Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering

                         Environmental Engineering is the branch of Civil Engineering refers to the use of scientific processes to help improve the Earth’s environment to provide healthier land, water and air for human use and to find new ways to pollution free environment. It uses the scientific and engineering principles for protection of peoples from adverse environmental effects and improve the environment for standard living.

Scope and importance

                   The scope and importance of Environmental Engineering is actually larger than one might think and largely deals with the topics that were listed above. It is broad and scope and deals with major issues such as the treatment of water and air pollution to smaller but still completely relevant issues like recycling everyday items and storing solid wastes in landfills.


                        Environmental engineers work variety of environments because of the nature of tasks. The employment of environment engineers is expected to grow from 15% to 22% by 2022. Apart from social and ecological impact, environmental engineers are also involved in protection of wildlife. They also work as consultants and provide their services to clients to protect our environment from various environmental hazards, and clean up hazardous sites.


Scope of Environmental Engineering

Environment Impact and Mitigation

                             Engineers and scientists apply scientific and engineering principles to evaluate if there are likely to be an adverse impact on water, air, soil, land quality, flora and fauna, ecological impact, noise impact or visual impact. The overall goal of environmental engineers is to identify, assess and evaluate the environmental impacts of man made plans, projects and laws to see if there are any affects whatsoever on water, air, habitat, agriculture, plants and animals, and the ecosystem. In this sense, environmental engineering encompasses the protection of human health and preserving the natural environment using scientific and engineering processes.

Water Supply and Treatment

                              Environmental engineers work to portable and agricultural use. It is their job to assess water within a water basin and determine supply of available water, the cycles of water movement throughout the seasons, and the treatment of water for various uses. This is done to severely minimize the risk of diseases that can be caught from the drinking and/or contact of water. This is why water distribution systems are built to meet irrigation standards for civilian use.

Water Treatment

Water Pollution

                                 Water pollution is closely tied to water supply and treatment. It essentially deals with the waste put into water from sewer systems, outhouses and septics in both rural and urban areas. Environmental engineers design specific systems to carry the polluted water away from civilized areas and release the waste into the environment, most often into the ocean, and in more landlocked areas, rivers and lakes.

Polluted Water

Air Pollution Management

                         Environmental engineers design manufacturing and combustion processes to ensure the air pollutants are at acceptable levels in the atmosphere where the toxins can have minimal effects on people. These include emissions from automobile exhausts, No2, So2, organic compounds, and organic acids.

Air pollution

Solid Waste Management

                       Solid waste management deals with solid waste materials produced by human activity, whether straightforwardly or obliquely. Solid waste management also focuses on the recovery of resources to delay the human consumption of natural resources. Different methods are used to limit the harmful solids that are released into the environment. The objective of solid waste management is to reduce the harmful effects of solid, liquid or gaseous substances on the environment.
                      Solid waste management also encompasses reuse and recycling of everyday materials, the minimization of waste, the storage and transfer of wastes, disposing of solid wastes at landfills, and policies and regulations regarding the above.
Solid Wastes



Shear Wall

Shear wall

Shear Wall


Shear wall is a structural member in a reinforced concrete framed structure to resist lateral forces such as wind forces and earthquake forces.
Shear walls are the resistant element to the horizontal forces acting on it due to severe winds or earthquake.

Structural Mechanism for Shear walls

                   In concrete buildings construction, a rigid vertical diaphragm capable of transferring lateral forces from exterior walls, floors, and roofs to the foundation in a direction parallel to their planes. Examples are the reinforced-concrete wall or vertical truss. Lateral forces caused by wind and earthquake, and uneven settlement loads. These forces can shear a building apart. Reinforcing a frame by attaching or placing a rigid wall inside it maintains the shape of the frame and prevents rotation at the joints. Shear walls are especially important in high-rise buildings. 

Structural mechanism of shear walls

Types of Shear Walls

Based on type of material used, shear walls are classified into following types.

  1. Reinforced Concrete Shear Wall
  2. Concrete Block Shear Wall
  3. Steel Shear Wall
  4. Plywood Shear Wall
  5. Mid-Ply Shear Wall.

1) Reinforced Concrete Shear Wall

                            Reinforced concrete shear walls are widely used shear walls for residential buildings. The reinforcement is provided in both horizontal and vertical directions. But at the end of each wall, bars are closely spaced and anchored. So, the end zones of RC shear wall is called as boundary elements or barbells.

