Post 507 – by Gautam Shah


Wikipedia Outside Looking In Author Stephen Kelly

Masking is an overlay over any opening like a window, door or gap. The overlay could be an additional system, opportunistic exploitation of surroundings, or an arrangement of perception. The masking of opening is a facilitation through transitional delay in time and space creating partial or complete disguise through shielding, blurring, selective camouflage or obscuration. Functionally, transitions through the openings are controlled, directed or curtailed through with use physical elements and effects are added or subtracted by sensory processes.

AB 640px-Berlin_stadthaus_fensterumquaderung


Primary masking occurs, on how an opening is framed within a barrier system. The opening occurs as a cut, puncture, or cleavage within a barrier, or at the overlapping edges of two barriers. Masking becomes effective with the scale of the opening in comparison to the size or extent of the barrier. A smaller opening and an extensive barrier, both create an ’imposing’ framing’. The framing of built openings need a heading or lintel, and to support the head and super structures, sides are abutted with additional structures. Such side structures or portals add to the framing of the opening. Built opening require controller of transitions like ‘shutters’, and these require jambs, frames or stoppers. In arched and angled portals, for functional reasons door framing structures are square headed, creating shape-masking. The shutter devices have some technological limitations like a door cannot be two wide, or else it sags or deforms. It cannot be too extensive in size as the wood or metals did not permit very large shutters. These factors imposed scale-masking.


5954526577_e5a96560e0_zNatural and built gaps gain importance on what view they frame. The view could be the rising or setting sun, a mountain range or valley beyond, a water body, or a plaza, street or roof tops. Where such views are not straight aligned or perfectly frontal, the viewing position is architecturally adjusted or furniture layout is attuned to it. The view curiosity is build up by denying the view till one arrives at the perfect place. The masking of view out or inward is done through real or make-believe depths formed by repetition of series of identical, receding or increasing frames. Such multiple masking frames occur in colonnades, corridors, passages, avenues and walkways.





Post 506 by Gautam Shah



A space encounter, first ever or with familiar ones, actuates a search for the most appropriate location, orientation and body posture, amenities, facilities, supports, and environmental conditions, one needs to establish own-self. The search also includes many personal factors such as other people present and level of relationship with them, mood, past experiences, personal attitude (extrovert or introvert) and the purpose of visiting the space. The natural choice is some focal point of the space. It may not be the architectural-con-center, but has distinct affinity to the core zone of the space. To arrive and immediately reach a peripheral section, one needs to be extraordinarily purposive, almost like a service personnel who intentionally avoids any interaction with the happening in space.

Pritzker Pavilion Wikipedia Pic by Author TonyTheTiger

The reach in space, and anchoring to some point does not last very long. One begins to absorb the space, and shifts to another body posture, sensorial connections, orientation and even moves to the next location. The shift continues till the search is satiated with the perfect spatial and environmental conditions, required amenities, facilities and other supports are available. All these are disregarded, if some known person or group is available for communication and participation.

Airport Lounge waiting Flickr image by Author Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand

Space occupation is achieved by

  1. Positioning own self at some important location (a Cris-cross point of many spatial lines), from which many activities can be sensorially perceived.
  2. Orienting to some dominating feature of the space (like an entrance door, window).
  3. Staying closer to some presence (wall, column, furniture, person).
  4. Establishing associating with other people by closer distancing or intra personal communication.
  5. Continually shifting, reorienting, to conceal the discomfort arising from inability to occupy the space.

designed space-hotel-interior-design-restaurant-2042083

Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, Israel > Wikipedia Pic by Author Yoninah

street architecture en public-domain-photo-fkrgh

For space occupation important operative factors are: Range of cognition (capacity to perceive, project and communicate), Physical proximity (level of social interaction), Scale of relationship (age, social status), Nature of relationship (sex, familiarity) and Possibilities of exploiting amenities, facilities and other physical supports.

