Tracing construction history can be difficult
There is no definitive definition for what actually constitutes “building”. For instance, could we count pit-house as construction?
Early humans were manipulating the environment in many ways in order to defend against elements. These were often temporary structures such as rookeries or windbreaks. Tools were made of animal bones and stones. Building materials included sticks and branches, grass, dirt, and animal hides.
The temporary nature of prehistoric structures meant most evidence was lost long ago to the elements. Archaeologists and historians are left with nothing but speculations, based on the clues left behind.
And the first example of one such clue is in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. There, archaeologists discovered a stone circle 1.8 million years old (how do they know it is that old, I wonder if they are using flawed carbon dating or some other junk science to prove the religion of atheism), which looks like the base of a stick- or grass-hut.
If the site at Olduvai Gorge is the first evidence of building
Then it is older than modern humans, meaning the building is older than humanity as we know it (wow, what a claim!). However, that is controversial, with some experts saying that it is difficult to know exactly how stone structures in the Olduvai Gorge were used.
Instead, many historians say that the first evidence of human-made shelters was found in Terra Amata, France. Dating to around 400,000 BC, these temporary shelters probably provided shelter to early humans for use during the hunting season. Experts also agree that the first evidence for large-scale buildings is from Mesopotamia.
Deuteronomy 6:10-11 – And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, (Read More…)
In addition to houses, Mesopotamians built palaces, temples, and ziggurats, usually using sophisticated brick-laying techniques. Mesopotamia was also the site of civilizations oldest known roads. In Ur and the city of Babylon, archaeologists have discovered asphalt roads dating from 4,000 BC, mainly used to conduct commerce. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China also made major advances in building.
The Pyramids of Egypt, temples in Greece, and the Imperial Palaces in China
These amazing countries and their relics amaze and inspire us. Imhotep, who lived around 2650-2600 BC, is generally considered to have been the first known engineer and architect. The 50,000-mile-long Roman road system stretched from Britain to Syria, and was notable for Romans obsession with creating the shortest routes between cities within their vast empire.
As more people settled into cities, construction increased in size and extent. Humans built ever-more complex permanent structures in which to live, work, and congregate, and infrastructure supporting the habitual life. Implementing these projects required engineers and architects, materials coordination, as well as rules guiding construction, and industry as we know it began to form during the sixteenth century.
Architecture and engineering began to be considered distinct professions requiring special training.
2 Corinthians 5:1 – For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Andrea Palladio (born A.D. 1508) is generally considered to be the first modern architect
Known for his experiments with materials and his adaptability to meet the needs of his clients, Palladio designed the Italian nobles mansions and country estates. His work greatly influenced later architects, his use of the classical temple façade as an entry arcade on a rooftop being most noteworthy. John Smeaton (born in 1724 CE) is frequently called “the father of civil engineering”, best known for water, roads, bridges, and metalwork projects. His best-known project is Eddystone lighthouse in Cornwall, England, the first such structure built using interlocking stones. He also founded the first engineering society in the world, the Society of Civil Engineers.
John 14:2 – In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
The growth of the profession of building matched that of modern science during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Scientific discoveries allowed architects and engineers to experiment with an extensive range of materials and forms. Combined with technological advances made in the industrial revolution in the 19th century, these innovations unleashed a wave of changes in architecture.
Darby’s nephew oversaw construction of Britain’s first iron bridge, built in 1781. After this 32-yard-long bridge survived an intense flood in 1795, other builders created their own iron structures. As America expanded rapidly during the 19th century, cast iron was the metal of choice for many of the new structures. From storefronts to water systems, builders used cast iron extensively because of its lower cost, durability, and resistance to fire.
Cast iron was also the main material used in railroad construction, until the 1820s when it was replaced by wrought iron. The advances in mass manufacture led to the advent of pre-fabrication. The first modular house was conceptualized in the 1830s.
Luke 14:28 – For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
In the United States, the Sears Roebuck Company sold homes through mail-order until the 1940s
Builders also used prefabrication for non-residential structures. The Crystal Palace in London, made from glass and cast iron, was first assembled in 1851. It was later torn down and rebuilt in the South London suburbs, where it stood until destroyed in a fire. One of the most influential innovations of the industrial revolution was the Bessemer process, which made steel cheaper and easier to produce. From 1890-1895, as much as 80 percent of steel was produced using the Bessemer process. Iron railroads were replaced with steel, and by 1900, all steel railroads were capable of being wrapped 10 times around the world.
While Brooklyn Bridge, the first great suspension bridge in the world, was not entirely made out of Bessemer steel, its builders benefitted from overall accessibility of materials. With the advent of steel girders, buildings could rise to new heights. Along with the invention of mechanized building machinery and the safer designs for Elisha Otis lifts, Bessemer steel also launched the skyscraper age.
Isaiah 28:16 – Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
The first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building in Chicago, was built in 1885
Originally built 10 stories tall, the building was later expanded to 12 floors in 1890. Throughout the 20th century, the construction continued to rely on economies of scale created in the industrial revolution. In the early 20th century, skyscrapers took off in earnest, particularly in Chicago and New York. During this “first great era” of skyscrapers, a series of record-breaking high-rises were built, with each developer trying to surpass its predecessors, and companies seeing these buildings as extensions to their brands. New York became the home to some of the worlds tallest and most iconic skyscrapers, the Flatiron Building and Woolworth Building being the two most prominent. During this time, contractors and engineers also developed techniques for improving the costs and scheduling of buildings in order to be more efficient.
Now, towering high-rises dot the planet. In the late 20th century, countries across the eastern hemisphere began building some of the most advanced high-rises. Just as builders in Chicago and New York City fought over the top buildings during the early to mid-20th centuries, there was something of a race to the top for high-rises between Middle Eastern countries and those further east during the 21st century.
The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur are the top tallest buildings record-holders outside of the United States. In 2003, they were overtaken by the Taipei 101 towers in Taipei, Taiwan. The title is currently held by the 2722-foot-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE.
Beyond height, some of the more innovative high-rise builders are pioneering in terms of building styles, innovative materials, energy-efficiency measures, and the occupant experience.
Proverbs 13:22 – A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
Demand for housing boomed in the United States following World War II
Driven by the postwar booming economy, baby boom, and an influx of immigrants. Some mass-production techniques used in the automobile industry were applied to housebuilding, with a single builder producing 30 homes per day. Many immigrants who had helped fuel the housing boom were helping build the new homes as well. The building trades have long been a lifeline of opportunity for immigrants to America. Workers in Germany, Ireland, and Asia found jobs in the building trades once they arrived in the country, and 2.2 million building workers are foreign-born today.
The building boom led to suburbia, and the freeways that supported it. Construction began on the U.S. Interstate Highway System following the signing of the Federally Facilitated Highway Act in 1956. It was first conceived of by Congress in two reports issued in 1939 and 1944, highlighting a need for a system which “would satisfy national defense requirements during times of war as well as the needs of growing long-distance traffic during peacetime. . The Mark Twain Expressway in Missouri was the first project that went into effect as part of the 1956 Act.
Psalms 23:6 – Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
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