RC Shear Wall

2) Concrete Block Shear Wall

Concrete block shear walls are constructed using Hollow concrete blocks along with Steel reinforcement bars. Reinforcement is generally used to maximize the effect of concrete block masonry against seismic loads.

Concrete Blocks Shear wall

3) Steel Shear Wall

Steel shear wall consists of a steel plate wall, boundary column and horizontal floor beam. The action of steel shear wall is more like a plate girder. Steel plate wall acts as web of plate girder, boundary columns acts as flanges and horizontal beams acts as stiffeners of plate girder.

images (1)
Steel Shear walls

4) Plywood Shear Wall

Plywood shear walls are traditional type walls which are also called as timber shear walls. It consists of plywood sheets and studs. Plywood sheets transfer shear force while studs resists the tension or compression.

Ply Wood Shear wall

5. Mid-Ply Shear Wall

Mid-ply shear wall is an improved version of normal plywood shear wall. In this case, extra plywood sheet is arranged at the center of normal plywood wall and series of pairs of studs are positioned on the both sides of mid-ply. Studs joint the mid-ply with outer plywood sheets standard shear walls and lateral load carrying capacity is higher for mid-ply shear walls.

Mid-Ply wood Shear Wall

Location of Shear Walls in a Building

Structurally, the best position for the shear walls is in the centre of each half of the building.

Location and Geometry Of shear walls

Limitation for Shear Walls:

  • Limitations on the use of building,
  • Adverse effects on the behavior of non-load bearing elements,
  • Degradation in the appearance of the building,
  • Discomfort for the occupants.

Generally, the relative lateral deflection in any one storey should not exceed the storey height divided by 500.

Limit of shear wall for Height of buildings



Retrofitting Technique


In Civil engineering  Retrofitting referred the modification of existing structures to make them more resistant to seismic activity, ground motion, or soil failure due to earthquakes.


Due to passage of time the Structure got deteriorated due to which it lose its strength and  also aesthetic view.


Civil engineering structures may be damaged due to various causes such as earthquakes, cyclones, blasting, etc. This kind of loading collapses the structure prematurely or causes extensive damage to them. When the damage is minor, it is possible to retrofit the structure.

 Problems in RC Structures

The following are the major types of problems observed during earthquakes in RCC frame buildings:
•                absence of ties in beam column joints
•                inadequate confinement near beam column joint
•                inadequate lap length and anchorage and splice at inappropriate position
•                low concrete strength
•                improperly anchored ties (90o hooks)
•                inadequate lateral stiffness
•                inadequate lateral strength
•                irregularities in plan and elevation
•                irregular distribution of loads and structural elements
other common structural deficiencies such as soft storey effect, short column effect, strong beam-weak column connections etc.

Deteriorated Structure

RC Structures Resistance to Earthquake Enhanced by

1)      Increasing seismic capacity of the building
It increase the lateral force resistance of the building structure by increasing stiffness, strength and ductility and reducing irregularities. This can be done by two ways

i)      Strengthening of original structural members
ii)     Introduction of New structural elements  

2)      Reducing seismic response of the building
Increasing damping in the building by means of energy dissipation devices, reducing mass, or isolating the building from the ground enhance the seismic structural response. A more recent approach includes the use of base isolation and supplemental damping devices in the building.

Enter a caption


The following retrofit strategies for RC buildings are widely used after recent earthquakes in several places:

1) Jacketing

Jacketing of existing structural members may be of reinforced concrete, steel case or carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP).

Reinforced Concrete Jacketing

This method involves addition of a layer of concrete, longitudinal bars and closely spaced ties on existing structural elements. The jacket increases both the flexural strength and shear strength of the column and beam.

Columns: The jacketing not only increases the flexural strength and shear strength of the column but also increases its ductility. The thickness of the jacket also gives additional stiffness to the concrete column.

Column Jacketing

Beams: Beams are retrofitted to increase their positive flexural strength, shear strength and the deformation capacity near the beam-column joints. The lack of adequate bottom bars and their anchorage at the joints needs to be addressed.

Beam and column jacketing

Steel Profile Jacketing

Steel profile jacketing refers to encasing frame elements with steel plates and filling the gap with non-shrink grout. This is generally used for improving ductility and shear strength and it provides confinement to structural element.

Columns: Steel profile jacketing of column consists of four longitudinal angles profiles placed one at each corner of the existing reinforced concrete column and connected together in a skeleton with transverse steel straps.

