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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about human dwelling structures. For other uses of the term, see House (disambiguation).
Houses in Fishpool Street, St Albans, EnglandHouses in the most general sense consist of human-built dwellings, each with enclosing walls, a floor, and a roof. They provides shelter against precipitation, wind, heat, cold and intruding humans and animals. When occupying a house routinely as a dwelling. English-speaking humans may call that house their home (though animals may often live in the house as well, both domestic pets and "unauthorised" animals such as mice living in the walls). People may leave their 'home' most of the day for work and recreation, but typically return home at least for sleeping.
A house generally has at least one entrance, usually in the form of a door or a portal - but note that some early houses such as those at Çatalhöyük used roofs and ladders for access. Many houses have back doors that open into the backyard (American English and Australian English) or back garden (British English). Houses may have any number of windows or none at all.

1 Word use
2 Types of house
2.1 Structure
2.2 Shape
2.3 Function
3 Inside the house
3.1 Parts
3.2 Layout
4 Construction
5 Identifying houses
6 Animal houses
7 Heraldry
8 Shelter

In English the word "house" on its own usually refers to a dwelling for one family, or for more than one family living together, sharing the house. (Compare "household".) In other languages the translation for "house" often covers other types of building, such as tower blocks or commercial property: in German, for example, a "Haus" can also refer to a hotel or a block of "flats" (UK) or "apartment" building (US).
English-speakers can use the word "house" in combination with other words in English to describe buildings other than residential dwellings, such as an opera house, a "monkey house" (a building for several cages) in a zoo, etc. The term "madhouse" refers disparagingly to a mental hospital or insane asylum (also see House (disambiguation) for more.) The White House has only a secondary use as a dwelling.
As a verb, to house (pronounced "ha?z") means "to provide a routine locale for an object, a person or an organization". Museums, for example, can house historic or artistic artifacts. A storefront may house a business or an organization; or an entity (a local authority, for example) may housea family in an apartment or in a house. Planners and the like often refer to a collection of domiciles (either for persons, for organizations, for animals or for objects) as housing. An individual person or a single object might also find housing in an appropriate domicile.
The two words "house" and "home" have distinctly different meanings and connotations. "House" refers to the physical object, "home" has a more abstract and poetic connotation as the center of family life. Enlisted men during World War II used the phrase "A house is not a home" — in part to justify infidelity during war-time. On the other hand, a stately home classifies as a house.

Types of house
See also list of house types.
Three basic house types exist:
Single-family homes - detached and often standing on their own parcel of land
Semi-detached houses - attached to one or more houses
Terrace (architecture) (UK) or rowhouse (USA) - attached to other houses, possibly in a row (separated by a party wall)
In the United Kingdom, 27% of the population lives in terraced houses and 32% in semi-detached houses, as of 2002. In the United States in 2000, 61.4% of people lived in detached houses and 5.6% in semi-detached houses, the rest living in rowhouses or apartments, except for 7% living in mobile homes.
People build "face houses" in one or more faces; though they occur most commonly as a fort or playhouse for children, this design sometimes serves as a house for adults.

Archaeologists have a particular interest in house shape: they see the transition over time from round huts to rectangular houses as a significant advance in optimising the use of space, and associate it with the growth of the idea of a personal area.

Some houses transcend the basic functionality of providing "a roof over one's head" or of serving a a family "hearth and home". When a house becomes a display-case for wealth and/or fashion and/or conspicuous consumption, we may speak of a "great house". The residence of a feudal lord or of a ruler may require defensive structures and thus turn into a fort or a castle. The house of a monarch may come to house courtiers and officers as well as the royal family: this sort of house may become a palace. And in time the lord or monarch may wish to retreat to a more personal or simple space such as a villa, a hunting lodge or a dacha. Compare the popularity of the holiday house or cottage, also known as a crib.
In contrast to a relatively upper-class or modern trend to multiple houses, much of human history shows the importance of multi-purpose houses. Thus the house long served as the traditional place of work (the original cottage industry site or "in-house" small-scale manufacturing workshop) or of commerce (featuring, for example, a ground-floor "ship-front" shop or counter or office, with living-space above). It took an Industrial Revolution to separate manufacturing and banking from the house; and to this day some shopkeepers continue (or have returned) to live "over the shop".