Party > Wikipedia pic by Author Infrogmation of New Orleans

A space user needs some control over the space:

  1. Multiple opportunities to change the location and position (including the posture) within the space.
  2. Choice to interact with others or refrain from it
  3. Freedom to adjust to the spatial quality and environmental conditions at micro level (like moving towards an outward opening, seat, stand, rest) and thereby achieve an equilibrium and comfort.
  4. Be noticed, or ignore others.
  5. Use sub-core or peripheral zones to form intimate groups.
  6. Shift to peripheral zones to conduct exclusive tasks.
  7. Ways and means to leave the space either in full knowledge of others or without being noticed.

Chennai Central Railway station India > Wikipedia pic by Author w:user:Planemad

Liverpool station

In very large spaces there are multiple points of anchorage for space occupation such as: the adjacent walls, hedges, mid columns, flower pots, water fountains, lamp posts, flooring, ceiling, and such patterns and objects. Spatial configurations like a stage, podiums, projection screens, speakers, singers, vivid objects, also hold interest by providing involvement.

Ball of City of Vienna (1900) ART by Wilhelm Gause

In parties, hosts make a conscious effort to break intimate formations by removing or adding key or active persons, or re-positioning and rescheduling the activities. In clubs and places of entertainment the environment (change in lighting, furniture, equipments) and programmes are reset to shift the focus off certain space segments. Group gatherings are designed to occupy different space segments (hall, terrace, lounge, coffee room, library, garden lawn, etc.), variegated environmental conditions (bright vs diffused illumination, change of music, etc.) and diversions (toast by the host, magic shows, musical renderings, dancing, etc.).

town city-monument-cityscape-downtown-vacation-1325985-pxhere





Post 505 by Gautam Shah


Road Sign Standards Pic by geograph 5634336 David Dixon

A standard is a requirement by tradition, acceptance, confirmation or law for certain type of practices, behaviour or compulsions. Standards are relevant for specific time and space context, after which they become abhorrent and ignored or are redefined.

Stack Holders Wikipedia image by Author UNDP

A standard could be an informal understanding or a document. As document, it explains the circumstances of its need, how it can be adhered to and, what are the consequences of compliance or noncompliance. Standards relate to practices or processes, material inputs for it, services, energy consumption, quality of deliverable and other byproducts. It relates to human and environmental affectations. New standards define the stack holders for any engagement, degree of transparency and norms for accountability.

Standards are widely accepted or agreed upon means for what a thing, happening or service should be. Standards include details about sizes, relationships, proportions, in their own and relative to the user, perceiver, etc. It details quality parameters and modalities of using and storing, and processing of materials, objects and structures. It concerns about interests of all stack-holders. It links with other standards to form an all-inclusive definition of creations, natural things and environment. It offers a common set of meanings, terms used in standards and provides common ways of interpretations. It sometimes offers ways of arrangements for implementing or enforcing, and the management through continued observance, redefinition, corrections, for whatever that is being documented.

ISO and UTS Thread Dimensions

Standards emerge as the most widely acceptable strategy, set through specifications. Standards generate a controlled response. Standards relate to specifications for making, maintaining, using and disposing objects, and mechanics of creation, handling, operations and management. Standards emerge from empathy or as a strategic understanding between two or more persons. Standards’ formation is a raison d’être for (reason for being) members of clan or society. Governments gain political power and patronage by administering standards. Regional blocks and International communities achieve efficiency by preventing conflict and duplication of effort through standards. Standards, very effectively and economically raise the levels of quality, safety, reliability, efficiency and commutability. Standards are negatively used to reduce competition, for promoting few things, controlling the invention, or formation of new or different knowledge.

Pic from en.wikipedia to Commons. Author Nimur at English Wikipedia


Standards are expected to achieve predictable results, by voluntary concurrence, obligation, or through enforcement. Standards are very powerful means to cause a change or even maintain status quo. The nature of Application of Standards takes many different forms with varying levels of credibility. Acceptance of standards if voluntary ensues a social respect or some form of elite status. The enforcement also may occur with social boycott, penalty or punishment.

