The Construction Industry’s Premier Executive Search Firm

 

For Up to the Minute Industry News Read

Our Weekly Construction Executive News Report (Click Image)

Contact Us

CONTACT US

15 Facts that prove the Great Pyramid of Giza was built by an extremely advanced ancient civilization

Researchers have yet to answer numerous enigmas about the Great Pyramid, enigmas that prevent us from solving the puzzle surrounding this mysterious antique construction that has baffled researchers, historians, and tourists alike. Interestingly, the great pyramid is the only remaining structure of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.Pyramid Egypt

It remains a profound mystery the fact that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built with such precision, how people managed to quarry and transport huge blocks of stone and incorporate them creating the pyramid is a mystery that no one has been able to properly explain. The fact that The Great Pyramid is the most accurately aligned structure in existence and faces true north with only 3/60th of a degree of error is something mind-boggling.

Not only is the Great Pyramid one of the most accurately aligned structures on Earth, there are numerous other details about it that are even more incredible.

In this article, we go through twenty points about the Great Pyramid which are the ultimate evidence that this incredible ancient structure was built by an ancient civilization that was far more advanced than what mainstream scholars are willing to admit.


 

The Great Pyramid of Giza, a monument like no other


 The numeric value of 144,000: A key role in the Building process of the Pyramid

It’s fascinating to read about the numerous details and studies on the Great Pyramid of Giza, but there are many ‘unknown’ details about the Pyramid that are not mentioned in history books and schools, these points are indicative of a far more advanced civilization which participated in the planning and construction of the great Pyramid, evidence of that are the numerous complex mathematical formulas incorporated and used in the construction. Interestingly, the outer mantle was composed of 144,000 casing stones, all of them highly polished and flat to an accuracy of 1/100th of an inch, about 100 inches thick and weighing approx. 15 tons each. It is believed that the numeric value of 144,000 plays a key role in the harmonic connection that eventually determined the exact size of the structure. (source) (source)

The Great Pyramid shined like a star. It was covered with casing stones of highly polished limestone

The Great Pyramid of Giza was originally covered with casing stones (made of highly polished limestone). These casing stones reflected the sun’s light and made the pyramid shine like a jewel. They are no longer present being used by Arabs to build mosques after an earthquake in the 14th century loosened many of them. It has been calculated that the original pyramid with its casing stones would act like gigantic mirrors and reflect light so powerful that it would be visible from the moon as a shining star on earth. Appropriately, the ancient Egyptians called the Great Pyramid “Ikhet”, meaning the “Glorious Light”.  How these blocks were transported and assembled into the pyramid is still a mystery. (source)

The Great Pyramid is the only Pyramid in Egypt with both descending and ascending inner passages

The fact that the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one in Egypt with descending and ascending inner passages is a fact that cannot be overlooked when comparing it to other similar structures in Egypt. While the reason behind it still remains a mystery, it is evident that the Great Pyramid was the most unique structure built in ancient Egypt.

Aligned true North

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the most accurately aligned structure in existence and faces true north with only 3/60th of a degree of error. The position of the North Pole moves over time and the pyramid was exactly aligned at one time. Furthermore, the Great Pyramid is located at the center of the land mass of the earth. The east/west parallel that crosses the most land and the north/south meridian that crosses the most land intersect in two places on the earth, one in the ocean and the other at the Great Pyramid.

The only 8-sided Pyramid in Egypt

This is a fact unknown to many people. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only Pyramid discovered to date which in fact has eight sides. The four faces of the pyramid are slightly concave, the only pyramid to have been built this way.

The centers of the four sides are indented with an extraordinary degree of precision forming the only 8 sided pyramid, this effect is not visible from the ground or from a distance but only from the air, and then only under the proper lighting conditions. This phenomenon is only detectable from the air at dawn and sunset on the spring and autumn equinoxes, when the sun casts shadows on the pyramid. (Check out the above image)

The Value of Pi represented in the Great Pyramid

The relationship between Pi (p) and Phi (F) is expressed in the fundamental proportions of the Great Pyramid. Even though textbooks and mainstream scholars suggest that the ancient Greeks were those who discovered the relationship of Pi, it seems that the builder of the Great Pyramid predated the ancient Greeks by quite some time. Pi is the relationship between the radius of a circle and its circumference. The mathematical formula is:

Circumference = 2 * pi * radius (C = 2 * pi * r)

According to reports, the vertical height of the pyramid holds the same relationship to the perimeter of its base (distance around the pyramid) as the radius of a circle bears to its circumference. If we equate the height of the pyramid to the radius of a circle than the distance around the pyramid is equal to the circumference of that circle.

The celestial connection

While many believe there is a direct correlation between the constellation of Orion and the Pyramids at the Giza plateau, many people are unaware of the fact that the Descending Passage of the Great Pyramid pointed to the pole star Alpha Draconis, circa 2170-2144 BCE. This was the North Star at that point in time. No other star has aligned with the passage since then.

Orion and The Great Pyramid

The southern shaft in the King’s Chamber pointed to the star Al Nitak (Zeta Orionis) in the constellation Orion, circa 2450 BCE. The Orion constellation was associated with the Egyptian god Osiris. No other star aligned with this shaft during that time in history.