Inside the house

Floor plan of a typical "4-square" houseMany houses have several rooms with specialised functions. These may include a living/eating area, a sleeping area, and (if indoor facilities are available) a washing/lavatory area. Often, in traditional agrarian societies, domestic animals such as chickens or larger livestock may share part of the house with human beings. In the West, with ready access to plumbing and a fairly high standard of living, each house will at least contain a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or kitchen area, and a living room. A typical "4-square house" (pictured) occurred commonly in the early history of the United States of America, with a staircase in the center of the house, surrounded by four rooms, and other sections of the house including a garage.
Other parts of a house in different cultures or different circumstances may include:
shrines to serve the religious functions associated with a family
an atrium
hearths - often an important symbolic focus of family togetherness
rumpus rooms
family rooms
guest rooms
front room
sitting room
See also: room.

Ideally, architects and/or builders of houses should design rooms to meet the needs of the people who will live in the house. Such designing, known as interior design, has become a popular subject in universities. Feng shui, originally a Chinese method of situating houses according to such factors as sunlight and microclimates, has recently expanded its scope to include designing house interiors with the intention of giving harmonious effects to the people living inside the house.

Modern house construction techniques include light-frame construction (in areas with access to supplies of wood) and adobe or sometimes rammed-earth construction (in arid regions with scarce wood-resources). Some areas use brick almost exclusively, and quarried stone has long provided walling. Increasingly popular alternative construction materials include insulating concrete forms (foam forms filled with concrete), structural insulated panels (foam panels faced with oriented strand board or fiber cement), and light-gauge steel framing and heavy-gauge steel framing.
Some home designers have begun to collaborate with structural engineers who use computers and finite element analysis to design kitted and pre-cut steel-framed homes with known resistance to high wind loads and seismic forces. These newer products provide labor savings, more consistent quality, and possibly accelerated construction processes.
Lesser-used construction methods which have gained (or regained) popularity in recent years include:
Cannabrick construction
cordwood construction
straw bale construction
geodesic domes.
These methods though not in wide use, frequently appeal to homeowners who may become actively involved in the construction process.
Compare wattle and daub.

Identifying houses
With the growth of dense settlement, humans designed ways of identifying houses and/or parcels of land.
Individual houses sometimes acquire proper names; and those names may acquire in their turn considerable emotional connotations: see for example the house of Howards End or the castle of Brideshead Revisited.
A more systematic and general approach to identifying houses may use various methods of house numbering.

Animal houses
Humans often build "houses" for domestic or wild animals, often resembling smaller versions of human domiciles. Familiar animal houses built by humans include bird houses, hen houses, and doghouses (kennels), while housed agricultural animals more often live in barns. However, human interest in building houses for animals does not stop at the domestic pet. People build bird houses, bat houses, nesting sites for wild ducks, and more.

The house occurs as an exceedingly rare charge in heraldry.

Forms of shelter simpler than a house include:
tents (see also camp)
roofs without walls, or a structure with roof and partial walls, such as often at a bus stop (see picture there), and a gazebo.
Compare houseboat.

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Maintenance, Repair and Operations
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maintenance, Repair and Operations or Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), is fixing any sort of mechanical or electrical device should it get out of order or broken (repair) as well as performing the routine actions which keep the device in working order (maintenance) or prevent trouble from arising (preventive maintenance).
The European Federation of National Maintenance Societies defines maintenance as:
All actions which have as an objective to retain an item in or restore it to, a state in which it can perform the required function. The actions include the combination of all technical and corresponding administrative, managerial, and supervision actions.
In telecommunication, the term maintenance has the following meanings:
1. Any activity, such as tests, measurements, replacements, adjustments and repairs, intended to restore or retain a functional unit in a specified state in which the unit can perform its required functions.
2. [For material], All action taken to retain material in a serviceable condition or to restore it to serviceability. It includes inspection, testing, servicing, classification as to serviceability, repair, rebuilding, and reclamation.
3. [For material], All supply and repair action taken to keep a force in condition to carry out its mission.
4. [For material], The routine recurring work required to keep a facility (plant, building, structure, ground facility, utility system, or other real property) in such condition that it may be continuously used, at its original or designed capacity and efficiency for its intended purpose.
Source: from Federal Standard 1037C and from MIL-STD-188 and from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