Railway couplers have evolved to standard product Image by Attelage_Henricot




Post 504  by Gautam Shah


Surface Finishing is achieved by several processes such as:

1 Surface Levelling,

2 Surface Texturing,

3 Surface Property Modifications without resorting the first two,

4 Embellishment with other materials.

Pic from Flickr by Nic McPhee

1 Surface Levelling is done by Removal of excess material, and Deposition of new materials.

Surface levelling is achieved by removing the texture or roughness forming excess material. For these surfaces are section re-cut, ground and polished. Stone surfaces are chipped with finer chisels, or wood faces are planned to level out the surface. Stone surfaces are dressed to remove the weathered crust. Rough cut or split (sedimentary) stones are spliced into two, by a smooth saw cut. Barks of the trees are removed by axes and choppers. Timbers are split very finely to create veneers. Leather surfaces are shaved for thinning and to remove the surface hair. Leathers are split to make uppers and soles. The palm leaves are shaved to remove the stems and make them smoother for writing. Singeing or burning the surface section is used for fabrics, leather and paper. High temperature singeing removes surface fibres or hair, deoxidize impurities and in case of metal harden the surface. Synthetic or composite textiles are selectively or locally singed to fuse the fibres or filaments, and create transparency, opacity, etc. Metal surfaces are rolled over to flatten out the undulations or ‘turned’ or ground.



Grinding and Polishing, are the two finer processes for surface-levelling of hard materials such as building stones, metals, glass, and precious and semiprecious gems, ivory, bones, leathers, timbers, pottery products, cement concrete and other cement products. Hard materials such as marble and granite, take a high gloss, whereas others like sand stones, are too coarse-grained to be polished, and can only be smoothed to a granular finish. Surface-levelling is done by sharp tools that chip away very thin section off the surface. Grinding is done by rubbing down with a graded series of coarse and fine abrasives, such as Carborundum, sandstone, emery, pumice, and whiting. Grinding wheels usually consist of particles of a synthetic abrasive, such as silicon carbide or aluminium oxide, mixed with a vitrified or resinoid bonding material. Grinding can be coarse or fine, depending on the size of the grit used in the grinding wheel. Polishing uses extremely fine abrasive substances, such as jeweller’s rouge, Tripoli, whiting, putty powder, and emery dust, to rub or burnish an extremely smooth and glossy finish on the surface of a material. Metal and glass can be ground to a mirror finish. Polishing is done by tumbling and vibratory mass-finishing media, sandblasting, pulp-stones, ball-mills etc. The polishing materials are coated on the surface of cloth, felt, or leather wheels. A special type of polishing wheel is made of soft rubber or plastics with the abrasive grains moulded into it.

Wikipedia Pic Diamond Polisher Pic by Author Andere Andre

Honing and Lapping, are used for very fine level of polishing by material removal process. Honing improves the accuracy and finish of motor car cylinder bores, hydraulic cylinders, and similar parts. There are four types of precision grinding machines: Center-type grinders, Center-less grinders, Internal grinders, and Surface or flat bench grinders.

Hubble Space Telescope Primary Mirror polishing

Other surface levelling processes include singeing, washing, bleaching, etching, and ironing. Wood surfaces on sintering create a dehydrated, old shrivelled, or shrunk surface similar to an old wood. Metal surfaces also burnt to harden the top surface and to remove oily residues, dehydrate, and descale the surface. Reverse of metal plating process removes the surface molecules to achieve matt finish.

Engraved amethyst Portrait of Roman Emperor Caracalla 212 AD

2 Surface Texturing is used to endow desired level of texture and in organized pattern format. This is done by chemical reactions with surface molecules and by mechanical means. Acid and Alkali etching are used for forming textures. Glass surfaces are etched with Hydrofluoric acid. Metals are acid etched and then neutralized with an alkali treatment. Water and solvents are used for surface making. High-speed jets of water are used to form surface patterns over partly set cement surfaces, Water used for washing out the top section of mosaic plasters to reveal the stone chips. Suctions are used to create textures in plaster surfaces. Paints are applied by roller to form granulated matt finish. Leathers, papers and plastics are hot pressed to imprint patterned textures. Recording media like CDs, DVDs have groves that store data.

Embossed leather Japan

3 Modifying or Refashioning the surface sections is done to change or equalize the surface properties of objects. Metal and glass surfaces are de-stressed by controlled radiation including heat treatment. Annealing and Hardening, are heating and cooling processes to change the molecular arrangements within the entire body, or just surface sections. In case of polymers heat treatments are used for chain linking. Textiles become de-creased or creased on pressurized with heat treatment.

crimped hair

4 Embellishment with other materials, are used in a superfluous or applique process or as an integrated process.

Applique processes are like casing, cladding, layering, or lamination, lapping, gilding and coating. Cladding is common in masonry work for a new surface, insulation, waterproofing, etc. Casing is done to metal structures for rust inhibition, static discharge, isolation and fire protection. Layering or lamination is common in composite formation through co-extrusion processes.

Metalized Film for car glass Wikipedia pic by Author (original uploader was Steevven1 at en.wikipedia)

Integrative surface processes are surface molecular deposition or surface alloying systems. Molecular deposition of metal compounds or ceramic forming (non-metal) materials achieve a very thin body deposition. Polyester metalized films offer solar radiation cut-off. Metal plating through anodic transfer also creates very thin body layering. Metal deposition over plastics, ceramics and filaments provide dual qualities. Coating systems form very vital field of material addition. Coatings are applied in a liquid phase or get converted to it, at the time of application (such as in case of powder coatings). Coating deposition is aided by electrical charge, pressure or spluttering. Many of the surface addition processes are intermediary treatments for the next lot of surface treatments. Alkaline or acidic washes or solvent wetting leaves substances that are beneficial for other subsequent applications. In medical field skins, tissues and muscles are planted to encourage fresh growth.




Post 503  by Gautam Shah


Walls are erected as structures to bear the roof, to barricade settlements, to define passageways and to protect lands from tides and floods. Walls of abodes being too small in scale and strategically less important for continued care, rarely survive. Barricades for settlements such as fortifications are of grand scale and designed to resist ravages of time. Walls defining passageways are for land mass retention and ceremonial demarcation of walkways. Walls created for protection of land from sea water ingress and flooding, have remained all time necessities so rebuilt and reformed.

Natural wall > Organ Pipes, Victoria, Australia. Pic by : Nick carson at en.wikipedia

reconstructed Goseck Circle (prehistoric solar observatory) image by Kreuzschnabel/Wikimedia Commons, License: artlibre

US immigrants forming a wall of covered cart around the night halt camp

Walls are super structures rising above the lands, and are also subterranean features for platforms, dykes, canals and bunds. Walls are formed by nature due to directional erosion. Man-made walls are created by staging of the land, vegetation or snow mass. Fortification walls are of many types situational conditions of nature, man-made structures of animals, carts and building materials. All man-made structures have peculiar geometry that makes it easy to recognize in their trace forms or buried under lands or waters.

Sketch of a cross section of the Newgrange passage grave made by William Frederick Wakeman (d. 1900).

Facade of the tomb as reconstructed by archaeologists, detail > Wikipedia image by Author Aligatorek

Walls are parallel to gravity forms. The horizontal dimension or the length is its distinguishing feature. Walls of stacked materials like clay, mud, stones, snows, vegetation etc., are wider than their height, but structured or arranged walls are several times thinner than their width. Walls thinner than their width are susceptible to horizontal displacing loads including wind, water and earthquakes. Such walls are buttressed intermittently with abutments, flanges or angular layout.

Ancient wooden wallimage from torange_biz free photobank

Hadrian’s wall just east of Greenhead Lough, Northumberland

Roman walls of Lugo

Historically Greeks created pristine walls with coursed masonry. Romans created brick and concrete walls with built in lining that were often had variegated stone facings sourced from old debris. Roman walls in interior spaces were plastered with marble powder and polished to a very glossy finish. Walls were decorated and painted by stucco system. Marble and glass mosaic in figures and patterns were applied on walls. Byzantine walls were finished the same way, but unlike the flashy colour scheme of Roman villas and Thermae, were simpler. Byzantine buildings used marble and mosaic bands running across the interior walls.