The Sun, math and the Great Pyramid

Twice the perimeter of the bottom of the granite coffer times 10^8 is the sun’s mean radius. [270.45378502 Pyramid Inches* 10^8 = 427,316 miles].  The height of the pyramid times 10**9 = Avg. distance to the sun. {5813.2355653 * 10**9 * (1 mi / 63291.58 PI) = 91,848,500 mi} Mean Distance to the Sun: Half of the length of the diagonal of the base times 10**6 = average distance to the sun Mean Distance to Sun: The height of the pyramid times 10**9 represents the mean radius of the earth’s orbit around the sun or Astronomical Unit. { 5813.235565376 pyramid inches x 10**9 = 91,848,816.9 miles} Mean Distance to Moon: ] The length of the Jubilee passage times 7 times 10**7 is the mean distance to the moon. {215.973053 PI * 7 * 10**7 =1.5118e10 PI = 238,865 miles } (source)

The Great Pyramid and planet Earth

The weight of the pyramid is estimated at 5,955,000 tons. Multiplied by 10^8 gives a reasonable estimate of the earth’s mass. With the mantle in place, the Great Pyramid could be seen from the mountains in Israel and probably the moon as well (citation needed). The sacred cubit times 10**7 = polar radius of the earth (distance from North Pole to Earth’s center) {25 PI * 10**7 * (1.001081 in / 1 PI) * (1 ft / 12 in) * (1 mi/ 5280 ft) = 3950 miles }

The curvature designed into the faces of the pyramid exactly matches the radius of the earth. (source) (source)

Not for mummies

The Great Pyramid of Giza was erected, according to mainstream scholars, to serve as the eternal resting place for a Pharaoh. Contrary to the mainstream theories, no mummy has ever been discovered in the Great Pyramid of Giza. This important fact provides much needed space to theorize about the possible use of the Great Pyramid of Giza which, as we can see, was not meant to serve as a tomb.

When it was first entered by the Arabs in 820 AD, the only thing found in the pyramid was an empty granite box in the King’s chamber called the “coffer”. (source)

Built in harmony with the galaxy

According to reports, on midnight of the autumnal equinox in the year when the builder of the Great Pyramid finished its construction process, a line extending from the apex pointed to the star Alcyone.

Alcyone is the brightest star in the Pleiades open cluster, which is a young cluster, aged at less than 50 million years. It is located approximately 400 light years from Earth. (source)

It is believed that our solar system revolves around this star accompanied with other solar systems much like the planets in our solar system revolve around the sun. How the ancient builders of the Pyramid have such advanced astronomical knowledge still remains a mystery.

The Ark of the Covenant and the Great Pyramid of Giza

A detail that was unknown to me until not long ago is that the volume or cubic capacity of the Coffer in the King’s chamber is exactly the same volume to the Ark of the Covenant as described in the Bible. Interestingly, The granite coffer in the “King’s Chamber” is too big to fit through the passages and so it must have been put in place during construction.

The mysterious coffin in the Great Pyramid

If the great coffin wasn’t meant to house the remains of a Pharaoh, then what was its real purpose? The coffer was made out of a block of solid granite. This would have required bronze saws 8-9 ft. long set with teeth of sapphires. Hollowing out of the interior would require tubular drills of the same material applied with a tremendous vertical force. Microscopic analysis of the coffer reveals that it was made with a fixed point drill that used hard jewel bits and a drilling force of 2 tons.


 

THE LATEST AND THE GREATEST BUILDING MATERIAL

 

A Wooden Skyline

On a cloudy day in early October, the architect Andrew Waugh circles the base of a nondescript apartment tower in Shoreditch, a neighborhood in East London. Shoreditch suffered heavily during the blitz of World War II—“urban renewal, compliments of the Luftwaffe,” Waugh says—and then spent decades in neglected decay. Recently, though, the neighborhood has come roaring back. Nightclubs and tech start-ups arrived first on the promise of cheap rent, and residents followed. Along with them came architects, urban planners, and engineers, many of whom make a pilgrimage to the same tower that Waugh now circumambulates.

From the outside, there is nothing particularly flashy about the nine-story building, called Stadthaus, that Waugh designed with his partner, Anthony Thistleton. Its gray and white facade blends almost seamlessly into the overcast London skies. It’s what’s inside that makes Stadthaus stand out. Instead of steel and concrete, the floors, ceilings, elevator shafts, and stairwells are made entirely of wood.

But not just any wood. The tower’s strength and mass rely on a highly engineered material called cross-laminated timber (CLT). The enormous panels are up to half a foot thick. They’re made by placing layers of parallel beams atop one another perpendicularly, then gluing them together to create material with steel-like strength. “This construction has more in common with precast concrete than traditional timber frame design,” Thistleton says. Many engineers like to call it “plywood on steroids.”

When it opened in 2009, Stadthaus was by far the world’s tallest modern timber building. Since then, CLT towers have sprouted up everywhere. Waugh Thistleton built a seven-story apartment tower near Stadthaus in 2011, and construction is under way on a 90-foot-tall wood building in Prince George, British Columbia. In 2012, Stadthaus lost the height record to a 10-story apartment building in Melbourne called Forté.

Wood is both renewable and a carbon sink.

There are plans to go even higher. Swedish authorities have approved a 34-story wood tower in Stockholm, while Michael Green, a Vancouver architect, is seeking approval for a 30-story tower in his city. And the Chicago architecture mega-firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill recently published a feasibility study for a 42-story tower made predominantly of Cross-Laminated Timber. It’s become a competition among architects to see who can build the next tallest wood high-rise, says Frank Lam, a professor of wood building design and construction at the University of British Columbia.

