History of Construction Technology of dissertation

Download this dissertation in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from dissertation:

One exception to this is Pausanias, a Greek writer. He recorded the quarrying done in Greece but he lived in the second century a.D. For other details, the information related to their architecture is limited to the writings of Vitruvius, an architect in Rome, also a military engineer and a writer who lived during the rule of Augustus (Masrgary, 1957; Derry and Williams, 1961).

The Greek construction inherits its glory from the timber-framed European houses that revolved around three chambers and hearths and not from the buildings in the Near East or even the Mycenean tombs. The temples that appeared earlier in Greece were built of mud bricks with a timber roof that was thatched to facilitate a wider construction, the transverse beams were held by a row of posts that were kept in the middle and the posts were also kept in the mud brick walls for the same use. That's how the architecture began to originate in the age of Pericles (Masrgary, 1957; Derry and Williams, 1961).

In the Mycenean era, the hard limestone of Argos was used while in the west and north of Peloponnese the classical architects used another type of materials that a more appropriate surface that facilities the plastering with fine stucco (of burnt limestone) which was later colour-washed. However, the great public buildings at Athens where marble was used, the material was brought from the quarries on Mount Pentelicon. The blocks were shaped into rectangles by using chisels and then wedges were used on the shapes. The Pentelic marble was characterized by fine grain and milky whiteness and the iron traces added a considerable brown finish to the shape. As the finishing was smoother with iron traces, it was considered better than the burnt limestone (Masrgary, 1957; Derry and Williams, 1961).

The Greeks did not really prefer the brightly coloured marble quite unlike the Roman. The Parian marble that was mostly used for sculpture was not coloured and the Naxian was grey. The Hymettos marble was considered inferior and the quarries of large Syracuse limestone did not become fully popularized in the usage until the beginning of third century B.C (Masrgary, 1957; Derry and Williams, 1961).

As the blocks of limestone and marble could be made up to 15 feet long, a possibility of trabeated architecture began to see the light of the day. The drums were used to construct the columns as the Egyptians did.

When stones that were not very hard were used, the drums would sometimes alter to become a lathe. When the blocks of stone were grinded together, the people were able to attain a very fine jointing. However, the clamps were made of different metals, such as iron and what was even more remarkable was the use of wrought-iron beams. An example of such a case was at the Parthenon where the wrought iron beams aided as cantilevers to hold up the statues and sculptures with the most weight. The timber framework was used for the low pitched roofs of these buildings (Ashby, 1935; Derry and Williams, 1961).

Broadly, the Roman contribution to the architectural history is threefold. They derived their methods from the Greeks after modifying and adjusting it according to their needs and demands thereby decorating their cities, empires, temples and other important places. Moreover, the Romans further found uses of the arch which were earlier used by the Etruscans, almost a millennium before Romans came to build huge bridges in blocks shaped like wedges. Lastly, the Romans they took advantage of four centuries of their empire in the west for more public works which paved way for modern practices of civil and military engineering (Ashby, 1935; Derry and Williams, 1961).

Marble was not used to build Augustan Rome. It was only used for decorating and finishing of the work so that the end product held important value as an Italian product. The Carrara marbles that are pure white in colour are known throughout the world for their beauty. Of the marbles imported, the imperial porphyry from Egypt held great attraction for the people. It was also kept as imperial property as it was characterized by a true imperial purple colour (Ashby, 1935; Derry and Williams, 1961).

The Romans used two other stones in their construction: Travertine and a hard basaltic rock. The travertine was used to build the ancient walls of the catacombs and most of the Colosseum while the basaltic rock was used in the paving of the roads that led to the city. The Romans used the stone in almost every sphere of their empire. The Baalbek in Syria and the gritstone of Hadrian's Wall were both used in the Roman architecture. It is also claimed that there is barely any English building stone left that the Romans did not use in their construction as they also used Bath stone and Colchester in their buildings (Ashby, 1935; Derry and Williams, 1961).

The Romans also made used of wedges in quarrying. The wedges were put into the furrows and then filled with water to create pressure through swelling. They were skilled establishing their stone in the quarry. In many examples, such as the famous multi-angular York tower the stones used by Romans have outperformed the quality of the stones laid over a thousand years later. Copper fed saws were used to cut even though most of the shaping of the blocks were carried out from pounding done by stone balls. Later, saws driven from water were used by Moselle as documented in Ausonius Mosella (Robins, 1946; Derry and Williams, 1961).

However, during the rule of Augustus, it must be noted that Romans used a wider variety of materials and not just stones. The kiln burned bricks, used by the Egyptians were also used. The largest of the variety available was around 23 inches square and had a thickness of about one and a half inch. The bricks would be mostly covered with plaster but were used mainly to surface walls (Robins, 1946; Derry and Williams, 1961).

Regardless of the materials commonly used, most of the Rome was itself constructed from concrete (Kosmatka et al., 2002). The Romans were endowed with a volcanic earth called pozzolana in their land which actually formed cement after having being mixed with line. The cement could resist both fire and water. When mixed with other materials such as bricks or stones, the concrete adopted the hardness of the brick or the stone itself, depending on the material it was mixed with (Li et al., 2003). The concrete was so useful that it was not only used for foundations and walls but also in the construction of vaults and domes that required a harder material for the construction. When concrete was used in the construction it also helped to reduce the overall weight of the vaulted structure (Robins, 1946; Derry and Williams, 1961).

