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A building is a structure that can be placed from the build menu and then interacted with by the Set Building Tasks/Prefs command ( q ), and the View Items in Buildings command ( t ). Included in this are workshops, doors, trade depots, furniture, bridges, traps -- most of the interesting stuff your dwarves will build!
Most buildings are made from raw materials or blocks, although some workshops require some additional finished items as well.
Some buildings are placed furniture; a cage or throne sitting in a stockpile is just furniture and can be moved by haulers, washed away by flooding, etc., but when built they become a building that can be interacted with. (Or, what seems more accurate to say, a new building is created and the original furniture becomes part of that building's permanent inventory.) Some buildings can be used to define rooms.
Buildings should be considered distinct from constructions. While both are built via the b build menu, constructions are inert to q and t, are removed by designation, and are generally more similar to terrain features. Furthermore, dwarves can place buildings on constructed floors, but buildings cannot overlap other buildings, nor constructions, other constructions, also, constructions provide support while buildings do not.
Overlap of Buildings and Constructions
Most tiles have one of these simple states: wall, empty space, or floor.
Nothing can be built or constructed where a wall tile exists. Constructions and some furniture (wells, grates, bridges) can be built over empty space. Otherwise, almost all building occurs on floor tiles, whether pre-existing, dug out or constructed. Note that a tile that would otherwise be empty space behaves as a floored space if one z-level above a constructed wall.
When it comes to stairs and ramps, the behavior is not very intuitive. The table below details which building and constructions will prevent the construction of certain other buildings and constructions, since the system isn't always consistent. This table isn't necessarily complete, there's probably more buildings which are inconsistent.
|Workshop||Other buildings||Natural||Constructed||Open Space|
|Floor||Up Stair||Down or Up/Down Stair||Up Slope||Down Slope||Floor||Up Stair||Down Stair||Up Ramp||Down Ramp|
|Constructed Up Stair||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Constructed Down Stair||No||No||Yes||No||Yes¹||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes²|
¹Destroys natural stairs on the tile.
²Down and up/down stairs must be constructed 1 z-level above an existing up (or up/down) stair if you wish to build them in open space.
Barracks • Bedroom • Dining room • Jail • Meeting hall • Office • Sculpture garden • Tomb • Zoo
Animal trap • Anvil • Armor stand • Bed • Bin • Bucket • Cabinet • Cage • Coffin • Container • Restraint • Seat • Statue • Table • Weapon rack
Fortification • Floor • Stairs • Ramp • Wall
|Machine & Trap parts|
Axle • Gear assembly • Millstone • Screw pump • Water wheel • Windmill • Lever • Pressure plate • Trap • Support
Archery target • Kennel • Shop • Siege engine • Trade depot • Wagon • Well