Why the sudden interest in wood? Compared with steel or concrete, CLT, also known as mass timber, is cheaper, easier to assemble, and more fire resistant, thanks to the way wood chars. It’s also more sustainable. Wood is renewable like any crop, and it’s a carbon sink, sequestering the carbon dioxide it absorbed during growth even after it’s been turned into lumber. Waugh Thistleton estimates that the wood in Stadthaus stores 186 tons of carbon while the steel and concrete for a similar, conventionally built tower would have generated 137 tons of carbon dioxide during production. Wood nets a savings of 323 tons.

Demographers predict that the planet’s urban citizenry will double in 36 years, increasing the demand for ever-taller structures in ever-denser cities. Whether architects and construction firms build those towers from unsustainable materials like steel and concrete or employ new materials like CLT could make a huge difference in the Earth’s health. Put differently, the world’s urban future may just lie in its oldest building material.

KLH UK

Cut & Assemble

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels are cut to spec in a factory and assembled at the construction site.

When most people think of wood architecture, they imagine a balloon—or, rather, a balloon frame, the lightweight but sturdy residential-building system of thin wood beams introduced during the mid–19th century (so light, people said, that it might just float away). The frames, also known as “Chicago construction,” for the city where they first became popular, are cheap and easy to build. But while they are strong enough for a few floors of residential construction, balloon frames buckle quickly under more weight.

That became a problem in the late 19th century, as cities began to grow up as well as out. Fortunately, at around the same time, engineers and architects discovered how to use steel and concrete to build high-rise structures that could climb far above the tallest balloon frames. Chicago’s 138-foot Home Insurance Building, which opened in 1885, was the first to employ a steel skeleton, and thousands followed in quick succession.

It didn’t help wood’s case that in the late-19th and early-20th centuries a series of horrible urban fires swept through square mile after square mile of wooden houses and apartment blocks in cities such as Baltimore, Chicago, and San Francisco. These disasters led to strict local construction codes that limited the height of residential wood buildings to as low as five floors.

The rest is architectural history. The great forests of skyscrapers that grew across the world’s cities in the 20th century were made almost entirely of steel and concrete. “There was a long period where people forgot how to use wood,” says Alex de Rijke, a partner in the London architecture firm of dRMM, which has worked extensively with mass-timber design.

But over the last two decades, architects and engineers have begun to rethink the possibilities of wood as a structural building material. First came the technology itself. In the mid-1990s, the Austrian government funded a joint industry-academic research program to develop new, stronger forms of “engineered” wood to soak up the country’s oversupply of timber. The result was CLT—a lightweight, extremely robust material that could be prefabricated and custom cut.

The simple beauty of CLT is its orthotropic quality. Normal wood is strong in the direction of the grain but weak in the cross direction. CLT’s perpendicular layers make it strong in two directions. And because it relies on layers of smaller beams, it can reduce waste by using odd-shaped, knotty timber that lumber mills would otherwise reject.

CLT came about just as architecture was going through its own technological revolution. In the past, an architect would draft schematics by hand and send them to an engineer, who would convert the documents into specifications for each wood beam or steel plate. The components would then be cut at a mill and assembled, piece by piece, on-site—an expensive, time-consuming and often imprecise process.

Today, that’s all done by computer. An architect designs a building using 3-D AutoCAD software, and the program generates the material specs and sends them to robotic wood or steel routers, which shape panels with millimeter precision. The result is a set of building blocks that a small crew of workers can screw together in a matter of weeks. It took just 27 days for four men, working three days a week, to erect the timber portion of Stadthaus, about 30 percent faster than a comparable steel-and-concrete structure. Instead of building the tower from scratch on-site, Waugh said, it was more like assembling a piece of furniture. “The instructions are like Ikea but a little more straightforward, and the names are more pleasant,” he says.

Courtesy SOM

Redesign

For all its benefits, CLT has been a tough sell until recently. After employing the material to build a small arts club in 2003, Waugh and Thistleton spent years trying—and failing—to convince more clients to use it. “Whatever client came in, timber came on the table,” says Waugh, “and after an hour, timber all too often came off.”

The resistance arose from assumptions about wood as a material: Clients believed that any wood structure would behave like a balloon frame, with its structural weaknesses and vulnerability to fire. “We found the journey at times frustrating,” Thistleton says. “One thing we found was the inability of anyone to distinguish between mass timber and a timber frame.”

Fire is, of course, the first concern that comes to mind with wood construction. And yet, mass timber is actually safer in a fire than steel. A thick plank of wood will char on the outside, sealing the wood inside from damage. Metal, on the other hand, begins to melt. “Steel, when it burns, it’s like spaghetti,” says B.J. Yeh, the technical services director for APA—the Engineered Wood Association.

Slowly, though, developers are coming around, particularly those that grasp the economic benefits of building with CLT. When the Australian arm of Lend Lease, a global project management and construction company, began to design Forté, a 10-story apartment building in the docklands neighborhood of Melbourne, its engineers were not considering mass timber. “We originally looked for a lightweight construction solution that could work on relatively poor soil conditions,” says Andrew Nieland, who oversees timber construction projects for the company. CLT, they found, made the most sense financially. “We did our due diligence and came across engineered timber,” Neiland says. Generally speaking, CLT construction is about 15 percent cheaper than conventional steel and concrete, according to research by Waugh Thistleton.

Tenants are getting on board too. Despite fears that some may be turned off by safety concerns surrounding life in a wood tower, Forté proved to be a huge commercial success, with all the units sold out. “It was on the news in China,” says Nieland. “A colleague’s mother called and said, ‘What is this building?’ ” Going forward, he says that Lend Lease Australia is committed to building 30 to 50 percent of its projects with CLT.

