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Bulding Construction Syllabus



At the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1.      select and adopt safe use of tools;
  2.      acquire skills in preparation of building materials;
  3.      demonstrate ability to select and use building materials properly;
  4.      develop an awareness of the requirements of building services and finishes
  5.      develop skills in the interpretation of working drawings;
  6.      construct a functional structure;
  7.      demonstrate an awareness of educational and career opportunities available

in the building industry,


One of the basic human needs is sheher. Man needs shelter for both himself and his
property. Building construction is an art of providing shelter. This is one of ttie Industrial
Education cluster of subjects for Apphed Education Subjects intended to give the learner an
opportunity to enable him/her pursue fiirther training in this profession and/or be employed
in the building industry. The subject comprises the study of selection, safe use and care of
tools and materials used to construct simple fiinctional structures.


1.1,1     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     define the term sheher;
(b)     narrate transition of the sheher iktm stone age cave to modem house;
(c)     state how the environment and socio-economic factors influence the type of
1.2.0     Content
1.2.1     Need for shelter.
1.2.2     Sheher development through civilization.
1.2.3     Factors influencing types of buildings.


2.1.0     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     state the various regulations, standards and building by-laws governing the
selection of site;
(b)     state reasons why funds, geographical features and services influence the
selection of site;
(c)     select a suitable site for a simple structure.

2.2.0     Content
2.2,1     National Building Regulations.
2.2,2     Economic factors.
2.2.3     Simple structure;- pit latrine.


3.1.0     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     state the purpose of clearing the site and stripping the top soil;
(b)     observe and maintain good working attitudes on site;
(c)     identify safety clothing to wear while on site;
(d)     reduce levels on sloping sites;
(e) .?demonstrate the proper and orderly storage of materials and equipment on
(f)     give and explain the reasons for site investigations;
(g)     state the Kenya Building Code in relation to site preparation;
(h)     describe the site physical features;
(i)     identify the site soil conditions;
(j)     use bricklayers level, line level, water level and boning rods safely to reduce levels in site;
(k)     cut and fill to acquire even plane in conjunction with boning rods.
3.2.0     Content
3.2.1     Reasons for clearing a simple site and stripping the top soil.
3.2.2     Safe working attitudes.
3.2.3     Safety wear:- helmets, boots, gloves, aprons.
3.2.4     Sloping sites.
3.2.5     Storage of materials and equipment.
3.2.6     Site security and safety on site.
3.2.7     Nature of ground:- original, built up.
3.2.8     Kenya Building Code relevant regulations.
3.2.9     Physical features.
3.2.10 Types of soil:- clay, sandy, and silty. -
3.2.11     Bricklayers level, water level, boning rods and line level.
3.2.12 Cutting and filling.


4.1.0     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     state the function of a foundation;
(b)     explain the factors influencing the choice of the type of foundation;
(c)     sketch and describe the various types of foundations;
(d)     maintain safety and good working attitudes;
(e)     explain preservation procedure for short-bored pile foundation (wooden
(f)     specify depth/width and wall thickness relationship;
(g)     state the Kenya Building Code regulations governing the construction of  foundations;
(h)     prepare detailed drawings of foundations.
4.2.0     Content
4.2.1     Function of a foundation
4.2.2     Factors influencing the choice of the type of foundation.
4.2.3     Types of foundations; Holes for poled houses, strip foundation,
Short bored pile foundation, stepped foimdation, raft foundation, pad
4.2.4     Safety and good working attitudes.
4.2.5     Sketches and detail drawings of foundations.
4.2.6     Kenya Building Code requirements on foundations.
4.2.7     Preservation methods.
4.2.8     Cross- section of foundation wall.

5.0.0     SETTING OUT

5.1.0     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     set out simple circular and rectangular building plans with partitions;
(b)     draw simple setting out details;
(c)     list the setting out tools and equipment;
(d)     observe safety in the use of tools and equipment.
5.2.0     Content
5.2.1     Setting out circular and rectangular buildings.
5.2.2     Drawings for setting out simple buildings.
5.2.3     Tools for setting out.
5.2.4     Partitions in circular and rectangular buildings.
5.2.5     Safety for tools and the worker.


6.1.0     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     state the factors influencing the methods of excavation;
(b)     name the various tools used in excavating for foundations;
(c)     illustrate simple methods of trench support;
(d)     erect simple functional supports on the sides of trenches;
(e)     describe the safety precautions adopted when excavating trenches.

6.2.0     Content
6.2.1     Manual excavation and mechanical excavation.
6.2.2     Tools for excavating to foundations.
6.2.3     Sketches of simple side supports.
6.2.4     Fixing of trench supports.
6.2.5     Safety in excavation.             


