Text B. From the History of Building

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Text B. From the History of Building

Many thousands of years ago there were no houses such as people live in today. In hot countries people sometimes made their homes in the trees and used leaves to protect themselves from rain or sun. In colder countries they dwelt in caves. Later people left their caves and trees and began to build houses of different materials such as mud, wood or stones.

The first houses were merely shelters built for the purpose of protecting their owners from weather and therefore were very simple – a roof to keep off the rain, and walls to keep out the wind. At the beginning there were no windows. A little later each house had its fireplace and a masonry chimney.

For many years, even centuries, houses were built without any conveniences. There was no water supply, no heating system, no electric light. Very gradually a change came about, especially in cities.

First, there was running water in kitchens, then hot water, later fully equipped bathrooms. The latest thing is air conditioning.


3. Listen to the text again and answer the following questions:

1. Where did people live many thousand years ago?

2. Was there any difference in dwellings in hot and cold countries?

3. Why did people leave their caves and trees?

4. How did the first houses look like?

5. Were there any conveniences in first houses?

6. What are modern conveniences?

7. What were the first building materials?

4. Annotate the text either in English or in Ukrainian. Use the following phrases:

The text is head-lined…

It/the text informs the reader about…

It/the text deals with…

It/the text considers the problem of...

The main idea of the text is…

It/the text describes…

It/the text gives comments on…

It/the text draws reader’s attention to…

It is pointed out that…

At the beginning/end…


The author points out/stresses/informs/considers…

The text is useful and interesting for…

Translate the text into Ukrainian.


VII. Written assignment

Using text A and B of Unit 4 write a short presentation about the development of construction industry. Summarize all the principal information.

5. 1. Housing.
2. The Engineer and Construction Industry.
3. Passive Voice[8].

I. Grammar Revision

Passive Voice

S + be + V3
Час (Tense) Indefinite Continuous Perfect
Present am S + is + V3 are am S + is +being + V3 are have S + +been + V3 has
Past was S + + V3 were was S + +being + V3 were S + had +been + V3
Future will S+ +be+V3 shall will S+ +have+been+V3 shall

Modals with the Passive Voice.

can S + may + be + V3 must

II. Vocabulary Comprehension

1. Learn the words and word-combinations to comprehend the text:

gypsum concrete panel гіпсоцементна панель
prefabricated blocks збірні блоки
to assemble on the spot монтувати на площадці
to take place відбуватися
under the supervision під наглядом
foreman виконроб, старший майстер
bricklayer муляр
carpenter тесляр
plasterer штукатур
plumber водопровідник
painter маляр
locksmith слюсар
glass-cutter скляр
to make a survey робити землемірну зйомку
bearing power опорне навантаження
to stake out позначати границю віхами
foundation фундамент
to dig (dug, dug) копати, викопувати
excavation виймання ґрунту
basement основа, фундамент, підвальне приміщення
to prevent from settlement запобігати зсіданню грунту
framework коробка, форма крокви
to carry the load нести навантаження
roof дах
floor joist балка для підлоги
beam балка, брус
girder балка, брус, поперечина
to make up утворювати
to space розставляти, розміщати
course of bricks горизонтальний ряд кладки
mortar будівельний розчин
trowel кельма
solid walls суцільні стіни
hollow walls пустотілі стіни
to plaster штукатурити
to insert a lintel встановлювати перемичку
opening отвір
staircase сходи
stair (step) східець, щабель
banister (handrail) поруччя (сходів)
flight of stairs сходовий марш
to crown вінчати, завершувати
sheathing обшивка
rafter крокви
purlin лата
truss кроквяна ферма
shingle покрівельна дранка
slate шифер
tile черепиця
sewer pipe каналізаційна труба
water pipe водопровідна труба
faucet (tap) вентель, кран водопровідний


2. Read the following international words and give their Ukrainian equivalents:

type, gypsum, block, industrial, assemble, process, contact, action, present, stability, proportioned, position, regular, material.


3. Define meanings of the following words by their affixes, state what part of speech they indicate:

house – housing; industry – industrial; paint – painter; cut – cutter; excavate – excavation – excavator; base – basement; nature – natural; lead – leading; connect – connection.


