Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Thursday 11th August 2022

Materials & Construction

earth and clay [1], stone [2] and timber [3] and helped to promote the use of the two principal building systems, the use of heavy load-bearing [4] walls or a lightGlossary Term [5] framework.

Industrialisation made it possible to both produce materials on a large scale and convey them over greater distance via new means of transport such as the railways and canals. Thus traditional materials such as bricks [6] were manufactured in huge quantities but also new, industrial materials such as cast and wrought iron, and steel [7]. From the late 19th century concrete [8] began to play an increasingly important role in construction and from the mid-20th century even plastics [9] were being employed. Up to the present, architects, engineers and designers continue to use a wide variety of materials in unusual and innovative ways.

With greater understanding of the properties and behaviour of these materials, building technology has developed to achieve buildings of ever greater height [10] and span [11], suitable for the requirements of modern society. In the pages of this sectionGlossary Term [12] of Looking at Buildings you will find short introductions to the production and use of all the major building materials, alongside pages examining the different methods of construction in buildings ranging from castles to skyscrapers.

Last updated: Monday, 18th April 2011