Architecture of designing, planning and constructing buildings or


 Part 1

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is both the process and the product of designing, planning and constructing
buildings or any kind of structure.

Influential architect

Zaha Hadid


first women to obtain the pirtzker architecture prize, in 2004.



Chemistry and building houses

isn’t limited to scientist’s labs, test tubes and beakers. Chemistry is
literally everywhere. It is also used to create materials that grant building
with enhanced building performance.


Concrete is a compound that is composed of 3
main composition, Cement, water and aggregate. These composition are combined
to make a solid hard material that is often used as a foundation for buildings/structures.








For every type of structure whether it be A
house, apartment building or a mall, requires specific fundamentals

One fundamental always used for constructing
or a solid/sturdy structure is to have a foundation which is made from






-cement consists
essentially of compounds of silica (silicon dioxide, SiO 2)
mixed with lime (calcium oxide, CaO) and alumina (aluminum oxide, Al 2O 3).





silicon dioxide

silicon dioxide, commonly known as silica, is
an oxide of silicon with a chemical formula of SiO?.

Molar mass: 60.08 g/mol

point: 1,710 °C

Density: 2.65 g/cm³

Boiling: 2,230 °C


calcium oxide

Calcium oxide, also known as quicklime or
burnt lime. This chemical compound is well-know and used across the globe. It
is a white, Alkaline, caustic, crystalline solid at room temperature.

mass: 56.0774 g/mol

Melting point: 2,572 °C

boiling point: 2,850 °C

Density: 3.35 g/cm³






aluminum oxide

•      Aluminum oxide is a compound of aluminum and oxygen with a
chemical formula Al?O?. Aluminum oxide is a white solid that is odorless and insoluble
in water.

mass: 101.96 g/mol

Melting point: 2,072 °C

Density: 3.95 g/cm³

point:  2,977 °C


Water is a strange compound with unique
physical properties. Water consists of only two elements which are hydrogen and
oxygen. Both of these elements have stable and radioactive isotopes. 

mass:18.01528 g/mol

Melting point: 0 °C

Density: 1 g/cm³

Boiling point: 100 °C


A large percentage of concrete if made up of
coarse aggregate. Crushed stone, sand and gravel are often used as a coarse

Wood structure

Most houses in Canada have wood structures.

wood is used because it is cheap, easy construction, lightweight, easy to
adjust, renewable and and it it stored carbon inside of it. Since wood stores
carbon in it, this results in a smaller footprint in the environment.


When carbon is in the air it is usually
carbon dioxide and this fossil fuel raises the global temperature by trapping
solar energy in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide is usually odorless however,
in high concentrations it is has a sharp acidic odor.

Density: 1.98 kg/m3






•       Structural beams of a building are very important in the
construction of a building and supporting walls. Structural beams are usually
made of steel however they can also be made of aluminum or other materials.

Steel is usually composed of two elements, iron (Fe) and very little amounts of
carbon (c).




•      Iron is the 26th Element on the periodic
table .

Molar mass: 55.845 g/mol

Melting point: 1,538 °C

Density:  7.874 kg/m3


There is a big variety of different materials
used for insulation. one of the materials that are used often is spray foam.

Spray foam is a material used for insulation and it is sprayed put by a gun.

Spray is created by to materials, isocyanate and polyol.

Air barriers

Air barriers are used in structures to
control the air flow between a conditioned place and an unconditioned place.

The air barrier system is basically air enclosure boundary that separates
indoor air and outdoor air. Air barriers are usually made of plastic or foil

Copper and plastic pipes

Since copper is much softer than iron and
lead it is used for pipes in homes. Softer means easier to shape. However
copper pipes are expensive to install and replace. Instead of copper pipes construction
workers started to use plastic mixed with other materials.


Copper is an element of the periodic table
with a symbol of Cu which came from the latin word “cuprum”. It is very soft
and has a very high electrical conductivity.

Molar mass:
63.546 g/mol

point: 1,085 °C

Density: 8.96 kg/m3




•      “CALCIUM OXIDE.” National Center for
Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library
of Medicine,

“No Items Found – PubChem Compound – NCBI.” National
Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S.