But the biggest driving force behind the turn toward wood is a growing awareness among architects and developers about their field’s contribution to climate change. “Our industry leads all others in terms of its impact on the planet and human health,” Waugh says. Concrete and steel require enormous amounts of energy to produce and transport, generating more than a ton of carbon dioxide per ton of steel or concrete.

Wood, on the other hand—even engineered wood like CLT, which requires additional energy to cut and press into sections—is far more environmentally friendly. According to Wood for Good, an organization that advocates for sustainable wood construction, a ton of bricks requires four times the amount of energy to produce as a ton of sawn softwood; concrete requires five times, steel 24 times, and aluminum 126 times. Wood also performs better: It is, for example, five times more insulative than concrete and 350 times more so than steel. That means less energy is needed to heat and cool a wood building.

When CLT is used to build high-rise towers, the carbon savings can be enormous. The 186 tons of carbon locked into Stadthaus are enough to offset 20 years of its daily operations, meaning that for the first two decades of its life, the building isn’t carbon neutral—it is actually carbon negative. Rather than producing greenhouse gases, Stadthaus is fighting them.

While firms like Waugh Thistleton have focused on the lower end of the high-rise scale, others are designing radically taller buildings, up to 40 or more stories. The most recent proposal comes from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the firm behind some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, including 1 World Trade Center and the Burj Khalifa. Called the Timber Tower Research Project, it reimagines Chicago’s 42-story Dewitt Chestnut apartment tower, which Skidmore designed in 1966, as a structure built primarily with CLT. Overall, the proposed building is about 80 percent wood with steel and concrete at the joints to provide added stiffness.

So far, the study is just that: a thought experiment. But for a blue-chip firm like Skidmore to embrace high-rise wood construction is a sign of how rapidly the technology is moving from the engineering vanguard to the mainstream.

It is unlikely that we’ll see wood towers rising as high as today’s supertall skyscrapers. But that leaves plenty of opportunity. Even in the world’s largest cities, only a handful of buildings are taller than 40 floors. “A huge chunk of the market is viable. New York is a high-rise city, but it’s not that tall,” says William F. Baker, who oversaw the Skidmore study with project engineer Benton Johnson. “We could handle most of Manhattan.”

Which brings us back to Stadthaus. If that unassuming building on a street corner in Shoreditch is actually a trap for hundreds of tons of carbon, imagine an entire city of Stadthauses. Structures that were once a major source of greenhouse gases could instead scrub them from the atmosphere. “Wood is the new concrete,” says de Rijke, of dRMM. “Concrete is a 20th-century material. Steel is a 19th-century material. Wood is a 21st-century material.”

The New Wood: Making CLT

The process for producing cross-laminated timber makes clear why architects call it “plywood on steroids.” Its layered structure gives it immense strength in two directions, producing a lightweight alternative to steel or concrete.

Courtesy SOM

The New Wood

1) Layer

Beams of wood, usually spruce, are set down side by side in layers, with each layer perpendicular to the one beneath it, creating a wood board up to a foot thick. A thin layer of glue is placed between each layer.

2) Press

The wood boards are placed in a massive press, which squeezes them together.

3) Sand

The edges of the boards are sanded down. If longer sections are needed, the edges are fingerboarded to create a serrated interlocking end. They are then glued to the matching end of another panel to create sections up to 78 feet long.

4) Cut

The boards are cut to custom specification, incorporating spaces for windows and utilities, using 3-D files sent by the architects or construction team.

Anatomy Of A Timber Tower

Courtesy Waugh Thistleton Architects

Anatomy Of A Timber Tower

1) Whereas steel or concrete structures are skeletal, using columns to carry loads, CLT towers distribute weight over the entire, solid vertical panel.

2) Steel or concrete L-brackets fix the horizontal and vertical CLT panels together.

3) The horizontal spans between vertical CLT elements can be significantly longer than with steel or concrete beams.

4) Interior walls are usually fireproofed by applying a layer of gypsum paneling on top of the mass timber panels.

5) A two-inch layer of concrete typically covers two two-inch layers of insulation (separated by a three-inch void) to reduce acoustic vibration between floors.

6) Panels come made to order with windows cut out and sometimes piping and electrical installed. Construction is as easy as screwing the panels together.

7) Elevators have double walls with insulation sandwiched between them for fire safety and soundproofing.

Tomorrows Architecture Today

 

Foster-designed Oceanwide Center breaks ground

in San Francisco

Work has commenced on the development set to include San Francisco‘s second-tallest building, designed by UK firm Foster + Partners.

The mixed-use Oceanwide Center in the city’s new Transbay neighborhood will comprise two towers, one of which will rise 61 storeys and 910 feet (277 metres) once completed in 2021.

The skyscraper will overtake the height of the iconic Transamerica Pyramid but fall short of the nearby 1,070-foot Salesforce Tower – set to top out early next year.

Designed by Foster + Partners and local firm Heller Manus Architects, the Oceanwide Center also includes a shorter skyscraper and a variety of public spaces that will together total 2.4 million square feet (223,000 square metres).

The tallest structure will face First Street, and house 109 condominiums and 1 million square feet (92,900 square metres) of office space.

Three of its sides will be covered in large triangles of glazing, which will culminate in a crystalline form at the top.

Meanwhile, the smaller 625-foot (191-metre) tower fronting Mission Street will include further residences and the Waldorf Astoria San Francisco hotel.

The stone facades will feature “vitrines” based on San Francisco’s traditional bay windows.

Plans also encompass the restoration and renovation of two historic buildings on First Street, which will provide additional office and retail space.

“I have always had a great fascination for San Francisco – a city with a youthful spirit that has allowed it to constantly reinvent itself, yet retain a unique sense of urbanity,” said Norman Foster.

