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Designing Pile Caps

The pile cap is a part of a building’s foundation and is used in multi-story buildings, a huge structure, or in a support base used for heavy instruments. The pile cap helps to distribute the load of the entire building to the piles. Similarly, a raft might be constructed - a foundation floor made of concrete that rests directly on soft soil - where the land could become liable to subsidence.

  • Considering IS 2911 (Part I/Sec 3) - 2010, you can design the pile cap when you assume that the column’s load would be dispersed at 45 degrees right from the uppermost part of the cap down to the mid-depth of the pile cap, from the column’s base or pedestal.

  • The reaction that the pile produces can be taken and distributed at a 45-degree angle from the pile’s edge to the pile cap’s mid depth.

  • On the basis of this, work out the maximum bending moment and the sheer force at its critical sections.


  • The rigidity of the pile cap is assured.

  • The head of the pile is hinged upon the pile cap. As a result, there is no transfer of bending moments from the pile caps to the piles.

  • Considering that the piles would be elastic and short columns, the stress distribution and its deformations would be more plane.


  • The pile cap’s shape

  • The pile cap’s depth

  • The required number of steel

  • Arranging the reinforcement


  • Determine the specific number of piles

  • Plane dimension and arrangement of the pile cap

  • Preliminary depth of the pile cap

  • Crosscheck the forces on the pile

  • Lookout for the punching shear

  • Design the moment

  • Look out for the bond

  • Details of the reinforcement

Designing Combined Footing

A combined footing is built when a concrete beam connects two or more column footings and is also known as a strap beam. It distributes the weight possessed by columns with eccentrically loaded footings and adjacent footings.

A foundation or footing transfers the structural load to the underlying soil. To determine the ideal footing it is necessary to consider the depth of the strata, the condition of the soil and the superstructure.

Combined Footing

Combined footings are the combination of columns in straight lines on a footing that is single spread. The economical option is when a column has one isolated footing.

We only provide combined footings in special circumstances such as:

1. When the close nature of two columns leads to the overlap of opposite footings that are isolated.

2. Where the low soil bearing capacity leads to the overlap of opposite lone footings.

3. When there is a close building, sewer, or existing building opposite the building column.

The different kinds of combined footing

  • The plan of the combined footing could be trapezoidal, tee-shaped or rectangular.

  • There is specific fixation of the geometric proportions to the extent that the footing area’s centroid collides with the column load’s resultant. 

Designing Concrete Tunnels

The excavation of tunnels usually leads to the requirement of some form of support, to maintain the stability and aid its use in the manner intended. The only time this would not apply is in the most competent ground conditions.

Many factors determine the function and form of the support, and are considered separately from geotechnical considerations. It also appears that every tunnel has its own unique lining solution.

Tunnels for Civil Engineering

Civil engineering tunnels have shallow depths when compared to mining tunnels. The final tunnel profile for civil engineering tunnels needs a lot more tolerance to guarantee its stability. Many tunnels for civil engineering projects receive a lot of traffic, and would be used for more than 100 years.

As a result, there is the need to guarantee more stability and a high safety factor above 2.0.

Other critical factors to civil engineering tunnels are grade, line, finishes for special surfaces, and preventing the outflow and inflow of water when considering the tunnel’s structure.

Excel Sheet Painting Works Checklist

The following are points you should remember when painting walls:

Painting is when you use pigment, colour, paint, or some other kind of medium to solid surfaces. The common implement used to apply the medium is a brush. However, other implements like sponges, airbrushes, and knives are also commonly used.  

Tips for Painting Walls

1. Make sure the curing period is complete in the case of new construction.

2. Check the chosen material/paint is approved.

3. Make sure you’re using the approved colour shade.

4. Check the wall surfaces are clean, and the surfaces are finished and smooth.

5. Identify and repair any leakages, cracks, and dampness.

6. Make sure you cover other materials neatly with masking tape. This is to protect items like window/door joints, electrical switches, wardrobes, and glass partitions.

7. Apply the primary coat.

8. Apply the main colour coat(s) according the desired specification.

9. Make sure the final touches, and the desired number of coats is complete.

10. Be on the lookout for overall coverage and brush marks.

11. Check the surrounding floor, door/window glass and joinery after painting is completed, and clean up as necessary.

12. Lookout for alterations and additions that are incomplete.

13. If you are using marble flooring, check the floor polishing before you add the final coat.

Marble/Granite Laying Works Checklist

If you are laying marble and granite, make sure you pay attention to this checklist.

Before Laying

1. Clean the slab from loose material/mortar.

2. Make sure there are available materials, like sand and tiles.

3. Stack the granite/marble properly.

4. Make sure you are using top quality sand, granite/marble.

When Laying

1. Check the pattern and start point.

2. Make sure the slopes, fixed line/level and checked are according to the requirement.

3. Check the proportion of bedding mortar you mix in the A/2 tray.

4. Make sure you complete the polishing and grinding process.

5. Check the joint and workmanship. Check the nosing, especially when working around a kitchen counter or washbasin.

After Laying

1. Make sure there are no stacked materials after completing the fixing. 2. Make sure there are no hollow sounds.

3. Properly clean the finished surface before you polish.

4. Replace any cracks you notice.

5. After four days, make sure you cure the area.

Excel Sheet Pre-Concreting Checklist

Concreting is an important part of construction work. Below are some good steps to follow before proceeding to lay concrete:


1. Check the preparation of the surface. 

2. Be on the lookout for staging and form work.

3. Make sure there are provisions for ducts/conduits opening.

4. Make sure there are vibrators.

5. Make sure the mixer/vibrator is in good working condition. Check the gaps located in between the plates.

6. Are there access walkways and platforms?

7. Make sure the reinforcement corresponds to the drawings.

8. Crosscheck the embedded parts.

9. Make sure there are reinforcements for the cover.

10. Check the plumb.

11. Cross check the levels of reduction.

12. Check the concrete.

There are always new things to learn when it comes to civil engineering and construction techniques. These articles should have given you some tips to keep in mind for a range of activities. 

Useful instructions and checklists for civil engineering procedures: designing pile caps, combined footings, tunnel construction, pre-concreting, granite or marble laying, and painting. 

Do you have any special tips that have served you well for these building activities? If you do, feel free to drop a comment below.


Publié 20 septembre, 2017


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Lucy is the Development & Programming Correspondent for She is currently based in Sydney.

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