III. Reading Comprehension

1. Skim the text to define its general subject and the subject of each paragraph. Use the following phrases:

The text is about…

The subject of the text is…

There are…paragraphs in it.

The first (second, third, etc.) paragraph deals with (considers…, describes…, informs…).


2. Skim the text again and answer the following questions:

1. Are the most important building materials mentioned?

2. Are main building professions named?

3. Are the most important parts of a building described?


3. Read the text:

Text A. Housing

1. Houses are built of wood, brick, stone, and concrete. A lot of houses are built of prefabricated blocks (prefabs). All the parts of such houses are produced on an industrial scale in factories and assembled on the spot. The building process takes place under the supervision of foremen and engineers. The structure is put up by bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, plumbers, painters, lock­smiths, glass-cutters, etc.

2. In the construction of a house the first step is to make a careful survey of the site and to examine the soil in order to find its bearing power. Next, the building lines are staked out. After this, the foundations are built. The excavation is dug for thebasement and then followed by the actual building of the foundation walls below ground level. Then the foundation work is finished by providing anchor­ing sills. That is the case of a wooden building. In the case of a brick structure, the building of the walls may be directly proceeded with.

3. Foundations are to keep the floors and walls from contact with thesoil, to act against the action of the frost and to prevent from settlement. The part upon which the stability of the structure depends is frame­work. It carries the loads which are imposed on it. To do this work prop­erly and safely the floors, walls, roofs and other parts of the construc­tion must be correctly designed, proportioned, spaced and arranged.

4. The building of a wall consists in laying down courses of bricks and binding them together with mortar. The instrument used by the bricklayer is called a trowel. Walls are constructed to enclose areas and to support the weight of floors and roofs. The walls may be solid and hollow. They may be plastered, then covered with wall-paper or painted. The chief instruments used by the plasterer are the trowel and the float.

5. When doors or windows are to be made, a lintel is usually inserted in the wall above the opening. Storeys are separated by reinforced concrete slabs. The staircase leads to the upper floors. The staircase consists of stairs (steps). When we ascend or descend from step to step we hold on to the banisters (handrails). The steps between two landings are called a flight of stairs

6. The whole structure is crowned by the roof which covers the building and protects it from exposure to the weather. It ties the walls and gives strength to the structure. A complete roof consists of covering, sheathing, rafters, purlins and roof trusses. The covering is the outer or weather resisting coating of the roof. The materials mostly used for the covering are shingles, slate, tiles and iron. After the building of the house is completed there will be need to make a number of connections: sewer and water pipes with fau­cets (taps). This particular part of the work is undertaken by plumbers, while electrical, gas, and other connections are made by the electricians, etc.


4. Are these statements true or false? If they are false, say why. Use the following phrases:

I can’t agree to this statement because…

Just the contrary…

I think…

To my mind…


1. Some houses are built of wood, brick, stone and concrete.

2. The structure is put up by engineers.

3. It isn’t necessary to examine the soil of the site.

4. The floor carries the loads which are imposed on it.

5. The walls may be solid only.

6. The staircase consists of steps.

7. The whole structure is crowned by the ceiling.

8. A number of connections are made after the building is completed.


5. Study the text and answer the following questions:

1. What is the first step in the construction of a house?

2. Are the building lines staked out after this?

3. Then the foundation is built, isn't it?

4. When does the actual building of the foundation walls begin?

5. Do we provide anchoring sills when the foundation work is finished?

6. Which of the buildings needs anchoring sills?

7. Is the part upon which the stability of the structure depends called the frame­work?

8. Does it carry the loads which are imposed on it?

9. What do we call the tools used by a bricklayer?

10. Can you name the chief tools used by a plasterer?

11. How are storeys separated?

12. What is the function of the staircase?

13. What is the whole structure crowned by?

14.Will there be a need to make a number of connections after the building of the house is completed?


6. Complete these sentences:

1. In order to build a house a careful ... of the site has to be made and the soil has to be examined in order to ... .

2. When the building lines are staked out, the ... .

3. The foundation work is finished by providing... .

4. Foundations keep the floors and walls from... .

5. The stability of a structure depends on... .

6. The designer decides how ... are to be spaced and arranged.


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