“The Oceanwide Center encapsulates that essence – it is a pioneering example that combines spaces to live and work with a vibrant public realm in the heart of the city.”

The project gained planning permission in May 2016, and more renderings showing its impact on the city’s skyline were released in August.

“The project now marks a major milestone with its groundbreaking, as the evolution of a sustainable model of high density, mixed-use development that I have always promoted,” said Foster, whose best-known projects include the Reichstag renovation in Berlin and the Gherkin skyscraper in London.

His firm has recently completed a new Apple Store in San Francisco, which finally seems to be changing its attitude towards contemporary architecture.

Proposals by and Studio Gang are also set to dramatically alter its skyline over the next few years.

 

 

Important News From our Industry

 

Leading economists predict construction industry growth through 2017. The Chief Economists for ABC, AIA, and NAHB all see the construction industry continuing to expand over the next year and a half.

August 16, 2016 |

Photo: © Jeremy Atherton, 2006

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Chief Economist Anirban Basu, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chief Economist Kermit Baker and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chief Economist Robert Dietz predicted continued growth for the construction industry in 2017 during a joint economic forecast this week (download the PDF slidedeck; watch the archived presentation).

Each economist discussed leading, present, and future indicators for sector performance, including ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI), AIA’s latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) and Construction Consensus Forecast, and the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

The economists’ comments can be read below.

Anirban Basu, ABC Chief Economist: “Nonresidential construction spending growth will continue into the next year with an estimated increase in the range of 3 to 4 percent. Growth will continue to be led by privately financed projects, with commercial construction continuing to lead the way. Energy-related construction will become less of a drag in 2017, while public spending will continue to be lackluster.”

Robert Dietz, NAHB Chief Economist: “Our forecast shows single-family production expanding by more than 10 percent in 2016, and the robust multifamily sector leveling off. Historically low mortgage interest rates and favorable demographics should keep the housing market moving forward at a gradual pace, but residential construction growth will be constrained by shortages of labor and lots and rising regulatory costs.”

Kermit Baker, AIA Chief Economist: “Revenue at architecture firms continues to grow, so prospects for the construction industry remain solid over the next 12 to 18 months. Given current demographic trends, the single-family residential and the institutional building sectors have the greatest potential for further expansion at present.”

Prehistoric Construction Techniques.

Brick-Ties at Puma PunkaCuzco, Peru.Mortise and Tennon - Osireion, Abydoss.OllantaytamboMachu Pichu
 The earliest examples of stone masonry in both the ‘Old’ and ‘New’ worlds demonstrates a high skill level, something which is often suggested as being a result of the existing knowledge of carpentry at the transition in working from wood to stone. This idea is borne out somewhat in Egypt where for example, the masonry of the ceilings in the temples of 1st dynasty Saqqara were carved to imitate the ‘reed-bundle’ ceilings of pre-dynastic Egypt. There is however, no evidence of such a transition in the Americas.

Featured Masonry Techniques:

The transport and use of unnecessarily large blocks of stone, the specific selectivity of stone type along with various examples of ‘extreme’ masonry at numerous sacred and ancient monuments is starting to reveal a reverence for stone itself, an idea which has foundation in mythology, religion and can still be seen today at Jerusalem, Mecca, the ‘Lignum’ of India and at the crowning of any new king or Queen in UK (i.e. Scottish ‘Stone-of-scone’, English ‘kings-stone’) etc.

It is noticeable that there are several specific construction techniques in the masonry of (apparently unrelated) cultures from around the ancient world. The specific similarity in design, technique and engineering skills is, in  certain cases very suggestive of a common source of knowledge, or at the least – of contact between cultures. In response, it has been argued that such similarities are ‘co-evolutionary’, being the natural result of working with stone.

The following examples demonstrate the sophisticated skills of the prehistoric masons.

  Folded Corners:

 

   

Several structures show the blocks cut with an internal angle, so as to ‘fold’ the stone around corner’s. It is suggested that this was incorporated as an earthquake ‘preventative’.

 

Valley-Temple, Ghiza, Egypt.There are several stones with this design feature in the valley-temple. It is interesting to note that the stones  have been cut so as to continue only a short distance around the corner which hints at the idea that style might have been involved (rather than, or as well as, function).

   

Luxor, Egypt. (Left), Machu Pichu, Peru (Right).

 

 

   Multi Facetted Stones:

 

It is often suggested that this design feature was incorporated into constructions as an ‘earthquake’ preventative. The fact that the constructions exist in such good condition after so long, in itself supports this idea.

   

Multi-faceted stones – Valley-temple, Ghiza, Egypt.

While the Egyptian examples (above), followed a horizontal plane, the South American examples (below), are polygonal, apparently following neither vertical nor horizontal planes, a process which would have required a considerably higher level of technical skill.

 

 

The Inca masonry of south America is probably the finest the world has ever seen.

 

S. America, Cuzco. ‘Stone of the twelve Angels‘. (2)

 

Sacsayhuaman – One of the greatest walls of all time.

One of the 300 Ahu Platforms surrounding Easter Island. Made of Basalt and with blocks several tons each, The style of masonry shows a stark similarity to South American masonry examples above.

From left to right: Angkor Watt,  Karnak, and Denderra.

    

 

   Metal Block-Ties:


 

Another construction feature commonly suggested as an earthquake preventative is the means used to join huge blocks together. It is believed that copper (or silver) was used at Tiahuanaco (below), both of which are soft metals.

 

Some examples from the ‘Old-World’ (Namely Egypt, and Cambodia)..

