The History of Construction

The History of Construction

There are several periods in history that have made significant contributions to the field of construction. These periods include Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China. Learn about these societies to understand the development of construction. In this article, we will look at how each era made their contribution to the field. Whether it be in building techniques, technology, or materials, these periods are all important and fascinating.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians were known as great engineers. During the Middle Kingdom, they developed new tools to move massive stones. They built monuments with blocks two to three times as heavy as those used in the Great Pyramid. By the early Eighteenth Dynasty (1539-1400 b.c.e.), their engineers could move blocks three times as heavy as those used in Khufu’s time.

The pyramid was a powerful symbol of royal power, but it was also a prime target for tomb robbers. Because of this, tombs were sited in the Valley of the Kings, a valley carved into the limestone. The tombs there were built for many dynasties, but there were factors that affected the economy of the country, which led to a gradual end to construction.

The Ramesseum was a major structure built for the pharaoh Ramesses II. It featured a huge court with a pylon gateway. The temple was adorned with processional reliefs. Ramses II’s construction included two great pylons at the front and rear, with two colossal pharaoh statues and obelisks flanking both sides.


The theaters of ancient Greece are one of the most well-known contributions to the world’s culture. The oldest amphitheaters date to the late 6th century BCE. The earliest amphitheaters were stepped-courts and are believed to have been used for religious and sporting events. Later in the 6th century, rectangular amphitheaters were built. Some of these theatres still exist today. They were used for more than just dramatic performances, and some were even used for poetry recitals.

Before these buildings were erected, they were painted white to prevent the spread of epidemics. In addition to being a protective measure for public health, they were also aesthetically pleasing. Metaxas, the then-prefecture of Cyclades, ordered that all houses be plastered, to prevent cholera contamination. On occasion, island inhabitants whitewash their villages, particularly before official religious feasts. In the period 1967-1974, the military government of Greece mandated that all houses be white-washed. In addition, local authorities were sent documents mandating that all houses be plastered, including the outside walls.

By the 7th century BCE, stone was more common in Greek architecture, though the ancient Greeks still preferred wood for domestic dwellings. Wood was also used as the basic material and was often covered with frescoes to create a beautiful finish. The architecture of ancient Greece was based on proportion and scale, and was influenced by the mathematician Pythagoras. The Greeks wanted to stress the importance of balance in life, as well as the value of a good moral code. Even their temples were built with mathematical proportions to ensure that they were functional and aesthetically pleasing.


The history of construction in Rome can be traced back to the first century BC. During this period, the city was a major cultural and political center. The city was the dominant force in the Roman world, and became famous for its monumental buildings. These structures included the basilica and the Forum, which were public gathering places and trading centers. Later, colossal baths and theaters were constructed. Later, the city also developed palaces and ceremonial gateways.

The Romans were early adopters of concrete, which was cheap, flexible, and strong, and allowed for more creative building designs. The use of concrete made it possible to construct buildings that were more extravagant than before. The concrete allowed architects to be free from the rigidity of brick and stone, and they were able to use curved forms and colonnades.

The Basilica Porcia is the oldest basilica in the world, and it was erected around 184 BC. The Church of St. Paul Outside the Walls was built around the 4th century CE. Its interior and exterior decoration demonstrate the grandiose and simplicity of Roman architecture. These buildings were often a combination of church and town hall.


The history of construction in China dates back to ancient times. In the Tang Dynasty, people thought the soil was bad and that earth walls were susceptible to collapse. In the Song Dynasty, people believed that the soil in the south and southeast were too sparse and were easily weakened. Scholars such as Zhu Xi claimed that the soil in the Central Plains was rich and dense while in the south and southeast, it was sparse and easily eroded.

Chinese architecture is as old as the Chinese civilization, and has retained many key characteristics from prehistoric times to the present. Its influences on other cultures have lasted for centuries, and its architecture is found throughout a vast area from Chinese Turkistan to Japan, Manchuria, and the northern half of French Indochina.

