Structures are an amazing feet man create on a daily basis. Sometimes it can be hard for the average person to understand how much time and effort goes into creating such an amazing form of art. Architecture is a very demanding field and not for the faint at heart. Sometimes the best ideas are those that come at 3 am in the morning after hours, days and weeks of design alterations and changes. This is why understanding the structure is so important.
Many structures throughout history have been designed by one person and build by another, if not a few others or a crew of people. If you look at the featured image above of this cathedral in Turkey you can bet that the person who designed this cathedral was not the same person that built this structure. Even if they assisted in the building of this structure they were not alone. It takes a team of people to make something drawn on paper into reality.
There are a number of different structural materials like stone, concrete, steel, wood, etc. There are even more materials that are being created today that can be used in buildings, like the structural insulated panels. More on these type of materials in the future. Understanding the material is important for the designer because with this knowledge they can design a structure that deals with all the elements (wind, rain, snow, seismic), and also blend with its surroundings.
Every structure known to man first began as a thought, and through many different design iterations a drawing was done to convey this thought. During the process of design the designer had an understanding of the materials to be used in the construction of the building in order to know how to best arrange spaces and building elements in the design. Next the design was passed off to the person who would be in charge of building the design and turning that two dimensional drawing into reality. Today these people are referred to as general contractors, and their task is to assemble a team of sub contractors that can build the design into a functional working structure.
Now not all structures are created in this way and there are a number of different ways to build a building without the normal design process (which we will get into in a later post), but the just of the explanation is to help the average person understand that building a structure takes more than one person to do. In fact it takes a team of people focused on one singular goal of developing the best structure available within budget and time. Now we are getting a little out there with everyone having the same goal in mind and being on time and budget, but that is the ideal situation.
The one thing to take from this post is to understand the process is very involved and one most not take short cuts if they want to build a structure that has lasting value.