BUILDINGS: FIRST IMPRESSIONS 





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BUILDINGS: FIRST IMPRESSIONS



What makes the look of British towns and cities distinctive? The most striking feature is the lack of blocks of flats. People prefer to live in individual houses — units with their own front doors and sometimes gardens. Perhaps this says something about the national character; a love of privacy and a lack of interest in the wider community. There is a proverb: "An Englishman's home is his castle". Whatever the deeper reasons for it, the result is that British towns and cities are full of two or three-storey houses. Only in the 1950s and -60s councils started building tall blocks of flats in the American style; but these have been very unpopular, and the cheaper ones are now being demolished.

Another distinctive feature of British buildings is the use of brick. Some of the oldest monuments, like Hampton Court Palace or Queens' College, Cambridge, are made of brick. It remains the favourite material for new houses today. While the rest of the world prefers concrete, for some reason the British taste is for brick, at least in smaller buildings.

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SOME TRENDS IN THE HISTORY OF BUILDING

Human shelters were at first very simple and perhaps lasted only a few days or months. Over time, however, even temporary structures evolved into such highly refined forms as the igloo. Gradually more durable structures began to appear, particularly after


the advent of agriculture, when people began to stay in one place for long periods. The first shelters were dwellings, but later other functions, such as food storage and ceremony, were housed in sep­arate buildings. Some structures began to have symbolic as well as functional value, marking the beginning of the distinction between architecture and building.

The history of building is marked by a number of trends. One is the increasing durability of the materials used. Early building materials were perishable, such as leaves, and branches. Later, more durable natural materials — such as clay, stone, and timber — and, finally, synthetic materials — such as brick, concrete, metals, and plastics — were used. Another is a quest for buildings of ever greater height and span; this was made possible by the development of stronger materials and by knowledge of how materials behave and how to exploit them to greater advantage. A third major trend involves the degree of control exercised over the interior environment of buildings: increasingly precise regulation of air temperature, light and sound levels, humidity, odours, air speed, and other factors that affect human comfort has been possible. Yet another trend is the change in energy available to the construction process, starting with human muscle power and developing toward the powerful machinery used today.

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THE FATHER OF THE AMERICAN SKYSCRAPER

William Le Baron Jenney (1832-1907) was an American civil engineer and architect who became known as the Father of the American skyscraper. Jenney was born in Fairhaven, Massachusetts on September 25, 1832. Jenney first began his formal education at the Lawrence Scientific school at Harvard in 1853, but transferred to Paris to get an education in engineering and architecture. He graduated in 1856, one year after his classmate, Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower. In 1861, he returned to the US to join the Union Army as an engineer in the Civil War. After the war, in 1867, Jenney moved to Chicago, Illinois and began his


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own architectural office, which specialized in commercial buildings and urban planning.

In 1998, Jenney was ranked number 89 in the book "1,000 Years, 1,000 People: Ranking the Men and Women Who Shaped the Millennium". Jenney is best known for designing the ten-storey Home Insurance Building in Chicago. The building was the first fully metal-frame skyscraper, and is considered the first skyscraper. It was built from 1884 to 1885, enlarged in 1891, and demolished in 1931. In his designs, he used metal columns and beams, instead of stone and brick to support the building's upper levels. The steel needed to support the Home Insurance Building weighed only one-third as much as a ten-storey building made of heavy masonry. Using this method, the weight of the building was reduced, thus allowing the possibility to construct even taller structures.

Later, he solved the problem of fireproof construction for tall buildings by using masonry, iron, and terracotta flooring and partitions. He displayed his system in the Leiter Building, also built in Chicago between the years 1889 and 1891.

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NIKOLAI V. NIKITIN

Nikolai Vasilyevich Nikitin was a construction engineer and structural designer of the Soviet Union, best known for his monumental structures. Nikitin was born in Tobolsk, Siberia in 1907 to the family of a typographical engineer. In 1930, Nikitin graduated from the Tomsk Technological Institute with training in construction.

In 1932, he designed the train station of Novosibirsk. By 1937, he was living and working in Moscow. He turned his attention to calculations and design of foundations and supporting structures.

In 1957 he was appointed chief designer of Mosproekt Institute for the Planning of Housing and Civil Engineering Construction in the City of Moscow. Nikitin died on 3 March 1973.

His selected works are Moscow State University's 240 m high main building (at the time of its construction it was the tallest building


in Europe, built from 1949 to 1953); Luzhniki Stadium; colossal 85- meter statue on the Mamayev Kurgan heights overlooking Volgograd, "The Motherland Calls" and many others.

Among Nikitin's works — the Ostankino Tower — has got the most fame. Standing 540 metres tall, it is a television and radio tower in Moscow. It is named after the Ostankino district of Moscow in which it is located. Its construction began in 1963 and was completed in 1967. The tower was the first free-standing structure to exceed 500 m in height. It surpassed the Empire State Building to become the tallest free-standing structure in the world. The Ostankino Tower has remained the tallest free-standing structure in Europe for 42 years.

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CONSTRUCTION CAREERS

There are many routes to the different careers within the construction industry which vary by country. However, there are three main tiers of careers based on educational background which are common internationally:

unskilled and semi-skilled — general site labour with little or no construction qualifications;

skilled — on-site managers who possess extensive knowledge and experience in their craft or profession;

technical and management — personnel with the greatest educational qualifications, usually graduate degrees, trained to design, manage and instruct the construction process.