The wedge shaped stones that would combine to form an arch could also be used to construct a vault just by adding more materials and timber structures that provided support at the time of construction. However, the consequence of using the wedge shaped stones for the arch was both dark and dangerous because there was an outward thrust upon the walls on which the vault was laying its weight. The Romans then decided to construct cross vaults to support the structure thereby facilitating longer constructions as in the example of the 100 feet of Diocletian's palace (Robins, 1946; Derry and Williams, 1961).

The outward thrust that rendered the walls and foundation weak was a problem that was faced by their successors as well and the fact that the Romans were able to resolve their problems was an example of a great architectural achievement. The constructions were designed mainly for buildings in the garden or for the hot rooms present in baths. One of the famous examples is of the Bath of Caracalla where the diameter of the dome was 116 feet (Briggs, 1945; Derry and Williams, 1961).

The largest Roman dome was on the Pantheon temple. The diameter of the dome was of about 142 feet. The accuracy of the composition and method of construction are so remarkable that it remains a mystery to date. The rest of the supporting structure was built from concrete which was furthered held by brick arches (Lancaster, 2005). The doors in this remarkable construction were of bronze while the roof was made of gilt bronze tiles. To date the building is considered a royal mausoleum (Briggs, 1945).

Terracotta tiles were considered significant because of their use as a material that would help in the construction of the roofs and more importantly in the construction of hypocausts. These were the rooms that were tiled for about 23-inch squares. One of the hypocaust was characterized by small tiles that were used for the columns which allowed a way out for the heat (Briggs, 1945). These tiles were used by Romans as well as the Greeks quite extensively (Kirby, 1956).

In the fields…[continue]

Cite This Dissertation:

"History Of Construction Technology Of" (2010, November 16) Retrieved December 3, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/history-of-construction-technology-6668

"History Of Construction Technology Of" 16 November 2010. Web.3 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/history-of-construction-technology-6668>

"History Of Construction Technology Of", 16 November 2010, Accessed.3 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/history-of-construction-technology-6668

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • History of Construction Technology of

    Staircase ramps which are comprised of steep and narrow steps that lead up one face of the pyramid were more in use at that time with evidence found at the Sinki, Meidum, Giza, Abu Ghurob, and Lisht pyramids respectively (Heizer). A third ramp variation was the spiral ramp, found in use during the nineteenth dynasty and was, as its name suggests, comprised of a ramp covering all faces of the

  • History of Construction Technology Time

    It consists a series of successively smaller platforms which lifted to a height of about 64 feet, and was constructed with a solid core of mud-brick covered by a thick skin of burnt-brick to guard it from the forces of nature (Burney). The Ziggurat's corners are oriented to the compass points, with walls sloping slightly inwards (Molleson and Hodgson) . The Ziggurat of Ur was a component of a temple

  • History of Construction 26 Buildings

    In other words, at every seven courses of stone, a layer of reed matting was laid and weep-holes and drainage shafts were placed, thus preserving the ziggurat from water damage. Eventually the building fell into disrepair. Later, King Nabonidus restored the Ur ziggurat, along with other temples. Stiebing believes this was because he revered his mother's gods (285). Nabonidus claims in the clay cuneiform tablets found in the tower to

  • Egyptian Pyramids History and Construction

    "According to Redford, pharaohs traditionally began building their pyramids as soon as they took the throne. The pharaoh would first establish a committee composed of an overseer of construction, a chief engineer and an architect. The pyramids were usually placed on the western side of the Nile because the pharaoh's soul was meant to join with the sun disc during its descent before continuing with the sun in its

  • History of the Areas of

    It was founded on the knowledge that spurred during the Renaissance and has placed significance on rational thought and cultural emphasis, which was not present before. Furthermore, with regards to the popularity of Baroque during this period, it is important to note that this style was able to combine the principles of science and the philosophies and doctrines of early Christianity, which has been very prominent in architectures built on

  • History of the Modern Era

    The history from the Renaissance to the Machine Age was defined by major technical and stylistic advances that allowed for much larger, taller, more elegant buildings, and higher degrees of functionality and architectural expression. In cultural and scientific matters, the Modern Era was characterized by an increasingly rationalistic trajectory of thought which was based on an ethos of the humanistic exploration of reality and truth. While in a cultural sense

  • History and Development of Sound Technologies and Sound Design in...

    sound technologies and sound design in Film Sound in films Experiments in Early Age Developments Crucial innovations Commercialization of sound cinema: U.S., Europe, and Japan Sound Design Unified sound in film production Sound designers in Cinematography Sound Recording Technologies History of Sound Recording Technology Film sound technology Modern Digital Technology History of sound in films Developments Sound Design Sound Recording Technologies The film industry is a significant beneficiary of performing arts. The liberal arts combined with latest techniques and advancements experienced a number of stages. The

Read Full Dissertation
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved