How concrete has changed the world of construction
Concrete has been used in construction for thousands of years and today we use it more than ever before. It can be found everywhere from sidewalks, staircases, and roads, to buildings and bridges. The use of concrete has fundamentally changed the way buildings and structures are built. The materials can be molded into any shape, set to a specific hardness, and used as a platform for many other construction projects such as roads or bridges. From New York City's Empire State Building to China's Great Wall, this material has been integral in shaping our world today. Here’s exactly how concrete construction has helped to change and form the construction industry and even the world!
Concrete is the most used man-made material in the world and it's been around for thousands of years, long before we started using steel as a building block. Concrete has changed over time to become more durable, stronger than ever, which is why concrete construction is so widely used! Roads, buildings, asphalt parking lots, bridges, even dams are made from concrete but where did the material come from, and how has it grown in popularity so much?
Concrete and similar forms have been used for thousands of years by the Romans, Egyptians, and traders in the Middle East, but it wasn’t until the 1900s that concrete became a mainstream construction method. The invention of concrete, specifically the invention of reinforced concrete, has completely changed the construction industry from what it once was. Reinforced concrete is concrete that also uses steel rods for extra strength. The steel and concrete combination helps to cover a wider area without the need for arching or extra support. This invention made it easier to build taller, safer, buildings like the skyscrapers you see in New York, as well as bigger and stronger bridges.
And it’s not just buildings that benefitted from concrete construction. Before the invention of concrete, roads and sidewalks were made mostly from uneven cobblestones and rocks - not so great for the thin wheels of bicycles and horse-drawn carts. Once the world started to adopt concrete and asphalt as a paving material, the roads became much smoother, allowing a pleasant ride along the roads. The flooring also benefitted from the concretes unusual strength. Unlike single-lined cobblestones and uneven rocks, laid concrete and asphalt has a strong resistance ability to hold heavy loads, making it perfect for driving cars and other motor vehicles on!
In today’s world, there are more than 1 billion tons of concrete being produced each year for the concrete construction industry. Why is there so much, you ask? Well, concrete is one of the most popular building materials in the world because it offers a lot for any builder. It's cheap, durable, and easy to work with on-site; plus there are so many styles that builders can choose from depending on their needs or desired aesthetic. Whether you’re looking to lay a solid foundation for your building, or you want a cheap but sturdy material to complete your next construction job, it’s most likely concrete that you’ll want to use!