Skilled occupations in the UK require further education qualifications, often in vocational subject areas. These qualifications are either obtained directly after the completion of compulsory education or through "on the job" apprenticeship training. In the UK, 8500 construction-related apprenticeships were commenced in 2007.

Technical and specialised occupations require more training as a greater technical knowledge is required. The professions, like a civil engineer, a building services engineer, a project manager, a quantity surveyor structural engineer and others hold more legal responsibility.


Английский язык для студентов строительных специальностей

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CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERS

Construction engineers engage in the design of temporary structures, quality assurance and quality control, building and site layout surveys, on site material testing, concrete mix design, cost estimating, planning and scheduling, safety engineering, materials procurement, and cost engineering and budgeting.

To complete projects construction engineers rely on plans and specifications created by architects, engineers and other constructors. During most of the 20th century structures have been first designed then engineering staff ensure it is built to plans and specifications by testing and overseeing the construction. Previous to the 20th century and more commonly since the start of the 21st century structures are designed and built in combination, allowing for site considerations and construction methods to influence the design process.

Keeping a workplace safe is a key to having a successful construction company. It is the construction engineer's job to make sure that everything is conducted correctly. Construction engineers are also involved heavily with the construction schedule and document control as well as budget and cost control. Their role on site is to provide construction information, including repairs, requests for information, change orders and payment applications.

Construction engineers should have strong understanding for math and science, but many other skills are required, including critical thinking, listening, learning, problem solving, monitoring and decision making. Construction engineers have to be able to think about all aspects of a problem and listen to others' ideas so that they can learn everything about a project before it begins. They must maintain project control of labour and equipment for safety, to ensure the project is on schedule and monitor quality control. When a problem occurs it is the construction engineer who will create and enact a solution.


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BUILDING

In architecture, construction, engineering and real estate development the word building may refer to one of the following: any man-made structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or continuous occupancy, or an act of construction. Buildings come in a wide amount of shapes and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a wide number of factors, from building materials available, to weather conditions, to land prices, ground conditions, specific uses and aesthetic reasons. Buildings serve several needs of society — primarily as shelter from weather and as general living space, to provide privacy, to store belongings and to live and work.

Residential buildings are called houses/homes, though buildings containing large numbers of separate dwelling units are often called apartment buildings/blocks to differentiate them from the more "individual" house. Building types may range from one-room wood-framed, masonry, or adobe dwellings to multi-million dollar high-rise buildings able to house thousands of people.

Increasing settlement density in buildings and closer distances between buildings is usually a response to high ground prices resulting from many people wanting to live close to work or similar attractors. Amultistoreyedbuildingisa building that has multiple floors above ground in the building. Multi-storey buildings aim to increase the area of the building without increasing the area of the land the building is built on, hence saving land and, in most cases, money.

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SKYSCRAPERS

A building many storeys high was first called a skyscraper in the 1880s in the United States. They were developed in the last part of the 19th century as a result of technological advancement and the social conditions at that time. They are now often referred to as



Английский язык для студентов строительных специальностей


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high-rise buildings. The city of New York set the skyscraper pattern. Because the ground beneath the city streets is rock, it is solid enough to take the heaviest loads without subsiding as softer earth would do, and therefore it is well suited to bearing the weight of tall buildings.

Architects and civil engineers all over the United States were experimenting, especially with steel which was much lighter than iron. These tall buildings were required so that millions of people might be able to live and work in a comparatively small area. If skyscrapers are built the population of a whole town can live on quite a small plot of land. This is useful where land is expensive.

Skyscrapers have certain disadvantages. If they are built in a street of ordinary width, where the people who work in them come pouring out at the end of the day, the street will be overcrowded. Moreover, a skyscraper throws a long shadow, thereby keeping the sun from a great many people at certain hours. Two skyscrapers built near one another would be apt to trap the fumes of petrol in the space between them. To overcome these difficulties a scheme called zoning was introduced in the United States in the 1930s, whereby skyscrapers had to be set a certain distance from other buildings, depending on their height. Modern skyscrapers are usually built with open spaces, pedestrian precincts, or shopping centres at street levels to make the surroundings more attractive.

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ROMAN CONCRETE

During the Roman Empire, Roman concrete was made from quicklime, pozzolana, and an aggregate of pumice. Concrete, as the Romans knew it, was in effect a new and revolutionary material. Laid in the shape of arches, vaults and domes, it quickly hardened into a rigid mass, free from many of the internal thrusts and strains which trouble the builders of similar structures in stone or brick.

Modern structural concrete differs from Roman concrete in two important details. First, its mix consistency is fluid and homogeneous, allowing it to be poured into forms rather than requiring hand-layering together with the placement of aggregate,


which, in Roman practice, often consisted of rubble. Second, integral reinforcing steel gives modern concrete assemblies great strength in tension, whereas Roman concrete could depend only upon the strength of the concrete bonding to resist tension.

The widespread use of concrete in many Roman structures has ensured that many survive to the present day. The Baths of Caracalla in Rome are just one example of the longevity of concrete, which allowed the Romans to build this and similar structures across the Roman Empire. Many Roman aqueducts and Roman bridges have masonry cladding to a concrete core, a technique they used in structures such as the Pantheon, the dome of which is concrete.

The secret of concrete was lost for 13 centuries until 1756, when the British engineer John Smeaton pioneered the use of hydraulic lime in concrete, using pebbles and powdered brick as aggregate. Portland cement was first used in concrete in the early 1840s.

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