'Building technology' refers to the technical processes and methods for constructing buildings. This has become an increasingly important aspect of the construction industry, as buildings have moved from being evolutions of standard types to becoming one-off prototypes, building performance requirements have become more demanding, and the number of products and specialist suppliers has increased.
In essence, construction is the process of moving and assembling materials and equipment into completed forms for use. Because of the fact that, unlike manufacturing, construction operations are never completely standardised (neither in a fixed sequence nor at a fixed location), the basic process of construction has remained unchanged since the Middle Ages.
Construction technology though, has certainly changed. The earliest dwellings were built of little more than mud, straw, and stone, and were intended purely for the purposes of providing shelter. Early experiments with concrete were introduced by the ancient Romans, who mixed lime and volcanic rock to build many of their most famous structures.
Buildings are now constructed from a bewildering array of interrelated systems and assemblies that must work together to deliver the required standard of performance. This requires the collaborative work of client, consultants, suppliers and contractors to properly prepare planning applications, building regulations submissions, submissions for programmes such as BREEAM, construction documentation, operation and maintenance manuals and so on.
Building technology encompasses; materials and their applications, physical properties, capacities and vulnerabilities; the functioning of components and systems; the principles, procedures and details of building assembly; operating strategies and so on.
In its widest sense, it can be considered to cover any skilled area related to the construction of buildings, such as:
- Site investigations and surveying.
- Construction materials, components, systems and techniques.
- Building services.
- Operation and maintenance.
- Energy supply and efficiency.
- Structural systems.
- Smart technology.
- Waste water and water management.
- Building engineering physics.
- Building science.
- Prefabrication and offsite manufacturing.
- Modelling and assessment.
- Collaborative practices.
- Research, development and innovation.
- Construction plant.
To see our list of articles relating to different types of building and construction technology, see:
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