7.1.0     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     state functions of a datum with reference to levelling the trench bottoms;
(b)     establish a datum for levelling the trench bottoms;
(c)     transfer the levels ftom the datum to the foundation bottom;
(d)     level bottom of trenches;
gauge levels to steps and thickness of the foundation;
(e)     state safety precautions to be observed when levelling the trench bottoms.

7.2.0     Content
7.2.1     Reference points.
7.2.2     Establishing datum.
7.2.3     Transfer of levels.
7.2.4     Levelling bottoms of trenches.
7.2.5     Gauging levels to steps and foundation thickness.
7.2.6     Safety.


8.1.0     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:

8.2.1 Materials for making concrete.
8.2.2 Relation of proportion to strength.
8.2.3 Volume batching.
8.2.4 Hand mixing.
8.2.5 Transporting and placing concrete.
8.2.6 Compacting and curing concrete.
8.2.7 Properties of materials:- aggregate, binder, and water.
8.2.8 Weight batching
8.2.9 Safety:- safe working attitudes, care of tools and equipment.


9.L0     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:

9.2.1     Materials for making mortar.
9.2.2     Types of walling units.
9.2.3     Batching and mixing.
9.2.4     Transfer faceline from profiles to foundations.
9.2.5     Setting comer blocks and laying units.
9.2.6     Properties and functions of honey-combed sleeper walls.
9.2.7     Elevations and sections of honey-combed sleeper walls.
9.2.8     Setting and laying honey-combed sleeper walls.
9.2.9     Safety:- working attitudes, working space, trench support.


10.1.0 Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     state the reasons for controlling termites;
(b)     state the reasons for placing hardcore and blinding;
(c)     identify chemicals used for controlling termites;
(d)     prepare termite control solution;
(e)     apply termite control solution;
(f)     prepare hardcore base;
(g)     place building materials correctly;
(h)     give the functions of the floor bed (oversite concrete);
(i)     lay the floor bed;
(j)     handle termite control solution safely;
(k)     observe safety while backfilling.

10.2.0 Content
10.2.1 Effect of termite attack.
10.2.2 Hardcore and blinding:- fill in space, provide even surface.
10.2.3 Chemicals for controlling termites.
10.2.4 Mixing termite control chemicals.
10.2.5     Application of termite control solution/chemicals.
10.2.6     Packing and compacting.
10.2.7     Placing of blinding materials.
10.2.8     Provide structural base and support floor finish.
10.2.9     Laying of floor bed.
10.2.10 Safety;- handling chemicals, workers, tools and equipment.

11.0.0     DAMP PROOFING

11.1.0     Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to;
(a)     identify materials used for damp proof course and damp proof membrane;
(b)     state the difference between damp proof course and damp proof membrane;
(c)     explain the purpose of laying damp proof course and damp proof membrane;
(d)     identify positions requiring damp proofing;
(e)     lay the damp proof course and damp proof membranes correctly;
(f)     differentiate between rigid and flexible damp proofing materials.

11.2.0 Content
11.2.1     Damp proof course and damp proof membrane materials.
11.2.2     Materials and positioning.
11.2.3     Effects of dampness inside building.
11.2.4     Damp proofing.
11.2.5     Damp proof course and damp proof membranes.
11.2.6     Rigid and flexible damp proofing materials.


12.1.0 Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     define the term scaffold;
(b)     give reasons for use of scaffold;
(c)     list the terms used in scaffolding;
(d)     identify materials used for making scaffold;
(e)     identify different types of scaffolds;
(f)     list safety requirements in the erection and use of scaffold.

12.2.0 Content
12.2.1     Definition and reasons for scaffolding - repair and Construction at great heights.
12.2.2     Terms used.
12.2.3     Materials for making scaffold;- wood, metal.
12.2.4     Types of scaffold:- dependent, independent.
12.2.5     Safety requirements.


13.1.0 Specific Objectives     �
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     mark out wall position;
(b)     state reasons for bonding;
(c)     sketch an elevation of walling units in stretcher bond at a comer;
(d)     state nominal size of bricks and blocks;
(e)     dry bond bricks for walls up to one brick thick;
(f)     dress stone to required size and shape;
(g)     identify and describe various types on joint finishes;
(h)     dry-bond the units;
(i)     construct timber wall units;
(i)     describe various types of timber fi-ames;
(k)     specify suitable sizes of timber frames and boarding;
(1)     describe the various timber walling finishes, both externally and intemally;
(m)     identify and sketch various joint details;
(n)     observe necessary safety precautions.