From left to right: Angkor Watt,  Karnak, and Denderra.

    

And from the ‘New-World’.: Tiahuanaco, and  Ollantaytambo.

It has also been suggested that these ‘ties’ were employed to ‘ground’ structures properly (often made of conducting Quartzite).

hese small protuberances are found on the oldest (and arguably most sacred) Egypt and South American constructions. They are generally assumed to have functioned as ‘hitching points’ for manoeuvring the blocks into place, however there are several examples where they have been left as if to demonstrate some other meaning…


The ‘Boss’ mark on the stone above the passage entry into the ‘King’s chamber’ in the great pyramid is often suggested as being the remains of one of these protuberances.

   

They are found on the exterior granite facing-stones of Menkaure’s Pyramid at Giza.

It is possible to see how the process of smoothing off of the granite casing stones was started on the Eastern face of Menkaures pyramid. The smoothing process was achieved with the use of Dolerite mauls which were able to pound the softer granite. This process can still be seen today at the Aswan granite quarries, where the granite for Giza originally came from.

abydos masonry

 

   Quarry-Marks (for splitting stone):

 

  

From Carnac, France, (left), and Castleruddery, Ireland (right).

 

Examples from S. America: Left: Machu Pichu (1) and Right: Cuzco.

 

From Egypt: Menkaure’s pyramid, Giza (left), and at Aswan (right).

The megalithic builders employed the same method of splitting quartz, at different locations all around the world. This is not unusual, as it is probably the best method, and is still widely used today. By far the easiest way of splitting Quartz stone is to chip a series of holes into the stone, which are then packed with ‘wedges and shims’ (made of wood). Following the addition of water, the wedges expanded and the stone splits along the line.

 

 

Examples from S. America: Left: Machu Pichu (1) and Right: Cuzco.

 

 

From Egypt: Menkaure’s pyramid, Giza (left), and at Aswan (right).

 

From Carnac, France, (left), and Castleruddery, Ireland (right).

 

More examples from Portugal (left), and From Malta (right).

(Click here for more on this subject)

 

 

   ‘Manuvering Protuberances’ :

 

These small protuberances are found on the oldest (and arguably most sacred) Egypt and South American constructions. They are generally assumed to have functioned as ‘hitching points’ for manuvering the blocks into place, however there are several examples where they have been left as if to demonstrate some other meaning…

The ‘Boss’ mark on the stone above the passage entry into the ‘King’s chamber’ in the great pyramid is often suggested as being the remains of one of these protuberances.

  

They are found on the exterior granite facing-stones of Menkaure’s Pyramid at Giza.

It is possible to see how the process of smoothing off of the granite casing stones was started on the Eastern face of Menkaures pyramid. The smoothing process was achieved with the use of Dolerite mauls which were able to pound the softer granite. This process can still be seen today at the Aswan granite quarries, where the granite for Giza originally came from.

abydos masonry

The same marks are also found in the Osireion, at Abydoss. One of the several reasons to support the theory that it was contemporary with the Valley temple at Ghiza.

  

Similar ‘protuberances’ can be seen at several Inca sites in South America.

 

At Ollantaytambo, Peru, the ‘protuberances’ take on a whole different meaning altogether, as they could almost be classed as stylised over functional.

Although both locations have the same ‘protuberances’, the Inca block-work was multi-faceted, while at Ghiza, they were laid in even courses.

 

 

   Mortise and Tenon Joints:

 

It is perhaps surprising to find that some of the earliest known examples of masonry exhibit a sophisticated understanding of joinery. This particular construction feature is reasonably explained as having followed the transition from building structures first from wood then stone.

   

   

Some examples of the Various ‘Mortise and Tenon’ joins used in the construction of The Osirion, at Abydoss, in Egypt. This is considered one of the oldest buildings in Egypt, and is quoted as having only one other structure of contemporary design, that being the Valley-Temple at Giza. Both structures used the technique of continuous-lintelled trilithon’s, seen also at Stonehenge III.

(Click here for a comparison of the two structures)

Mortise-and-tenon joints had, of course, been used previously in Bronze Age ships in Egypt, as in the construction of the Khufu’s boat at Giza (ca. 2600 B. C.) and Senwosret III’s boats (ca. 1850 B.C.) at Dashur (Lipke 1984, 64; Steffy 1994, 25-27, 32-36, Patch and Haldane 1990).  These early Egyptian examples of mortise-and-tenons, however, were freestanding and not pegged to lock adjacent strakes to one another.  Rather, their primary function was to align the planks during construction, which were then fastened to each other with ligatures.  This tradition of shipbuilding appears to have persisted at least as late as the 5th century B.C. when Herodotus observed nearly identical construction methods still in use in Egypt.  In his oft-cited quotation, Herodotus noted that short planks were joined to each other with long, close-set tenons, which were then bound in the seams from within with papyrus fibers (Haldane & Shelmerdine 1990).  There is no mention of locking the close-set tenons with pegs.  The Egyptians were, however, fully aware of pegged mortise-and-tenon joints at last since the Old Kingdom (Dynasty III: ca. 2700-2600 B. C.) and used them in woodwork requiring this type of fastening (Lucas & Harris 1962, 451), but, as far as we can determine, they did not resort to their use in shipbuilding, unless they restricted their use to seagoing ships only, for which we have surviving examples. (9)

 