MRO software
In many organizations because of the number of devices or products that need to be maintained or the complexity of those systems, there is a need to manage the information with software packages. This is particularly the case aerospace (e.g. airline fleets), military installation, large plants (e.g. manufacturing, power generation, petrochemical) and ships. These software tools aim to help engineers and technician in increasing the availability of system and reducing costs and repair times as well help to reduced material supply time and increase material availability by improving the supplier chain communication. As MRO involves working with products, an organization’s resources, supplier and customers, MRO packages have to interfaces in to many enterprise’s business software systems ( PLM, ERP, SCM, CRM). One of the functions of such software is the configuration of bill of material, taking the components parts list from engineering (eBOM) and manufacturing (mBOM) and updating to “as delivered” through “as maintained” to “as used”. Another is project planning logistics, for example identifying the critical path on the list of task to be carry out (inspection, diagnose, locate/order parts and service) to calculate turnaround times (TAT). Other tasks that software can perform:
Planning operations
Managing execution of events,
Management of asset. Parts, tools and equipment inventories
Knowledge base data on:
Maintenance service history
Serial numbered parts
Reliability data
MTBF Failure rate, MTTB, MTBR (mean time between repair)
Maintenance and Repair documentation and best practices
warranty, guarantee documents
Many of these tasks are address in Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)

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Home improvement
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Note: For the 1990s television show, starring Tim Allen, see Home Improvement.
Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to one's home. Often, a professional handyman is hired to perform the improvements but, typically, most improvements are done on an amateur DIY basis by the homeowner.
Bob Vila is a well-known author and television host in the home improvement field. Also, the sitcom Home Improvement uses the home improvement theme for comedic purposes.

1 Professional vs. do it yourself
2 Types of home improvement

Professional vs. do it yourself
A homeowner can hire a general contractor to oversee a home improvement project that involves multiple trades. A general contractor acts as project manager, providing access to the site, removing debris, coordinating work schedules, and performing some aspects of the work. Sometimes homeowners bypass the general contractor, and hire tradesmen themselves, including plumbers, electricians and roofers. Another strategy is to "do it yourself" (DIY). Several major retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowes, specialize in selling materials and tools for DIY home improvement. These stores even host classes to educate customers how to do the work themselves.

Types of home improvement
Wallpapering and painting walls or installing wood paneling.
Adding new flooring such as carpets, tiling, linoleum, wood flooring, or solid hardwood flooring.
Upgrading cabinets, fixtures, and sinks in the kitchen and bathroom.
Repairing or increasing the capacity of plumbing and electrical systems.
Upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
Roof tear-off and replacement.
Concrete and masonry repairs to the foundation and chimney.
Waterproofing basements.
Soundproofing rooms, especially bedrooms and baths.
Replacing siding and windows, both as a cosmetic improvement and as a way to save energy.
Turning marginal areas into livable spaces such as turning basements into recrooms or attics into spare bedrooms.
Reducing utility costs with:
Energy-efficient insulation, windows, and lighting.
Renewable energy self sufficiency with biomass pellet stoves, wood-burning stoves, solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal exchange heat pumps (see autonomous building)
Extending one's house with rooms added to the side of one's home or, sometimes, extra levels to the original roof.
Improving the backyard with sliding doors, wooden patio decks, patio gardens, jacuzzis, swimming pools, and fencing.
Emergency preparedness safety measures such as:
Home fire and burglar alarm systems.
Security doors, windows, and shutters.
Storm cellars as protection from tornados and hurricanes.
Bombshelters especially during the 1950s as protection from nuclear war.

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General contractor
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A General contractor is an organization or individual that contracts with another organization or individual (the owner) for the construction of a building, road or other facility. A general contractor is defined as such if it is the signatory as the builder of the prime construction contract for the project. A general contractor is responsible for the means and methods to be used in the construction of the project in accordance with the contract documents. Said contract documents usually include the contract agreement, the General and Special Conditions and the plans and specification of the project that are prepared by a design professional. A General Contractor usually is responsible for the supplying of all material, labor equipment and services necessary for the construction of the project. To do this it is very common that the general contractor subcontracts part of the work to other entities that specialize in these types of work. These entities are called "subcontractors".
General Contractors conducting work for government agencies are typically referred to as Prime Contractors. The responsibilities of a Prime Contractor working under a contract are essentially identical to those outline above. In many cases, prime contractors will delegate portions of the contract work to subcontractors.

