Can you name any of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? Each was a feat of civil engineering and architecture. What causes structures such as these to fill us with awe even today? What is it that makes them seem more wondrous in our time of modernization? These structures have paved the way for many new advances in the design of the structures you see today.
In this activity you will learn about the history of civil engineering and architecture. You will see differences between the two professions and learn of their beginnings.
History of Civil Engineering and Architecture presentation
In this activity you will investigate the history of civil engineering and architecture. You will see differences between the two professions and learn of their beginnings.
Define civil engineering.
Civil Engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the design and construction of public works, such as bridges, dams, and other large facilities. Civil Engineers and Architectures often work together on their projects.
Architecture is the branch of engineering that deals with the art and science of designing buildings for human habitation.
Describe the origination of the concept of architecture?
The concept of architecture originated at the time when people started living in places with construction and within different communities. This was most probably after 8000 B.C. since that was around the time people stopped living in caves.
In ancient times how were building materials chosen?
During ancient times, building materials were chosen based on the type and amount of material locally available to the people living in a specific area. Another way that materials were chosen was based off of the climate of the area. Whether the buildings and structures were made of limestone or clay was based on the atmosphere and the climate of the environment in an area.
Give two examples of vernacular architecture.
One example of vernacular architecture is the igloos in cold climate regions or areas that are covered with snow, for example, Alaska. Another example of vernacular architecture is the African huts at different cities in African countries. One final example is the sun-dried clay buildings in current day Iraq that consist of mainly this material due to the lack of other materials. A lot of Nepalese structures are built like Iraq structures too, except they have stone used on them too.
Name and describe the type of system used to create many early buildings.
The system used to create many early buildings was called ‘Bearing Walls’. Bearing Walls are solid walls that when together hold each other and the roof together.
What was the purpose of the Egyptian pyramids? Mexican pyramids?
The purpose of Egyptian pyramids was to serve as tombs and resting places for the Pharaohs. The Mexican pyramids, however, were built for religious ceremonies or scientific use (e.g. astronomy).
What kind of construction method was used to build the Parthenon? Make a simple sketch to illustrate.
To build the Parthenon, a construction method called post-and-lintel was used. This construction method was basically placing horizontal beams across vertical posts.
What problem in architecture led to this form of construction?
The problem that caused the use of this method was not knowing how doors and window openings can be provided in wall without sacrificing the support for the walls.
Explain how an arch is created.
An Arch is created by using smaller and lighter blocks of stones and placing them in a curved position in a way that they would be able to support each other while being locked on to place by the keystone, the wedge-shaped arch at the crown of the arch.
How is the vault used in civil engineering?
The vault is used for the construction of bridges, walkways, and other various passages since it is a series of arches that form a covering.
Give an example of an arch and dome system.
An example of an arch and dome system is the Parthenon. Another example that is widely known today is the Taj Mahal, which was built on an arch and dome system.
Give an example of a modern material we have that was not available to the ancients. How did this restrict construction in ancient times?
One modern material we have today that wasn’t available in ancient times is steel. Steel is tougher and sturdier than iron, which was what ancients made a lot of their structures with. Also, iron often got corroded which was a problem because then there would be a huge problem if a structure’s metal was corroded and it broke.
What was the purpose of the Roman aqueducts?
The purpose of the Roman aqueducts was to deliver fresh supplies of water to Rome over long distances.
Compare ancient Greek roads to ancient Roman roads.
Greed roads were usually 8 to 9 feet in width and 3 to 4 (sometimes 12) feet deep. These roads were used usually for religious exodus. Roman roads were created with a base of large blocks of stone, broken stone over them, sand over the broken stones, and finally basalt blocks over the sand. The polished part was the road and were always the best roads in the world during that time.
Describe an ancient Roman bridge.
Ancient Roman bridges originally were made of wood and were constructed using beams and columns. These were called Timber bridges. Later on, they started building the bridges using the arches as their basic structure and instead of wood, they were made of stone and concrete.
How did building materials and methods change after the Romans?
After the Romans, iron started becoming a popular building material due to its cheap prices. After that came steel and more refined concrete cement that had elements of metal in them to make them stronger.
Give an example of a modern pyramid not shown in the presentation. How does its function differ from that of the Egyptian pyramids? What do you think accounts for this difference?
The Great Pyramid of Cholula, aka Tlachihualtepeti, is a pyramid temple in Mexico constructed as a tribute to their god Quetzalcoatl. Unlike the Egyptians, who created pyramids as tombs for their Pharaohs, this pyramid was made dedicated to their god, resulting in a religious origin of the pyramid. The reason for the difference is probably due to the cultural and religious difference between the two regions.
Give an example of a modern structure that uses an arch and dome system.
A modern structure that uses an arch and dome system is the astronomy domes all over the world that are used to search for astronomical matter.
What is the main purpose of modern roads? How is the cost of modern roadways defrayed?
The main purpose of modern roads is still the same as before, transportation. Transportation, movement, etc. are all done using roads. The cost of these modern roadways are defrayed through taxes citizens pay and money the government has for these roads.
Project Lead The Way
CEA – Unit 1 – Lesson 1.1 – Activity 1.1.1 – History Civil Engineering and Architecture– Page