Mykene Treasure of Atreus Tholos Pic by Wikipedia author Adam Carr

Egyptians painted the interiors with their limited tonal vocabulary, but using gilding extensively. Babylonians used ornamental poly-chrome brickwork, often with low relief work. In early Gothic period the walls were being flooded with light so the structural contouring or definitions were very important, rather than the wall treatments. Wall ornamentation was like the tracery pattern employed in windows. Panellings were used at lower levels of otherwise tall rooms. Gothic period also saw introduction of external non load-bearing or partition walls. In buildings other than church walls did not require such vast openings. Areas between openings in interior and exterior began to form into alcoves or niches to filled in with statuettes.

River gallery of the Château de Chenonceau, designed by Philibert Delorme and Jean Bullant Wikipedia Pic > Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license by Author Wladyslaw (talk)

During Renaissance these intermediate wall areas were highly rusticated. Windows were visually enlarged by decorative appendages. A modulated vocabulary of alternating wall and window treatment was established. These vocabularies, however, did not evolve across the floor except by repetition. Post Renaissance period saw entire facade walls being designed as one unit overcoming the horizontality of floor divisions and straight roof lines. Facade walls now became undulating not in the plan but also in elevation. Japanese shoji partitions serving the purpose of door, window and a wall divider. It inspired many architects in early 20th C to design interiors with relocatable partitions systems. Space and bubble structures dissolved the wall as a definition.

Hexagonal external cladding panels of roof in Eden Project Biomes (Cornwall, England,) Wikipedia Pic by Author Etan J. Cal



MANAGING FEES -for Building Design practices PART – III

Post 502  by Gautam Shah




Design fees are based on many factors or considerations. One of the important elements is the complexity of the job, which in turn is reflected in Design floor spread or area of work. This is now called expected area of design intervention. It can include every thing that is intensively and intentionally to be impacted by design. In case of architecture or interior design it includes all design affectations inside and outside the built form. For this purpose your design brief presented to a client becomes the Bench Mark. But one must also equate the design brief with a structure for fees’ computation.


640px-Small_group_conversation_at_a_Gurteen_Knowledge_CafeFor all designers the safest bet is to mention a minimum chargeable fee with a rider that it relates to One site, One Project, One Client and One occasion or interaction. The minium chargeable fee, must be interpreted as the retaining amount (services of a designer). Mention of one occasion or interaction is necessary as some clients after paying the retaining amount go into sleep-mode lasting an indeterminate period. It is necessary to state what design services a client can expect on payment of retaining amounts. This may include one or few meetings for discussions of design brief, including scope of design services, collection and verification of the site related documents, a site visit, or submission of a design scheme.

If minimum chargeable amount (or retaining amount) covers and obligates you to submit a schematic design, than following cares are necessary. Schematic design must never be submitted in digitally manipulable form, such as the CAD-based files. One may however, submit image files like in pdf, jpg, or similar format. Smart designers avoid creating very exactly scaled proposals.



The schematic or preliminary sketch design is likely to go into hyperbole for showing the possibilities of design interventions. The design elements not only spread as built-forms, but include surroundings’ treatments. This is often equated as a promise against the clients’ estimate or the perception of the budget. This means, one need resubmit a redefined version (usually truncated and very rarely an expanded one ) of schematic drawings, as soon as project is shaped (that is fees are set). At this stage it would be wiser to define and graphically indicate the extent and nature of Design interventions. It could also include the Requested Design (Client’s brief) and Design to be executed. A client should clearly understand the term ‘design to be executed’ will form the basis for fees’ determination. Cancellation of the job or any downward sizing will not affect the ‘basis for fees’.


Caupona Salvius Pompeii customers playing dice



Post 501  by Gautam Shah



Surface finishing or decorating with a foreign material is a very ancient technology. Metals have been embellished by several techniques. Metals have been coated by metal plating, surface alloying and deposition. Metals have been inlayed with metals, precious stones and objects.



These processes include:

Damascening a technique of encrusting gold, silver or copper wires in the finely chased surfaces of iron, steel, or bronze.

Niello is made from black metallic alloy of sulfur with silver, copper, or lead. It is filled in chased or engraved patterns over silver. The surface is heated for the niello to melt. On polishing the surface gets a dual metallic effect.


Granulation is made by soldering or fusing granulated beads of silver or gold to effect a bloom to the surface than of a beaded surface.

