lining. After preparing the surface, stucco plastering is applied in three coats. Each coat should be permitted to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat.
For internal surface, the first coat also known as scratch coat consists of lime plaster 12 mm in thickness.The second coat or brown coat consists of rich lime plastering in 10 mm thickness. The final coat or finishing coat consists of a mixture of very fine lime and white ground stone ( marble or quartz), 3 mm in thickness. It is carefully polished with a bag of linen containing moist chalk in the first instance and then chalk and oil. The surface is then finally finished by rubbing it with only oil as to make it smooth and bright.

For external surfaces, the first and second coats are 10 to12 mm thick and the finishing coat is 3 to 6 mm thick. The proportion of ingredients for the first two coats is 1 part of cement to 3 parts of sand with 10% by weight of hydrated lime. The finishing coat consists of 1 part of cement and 2 pars of sand in which some coloring pigment is added or colored cement is used.
Method of applying this plaster is same as described in case of cement or lime plastering.


This type of plastering is suitable for external as well as internal surfaces of buildings to provide an excellent finish.


It is generally applied in two coats of lime mortar by mixing lime, sand and surkhi in the ratio of 4:3:1 along with glue and powdered gull nut. The surface is well wetted and the second coat of about 1.25 mm thickness is applied when the first coat is hardened. The finished plastered surface is kept wet for 3 weeks.


This type of plastering is suitable for internal surfaces of high class buildings but it is not commonly applied these days.

The placing of a building with respect to the geographical directions, the direction of the wind, and the path of the sun, is known as the "Orientation of buildings".

The building should be placed in such a way that it derives maximum benefit from sun, air, rain, and nature and at the same time, it is protected from their harmful effects.
The orientation also includes the arrangement of rooms of a building, so as to provide natural comforts to the residents. 
Orientation requires first priority after selection of site, for proper planning and design of a building.

The building is to be orientated to suit the surroundings of the site.
The building should be so orientated, as to provide easy approach from the nearby road or street.
The sun is a source of natural light and temperature. 
Sunlight is a powerful agent for killing the germs of harmful diseases like, tuberculosis, typhoid, cholera, etc., which may, otherwise, breed in the dark and damp corners of a building. 
It is, therefore, essential to orientate the building such that the sun rays may fall sufficiently on the building and enters the building through doors and windows. However in summer, the building should also be protected from its severe heat.

(4) WIND
The building should be so orientated that cool breeze enters the bedrooms during night in summer but not in winter. 
It should also prevent direct entry of wind of heavy intensity into the building, so as to protect the residents from dust nuisance.
(5) RAIN
The building should be so orientated, so as to prevent entry of rain inside the rooms. 
It should also provide minimum portion of the building subjected to direct showers of rain, so as to prevent dampness inside the building.
Orientation of Building in Different Regions
The climatic conditions, intensity of sun and direction of wind differ from region to region. It is, therefore, not possible to follow a rigid method, with regard to the orientation of buildings.
In general the Earth's surface is divided into three different regions with respect to the orientation of buildings. In these regions, the orientation is discussed separately
In Hot and Arid Regions 
In these regions, the climate is extreme; the temperature ranges from 50 C0 maximum to 36 C0 minimum, or, more or less. 
Cloudless sky, low humidity, and high incidence of Sun's glare are the main features. 
The sunny areas are hot and dry in the day time and cool to cold at night. 
As far as possible, the building should be protected from day time heat and glare during summer and at the same time, the rate of heat loss at night during winter should be reduced. 
In these regions the building should be oriented for the Sun, not for wind as in humid regions.
The following points should be kept in mind while orientating building in such areas:
To minimize the heat gain during summer and take benefit for solar heat during winter, the longer walls should face north and south and shorter walls, east and west, so the least wall area is exposed to the slanting rays of Sun during fore noon and afternoon. 
In other words, we can say that the longer axis of building should run east west, so as to avoid excessive heat from west side.
Provision of projections on the southern walls will give sufficient shade to the walls during summer and provision of windows and openings on the southern wall will allow sunrays to enter into rooms during winter, because the Sun's altitude is high in summers and low in winters.
Verandahs are desired on the south for protection from heat in summers and, also, for sitting out purposes in winter to enjoy the Sun's heat.
Openings in the west should be small and should be properly orientated. ( To save cost of verandah on the west, the afternoon's Sun may be kept off by providing Louvers, which are ventilators, sometimes provided in windows also, in which horizontal sloping slats allow ventilation but exclude rain and Sun's rays.)
A small tilt in the axis of the building must be given away from the west towards the south (facing near about north-west), to get maximum benefit of breeze during rainy season, autumn, and spring to ensure comfort and proper ventilation.
Hot and Humid Regions 
In this region the climate is humid, temperature in summer is moderately high and rainfall is heavy. 
The prime object for orientation and design of buildings in this region is to provide free air movement through the building and to prevent the temperature rise of its inside surface above the shade temperature.
The following aspects should be considered while designing buildings in these areas:
The building should face the direction of the prevailing wind to obtain maximum benefit of the air movement. 
A tilt, up to 45 degree may be allowed, if required, for which the loss of efficiency is only up to 20%.
Window sills should be low to ensure maximum ventilation at the normal living level.
Walls should be shaded from the sun, so as to prevent the temperature rise.
Protection of openings against rain is also necessary.
Building should normally have open planning, as far as possible. They should be of one room thickness, so as to ensure thorough ventilation.
Hilly Regions 
In these regions, temperature is usually much low and cold dominates according to the increasing altitude. 
There is marked drop in the temperature during night.
The following points should be kept in mind while orientating building in such areas:
(1) The buildings should be located in the southern slope of the hill, as they receive maximum sunshine for the greatest duration of time.
(2) The opening should be placed as to allow sunshine inside the building.
(3) A massive structure with high heat capacity is useful because the heat, it stores during the day is welcome, except in very hot day.
(4) It is necessary to provide ceilings of good thermal insulation to reduce loss of heat by radiation during night.
(5) In areas, with heavy snowfall, the roof should be kept sloping to prevent accumulation of snow.


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