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Assignment Briefs 02-27-2024

LO1 Use analytical and computational methods to solve construction related problems

Submission Format:

This assignment is to be completed within the time frame indicated on the front sheet.

Calculation work can be done on paper and does not need to be typed. However, full calculation should be presented, clear writing and the correct units.

Clearly number the questions and the parts.

Attach the front sheet and the brief to your work and hand them in stapled together.

Unit Learning Outcome:

LO1 Use analytical and computational methods to solve construction related problems.

LO2 Investigate applications of statistical techniques to interpret, organise and present data by using appropriate computer software packages.

Assignment Brief and Guidance:

Scenario 1

A surveyor was sent to a field to collect the necessary measurements to determine the height of a tall concrete water tank built during the last 12 months on a relatively softer ground. Although the soil was compacted prior to construction, there was a concern that there might be some vertical movement caused by heavy rain during the year. The surveyor positioned due east of the tank, measured the elevation of the top as 48°. The surveyor then moved due south 30.0 m and measured the elevation of the top as 44°. As part of the team, you are asked to calculate the present height of the tank using the collected measurements, and determine whether there is any sinking given the height when construction finished was 59.00 m.

Scenario 2

An engineering firm was a signed with a contract to build a 4- line bridge over a river that run through a city to ease congestion on the existing bridge that is not far from the proposed new location. The width of the river at this section is 60m. Soundings of the depth of the river taken at this section are as follows:

Djstance from leftbank{m)














Soundjng depth
















The above information is required to be plotted and a fair curve to be drawn through the points to show the river profile. The engineering team is then to calculate the cross-sectional area of the river at this section in mz using two methods (Trapezoidal and Simpson`s rules). The team is also interested in knowing the speed at which the river is flowing to ensure the production of a safe and sound design. The volume of the water flowing pass this section per second is 10,00Qm3.

Scenario 3

A carpenter is trying to put a plan to construct a large window consists of 6 square panels of glass, as shown in Figure-1. Each pane is x m by x m, and all the dividing wood is y m wide.

Scenario 5

An electrician carried out the frequency distribution for the value of resistance in ohms of 48 resistors and tabulates them in Table- 2.

Grouped resistors (ohms)
















The electrician asked for the following statistical analysis to be carried out.

a) Draw a histogram depicting this data.

b) Determine the mean, median and modal values of the distribution.

c) Calculate the standard deviation from the mean of the resistors, correct to 3 significant figures.

d) Interpret the results the results obtained inc).

Scenario 6

A machine is producing a large number of bolts automatically. In a box of these bolts, 95% are within the allowable tolerance values with respect to diameter. The remainder being outside of the diameter tolerance values. Seven bolts are drawn at random from the box.

A mechanic wants to determine the probabilities that:

a) two, and

b) more than two of the seven bolts are outside of the diameter tolerance values.

Evaluate and justify the techniques adopted to solve such a problem

Sample Answer to LO1

Analytical and computational methods play a crucial role in solving construction-related problems by providing efficient and accurate solutions. Here are several ways in which these methods are employed in the construction industry:

  1. Structural Analysis:

    • Engineers use analytical methods to assess the structural integrity of buildings and infrastructure. Techniques such as finite element analysis (FEA) help simulate and analyze the behavior of structures under various loads and conditions.
  2. Cost Estimation:

    • Computational methods are employed for accurate cost estimation in construction projects. Advanced software can factor in material costs, labor expenses, and other relevant parameters to generate precise estimates, aiding in budget planning.
  3. Project Scheduling:

    • Computational tools are utilized for project scheduling and management. Critical Path Method (CPM) and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) are examples of analytical techniques that help optimize project timelines, allocate resources efficiently, and identify potential bottlenecks.
  4. Building Information Modeling (BIM):

    • BIM involves the use of computational models to represent the physical and functional characteristics of a construction project. This facilitates collaboration among various stakeholders, improves decision-making, and enhances overall project efficiency.
  5. Geotechnical Engineering:

    • Analytical methods are crucial in geotechnical engineering for assessing soil properties and foundation design. Computational tools assist in analyzing the stability of slopes, bearing capacity of soil, and potential settlement issues.
  6. Energy Efficiency Analysis:

    • Analytical methods are employed to assess the energy performance of buildings. Computational simulations can model the thermal behavior of structures, aiding in the design of energy-efficient buildings and systems.
  7. Risk Management:

    • Analytical methods, such as risk analysis and Monte Carlo simulations, are used to identify and assess potential risks in construction projects. This helps in developing risk mitigation strategies and contingency plans.
  8. Material Selection and Testing:

    • Computational methods assist in selecting appropriate construction materials by analyzing their properties and performance under different conditions. This includes simulation of material behavior and testing in virtual environments.
  9. Optimization of Construction Processes:

    • Computational algorithms can be applied to optimize construction processes, including logistics, equipment utilization, and workforce planning. This can result in cost savings and improved project timelines.
  10. Environmental Impact Assessment:

    • Analytical methods help evaluate the environmental impact of construction projects. Computational models can simulate the environmental consequences and aid in designing sustainable and eco-friendly structures.

In conclusion, the integration of analytical and computational methods in construction enhances decision-making, optimizes resource utilization, and ensures the overall success and sustainability of construction projects.

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