Filigree is made by forming a fine network of very thin wires fused selectively and than fixed on a metal surface of an object.

Ajouré is similar to filigree but the fine network is created by cutting or piercing the patterns in the metal. Raised patterns or cut out motifs are also fused onto the surface.


Embellishments with Other Materials were formed using precious stones, exotic substances such as rare woods, metals, ivory, horn, beads, sea shells, jade, and amber, and niello-work, fixed into chased or performed cavities or depressions. Fixing was by wire, metal forming, heat-fusing, thread knitting and knotting.

Inlay works are of many varieties. Pre-formed cavities or depressions are filled in by many different materials such as wood, stones and metals. The fixing is with tight fitting, adhesives, or by hammering a ductile metal.

Gilding is application of metal like silver, gold, silver, palladium, aluminum, and copper alloys, in the form of very thin foils. Gilding by gold or silver foils requires as no adhesives as sufficient electrical charges attract the foil to the base, however for permanent fixing (on exterior use) some form of adhesives are used.

Overlays can be defined as metal sheathing or cladding by metal sheets that are slightly heavier than used for gilding. Overlaying is also done by applying a gold amalgam (gold+mercury) and than removing the mercury with heat.

painted enamel on copper 290x 240mm

Enamelling is a metal embellishment technique wherein a vitreous glaze is heat-fused to create a very long lasting decorative effect of brilliant colours. (Read on > Enamels).

Snuff bottle, northern India, 18th century, gold, gemstones and enamel

Painted Enamels are used to coat and decorate the surfaces of metal objects. Enamelling offers a long-lasting ,  and brilliantly coloured finish. Technically Enamel is a comparatively soft glass or ceramic, a melted compound of flint or sand, lead, and soda ash or potash. This glass, called flux, frit or fondant, is clear with a tinge of blue. This ground and remelted with oxide colours, but shade variations are achieved by changes in the mix proportion for the flux. Painted Enamels are used in translucent and opaque forms. Similarly the hardness of the flux depends on the mix proportions. Hard Enamels require hire temperature for fusing, and have better resistant to weather. Enamels have a size limitations so are used as important inserts in art compositions, with size enhancement through drawn or carved framing etc.

Painted Enamels are used for Jewellery, arms, armour, horse trappings, mirror frames, dishes, bowls. Enamels are also used for interior decoration such as ceilings and walls (as in the rooms of the châteaus of France).

Miniature of Marie Louise d’Orléans, future Queen of Spain by Jean Petitot le vieux (1607-1691)

Painted Enamels are like miniature oil paintings. These are made on a metal base or plate covered with a layer of an opaque enamel. The opaque or white enamel base is further embellished with ‘glass forming but with colouring materials’, rendered by fine needle painting, spraying, screen printing, spattering, scratching or block printing. Separate firing is required for each of the colours. Artists created portraits and other art subjects on very small metal plates, surpassing richness of larger canvass-based oil paintings. Painted Enamels being very small could be carried anywhere as a personal item of collection or treasure. The colours are permanent and non-yellowing or fading. The painted enamel has remained a craft and is not accepted as medium of art. The painted enamels of China are known as Canton (Guangzhou) enamels. Painted enamels are termed by the Chinese yangci (foreign porcelain).

Coloured enamel embellishments were created over arms, armour, mirrors, bowls, cups, chalices, spoons, and miniature pendants, tableware, wall and ceiling panels, signages, table clocks, and snuffboxes.

‘Mercury’, painted enamel and gilt on copper mirror back

Five main types of enamelling processes are used:

Champlevé (French= raised field) enamels are created by scratching or etching a copper surface, which are than filled-in with pulverized enamel material, fired and polished.

Cloisonné (French= partitioned) has very small partitions or cloisons formed with thin metal strips. The partitions are filled with pulverized enamel and fired.

Basse-Taille (French= low cutting) process is a kind of champlevé, but is applied to silver or gold. Here the depressions are filled with translucent enamel, which allows the substrate or patterns on it to be seen.

Plique-à-jour (French=open braids) enamelling resembles cloisonne, but here the partitions form a separable lattice. The lattice is removed after firing, giving an effect of stained glass. It is exceptionally fragile work.