National Library of Medicine,

“What Is Silicon Dioxide?” Sciencing,

“Events, Competitions & Promotions.” Architecture
– World Architecture,

“Water Chemistry.” Water Chemistry,

“Water.” National Center for
Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library
of Medicine,

Rodriguez, Juan. “These 5 Rebar Types Can Be
Alternatives to Regular Steel Reinforcement.” The Balance,



 Part 2

Chemical Reactions

Chemical reactions

A chemical reaction is the process where one
or more substances, called the reactants, are transformed to one or more
substances , called the products. Some signs that a chemical reaction has
occurs are. (Paul M. TreichelJohn C. Kotz, 2017)

Color change

Formation of precipitate

Formation of gas

Odor change

Temperature change

Types of chemical reactions

•      Synthesis reaction à a new product is synthesized by the combination of two reactants

Decomposition reaction à a compound decomposes into two or more different products

•      Single displacement reaction à when a cation or n anion is exchanged from a

double displacement reaction ? The anions are exchanged between two compounds

Acid base reaction à an acid and a base are combined to give salt and water

•      Combustion reaction à where compounds burn in the presence of
oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water and other products

Examples of chemical reactions

Rusting of iron

Burning of wood

Cooking an egg

Backing a cake

Using a chemical battery

Rotting bananas

Milk going sour

Chemical reaction in concrete

The hardening of concrete is caused by water,
through a process called hydration. Hydration is basically a chemical reaction
in which cement forms chemical bonds with water molecules and transforms into a
hydration product.

Chemical reaction in cement

There are four main cement minerals that
react at different rates and they tend to form different solid phases when it
hydrates. Each of these minerals have been studied by synthesizing it in pure
form and hydrating it under stable conditions (Dr. Jeff Thomas)

Hydration of the calcium silicate minerals (C3S
and C2S)

•       Hydration of the calcium aluminate/ferrite minerals (C3A
and C4AF)


Hydration of the
calcium silicate minerals
(C3S and C2S)

•   Tricalcium silicate (C3S) is the most abundant and
important cement mineral in cement packaging, contributing most early strength
development. The hydration of C3S is:


•   Most of the reaction develops during the first few days, leading
to strength gains.

•   The dicalcium silicate phase (C2S) can be written:


•   C2S is much less soluble than C3S, so the
rate of hydration is much slower.

•   C2S hydration contributes very little to the early


                                                                                                 (Dr. Jeff Thomas)


triCalcium silicate

When the adding of water is taking place,
tricalcium silicate rapidly reacts to release calcium ions, hydroxide ions, and
a large amount of heat. This results in the pH BECOMING 12 BECAUSE OF THE

A. Lewis)

Hydration of the calcium aluminate
 (C3A and C4AF)

•      The
hydration of calcium aluminate and ferrite minerals is more complicated than
the hydration of calcium silicate.

•      The
reaction that takes place depends on whether sulfate ions are present in the
pore solution.

•      C3A
is extremely soluble, even more than C3S.

If C3A is hydrated in water, calcium aluminate hydrates form:

•      The final product of the reaction, C3AH6,
is called hydrogarnet.


Jeff Thomas)


Hydration of the calcium aluminate
 (C3A and C4AF)

One issue was that,  the initial reaction is so rapid that if it
allowed to occur in a portland cement paste, it would release big amounts of
heat and could potentially cause the paste to set within couple minutes after
mixing, condition known as flash set.

      (Dr. Jeff Thomas)




The reason of adding gypsum to portland
cement is to prevent flash set from happening. The gypsum is very soluble,
rapidly releasing calcium and sulfate ions into the pour mix. The reaction
of  C3A and gypsum together


             (Dr. Jeff Thomas)



Copper roofs

We often see that the parliament buildings
have a green roofs, however they are not initially green, they are copper
color. Copper turn to a green color because of a process called oxidation. In
the oxidation of copper by oxygen, copper atoms donate electrons to an oxygen
molecule so copper is oxidized while oxygen is reduced (Chun Wu 2011).