The Stonehenge Sarsen Stones: In its complete form the outermost stone setting would have consisted of a circle of 30 upright sarsen stones, of which 17 still stand, each weighing about 25 tons. The tops of these uprights were linked by a continuous ring of horizontal sarsen lintels, only a small part of which is now still in position. The stones in the sarsen circle were carefully shaped and the horizontal lintels joined not only by means of simple mortise-and-tenon joints, but they were also locked using what is effectively a dovetail joint. The edges were smoothed into a gentle curve which follows the line of the entire circle

The sarsen-ring at Stonehenge (whose official inner diameter is 97ft or 1162.8 primitive inches), has a circumference of 3652.4 primitive inches. Note: This is also exactly one ‘quarter-aroura’, as measured in ancient Egypt (1). Sir Norman Lockyer also detected similarities between the masonry of the Blood/Chalice-well at Glastonbury and that which he had seen in Egypt.   The pictures above illustrate the sophisticated construction techniques applied to the Stonehenge sarsen-stones, which are dated at approximately 2,500 BC, however if we follow Lockyer’s lead, and look closer at Egyptian masonry, we find similar features were applied to construction of the the Osirion (above), a temple dated to a far earlier time, and a site suggested by Lockyer to have alignments suggesting an association to the summer-solstice sunrise (2).

(More about Stonehenge)

And finally, from the Indus Valley Culture…

This incredible stone casting is from Harappa in Pakistan (c. 2,500-2,100 BC).

 

 

   Prehistoric Drilling:

Evidence for drilling in ancient Egypt. Marks in the kings-coffer suggest that it too was hollowed by core-drilling.

The Capstones of Pierres Plates in France have what appear to be drill-marks on the top-sides.

 

It was claimed by Petrie that early dynastic Egyptians used drills for some of their constructions. The following images suggest he was right.

Evidence for drilling in ancient Egypt. Marks in the kings-coffer suggest that it too was hollowed by core-drilling.

 

The Capstones of Pierres Plates in France have what appear to be drill-marks on the top-sides.

 

The ‘Drill-marks’ on some stones match those on others, suggesting they were split in half.

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

Construction Corner: Bendable concrete concept continues to take shape
0137TECHNOLOGY

by KORKY KOROLUK Sep 2, 2016

Researchers have been interested in bendable concrete for decades and several forms of it have been developed with varying degrees of success.
Korky Koroluk

Conventional concrete is relatively brittle and its tensile strength is typically only about one-10th of its compressive strength. That’s why rebar is used. And for some specialized uses, people have been turning more and more to reinforcing with small, randomly distributed fibres. The idea is that they will increase the energy absorption capacity and toughness of the concrete. But it also increases the tensile and flexural strength.

Polymer fibres have been used. So have steel or carbon fibres. Now though, a new bendable concrete has been developed by a research team at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.

The team calls its material ConFlexPave. It’s bendable, and, the team says, longer lasting than regular concrete.

The university’s Chu Jian says he foresees using the new material to greatly reduce the thickness and weight of precast pavement slabs. Roads could be paved with the slabs, he says, and when a slab does break, or eventually just wears out, it could simply be lifted out of the roadway and a new slab dropped into place.

ConFlexPave is engineered to have some hard materials mixed with polymer microfibers that are thinner than a human hair. The mixture allows the concrete to flex and bend under tension. It also enhances skid resistance.

The key breakthrough, says Yang En-Hua, the lead researcher, was understanding how the components of the materials interact with one another mechanically on a microscopic level.

“With detailed understanding, we can then deliberately select ingredients and engineer the tailoring of components, so our final material can fulfill specific requirements needed for road and pavement applications,” he says.

ConFlexPave has been successfully tested as small slabs, about the size of a tablet computer. More testing has to be done and the test slabs scaled up during the next three years. In the course of that work, some questions might arise.

For example, how does one go about preparing a subgrade for the new material? And how will one actually install precast slabs on grade? And is the likelihood of differential curling at the joints likely to provide a challenge? But these are engineering problems.

The work of the NTU Singapore team falls into a new research category called Engineered Cementitious Composites, or ECCs, which are easily moulded, mortar-based composites reinforced with specially selected short random fibres. ECC has a strain capacity in the range of three to seven per cent, compared to one-100th of one per cent for concrete made with ordinary Portland cement. That means ECCs act more like a ductile metal than a brittle glass, which is how Portland cement concretes act.

ECCs, unlike common fibre-reinforced concrete, form a family of micromechanically designed material. As long as a cementitious material is designed and developed based on micro-mechanics in order to feature a high degree of tensile ductility, it can be called an ECC.

ECC looks much like Portland cement-based concretes, except that it can bend under strain. Research groups scattered around the world are working on ECCs, including teams in places like the University of Michigan and Stanford U in the United States, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the University of Tokyo, and of course, NTU Singapore.

Concrete is one of the oldest and most commonly used construction materials in the world. It dates back 3,000 years or more. Reinforced concrete was invented in 1849 by a French gardener named Joseph Monier. He was unhappy with using clay to make flower pots and tubs and un-reinforced concrete was too unstable. So he began tinkering with iron mesh to reinforce his flower tubs.

Now, 167 years later, people are still tinkering.

Korky Koroluk is an Ottawa-based freelance writer. Send comments to editor@dailycommercialnews.com.
Sep 2, 2016

 

Construction History

A Brief History of Construction Materials

The crux for your construction project relies on an essential ingredient: proper materials. Construction and its related materials have been an essential component to human evolution and our standards of living. In fact, materials commonly used in construction today can date their beginnings to as far back as 400 BC.

A variety of modernized construction material options have recently become available due to ongoing research and support in innovative technologies. Without these materials, one can only wonder where infrastructure, including your future home, would be today.