Beams: Steel plate reinforcement is a new technique which can be used for beams subject primarily to static loading to improve their shear strength or mid-span flexural strength.

with Steel plate jacketing

CFRP Jacketing (Fiber Reinforced Polymer)

Seismic resistance of frame buildings can be improved significantly by using Fiber Reinforced Polymer overlays on RC elements of the building. FRP is light weight, high tensile strength material and has a major advantage of fast implementation.

strengthening-column wrapping
CRFP Jacketing

2) Addition of RC Shear Wall

Adding shear walls is one of the most popular and economical methods to achieve seismic protection. Their purpose is to give additional strength and stiffness to the building and could be added to existing and new buildings.

Addition of Shear wall

3) Bracing

            In this method diagonal braces are provided in the bays of the building. Diagonals stretch across the bay to form triangulated vertical frame and as triangles are able to handle stresses better than a rectangular frame the structure is also supposed to perform better. Braces can be configured as diagonals, X or even V shaped. Braces are of two types, concentric and eccentric.


Foundation: Types, Use, Objectives

Foundation: Types, Use, Objectives



Definition & Introduction

                    Foundation are structural elements, which transfer loads to the soil from columns, walls or lateral loads from earth retaining structures.                 

                        A structure essentially consists of two parts, namely the super structure which is above the plinth level and the substructure which is below the plinth level. Substructure is otherwise known as the foundation and this forms the base for any structure. Generally about 30% of the total construction cost is spent on the foundation.The soil on which the foundation rests is called the “foundation soil”.

Shallow Footing
images (1)
Deep Foundation

Types of Foundation

         The two main types of foundation are :

  • Shallow foundation/Footings
  • Deep foundation

Shallow Foundation

                     Shallow Foundation are usually located no more than 6 ft below the lowest finished floor OR Depth (D) of foundation is less than or equal to its width (B). When the soil bearing capacity of soil upto low depth is sufficient to take the structure load then it is provided.

Shallow Footing

Types of Shallow foundation

  1. Isolated  spread footing 
  2. Combined footing
  3. Cantilever or strap footings
  4. Wall footings
  5. Raft or Mat foundation
Combined footing
Combined Footing

Use of Shallow Foundation

            A shallow foundation system generally used when

  1.   The soil close the ground surface has sufficient bearing capacity
  2.   Underlying weaker strata do not result in undue settlement. The shallow foundations are commonly used most economical foundation systems.
Isolated Footing
Isolated Footing

Deep Foundations

           The shallow foundations may not be economical or even possible when the soil bearing capacity near the surface is too low. In those cases deep foundations are used to transfer loads to a stronger layer, which may be located at a significant depth below the ground surface. The load is transferred through skin friction and end bearing.

Deep Foundation

Types of Deep foundation 

  1. Pile foundation
  2. Pier foundation
  3. Types of Pile foundation :
  4. Friction pile
  5. Load bearing pile


Foundation Load Mechanism
Pile Cap. Pile. Imposed Load (P) Skin Friction (Pf) End bearing (Pb) P = Pf + Pb.

Objectives of a foundation

  • To distribute the total load coming on the structure on a larger area.
  • To support the structures.
  • To give enough stability to the structures against various disturbing
  • forces, such as wind and rain.
  • To prepare a level surface for concreting and masonry work.


Autocad in Civil

Autocad in Civil

 Autocad the computer program that is used in everyday life for many different projects. This article is going to show the basics of this program about use in Civil Engineering Projects. It will also show how to create a pentagon, star, and moon all connected with one another, as well as making them different colours. Civil and Architect both use it to draw 2D and 3D design of bulidings, bridges, roads etc.

Image result for Autocad 3d

Related image

Use of AutoCad in Civil

AutoCAD is widely used in the civil engineering field because of its ability to plan sites a lot easier then hand drawings. The main thing is that if you want to draft any civil engineering structure (2D, 3D) such as buildings, bridges, roads, drainage, pipeline, dams, intersection etc. with accuracy, speed and that can be easily edited, AutoCAD is the best option. I could talk for a day about the importance of AutoCAD, still may miss some of the points.

  • AutoCAD as an 2D-engineering drafting tool: You can use AutoCAD to draw accurate 2D drawings for any engineering domain and also use AutoCAD to render to 3D models to help in visualization of the end product. It helps engineers to design, analyse and solve design issues resulting in accurate designs.

