Smart Meters | Energy Efficient Systems

Smart Meters | The next generation devices

Smart meters are next generations devices that help you measure the consumption of electricity and gas. It is different from AMR – traditional Automatic Metering reading in a way that it enable two way communication between the meter and the central system. These smart meters are gaining popularity in the west. They are used for monitoring the energy and gas consumption as well as for billing purposes.

Smart Meters
Smart Meters

Europe has introduced smart meters that are based on Open smart grid protocol (OSGP) which has the ability to reduce load, disconnect and reconnect remotely. The research conducted in the UK on the usage of smart meters showed that smart meters were being confused with energy meters. They are being used by 1 in 3 homes in the UK. It has been estimated that £300 million could be saved annually if the smart meters are actively used by the people.1 Although it is also important that people actively pay attention to their lifestyle that demand heavy energy consumption.

Smart meters are being used across the world. The aim of using smart meters is to initiate the creation of Energy-Efficient Economy. A study was conducted which showed that homeowners consumption of electricity was reduced by 3-5%.2

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Dream Home | A note from Architects and Engineers to the PEOPLE

Dream Home turning into a nightmare

I took quite some time to write this article. I am really troubled with the idea of people wanting to design their own homes without the help of a Architects or Engineers. It has been really tough telling people that every project is different and needs to be designed accordingly. Every site has different characteristics and hence the design differs.

People are more focused on saving a few thousands that they would have to pay to the experts for getting all the drawings right and in perfect order. They want to do it themselves. For some reason, they believe that they could do a better job than the experts themselves.

I am a professional and I truly appreciate people wanting to participate in the design of their homes, but the participation is limited to suggestions and discussions. The participation of people involves telling the architect about what they imagine their dream house to be. It should be borne in mind that people might have an idea of what they want their dream house to look like but they will never be able to create it. Describe what you want your house to look like and leave it to me and I will come up with something that will fill your heart with joy.

My Dream Home
My Dream Home | That is my dream home which stands looking beautiful and sturdy and will last for the next 100 years. No compromise in the design and construction quality. Incredible colour scheme. It has perfect balance and rythm. Makes me feel blessed every time I see my house. THIS IS HOW YOU SHOULD FEEL ABOUT YOUR HOUSE.

This is only because I have studied for 7 long years which has helped me develop my design skills. I create what my clients dream and feel. When you describe your ideas to an Architect, he knows exactly what you are looking at and what you want. He is a technical person and a designer and knows how he could turn your dream into a reality.

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Design Procedure for Circular Water tank

7 step design procedure for RCC Circular Water Tank

In our previous article, we discussed some important theory and formulas required in the design procedure of Circular Water Tank.

Refer: Important theory and formula derivation for Circular Water Tank


Circular Water tank

We will now move on with the stepwise design procedure for Water tank design.

Step One

Determine the design constants such as σcbc, σct, m, σst


σcbc = permissible compressive stress in concrete

σct = permissible tensile stress in concrete

m = modular ratio

σst = permissible compressive stress in steel

Step two


  1. Dimensions of the tank
  2. Volume of the tank
  3. Area of the tank (by assuming its depth)

Refer: How to calculate Water Tank Capacity?

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Reinforced Circular Water Tank | Design of RCC Structures

RCC Circular Water Tanks

Circular water tanks have the properties of the cylinder. Cylinder stress is exerted on the circular water tank. It is distributed with rotational symmetry. The stress distribution remains unchanged if the object is rotated about a fixed axis.

There are three different patterns of cylinder stress namely;

  1. Hoop stress or circumferential stress – it is in tangential direction
  2. Axial stress – parallel to the axis of the cylinder
  3. Radial stress – It is perpendicular to the symmetry axis but is coplanar

Some important theory for Circular Water Tanks

The base of the circular water tank has a flexible joint. The tank rests on the ground. The wall of the tank is designed for hoop tension.

Formula for Hoop tension (Ht)

The formula for calculating hoop tension is,

Ht = PD/2      ———————————— equation 1


P = water pressure on wall

D = diameter of tank in metres

The formula for pressure is given by,

P = d x h    —————————————equation 2


d = density of water =  10kN/m3

h = depth of water in metres

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Methods of Building Construction

Types of construction methods

When you purchase a home, more thought is put into the location and layout of the property than the methods of construction that were used to build it. That is something that becomes incredibly important when you decide that you want to build your own home from scratch. You quickly learn how different structural methods and materials used in the construction can affect the bottom line. With a definite budget in place, you really need to pay attention to all of these details, which usually means that such things as amenities and house features take second place to the actual build.

In our earlier articles, we have discussed an entire guide for RCC construction. The guide includes the detailed procedures for carrying out various different calculations for designing different parts of the building. Foundation design is the most important and first step in the design of RCC structures.

Masonry construction

One of the most commonly used methods of construction is one that basically dates back centuries, and that is masonry. Brick and stone are durable materials that can withstand the elements better than most. Building a brick home on a stone slab means that you will have a solid home with a strong foundation, but it is also a little more labor intensive than most of the modern methods that are available today. That additional labour can drive build costs up, but money can also be saved by using re-purposed bricks, which can also add a very unique look to the home.

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Development of Lammas Ecovillage, UK

New revolutionary Ecovillage development in the UK | Lammas

It is one ecovillage in the UK to attain prospective planning permission. The permission was achieved in 2009 after three years of planning campaign (1). It is situated in Northern Pembrokeshire, Wales. It consists of only 9 households spread over an area of 75 acres. The concept of the development of ecovillage was to provide the residents with a sustainable lifestyle. The aim was to help residents learn to grow their food, fulfill their own water and energy needs without depending on mains (2).