An ideal and modern construction material will aim to maintain structural strength while reducing its impact on the environment. In addition, modern construction materials must be able to adapt to various weather and site conditions.

Wood

Historically, North America and Europe were covered in expansive forests and rich foliage which inspired the construction of many timber-framed homes. Nations worldwide were taking advantage of this natural resource that appeared to be endless. Wood today remains relatively inexpensive and has been an essential material in building development worldwide. Research into various treatments of wood are being explored in order to prevent its greatest disadvantage: moisture infiltration.

When a timber structure absorbs moisture while under compression or tension, the frame begins to deform or shift position (or both!). This is a very serious safety concern as the structural integrity of the building is compromised, depending on the severity of the deformations. In addition, due to its ability to allow moisture to infiltrate, wood is known to be a host for bacteria and mold to grow in homes.

Wood is primarily used today in construction as a means to frame homes in North America. Though wood has served the industry well throughout the past centuries, its disadvantages have begun to shine more prominently as modern materials and construction methods continue to emerge on the market.

Concrete

The Romans were the earliest found users of concrete, and its ability to remain workable and strong has made it an incredible versatile material with room for innovation. In 1849, a marriage of two valuable materials, steel and concrete, saw reinforced concrete as invented. Reinforced concrete has been used in bridges, institutions and in transportation super highways since.

Concrete is primarily used to prepare foundations in North American residential construction that will serve to support the rest of the structure. Concrete is a mix of cement, water and fine and coarse aggregates. As cement production is very tolling on the environment, methods on making concrete more environmentally friendly are continuously being developed. For example, concrete being demolished, and once broken up, can be reused as coarse and fine aggregate for a new concrete mix. Researchers are also investigating the use of CO2 rich environments for curing concrete in order to increase its strength while absorbing CO2 emissions.

Steel

Steel is an exciting material due to its ability to be customized without compromising strength and structural stability. There are two types of steel used in building construction: hot rolled and cold formed steel. Cold formed steel is used in smaller projects, such as residential project whereas hot rolled steel is used in heavier capital infrastructure projects.

Cold-formed steel does not require as much energy and heat as hot-rolled steel. It is lightweight but still high in strength and stiffness. It is the modern construction industry’s solution for low-cost and high-production quantity steel. The benefits to using steel for construction are endless from a manufacturing perspective to a structural perspective. Steel is termite proof, completely recyclable and non-combustible. Steel is also extremely customizable thanks to design software which allows clients to take advantage of having complete design freedom.

What about today?

Many of the materials founded centuries ago are still used today with improvements. Despite all options available for construction, wood remains the most common framing material in North America. Wood as a construction material is classical but it lacks the innovative mindset the construction industry requires to adapt in order to progress towards a more environmentally-conscious mindset.

BONE Structure and its steel components use cold-formed steel that is lightweight and precise as a means to pave the way for various modern construction techniques to become widely accepted. Investing in steel and its benefits of safety, stability and recyclability are invaluable to the future of home building and design.

ReferencesBell, T. (2015). Steel History. Retrieved from about money:
http://metals.about.com/od/properties/a/Steel-History.htmCanadian Wood Council. (2002). Wood-Frame Housing – A North American Marvel. Retrieved from Canadian Wood Council:
http://www.cwc.ca/documents/durability/BP4_WoodFrameHousing.pdfJeffrey, C. (2011, September). Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling: A Literature Review. Retrieved from Dalhousie University: Sustainability: https://www.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/sustainability/Final%20C%26D%20literature%20review.pdf

Scottsdale Construction Systems. (2015). Steel The New Green. Retrieved from Scottsdale Construction Systems:
http://www.scottsdalesteelframes.com/building-with-steel/steel-the-new-green/

Flash News

Colorado CEO: Leadership skills are inherent, not related to gender
By: May Ortega
July 20, 2016 Updated: 44 minutes ago
 
Women hold 4.6 percent of CEO positions throughout companies in the S&P 500. Executive construction search firm S.R. Clarke & Associates, LLC is not in that list, but Lydia McArthur runs the show there.

Her gender is not a factor in her success.

“I think that across the board, the leadership skills are inherent,” said McArthur, who is based out of Denver. “You can go to seminars, take classes, have mentors and all different kinds of things, but the leadership skills are inherent, male or female.”

McArthur, who has held leadership roles in other companies, has been CEO at S.R. Clarke for about a year and a half. They predominantly help place people in construction jobs, working with about 200 companies nationwide. Four of them are in Colorado Springs.
Related: Business approaches differ by generation in Colorado Springs

Of the more than 9 million people working in construction in the United States, about 800,000 – 9 percent – are women.

“It isn’t just about women. It’s about great workers, great people,” McArthur said. “But women need to understand how exciting this industry can be so we can break some barriers down.” about leveling the playing field in her industry instead of trying to tilt things towards women.

“Coming into it as a female CEO in this male-dominated business, I know there are some things that I can do a little differently to leverage the female side of things, but I try not to because it can skew things,” she said.

In a larger scope, women are less involved in commerce than men. About 30 percent of U.S. businesses in 2015 were owned by women, according to a report by American Express OPEN.

While there are fewer females in that community, McArthur said more women are approaching her about entering the construction field.

“We are seeing uptick. We are doing work with a lot of different universities around the country . and we are getting that kind of feedback,” she said. “We are seeing more women entering those programs and we want to encourage more to enter those programs.”

McArthur encourages women to enter the construction industry and high-ranking positions, saying such ideas have to be stoked early on.

“I think successful women as a whole is a huge topic and it has to start with the kids in high school,” she said.

The Parker native is adamant