Above fig: 2D drafting of building plan, intersection and contour lines

  • 3D View: AutoCAD help model 3D objects with colors, materials and/or textures applied to various surfaces making them vivid and easier for the user to visualize the end product.
3d Design

Above fig: 3D drafting of building and bridge repectively.

  • Accuracy: AutoCAD enables you to draw with fractional dimensions and also define precision to any number of decimal places, which is not possible to achieve in hand-drafted manual drawings, hence offering accuracy in all dimensions.
  • Speed.
  • Easy to use and edit:
  • Powerful Graphics and realistic view:

Default AutoCAD Shortcuts

AutoCAD commands can often be long winded and hard to type especially if they are being used repeatedly. As such command shortcuts have been part of the software for some time now.

 Many users do not make use of them (some Keyboard Kings included). The table below shows some of the One Key Shortcuts included within the software by default:








 Default AutoCAD One Key Aliases (Shortcuts)  


Related image
3D Design

Transportation Engineering


It is a subdiscipline of civil engineering that involves planning, design, and management of transportation systems that provide for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods.

                Transportation engineers focus on designing new transportation systems and upgrades to highways, urban roads, airports, railroads, and water transport networks. To facilitate their designs, engineers need to collate and analyze data on traffic flows, accident rates, and other statistics. They also have to take future demand for transport into account while considering the results of impact studies and local, state, and federal transportation policies.

Transportation Engineering
Transportation Engineering

Scope of the Field

Transportation engineering is vast and can allow for excellent career opportunities. Of the 18 technical divisions within the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), six are related to transportation engineering:

  • Air transportation
  • Waterway, coastal, port, and ocean
  • Highway
  • Pipeline
  • Urban transportation
  • Aerospace

Scope According to Specialties 


Graduates with a master’s degree in transportation engineering can concentrate on one of several specialties. For example, highway engineers develop their expertise in the following areas

  • Analysis of traffic patterns, traffic flows, and collision rates during highway and road design
  • Planning, design, construction, and operation of highways and roads, as well as their associated bicycle and pedestrian facilities
  • Alignment, design, and construction of pavement and other roadway elements
  • Estimation of public transportation requirements and the associated costs
  • Design and construction of bridges, retaining walls, and tunnels
dallas-highway-austrini-flickr-cc-by-2.0 (1)
Highway Engineering


Railroad engineers focus on the design, construction, and operation of railroads and mass transit systems. Their goal is to develop a safe railroad transportation system to meet future demand, working with federal officials to ensure the rail system meets the nation’s transportation requirements.

Railway engineering


Airport engineers become experts in the design and construction of new airports and upgrades to existing facilities. This is a special transportation engineering application where engineers must fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Take into account the physical impact of aircraft and air traffic volumes to design airport facilities
  • Analyze wind patterns to determine runway orientation
  • Design the size of runway borders and safety areas
  • Determine wingtip clearances for boarding gates
Airport Engineering

Port & Harbor

Port and harbor engineers specialize in the design, construction, and operation of ports, harbors, and canals. As with the other branches of transportation engineering, the analysis of traffic volumes and maritime forecasts is essential for the design process.

Ports & Harbor Engg

The Transportation Planning Process

For any transportation project, engineers cannot take a purely clinical look at moving people and goods when planning new developments. Any new facility may have an impact on an area’s growth and economic activity, as well as the quality of life of the surrounding community. This means that transportation engineers must also consider the well-being of society in their plans.

Most local governments have a metropolitan planning organization (MPO), which is a policy-making body consisting of representatives from local government and transportation agencies. An MPO has the following main functions:

  • Establishing an impartial setting for regional decision-making
  • Identifying and evaluating alternatives for transportation improvement, using appropriate planning studies
  • Preparing and maintaining a long-term transportation plan for the metropolitan area
  • Developing a short-range program for transportation improvement
  • Involving the public in transportation planning

Career Prospect

To be successful in transportation engineering, strong organizational and analytical skills are required. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is a prerequisite for entry to a master’s degree program in transportation engineering, although many schools enable prospective students to complete bridge courses to qualify.

Transportation engineers typically secure employment with private engineering companies or engineering consulting firms. State and federal governments also employ transportation engineers in their relevant departments and agencies.


Structural Design Techniques

ASD Strength vs ASD Stress vs LRFD 

are all LSD

Why LRFD is more reliable?

6a00e5536ab239883301b8d19017e7970c-600wi (1)


                   Allowable Stress Design (ASD) is basically Allowable Strength Design. Both use service level loads and a safety factor to member strength.