13.2.0 Content
13.2.1     Setting out comers and stopped ends.
13.2.2 Load distribution and lateral stabilit}’.
13.2.3     Sketches and drawings of a bonded wall.
13.2.4 Sizes of bricks, blocks and stones.
13.2.5     Stretcher, English and Flemish bonds.
13.2.6 Stone dressing.
13.2.7 Jointing and pointing.
13.2.8 Dry bonding:- stonework, blockwork.
13.2.9 Preparation, setting and fixing.
13.2.10 Types of frames.
13.2.11 Nominal sizes.
13.2,12 External and internal finishes.
13.2.13 Common carpentry joints.
13.2.14 Safety:- workers, tools and equipment, materials.


14.1.0 Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to;
(a)     interpret simple working drawings;
(b)     state the purpose of window and door openings;
(c)     set and bridge door and window openings maintaining the bond;
(d)     state the various ways of bridging openings.
(e)     define basic terms in an opening;
(f)     bridge openings safely.

14.2.0 Content
14.2.1     Simple working drawings.
14.2.2 Door and window openings.
14.2.3     Setting and bridging of openings.
14.2.4 Lintels and arches.
14.2.5     Parts of openings.

14.2.6 Precast and Insitu concrete lintels.

15.0.0 ROOFS

15.1.0 Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     define the term roof, and other terms used in roof work;
(b)     state the functions of a roof;
(c)     differentiate between flat and pitched roofs.
(d)     construct a simple timber roof;
(e)     draw pitched roofs for given plans of buildings;
(f)     list and illustrate safety aspects in roof work.

15.2.0 Content
15.2.1     Roof and roof terms.
15.2.2 Functions of a roof
15.2.3 Flat and pitched roofs.
15.2.4 Construction of roofs.
15.2.5 Hipped roofs in L,U,T and H shapes.
15,2.6 Roof trusses.
15.2.7 Hazards and good working attitudes.


16.1.0 Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     name the materials used for roofmg;
(b)     list advantages and disadvantages of different roofing materials;
(c)     select suitable roof covering materials for different roofs;
(d)     demonstrate methods of fixing and hanging types of roof covering materials;
(e)     define related terms used in roof coverings;
(f)     make detail drawings of roofs covered with iron sheets and tiles;
(g)     sketch suitable roof drainage details;
(h)     maintain safety while fixing and hanging roof coverings.


Roofmg materials:- Tiles, Galvanised iron sheets, Asbestos, Makuti, Slates.
Advantages and disadvantages of different roofing materials.
Flat and pitched roofs.
Methods of fixing and hanging.
Related terms.
Detailing of roof at the ridge and eaves.
Flat and pitched roof drainage details.

17.0.0 FIXINGS

17.1.0 Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     differentiate between first and second fixings;
(b)     explain the methods of building-in and fixing frames;
(c)     draw to scale the details of fixing for both windows and doors;
(d)     outline the procedure for first and second fixings.

17,2.0 Content.
17.2.1     Fixings.
17.2.2 Building-in and fixing frames.
17.2.3     Scale drawings.
17.2.4 Procedures for first and second fixings.


18.1.0 Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to;
(a)     state the basic services in a house;
(b)     state the regulations governing the supply of water to a house;
(c)     illustrate simple water supply and drainage systems;
(d)     illustrate simple domestic soil and waste water disposal systems;
(e)     state the reasons for natural ventilation;
(f)     sketch basic simple electrical installation systems for a domestic house;
(g)     state the reasons for proper siting and ventilation of pit latrines;
(h)     list the safety aspects in water drainage and electrical installation works.

18.2.0 Content

18.2.1     Basic services;- water, ventilation, sanitation, electricity.
18.2.2 Water supply by-laws.
18.2.3     Illustrate direct and indirect cold water system.
18.2.4 Illustrate direct and indirect hot water system.
18.2.5 Illusfrate basic soil, waste and roof drainage systems.
18.2.6 Waste water disposal systems;- Cesspool soakaways; Septic tanks.
18.2.7 Natural ventilation.
18.2.8 Lighting systems with single way switches, simple ring circuit systems for
socket out-lets and regulations governing position of switches and socket out-lets.
18.2.9 Siting and ventilation of latrines.
18.2.10 Safety:- water supply, drainage and disposal systems, electrical.


