Components of Building

There are two basic components of a building.
1. Sub Structure: The part of building that is constructed below ground level.
2. Super Structure: The part of building that is above ground level.


footing and plinth of a building are a part of a sub-structure. This part of building safely transfers the load of building to the underlying soil.Therefore, footing should be of such strength that it can easily carry the building load. Failure of footing leads to failure of building. Width and depth of footing should be designed according to the load of a building coming on it plus the bearing capacity of soil.
Bottom part of footing is generally constructed of Plain Cement Concrete (P.C.C) or Reinforced Cement Concrete (R.C.C). Steps are made above (P.C.C) by using bricks, stones or concrete to reach the plinth level. Generally, Damp Proof Course (D.P.C) is laid on plinth level. This layer stops the penetration of moisture to the super structure part of a building.

Super Structure

Super-structure is a part of structure that is above plinth level (P.L). Generallay columns and walls are constructed in  super structure. Following are the important parts of super-structure.

  1. Floor
  2. Roof
  3. Lintel
  4. Parapet
  5. Sun Shade
  6. Drip Course
  7. Doors & Windows


Floor is that part of a building on which furniture, household, commercial, industrial or any other type of items are stored. Floor is used for walking around .
Floor separates the different levels of a building. Building is also named with reference to floor. Like Ground floor, first floor, or a floor that is below ground level like basement floor.


Roof is made to cover room from upper face. Different types of roofs are used in building depending on the location and weather. Sloping roofs are generally considered better in mountain  areas. While, in plan areas flat roofs are preferred.


Lintel is constructed above doors, windows etc. to support load of wall on openings. Lintel beam is generally made as reinforced cement concrete member. While, in residential houses sometime lintel is made by using concrete and bricks.

Breadth of lintel is generally equals to the breadth of wall. In case of metric unit, it is normally equals to 10cm, 15cm, 20cm etc. While, in case of FPS system it is consider as 6”, 9”, 12” etc.

Thickness of lintel should not be less than 10cm (4.5”) and maximum thickness of lintel should not be more than its breadth.


External walls of a building are extended above the roof slab which is known as parapet. The sole purpose of parapet is to retain water from its entrance in to the walls and a safety protection for people who use the roof of a building.

There are following three types of parapets;

1.  American Type

2.  Setback Type

3.  Cornice Type

Sun Shade

Sun shade is a slab that is cast on the top of doors and windows. Sun shade protects doors and windows from sun and rain. Sun shade is cast monolithically with the lintel.