                   ASD can mean either Allowable Stress Design or Allowable Strength Design. The Allowable Stress Design is the older or original designation which was used in the 9th Edition of the AISC Steel Construction Manual (1989 AISC) and the old ACI Concrete code (called Working Stress Design. Side note: working stress design can be helpful in reducing cracks and crack size. Therefore the method is sometimes still used in water applications). In these codes service level loads where applied to members. The stresses in the members where found and then checked against an allowable stress value which had a safety factor incorporated into it. Many ‘old timers’ will say that this used to give you more of a feel for the design as you better understood how the material and members where stressed.

design and analyze structural models_rframe_rsteel_rconcrete_rfdn_rss_se


                     Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) uses factored loads and applies a reduction factor to member strength

                     LRFD which is also a Limit States Design methodology. This method uses a load factor to ‘factor up or down’ service level loads and also reduce member strength based on reliability and statistical data. When using LRFD you must design the strength based on the LRFD load combinations and factors however deflection should be based on service level loads, so you must keep track of your loads!

In the 2005 AISC both the ASD and LRFD methods for determining nominal strengths are presented side by side. The nominal strength will be the same for both methods and only the allowable strength will differ due to the fact that the safety factor applied for ASD and the reduction factor applied for LRFD will be different.



Limit States Design (LSD) a design methodology where different failure mechanisms or states are checked and allowable strengths for each failure mechanism or state are determined. The controlling limit state is normally the one that results in the least available strength. This is more of a general term and includes ASD ’89, ASD 2005 and LRFD.

Strength Design = Generally refers to LRFD however the most new manuals which include ASD could be considered strength design methods as well. Meaning stresses are typically not calculated anymore…well they are but the end result is usually in terms of a members strength. In concrete you may also hear the term Ultimate Strength Design (where the old ’63 code used Working Stress Design) which is referring to LRFD.

Ultimate or Strength Level = Generally strength or ultimate level loads refers to Factored Loads in LRFD design. Ultimate capacity is generally the Factored Resistance or Capacity of the member being designed with LRFD.

Service Level = Generally service level loads are used with ASD methods. They are also used when checking deflection for serviceability.

Nominal Strength = This is the strength of the member for a given limit state before any safety factor or reduction factor is applied to the member. This is used with ASD or LRFD and is normal given in manuals that present a “Unified Approach” aka they give you a nominal capacity then  the user applies a safety factor or resistance factor.

Available Strength = This is the strength of the member based on the nominal strength reduced by the applicable safety factor or reduction factor. In LRFD it is common to refer to this as the Ultimate Strength. In ASD it is commonly referred to as the Allowable Strength.

Required Strength = This is the strength required based on the applicable ASD or LRFD combination. The required strength should always be less than the available strength.

Resistance Factor = The reduction factor applied to the nominal strength as used in LRFD.

Safety Factor = This is the factor which reduces the nominal strength as used in ASD.

These terms can be confusing when your fresh out of school. Most likely in school you predominantly used LRFD design. However when you show up to work you may find some who still use a lot of ASD. Or you may see alot of old ASD example problems or even need or want to use it in your design. I will try to clear some of this up for you.



                   Allowable Stress Design (ASD) is basically Allowable Strength Design. Both use service level loads and a safety factor to member strength.

                   ASD can mean either Allowable Stress Design or Allowable Strength Design. The Allowable Stress Design is the older or original designation which was used in the 9th Edition of the AISC Steel Construction Manual (1989 AISC) and the old ACI Concrete code (called Working Stress Design. Side note: working stress design can be helpful in reducing cracks and crack size. Therefore the method is sometimes still used in water applications). In these codes service level loads where applied to members. The stresses in the members where found and then checked against an allowable stress value which had a safety factor incorporated into it. Many ‘old timers’ will say that this used to give you more of a feel for the design as you better understood how the material and members where stressed.

So Why LRFD? 


                       LRFD is a more reliable and statistical based method for predicting loads and material strengths. Whereas the allowable stress saftey factors where based on engineering judgement and past experiences. It is debated which will give you a more efficient design however it seems in most situations LRFD will produce a smaller sized beam based on strength but not always. Also serviceability and deflection control many designs, in which case both methods will yield the same result as the design is not base on strength at that point. So, LRFD is consider the most considered efficient and convenient method for desing of Reinforced Concrete Structures.

3D Rendering Township

Continue reading “Structural Design Techniques”