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Activity 1.1.

1 History of Civil Engineering and


Architecture
Introduction
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.

Equipment

History of Civil Engineering and Architecture presentation

Procedure
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.
1. Define civil engineering. An engineer trained in the design and construction of
public works, such as bridges, dams, and other large facilities.

2. Define architecture. Art and science of designing buildings for human


habitation.

3. Describe the origination of the concept of architecture?


Architects are licensed professionals who design commercial and residential
structures that are used by humans.
4. In ancient times how were building materials chosen?
Engineering was a huge part of the architects or builders role, especially with
large construction projects such as the pyramids, the Parthenon, the Appian
Way (an ancient Roman road), bridges, the aqueducts, and the Great Wall of
China.
5. Give two examples of vernacular architecture.
An igloo, African Hut at Bana are two examples of vernacular architecture.

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6. Name and describe the type of system used to create many early buildings.
Bearing walls are solid walls that provide support for each other and for the
roof. The building next to the pyramid in the right image illustrates a
bearing wall system.
7. What was the purpose of the Egyptian pyramids? Mexican pyramids?
The earliest large structures were the pyramids. Pyramids in Egypt were
built as monuments to house the tombs of the pharaohs. This stepped
pyramid in Yucatan, Mexico was built for astronomical purposes.
8. What kind of construction method was used to build the Parthenon? Make a
simple sketch to illustrate. The Parthenon was built to house a statue of
Athena, Greek goddess of war. Like other temples of its day, it was designed
to be seen from the outside only. The Parthenon is an example of post-andlintel construction: horizontal beams placed across vertical posts.

9. What problem in architecture led to this form of construction? This form of


construction came about due to an early problem in architecture how can
door and window openings be provided in bearing walls without sacrificing
support? Post-and-lintel construction is an example of an early frame
system. The columns of the Parthenon are closely spaced because it is
made of stone, which has little tensile capacity (unable to support wide
openings).

10. Explain how an arch is created.


The Romans developed the arch to overcome the limitations of the post and
lintel. An arch is a curved structure for spanning an opening, designed to support
a vertical load primarily by axial compression. Because they are made from
smaller and lighter blocks of stone, they are easier to erect. Blocks are placed in
a curved formation in such a way that they give each other support.
11. How is the vault used in civil engineering?
Vaults allow for the construction of bridges, walkways, and other passages.
12. Give an example of an arch and dome system. The most prominent example of
an Arch and Dome system would be the Roman Pantheon.
13. Give an example of a modern material we have that was not available to the
ancients. How did the absence of this material restrict construction in ancient
times? The best example of a material available to us that wasn't available
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then would be titanium. I suppose the buildings in ancient times would have
been a lot heavier

14. What was the purpose of the Roman aqueducts?


The Roman aqueducts were primarily used to transport water across long
distances for the purpose of running water. The water was transported by gravity,
not water pressure.

15. Compare ancient Greek roads to ancient Roman roads.


Greek roads ran parallel to rivers, while Roman roads ran across rivers. The
purpose of this is that the Greek roads were for transporting goods while Roman
roads were for transporting troops and military equipment.
16. Describe an ancient Roman bridge.
Generally, Roman bridges were formed by arches for support with a flat area on
top to move on.

17. How did building materials and methods change after the Romans?
After the collapse of Roman civilization, a period called the Dark Ages
began, where Roman advances were lost to time until relatively recently.
During the Dark Ages, the most prominent building style was Lath and
Plaster.

Conclusion
1. 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? An example of a modern pyramid is the Walter Pyramid in
Long Beach, California. It is used as a sports stadium, whereas in the past,
Egyptian pyramids were used as tombs or religious shrines.

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2. Give an example of a modern structure that uses an arch and dome system. The
Golden Dome

3. What is the main purpose of modern roads? How is the cost of modern roadways
defrayed? Modern roads, primarily payed for by taxpayer money, are used
for transportation.

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