Early Chinese homes were made of rough stone and dried mud, and were typically square, rectangular, or oval in shape. The roofs were covered with thatch and wooden poles, and the foundations were usually visible. Some ancient Chinese buildings were built underground; for example, the Banpo Pagoda in Shaanxi was built three meters beneath ground. This example of an early wooden structure has survived for centuries.

U.S. interstate highway system

Eisenhower, the president of the United States during the 1950s, proposed the interstate highway system in January 1956. However, there were some opponents to the plan, and Eisenhower tried to negotiate a compromise. In 1956, the Bureau of Public Roads published the General Location of the National System of Interstate Highways (GIH), which showed where interstates would be located in major metropolitan areas. Eisenhower was able to convince the opponents of the system to accept a gas tax increase in exchange for a bill establishing the interstate system.

The federal government, with the help of the states, worked together to build the interstate system. The resulting road system consists of 46,876 miles of highways. The construction of the system cost approximately $129 billion. In 1992, the system was completed. However, some stretches of the road network did not meet federal standards. In the 1980s, funding for the system began to be provided to the states. This money enabled the construction of new highways and the expansion of the existing system.

A portion of the road is owned by the state, but most of the system is financed through gasoline tax revenue. Federal money pays for 90 percent of the cost of building the interstate highways, while states contribute the remaining ten percent. Technical standards on construction of the highways are stringent. Lanes must be 12 feet wide, shoulders should be 10 feet wide, and bridges must have a clearance of 14 feet. The speed limit on the interstate is 70 miles per hour. The interstate highway system also operates with a limited-access concept, with only 16,000 interchanges.

Davis-Bacon Act

The Davis-Bacon Act regulates construction contracts in the United States. It is a complex statute, with complicated statutory language. Yet the Act’s intended purpose is to promote fair competition and lower construction costs, not to favor local contractors. It aims to spread construction contracts across the country equally.

The Davis-Bacon Act has caused much controversy. The law, originally passed in 1935, has been subject to two significant modifications since then. The first, in 1982, altered the basis for determining the prevailing wage in the construction industry. As a result, the prevailing wage has become more closely linked to union wages. However, this change has little effect on minority-owned construction firms.

Davis-Bacon has also indirectly promoted the use of Project Labor Agreements in government construction contracts. These agreements, also known as Pre-Hire Agreements, are agreements between a contracting entity and a local labor organization. Under these agreements, contractors must employ union labor and agree to union rules. These agreements are related to the Davis-Bacon Act because they provide a shortcut to comply with prevailing wage requirements.


The standard I-beam is a structural steel beam used in all kinds of construction. Whether a building is residential or commercial, I-beams provide the structure with structural integrity. They also resist bending, yielding, and vibration. Here’s a look at the history of I-beams and how they’ve helped the construction industry.

I-beams are stronger than wooden beams and can support a much higher load. Also, they are much lighter, meaning they can be used in structures with less steel and materials. This results in less overall construction costs and more interior space. I-beams are also more versatile than wood beams.

The history of the I-beam began in the railway industry. At this time, train tracks were constructed of wooden prismatic elements with a metal band at the extrados for a rolling plane. Several years later, the development of Bethlehem Steel’s I-beams began.

Reinforced concrete

Reinforced concrete is a composite material that is made of cement, water, and aggregates. It is a strong material that can be used for a variety of different purposes. It is used in building bridges, tunnels, power stations, apartment blocks, and other types of buildings. Reinforced concrete is a great choice for these types of projects because it is low-cost and quick to build. Its versatility comes from the fact that it can be designed to take on many different shapes and textures. This material is used in virtually all types of construction projects throughout the world.

The first skyscraper to use reinforced concrete was Marina City in Chicago, which was completed in 1962. After that, reinforced concrete became standard in skyscraper construction. As steel prices fell and labor costs rose, it became a popular choice.

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