Encrusted Enamel: Encrusted enamel or enamel en ronde bosse is prepared by spreading of an opaque enamel paste over slightly roughened surfaces of objects such as small figures.

Binding representing the Crucifixion of Christ, Limoges (Limosin, France) champlevé enamel on gilded copper


Post 500 by Gautam Shah



Old And NewA building has two components, the land and the structure. The value of land is circumstantial, goes up or down, but does not translate into gain till one sells it or builds upon it. Structures are erected and then maintained till they offer some gain. When a structure does not provide sufficient return, it is altered in many ways, including complete replacement. A structure may have to wait for a very long time till an entrepreneur realizes its potential. The gains after the alteration or replacement must be large enough to pay off the new investments and return over the value of land. When a piece of Land is highly valued due to circumstantial reasons like location, neighbourhood, connectivity, etc. it also means the potential as a built space is also high.


Costs of maintenance usually come from the rents or lease charges. Even if the buildings are maintained by the tenants or lessee, they would not be contributing anything extra over the cost of having that built-space. Tenants and leaseholders have an immediacy with the utility of building through expenditure on maintenance. The owners of land-buildings, however, have long-term vision for continued returns.

Bradbury Building LA USA

Bradbury building Los Angeles 2005 USA

Costs of alterations are outlined by the safety of the structure. An unsafe building cannot be worth any alteration. Cost of alterations, within that limit, is determined by the new function to be accommodated. The new function must be supported primarily by the existing structure, and than by the site (location, neighbourhood, connectivity).

Times of India Building Bombay

Costs of alterations are of many types, some directly related to the basic functionality, or for the image to be endowed to the building. The image could be for a changed look, for corporate branding or for matching with some local or alien image. A process of change could also add more amenities and facilities. Modern technology offers leaner entities there by saving floor space or increased volumes. Typically windows placed on an outer edge, without a sun-shading recess adds to floor space. Cutouts or light-wells make darker areas functional. Open office layouts, without structural partitions gain floor space. Mezzanine floors, reduced floor heights, creating new or using cellar spaces, plumbing-less toilet utilities, wireless communications, all are designed to gain spaces. Management of a retail or selling area spares spaces. Storage spaces are eliminated by continuous supply systems, home deliveries and digital display facilities.




Replacement of a Building is an extreme step. But it often represents change of ownership with fresh entrepreneurship. Options to demolitions are few. Demolitions have to be carried out in restricted areas where relocations of existing functions, safety, environmental corruption and disposal of debris are prime concerns. Displacements or relocations of the buildings can be done in very select cases, and involve great expense and risk. Relocation of building is carried out in two basic ways. Buildings are dismantled and reassembled, or transported as a whole at another location. The first approach requires building to be consisting of separable and re-unite-able parts, whereas the later one requires a building to be an integrated entity. In reality buildings are exclusively neither of these. It was possible to shift the Egyptian temple from the Aswan dam site as it consisted of units of rock. A modern integrated RCC frame structure cannot be disassembled. A small structure may be shifted as a whole, but a large structure may not have the required street width in an urban location. Displacements are conceived for highly sentimental entities, and only as a last resort.







Post 499  by Gautam Shah










10 COATINGS -Surface finishing technologies










20 CRAFT of WALL PAINTING (Neolithic)

21 CRAFT of WALL PAINTING (Palaeolithic)


23 COATINGS Iron age

24 PRIMITIVE COATINGS Surfaces, Materials and Techniques




28 BLACK Part – 1


30 RED Colours of ancient times




















50 GRISAILLE -monochrome form of presentation








58 GP -General purpose paints



Post 498 –by Gautam Shah


Cosmetic Box

In early 1920 Lacquers were considered industrial coatings, mainly used by White-goods and Automotive industry. Earlier to this period a Lac or Shellac coatings were wood craft finishing techniques and material. Industrial age lacquers were favoured due to their fast drying and non-yellowing properties. Clear Lacquers were increasingly replacing tin as MS sheet coating for food packing but were found suitable for aluminium sheets packing such as collapsible tubes and canisters. Lacquers were also used for the nail polishes and as hair fixing sprays. These lacquers as the name suggests were not made of natural Lac or shellac but from Nitro Cellulose. The lacquers needed thinners of various types for different application technologies and seasons.