1 As a Service
2 As an Owner
3 General Contractor Example

As a Service
There are many services available to the Business and Private sectors. Usually, when an entity wishes to have a building constructed, they are first put in touch with a General Contractor. In many cases, the entity commissioning the construction never deals directly with the sub-contractors.

As an Owner
Many times the entity commissioning the construction of the building chooses to act as the General Contractor. In such cases, they work directly with the sub-contractors and take care of the administration and organization of the various sub-contractors.

General Contractor Example
In Baltimore, for example, a real estate developer (someone who has relationships with banks and sources of real estate for community development) would select a plot of land and then hire a general contractor to actually build the buildings. The developer and general contractor work closely together to meet deadlines and budget. The general contractor then works with subcontractors to ensure quality standards in addition to timeline and budget.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A modern hammer is directly descended from ancient hand toolsA tool is a device that (most commonly) provides a mechanical advantage in accomplishing a physical task.
The most basic tools are simple machines. For example, a crowbar simply functions as a lever. The further out from the pivot point, the more force is transmitted along the lever.
Philosophers once thought that only humans used tools, and often defined humans as tool-using animals. But observation has confirmed that monkeys, apes and other animals, mostly primates, but also some birds (ravens, for instance), and sea otters can use tools as well. Later, philosophers thought that only humans had the ability to make tools, until zoologists observed birds[1] and monkeys[2][3][4] making tools.
Non-physical entities such as Process (Improvement or Reengineering ), Information architecture, Creativity, and Learning itself are all invaluable tools that we humans use to better ourselves individually and collectively (or Collaboratively). Certainly, the term "tool" should not be limited strictly to physical objects, but also cognitive methodologies as described below.
Most anthropologists believe that the use of tools was an important step in the evolution of mankind. Humans evolved an opposable thumb (useful to hold the tools) and an increase in intelligence (aiding in the use of tools).
Most tools can also serve as weapons, such as the hammer and the knife. Similarly, people can use weapons, such as explosives, as tools.
Tools can also be purely cognitive, such as a written language.

1 Functions of tools
1.1 Tool substitution
1.1.1 Multi-use tools
2 History

Functions of tools
Many tools or groups of tools serve to perform one or more of a set of basic operations, such as:
Cutting (knife, scythe, sickle, etc...)
Concentrating force (hammer, maul, screwdriver, whip, writing implements, etc...)
Guiding (set square, algorithm, straight edge, tradition, etc...)
Seizing and holding (pliers, glove, wrench, etc...)

Tool substitution
Often by design or coincidence a tool may share attributes with one or more other tools in terms of their basic functionality. In this case, some tools can substitute for other tools, either as a make-shift solution or as a matter of practical efficiency. 'One tool does it all' is a motto of some importance for workers who cannot practically carry every specialized tool to the location of every work task. Tool substitution may be divided broadly into two classes: substitution 'by-design', or 'multi-purpose', and substitution as make-shift. In many cases, the designed secondary functions of tools are not widely known. For example, many wood-cutting hand saws integrate a carpenter's square by incorporating a specially shaped handle which allows 90° and 45° angles to be marked by aligning the appropriate part of the handle with an edge and scribing along the back edge of the saw.

Multi-use tools
lineman's pliers incorporate a gripper and cutter, and are commonly used secondarily as a hammer.
hand saws often incorporate the functionality of the carpenter's square in the right-angle between the blade's dull edge and the saw's handle.

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with History of technology. (Discuss)Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Category:ToolsUse of tools started at the beginning of the Stone age. Humans have fabricated knives, amongst the oldest tools, since that time.
Mechanical devices, though known to Alexandrian Greeks, experienced a major expansion in their use in the Middle Ages with the systematic employment of new energy sources: water (waterwheels) and wind (windmills).
Machine tools occasioned a surge in producing new tools in the Industrial revolution. Advocates of nanotechnology expect a similar surge as tools move down-scale.

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