Wood fired Kitchen
Wood fired Kitchen

 Locally available materials have been used for construction. The materials include local timber, straw bale insulation and locally sourced aggregate. Green techniques have been incorporated in the design of ecovillage. Use of masonry stove, passive solar heating and a wood fired kitchen. Department of Energy and Climate Change funded the ecovillage project (3).

Roof made from local materials
Roof made from local materials

The project was designed in a way that it could be replicated anywhere across the country. Each household purchased a 1000 year agricultural lease from the organization that provides them security and autonomy. They employed systems of Permaculture which were used in Australia in 1970s. These techniques helped in maximizing the land productivity. It emulated the natural ecosystems, increase in biodiversity in the local area. It also helped in increasing the productivity organic food. There was a considerable decrease in the levels of carbon pollution (4).

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Major drivers of change | Sustainable Development

Factors responsible for shaping our towns and cities

There are two major drivers of change that are responsible for shaping our towns and cities.

1)    Technological impact

This has changed the way people connect with each other across the globe. It has given rise to new businesses and has also resulted in the increase in urban population.

Technological impact also has positive benefits. It has opened up ways and means by which we could attain sustainable living by use of clean technologies. It is time we take charge of our towns and cities and develop them in a way beneficial to mankind in long run. People prefer to live in the heart of the city for important reasons such as close proximity to offices, leisure areas etc.

London city map
London city map

To bring about sustainable development, we have to focus on connecting places or linking homes, offices and leisure places in close proximity to each other. This would also help in reducing ecological footprint by reduction in energy consumption.

2)    Changing lifestyles and Ecological balance

Our global population has been on the rise from the past 100 years. It grew from under 1 billion inhabitant to 6 billion inhabitants. It is estimated that if the population continues to grow at the current rate, it will reach 8.5 billion inhabitants by 2025.

Urbanisation is taking place rapidly. At the start of the century, around 10% people lived in cities but now the number of people moving into the cities is growing at an alarming rate. 50% of urban population now lives in cities. This growing population and urbanisation is adding a lot of pressure on the use of resources and the environment.

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Pool Deck Tiles

Decking materials

Concrete has been used as a decking material for decades. There are finishes achieved in concrete that give a good deck surface.

For example, salt finish concrete is commonly used and seen on many sidewalks. The surface of deck of the deck is non-slippery. Salt finish concrete can also be used with different colours.

A different type of look is achieved on the concrete by adding acid stains.

Also, there are chemicals available in the market that are added in the concrete mix which helps in keeping the deck cool.

Masonry decks have also been used for decades. Flagstone or travertine can be used as decking materials. The material and labour cost is more in these types of decks.

Tropical Pool Deck tiles

The pool deck tiles that are made of tropical wood are gaining popularity these days. They are assembled on a plastic base having high density. There are ways in which the pool deck tiles can be used. They could be:

  1. Staggered joints
  2. Aligned joints


As a measure to resist termites and moisture, the pool deck tiles are coated with non-toxic chemical coatings. It makes the surface of the deck safer to walk by reducing the chances of slipping.

Use of tropical wood makes the deck tiles more convenient because the surface temperature of the deck tiles remains regulated. Be it too cold or hot, it feels comfortable to walk on them.

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Civil Engineering Projects Weekly | 9th April 2013

Underestimate Green lighting? It can save millions of dollars…

The writer explains how green lighting can have a huge impact on the savings. It may seem surprising as to how such a small change in choice could help you save a lot of money. LEDs have been the top choice of the designers because of the variety of pleasing colour options that are available. The article details out the two success stories of the companies that have chosen to go for LEDs replacing their existing incandescent light bulbs. It has been really surprising since the amount that they have saved millions of dollars by going for a greener option of lighting.

LEDs – the future of lighting industry

We are all acquainted with LEDs. LED stands for light emitting diode. Initially, the LEDs weren’t as efficient as they are today. The article details out the pros and cons of using LED lighting. Today, LED is considered under the category of green electronic components. They have played a great role in revolutionizing the lighting industry.

Architect Javed Kachchhi interviewed regarding Construction site inspection

The author interviews the Indian Architect Javed Kachchhi regarding the construction site inspection. Various important questions have been answered that would be incredibly useful to the Architecture and engineering students as well as the young graduates. The questions regarding issues such as monitoring of the site, role of project management team, architects role on site inspection, mistakes committed by workers on site, scenario of construction sites in towns, scenario of construction sites in cities, role of contractors etc.

Damage and repair guide for Sinking Foundations

Sinking foundations could be disastrous for the life of a structure if not paid attention to. The damage and repair guide outlines the complex procedure into three simple steps. Every step in the guide has been explained in detail.

Here are the following three steps:

1)     Examination of the structure

2)     After the problem identification, an expert relating to the field is to be hired.

3)     Outline of methodologies or techniques for the repair of sinking foundation

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Casestudy of Toyota, Japan | Ecological Sustainability

Sustainable City in Japan – Toyota

Toyota, a city in Japan has been working to achieve ecological sustainability and has been taking effective measures to strive towards it. Toyota is called the eco-ful town. It has earned its renown for building a life sized model of sustainable living and demonstrating it successfully. Use of renewable energy and achieving energy efficiency has been its prime goal.

Map of Toyota, Japan
Map of Toyota, Japan

Design of Roads in Toyota

The roads laid in the city of Toyota have been paid special attention to. The roads are coated with water retaining and thermal insulation substances to minimize heat emission.

The transportation system has been very well developed in Toyota. It is called as “Demand responsive transportation“.

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