2Cu + O2 ? Cu2O

Copper oxidization

The reaction of copper oxidization can be
written as:

 2Cu + O2 ? Cu2O

This reaction Is a synthesis reaction


Brick is often used to make the exterior
walls of a house. Bricks are used because:

Fire protection

High wind protection

Superior moisture control

Looks pretty good

Naturally energy-efficient

Proven for centuries


Mortar is a paste used to connect building
blocks such as stones and bricks, by filling and sealing the irregular gaps
between them. Mortar is very similar to the chemical reaction of concrete.



Fireplaces are mostly used for the relaxing
atmosphere they create and for heating a room. 
The heat in. a fire place is generated by the burning wood.

Burning wood

When wood reacts with oxygen something called
burning occurs.


This reaction is a combustion. The products
of this reaction are carbon dioxide and water, which are both released as gases
in the air.



Most of north American households depend on a
furnace to provide heat. Furnace works by blowing hot air through the vents and
into the rooms. The furnace can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or fuel
oil. Inside a gas or oil fired furnace, the fuel is mixed with air and burned.


Interesting fact

Antoine Lavoisier

The first man to correctly explain combustion
as reaction with oxygen from the air.


5.3 – The Hydration
Reactions in Concrete,

“Why Choose Brick.” The Brick
Industry Association,

Brain, Marshall. “How House Construction
Works.” HowStuffWorks, HowStuffWorks, 1 Apr. 2000,

“The Combustion Reaction.” Combustion
of Wood,



 Part 3



The word stoichiometry comes from Greek word
stoicheion which means element. Stoichiometry is the calculations of relative
quantities of reactants and products involved in a chemical reaction.

The chemistry In making steel

Reactivity of metals

Iron is a slightly reactive metal which joins
with non-metals such as oxygen. That’s why it is very rare to find pure iron in the earths crust. Iron
is usually is as an ore, where Iron is chemically mixed with oxygen or other


Manufacturing steel starts with the
elimination of the oxygen from the iron ore.

Reduction and oxidation

Reduction Is removing oxygen chemically from
a substance. The production of iron involves reducing iron (III) oxide in a
blast furnace.


Percent yield

Fe2O3(s)  +  3CO(g) à  2Fe(l) +  3CO2(g)


% yield = actual/theoretical x 100%

% yield = 75/85 x 100%

% yield =

the percent yield is 88.23%

Limiting reagent  example

Fe2O3(s)  +  3CO(g)  à 2Fe(l) +  3CO2(g)


Moles    2)  Mole
3) conversion

Fe2O3                                                                                                                   n=

n=m/mm.                        Fe2O3 /fe 
= 1/2 = 0.0011/x                        m= (0.0022)(55.84)

n=0.18/159.68                 x= 0.0022 mols                                          m=
0.122 grams

N=0.0011                         co/fe = 3/2 =

3co                                    x= 0.0026 mols

n=m/mm                     Therefore, Fe2O3  is the limiting






Low carbon steel is not expensive and
contains less than 0.25% carbon. With about 99% of material comes from iron.

Construction beams are made out of low carbon steel.

High-carbon steel

This steel contains 0.6 to 0.99 carbon, with
approximately 99% iron.

n steel

This steel is usually can be used to make
cutlery, and usually has a composition of 0.18% carbon, 18% chromium, 8%
nickel, and 74% iron.

Hi-speed tool steel

Hi-speed tool steel is 0.7% carbon, 4%
chromium, 10% tungsten, and 1% molybdenum, with about 84% iron. It is often
used to make drill bits and saws.

Silicon (electrical) steel

This is used in motors and generators and
also has a composition of about 0.6 to 5 percent silicon, with a certain steel
made of 0.4% carbon, 2% silicon and 97.6 iron.


“What Is
the Chemical Formula of Steel?” Sciencing,

5.3 – The Hydration
Reactions in Concrete,

“” Iron(III) Oxide Reacts
With Carbon Monoxide To Pro… |,–perc-q2520613.

“Dynamic Periodic Table.” Dynamic
Periodic Table,




The end