Ancient Rome was home to possibly the world’s first skyscraper. Known as the Insulae, the towering housing units optimized square footage in the densely packed ancient city. Today, engineers and construction companies rely on evolving building techniques and technology.
The construction industry is a fascinating and large field that includes many construction jobs that range from architects to engineers and cement experts. If you are interested in expanding your construction knowledge, read on to learn about these fun and informative construction facts.
1. The Great Pyramids of Giza Had the Longest Run as the Tallest Man-Made Structure
The ancient Egyptians enjoy an impressive four millennia run as the creators of the world’s largest tallest building. The Great Pyramids of Giza stand at 481 feet in height.
2. The Burj Khalifa Required the Work of 12,000 People
The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, required as many as 12,000 workers to complete construction. That’s a lot of construction careers for just one project!
The 164-story building used 100,000 tons of concrete and around 55,000 tons of steel.
3. The Term “Skyscraper” Has Evolved Considerably Over Two Centuries
A 164-story building would have been unfathomable to folks in the late 19th century who used the word “skyscraper” to refer to anything of exceptional height. The Oxford English Dictionary once described tall men and even types of hats as “skyscrapers” in the late 19th century.
4. Concrete Has Long Reigned as a Building Material of Choice
The Romans had their own forms of cement that used volcanic ash, lime, and seawater. Modern cement is incredibly strong and forms the basis of most large construction projects. Concrete construction techniques have evolved considerably, and a leading technique is called tilt up construction.
5. Construction Boomed After the Invention of the Steam Engine
Historically, construction projects were limited by the ability to move resources to and from the construction site. In some cases, this limited the size and scope of construction projects. The invention of the steam engine allowed trains to move tons of heavy materials within the loading distance of construction projects.
6. World War II Brought Many Women Into Construction
Although the trend reversed following the war, many women began working in construction as men headed overseas to fight. Today, women only make up about 10% of the construction workforce, although that percentage is expected to rise.
7. Labor Shortages Are Expected
One-third of construction workers are over 45, meaning there’s a looming workforce shortage. Many younger workers find suit-and-tie jobs more appealing even as construction jobs remain both plentiful and profitable.
8. Americans Will Need 4.9 Million Apartments by 2030
Younger workers are finding it difficult to break into the housing market. Apartments will continue to be a popular alternative for folks who cannot afford the large down payments required for homeownership.
9. Rise of the Drones
Drones have become a popular tool for many types of construction. Drones allow project managers to understand what is happening at a construction site in real-time.
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The construction industry is incredibly diverse and full of fun facts about construction. For fun and informative articles related to construction, check out our recent posts about real estate and business-related topics.