- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 26 Jan 2023
Breaking point can have a number of different inferences depending on context. In general its meaning is a point between failure (and in some cases success) or collapse and maintaining integrity. It can be used contextually with many different references such as a material, an object, a structure, a programme, a business, a statistical data set or a person both physically and mentally, after which something might become critical, dramatically change behaviour or collapse under the variety of stresses. Many of these interpretation of breaking point might be found in the construction industry breaking point. The term breakpoint normally refers to some thing else, which is a pause, stop or break from something and is often used in systems programming or data management.
A material breaking point, might also be called its fracture point. It describes a solid material’s elastic limit, where it passes the maximum stress per unit area (the yield point) to enter the plastic range, becoming permanently deformed or fractured; it starts to break. The fracture in terms of a material can be described as a ductile fracture or a brittle fracture beyond which it is failing (soft failure as opposed to perhaps hard failure). In materials that point of failure, irreversible, by whichever characteristics might be described as the breaking point.
 Structural breaking point
A structural breaking point, in a similar ways might describe a fracture point, the elastic limit, or yield point to enter the plastic range, becoming permanently deformed or fractured; or breaking. In structure it also refers to that point of failure which is irreversible, but may more commonly be referring to the actually point of complete failure and collapse. It might refer to an element of a building or a structure that fails, where a timber beam goes beyond, the yield, soft or ductile failure and/ or brittle fracture points to break and collapse, often causing damage and in some cases human harm.
In the design of buildings the breaking point of systems might refer to where variables such as the number of people or temperatures are higher than the design specifications and the point beyond which systems supporting a space or building may not be able to function correctly, for example fro building services and use or fire and safety. For example the capacity of the football stadium was at breaking point. In the same way system breaking points can also refer to natural systems on the local or global scale, the point at which systems are overloaded and start to change behaviour and not function as before. On a global scale these breaking points are often referred to as tipping points.
 Mental breaking point
Mental breaking point can refer to the point at which a person cannot cope with certain stresses or pressures for home or work life. Mental health and wellbeing can be a significant issue in the construction industry both onsite and office based.
In business, also construction business the breaking point is often used to describe a point at which a business might fail or succeed, normally financially. Also referred to as the break even point, which is the point where the finances are neither at a loss (in the red) or at profit (in the black.)
- Cash flow.
- Commercial management.
- Concept structural design.
- Elements of structure in buildings.
- How nature can be used to improve wellbeing.
- Keeping your mind on the job.
- Mental health first aid.
- Mental health in the construction industry.
- Structural principles.
- Types of structural load.
Featured articles and news
Meaning, understanding and implementation.
Kick-start attempts causes 50% jump from December.
From climate to cost to cold bridges and design flexibility.
In a changing world at the APM PM SIG conference.
The glass product that opened up new possibilities.
Campaigning for buildings of all periods.
Full life cycle assessments, impact categories and more.
Lansink's ladder to resin identification codes. Less is more.
Basic components in an increasingly complex material world.
Get to know the new requirements and the new terms.
Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regs.
Welcomed with a skills shortage warning.
The ultimate companion for building services excellence.
CIOB joins leading organisations to warn leaders.