Components of Building

The basic components of a building structure are foundations, floors, walls, beams, columns, roofs, staircase, etc.

These elements serve the purpose of supporting, enclosing and protecting the building structure.

The building is any structure constructed for any function, each part is used or not for human habitation intended to surround any land or space and outdoor display structures.

Tents, canopy, pandals, etc. will not be considered as transient buildings constructed for formal occasions.

Purpose of a building:

  • Buildings serve the several needs of society like a shelter from the climate, security, residing space, to store belongings and to comfortably reside and work.
  • A building as a shelter represents a physical division of human habitation.

List of building components:

1. Plinth:

The part of the structure above ground and below ground level is called plinth.

The height of the plinth should be between 06 m to 0.8 m.

Functions of Plinth:

  • It provides protection from rainwater and creeping animals and insects.
  • It also provides space for courses that ultimately support flooring tiles.

2. Floor:

It is a horizontal surface for every room occupants to use.

The floor for the ground floor is usually above the plinth while a floor slab serves as a floor for the upper floor.

The floor is then covered by a variety of floor materials such as mosaic tile, granite, marble, quota, etc.

Functions of Floor:

  • In general, the floor should provide good resistance to wear and tear caused by its daily use.
  • It should be easy to wash and clean, fire-resistant, easy to repair.
  • The various types of floors commonly used for ground floor in India are murum, clay floors, brick floors, tiled floors, timber floors, etc.

3. Wall as Building Components:

These are vertical building components that can support the roof or act as a partition wall or compound wall.

Various forms of masonry have walls such as brick masonry, stone masonry, composite masonry, hollow cement concrete block masonry, cement concrete block masonry, etc.

Functions of Wall:

  • The walls form the outer boundary of the building and separate the rooms from each other.
  • It supports roofs in load-bearing structures.
  • It only serves as the partition walls in the framed structure, because the partition walls do not carry any weight of the structure.

4. Column:

 It is the vertical member or component of a framed structure made of reinforced cement concrete.

Functions of column:

  • It supports flooring at various levels in a framed structure or RCC, it takes a brief weight of the structure.
  •  In a load-bearing structure, the column that is made of bricks or stones.

5. Beam:

It is the horizontal components of the building structure made of steel, reinforced cement concrete, wood, etc.

Functions of beam:

  • It supports the transverse load of the building structure.
  • It carries the tensile weight of a structure.

6. Roof:

A roof is building components cover at the top of a building designed to protect from elements such as rain, sun, and wind.

It is designed and constructed to meet the requirements of different climates and available materials.

For example: in the plains where rainfall is scanty and intense heat, a thick flat roof is more suitable, whereas in ghats or coastal areas where rainfall is heavy, a sloping or sloping roof is suitable.

The main divisions of the roof are pitch roof, sloping roof, hat roof and shells and domes.

Functions of roof:

  • The basic function is to provide protection from various elements for people and their property.
  • It also provide insulation, retains heat in winter or cool air in summer.

7. Doors and windows:

Doors: These are openings that allow entry into the building and circulation through various rooms.

Windows: These are usually built into the outer wall providing air and light inside the rooms.

Functions of Doors:

  • The doors are used for the free movement of people inside and outside the house.
  • They should be minimal for each room because more doors cause cause-obstruction.
  • Exterior doors are a means of separating the home from the surroundings in terms of privacy and security.
  • The door should be located near the end of the room, especially in residential buildings.
  • The teak wood frame with blackboard shutter is the common type of door used these days, although a lightweight steel frame with blackboard shutter is also used in modern apartments.
  • Fiber plastic doors are becoming popular for bathrooms and water cupboards.

Functions of Windows:

  • Windows are building components provided for entry of light into the building for the free circulation of air.
  • The outer wall should have a maximum number of windows.
  • For schools, factories and hospitals, the window area should be at least one-fifth of the floor area.
  • Windows are usually fixed such that the top of the window is 2100 mm below the floor level.
  • Vertical windows accept more light than horizontal windows of the same area.
  • Mild steel frames and shutter windows fixed with glazed glass are very common these days.
  • Aluminium sliding windows operate on the tracks, frames and shutters fixed in a single plane are also very popular in urban areas.

8. Lintel:

The lintel is a small horizontal building components acts as a beam and always provided over openings such as door, window or any other.

It is made of R.C.C., timber, stone slabs or pre-cast concrete, nowadays commonly made in R.C.C. in framed structure.

Functions of lintel:

  • It supports part of the wall at the opening.

9. Sill as building components:

The lower structure of a window or door opening is called a sill.

The sills are modern building components are constructed in stone slabs such as kota, kadapa or ceramic tiles.

The portion of the cob is sometimes well kept flat.

Functions of Sill:

  • This provides a suitable finish for the window opening.
  • It also provides protection to the wall below the window.
  • It also supports the vertical members of the opening.
  • It drains rainwater from the face of the wall immediately after the opening.

10. Staircase:

It is a tilt passage with steps and is connected to the floor at various levels.

It is composed of R.C.C., steel or wood.

 Nowadays, it is usually made in reinforced cement concrete in a framed structure.

Functions of Staircase:

  • It provides easy access from one floor to another.

11. Parapet as building components:

It is part of a low height wall built along the edge of the roof.

It is built with brick masonry then applied with plaster.

Functions of parapet:

  • Fall protection for men, machinery, debris, etc.
  • It also provide fire protection.




The basic components of a building superstructure are columns, beams, slabs & basic function is to serve the various necessary needs of society.

Now I’d like to hear from you, which section was new to you or maybe I missed something. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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