19.1.0 Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     give purpose for various types of finishes in a domestic house;
(b)     name the various types of finishes;
(c)     list materiaJs used for wall and floor finishes and state their properties;
(d)     list tools used in wall and floor finishes;
(f)     construct arcs, curves, circles and triangles and regular figures;
(g)     prepare drawings of simple-shaped blocks in pictorial projections;
(h)     differentiate between first and third angle orthographic projections;
(i)     prepare a working drawing using first and third angle orthographic projection;
(j)     make freehand sketches of simple blocks in perspective.

21.2.0 Content
21.2.1     Use of drawing instruments.
21.2.2 Types of lines.
21.2.3     Lettering.
21.2.4     Symbols, conventions and dimensioning,
21.2.5 Geometrical construction: straight lines, arcs, curves, and circles, triangles,
angles, tangents, and regular figures.
21.2.6     Types of scales:- half size (half full size), full size, twice - full size (double size).
21.2.7     Pictorial Drawing:- Isometric projection, oblique projection.
21,2.8 Views of objects in 1 st angle and 3rd angle orthographic projections.
21.2.9 Drawing of views from given shaped block using 1 st and 3rd angle orthographic
21.2.10 Freehand sketches using one and two point perspective.


22.1.0 Specific Objectives
At the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
(a)     list the institutions available for further training;
(b)     list the employment opportunities available in the building industry;
(c)     give the welfare and safety regulations as laid down in the Factories Act.

22.2.0 Content
22.2.2 Institutions for further training and the entry requirements.
22.2.3     Courses for further specialisation and employment opportunities.
22.2.4 Safety and welfare in construction sites as per the Factories Act.



  1.      Pangas     10
  2.      Jembes     10
  3.      Picks     10
  4.      Axes     5
  5.      Spades     15
  6.      Wheel barrows     5
  7.      Dumpy levels (complete set)     2
  8.      Water level     1
  9.      Spirit levels     20
  10.      Typical African hut     1
  11.      Model for houses     3
  12.      National Building Code     20
  13.      Local Authority Bye-laws     5
  14.      Drums (steel or plastic)     3
  15.      Tape measures (5m)     20
  16.      Plumb bobs     5
  17.      Builder’s lines     5
  18.      Rafter square     10
  19.      Wooden floats     10
  20.      Mason’s trowels     10
  21.      Brick layers’ trowels     20
  22.      Pegs     10
  23.      Gauge boxes     3
  24.      Shovels     5
  25.      Tamping rods (25mm)     10
  26.      Metal Karais     J
  27.      Sacks     5
  28.      Mortar boards     4
  29.      Tingles     8
  30.      Steel rules (metric 600ram)     10
  31.      Termite control chemicals     10 litres
  32.      Brushes (paint) - different sizes     5
  33.      Spray cans     5
  34.      Hammers (claw)     10
  35.      Straight edges (home made)     10
  36.      Spalling hammers     10
  37.      Sledge hammers     10
  38.      Comer blocks     8
  39.      A set of drawing instruments     20
  40.      Drawing boards A2 size     20

41.     Drawing paper A2 size     As per requirement
42.     Clamps     3
43.     Charts     As many as possible
44.     Standard door frames     2
45.     Standard window frames     2
46.     Fixing lugs     20
47.     Seedlings     Assorted
48.     Pavement slabs     5
49.     Timber     As per requirement
dO.     Soil samples: silt, sand, day     0.5m? of each
51.     First aid kits     2
52.     jiko     3
53.     Metric balances to measure up to 20 kg     2
54.     Beakers     2
55.     Tins     10
56.     Saw-dust     im?
57.     Concrete mixer     1
58.     Cold chisels     20
59,     Jack planes     10
60.     Chalkboard     1
61.     Timber preservatives     12 litres
62.     Kenya Bureau of Standards specifications manuals     2
63.     Floats (wooden)     5
64.     Mesh/sieves     2
65.     Rakes     5
66.     Gardening tools     5 sets
67.     Damp proof membrane     5m
68.     Mastic asphalt     20kg
69.     Fire bricks     300
70.     Common bricks     300
71.     Blocks     300
72.     Building stones     300ft
73.     Steel nails: 12mm; 25mm; 38mm @     10kg
74,     Overcoats     20
75.     Safety posters     As many as possible
76.     Protective goggles per student     20
77.     Pointing tools (home made)     20
78,     Industrial helmets     20
79.     Gloves     20
80,     Industrial boots     20
81.     Steel tape 30m     3m
82.     French curves (various)     10
83,     Bench vices     5
84,     Smoothing planes     10
85,     Wood chisels: 6mm, 12mm, 19mm, 25mm @     10
86.     Stone dressing chisels     20

Manual concrete block-making machine
Mason’s hammers
Tee squares A2 size


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