Building construction is an ancient human activity. I t began with the purely functional need to moderate the effects of climate. The construction technology has placed new demands on the building industry whether in the aspect of equipment, technology or construction materials. The history of building is marked by a number of trends. One is the increasing ability of the material used. Early building materials were perishable such as leaves, branches and animals hides. Later more durable material was formed such as clay, stone and timber. Finally synthetic materials were used such as brick, concrete, metals and plastics. With the invention of technologies, new materials in construction have started to arrive on the marketplace.
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The first primitive buildings at the Stone Age were huts and shelters, constructed by hand or with simple tools. At first it will only lasted for a few days or month. Over time, however, even the temporary structures evolved into such highly refined form.During agricultural revolution, gradually more durable structures began to appear.People began to stay in one place for long periods. A tent was used as shelter. It illustrates the basic elements of environmental control that are the concern of building construction. It creates a membrane to shed rain and snow, reduces wind speed,controls heat transfer by keeping out the hot rays of the sun and confining heated air in cold weather. It also blocks out light and provides visual privacy. The membrane of hides must be supported against the forces of gravity and wind where a structure is necessary. The tent has continued in use to the present.
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Heavier timber buildings appeared in Neolithic cultures but limited use of sizable timbers to frames. The lateral stability of the frame was achieved by burying the columns deep in the ground,the ridgepole and rafters were then tied to the columns with vegetable fibers. The usual roofing material was thatch make from dried grasses or reeds tied together in small bundles, which in turn were tied in an overlapping pattern to the light wooden poles that spanned between the rafters. Horizontal thatched roofs leak rain badly, but, if they are placed at the proper angle, the rainwater runs off before it has time to soak through.
During Age, early urban cultures were built with a new building technology, based on the clay available on the riverbanks. Prefabricated units, mud bricks were constructed to replacing the packed clay walls of earlier times. Bricks were made from mud and straw formed in a four-sided wooden frame, which was removed after evaporation had sufficiently hardened the contents. The bricks were then thoroughly dried in the sun. The straw acted as reinforcing to hold the brick together when the inevitable shrinkage cracks appeared during the drying process. The bricks were laid in walls with wet mud mortar or sometimes bitumen to join them together; openings were apparently supported by wooden lintels. In the warm, dry climates of the river valleys, weathering action was not a major problem, and the mud bricks were left exposed or covered with a layer of mud plaster. The roofs of these early urban buildings have disappeared, but it seems likely that they were supported by timber beams and were mostly flat, since there is little rainfall in these areas. In Mesopotamia age, the first fired bricks appeared. Ceramic pottery had been developing in these cultures for some time, and the techniques of kiln-firing were applied to bricks, which were made of the same clay. The arch and the vault may have been used in the roofs and floors of other buildings .The well-developed masonry technology of Mesopotamia was used to build large structures of great masses of brick.
Then,new developments in building technics formed. Timbers were cut and shaped extensively. Log cabin construction appeared and timber framing became more sophisticated. Although the excavated remains are fragmentary, undoubtedly major advances were made in timber technology in this period. Timber technology underwent rapid development .There was a great demand for small buildings of all types as the and the light timber frame provided a quick, flexible, and inexpensive solution to this problem. The timber construction requiring only a few hand tools and little skill to build, has remained a popular and inexpensive form of construction to the present day.
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As the technology becomes advance, today’s cities reveal skies lies by buildings so tall and simple. Concrete and steel has been used especially for the construction of residential building, commercial building, industrial building (factory), roof truss, bridge and more. From Wikipedia, a steel building is a metal structure fabricated with steel for the internal support and, commonly but not exclusively, for exterior cladding. Such buildings are used for a variety of purposes including storage, office space and living space. They have evolved into specific types depending on how they are used while concrete building
We simplify the scope to steel material. Steel are made from ores are still found abundance around the world. From previous known material, although some of wood is still remains after hundred years, the most challenging part for this material is to maintains it from bugs and termites attacks and others things too. But steel, even after decades of using it, it can be sent back to furnace as scrap, melted and remade into new qualities of steel. It is also the most recycled material in the world.
Steel is an advantageous building material that enables a simple and easy construction process. Moreover, they also easy to install, sustainability, and unlimited design flexibility. It reduces energy cost whereas the number of labour and skill workers can be reduced. Not less than that, the time taken to finish the construction also can be minimise.
Although steel buildings may be cost efficient for specific applications, they are considered so useful because steel is easy to bend and design with specific shape and existing architecture. The aesthetics value still can be considered in this present life. For example, the bird nest of National Stadium build in China is the largest steel structured ever build.
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Currently, there is limited use of timber in construction sector especially for permanent structural use due to poor and inconsistent quality, high and fluctuating cost, associated with low social status and fire performance. Therefore, it is not surprising that more and more are switching over to other materials.
In Malaysia, there is a lack of systematic methods to make this work. Research by research had done by year to year to improve the quality of timber. One of the solutions about this problem is Glulam.
Glulam stands for “Glued Laminated Timber.” It is made from gluing many small pieces of timber planks together to form deep members. By laminating several smaller pieces of timber, a single large, strong, structural member is manufactured from smaller pieces. These structural members are used as vertical columns or horizontal beams , as well as curved, arched shapes. Connections are usually made with bolts or plain steel dowels and steel plates.
Glulam has much lower embodied energy than reinforced concrete and steel, although of course it does entail more embodied energy than solid timber. However the laminating process allows timber, a generally environmentally benign material, to be used for much longer spans, heavier loads and complex shapes.
The choice of Glulam allow the design of the building and its structural member to suit the function and use those structural members without individual protection or cladding, site time and cost and add new aesthetic dimension. Furthermore, Glulam is one of the strongest structural materials per unit weight compared with structural produce lighter superstructure with consequent economy in foundation construction.
In addition, Glulam has high and predictable resistance to fire. Unlike steel and reinforcement concrete it will not twist or spall in fire and in some countries glulam beams attract lower fire insurance premiums than steelwork. Glulam also will not corrode. It has high resistance to chemical attack and aggressive and polluted environment.
In other word, Glulam provides an effective and efficient means of structural timber utilization. There is a great potential in the specification of Glulam trusses for specialized jobs in the country. It is up to the construction industry to take the initiative to use this product widely in order to increase acceptance of the product in future.
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Early material construction.
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