Lacquer Paint Pic from Wikipedia by Author Victorgrigas

Oil paints based on Alkyd resins or GP Enamels need thinner of single solvent material such as Genuine turpentine, Mineral turpentine and in few instance Naphtha or superior grades of kerosene would work. These solvents singly can work for all application needs and for cleaning-washing post-painting work. With alkyd-based paints, a resin is the film-forming component. It is reduced in viscosity during the manufacturing and later during application. The requirements of solvent-s differ according to ‘length of the resin’ (which designates the proportion of oil versus other modifying-polymerizing agents, such as typically a phthalic anhydride). Short-oil length resins may require stronger solvents. A solvent that dilutes the viscosity alone may not achieve application level of viscosity. Some type carrier or diluent solvents are required which acting as a ‘carrier’ material help achieves application level (such as spraying) viscosity. The carrier solvents evaporate fast before the chain linking (and so film forming-drying) process starts at ambient temperature, raised or baking temperature or through a catalyst enabled reaction.

Wood Brushing Lacquer Pic from Wikipedia Pic by Author Mk2010

The word Lacquer has become a misnomer. A Lacquer in nominal usage means a coating system that is fast drying, tougher and non-yellowing. All lacquers, however, are not NC (nitro-cellulose) lacquers. Other Lacquer coating systems formulations are based on Acrylic resins, Amino resins, Urethane and epoxy systems. NC lacquer dries with evaporation of solvents, at ambient temperature or often in warm chambers. Other formulations require baking-stoving environments or have two-pack system (a catalyst and paint mixed just before application). A NC lacquer film can be wetted-dissolved after drying (such as Nail-polishes of pre 1965 era) by a thinner, and are called ‘non-convertible systems’ (product that does not get chemically converted into something else). But newer generation-lacquers cannot be dissolved or removed easily after drying, and are called ‘convertible systems’ (product that gets chemically converted into something different).

Box Lacquered

Lacquer Nail Polish Pic through Wikipedia -Source by Author » Zitona «

All types of Lacquers, convertible or non-convertible products require very specific type of thinner. A company that formulates the paint system, for reasons of Patent knowledge, may not reveal the exact formulation. So it is very necessary to use the thinner specified by the manufacturer. A thinner is a combination of different solvents. There are two important considerations, action of dissolving and diluting (acting as a carrier), and evaporation rates of the solvents. A Lacquer system may need as much as 75% or more thinners for spray like application. But after the deposition on the surface, it does not require such low viscosity. So some solvents (usually diluent or carrier) begin to evaporate very quickly. Some other slower evaporating solvents, allow time for film to level out.


Lacquer coated Brass

A lacquer-thinner is a combination of solvents of basic Five groups. First group consists of latent solvents like Toluene, xylene and naphtha. The other three groups are of active solvents such as, ketones, esters, glycol ethers. Alcohol, though a latent solvent, in combination with other solvents plays an active role.

Lacquer application

Lacquer thinners are affected by the weather and process of application. A normal thinner works for average temperature-moisture conditions. For very wet, windy weather and for brushing or manual polishing with a cloth bundle, reduced the rate of evaporation achieved by adding or using a ‘retarder thinner’. For spray like application, an accelerated rate of drying is possible and for this accelerator or fast lacquer thinners are used. Spray applications require more and faster drying thinner compared to wood lacquers that require less and slow drying thinner.



Shellac finishes were the first true clear coatings. Shellac is an insect exudate known as stick lac. Stick-Lac is refined to remove impurities and lighten its colour. Button-Lac is a manually purified is of darker colour, while machine purified shellac is often dewaxed and de-colourized. Shellac is soluble in methylated spirit or alcohols. Sankheda furniture and Chinese lacquer items are examples of shellac coatings. Shellac is a very effective coating material even in very thin viscosity, as a result its penetration and filling capacity is excellent. It is eminently recoatable so a very level and glossy surface is possible.


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