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Architecture and the History of its Development
Architecture began when early people started to build their shelters rather that relying on ready-made ones such as trees, overhangs and caves. Before he art of growing food was discovered most people were wandering hunters and used movable shelters – in other words what we call tents and what American Indians called tepees or wigwams.
When farming started people began to live in permanent villages. In hot, dry regions, such as deserts of North America, baked mud was often used for walls. When people started living in cities, they built in bricks and stone as well, and the skills of the bricklayer mason (stone cutter) became important. It also became necessary to have architects to specialize in planning and designing the larger and more important buildings, such as palaces, temples and tombs. The first architect we know by name, Imhotep of Egypt, was also a doctor, a statesman and a priest. He lived about 4,700 years ago, and designed the first pyramid.
Egyptian and Greek architecture was mostly flat-roofed. He arch,
which was invented in Babylonia and taken over by the Etruscans and Romans, made it possible to have vaulted (curved) roofs. A circular vault made a dome. Vaulted stone roofs are heavier than flat roofs, and they weigh more heavily on the walls that hold them up. To prevent walls buckling outwards, supports called buttresses are sometimes used.
Vaults and buttresses were leading features of the churches ad cathedrals built in Europe during the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods – roughly 1000-1600. Builders in the Romanesque period used round-headed arches. In the later Middle Ages the Gothic style appeared, with pointed instead of round arches. This gave Gothic churches a “tall” look known as the perpendicular style. A massive effort was needed to plan and organize the building of a medieval cathedral, as complicated as building a Concord jet-liner today. Big cathedrals, often richly decorated with stone carvings and stained-glass windows, often took more than a hundred years to finish, and employed generations of masons and other craftsmen.
During the Renaissance architects rediscovered the principles of classical (ancient and Roman) building. Italian designers – particularly Battista Alberti and Andrea Palladio – used musical ideas to work out the dimensions of their buildings. For instance, if you have a stretched string tuned to the note C and you shortened it to 4/5ths of its length, you get the note E, which makes a pleasant harmony with C. In the same way the Renaissance architect might make the two shorter walls of an oblong room 4/5ths the length of the longer walls, as that of the two sets of walls were ‘in harmony’. No wonder the German poet Johan von Goethe later called architecture ‘frozen music’.
In the 17th century a style of building developed which was called baroque, from a Portuguese word ’irregular pearl’. Baroque buildings have many twisting and turning decorations which seem ‘ irregular’ compared with the balanced form of the Renaissance structures. In the 18th century baroque was followed by an even more decorative style called rococo.
The 18th century brought various styles of architecture. In England the Neo-Gothic style developed for buildings. This was influenced by the Gothic style of medival building, but tended to be more formal and less spontaneous in appearance.
Modern architecture owes a great deal to the use of steel framing to support structures – an extension of the wooden-framed houses of the 1500s which we call ‘half-timbered’. Steel girds combined with reinforced concrete make it possible to use shapes and span wide areas in a way impossible with older material and methods. Walls are often ‘curtain walls’ – that is, they fill in gaps between the framework, are not weigh-carrying parts of the building.
Partly because of the high cost of decorative work, such as carving, the emphasis in present-day architecture is on function rather that appearance. One of the most influential of 20th century architects, Le Corbusier (a Swiss whose real name was Charles Jeanneret), once described a house as ‘a machine for living’ and this emphasis on the mechanical aspects of buildings is very evident in much of today’s constructions, be it housing, offices, factories or public buildings. Only occasionally is appearance put before the function, as in the Sydney Opera House with its series of shell-shaped half-domes, looking like sails.
American Society for Civil Engineers
Motto A better world by design
Formation November 5, 1852
Type Engineering society
Headquarters Reston, Virginia
Official languages English
President D. Wayne Klotz
ASCE was founded in New York City on November 5, 1852 when twelve engineers met at the offices of the Croton Aqueduct and formed the American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects. ASCE was the first national engineering society created in the United States. The Society comprises a national board of direction; more than 600 local affiliates, which include 87 Sections, 158 Branchesand 130 Younger Member Groups; 267 Student Chapters and 11 International Students Groups.
ASCE’s mission is to provide essential value to its members and their careers; to its partners and to the public. ASCE seeks to provide value by:
Developing leadership skills in its members and supporting civil engineer leaders;
Facilitating advancement of the technology utilized by the profession;
Encouraging and providing tools for lifelong learning within the profession;
Advocating infrastructure and environmental stewardship; and
Promoting professionalism and the civil engineering profession.
ASCE is the world’s largest publisher of civil engineering information – producing more than 55,000 pages of technical content each year. The ASCE Publications Division produces 31 professional journals (available both in print and online editions), conference proceedings, standards, manuals of practice, committee reports and monographs under the ASCE Press imprint. A 125,000-entry civil engineering database is available at their wed site, along with many other resources for practicing civil engineers including complete catalog and the ASCE Online Research Library, providing accesses to more than 360,000 pages of journal articles and proceedings. ASCE also publishes Civil Engineering, the award-winning monthly official magazine of the Society, contains articles about significant project, events, and trends of interest to civil engineers. The mix of articles in each issue is designed to appeal to broad range of readers, who represent the full spectrum of civil engineering disciplines.
Other periodicals include ASCE News which reports on the activities of the Society and Geo-Strata, published on behalf of the Geo-Institute.
ASCE’s 31 highly-cited journals are the medium through which civil engineers exchange technical and professional knowledge. Information published in the journals forms an archival record of the technical advances of today’s civil engineering profession.
Each year ASCE hosts over 15 conferences focusing on the specialty of civil engineering or topics related to it. Annually, the Society holds more than 310 live, face-to-face continuing educational seminars and more than 150 live web seminars on a wide variety of technical and management topics. In addition, the Society has hundreds of distance learning programmes available, including on-demand, on-line courses and courses on CD and DVD.
As part of understanding the history of civil engineering and promoting the civil engineering profession, a survey of the historic accomplishments of civil engineers is continually conducted by ASCE members. Such reviews of civil engineering accomplishments have produced various lists of the notable categories and projects of the profession.
The Society canvassed its members in 1999 to identify the 10 civil engineering achievements that had the greatest positive impact on life in the 20th century. They chose to recognize broad categories of achievements rather than individual projects:
Airport design and development, as exemplified by Kansai International Airport
Dams, as exemplified by Hoover Dam
The Interstate highway system
Long-span bridges, as exemplified by the Golden Gate Bridge
Rai transportation, as exemplified by the Euro tunnel rail system
Sanitary land fields and solid waste disposal
Skyscrapers, as exemplified by the Empire State Building
Wastewater treatment, as exemplified by the Chicago wastewater system
Water supply and distribution, as exemplified by the California State Water Project Water transportation, as exemplified by the Panama Canal
Similarly, in an effort to recognise a contemporary equivalent to the herald ancient Seven Wonders of the World, the ASCE has designated the following Seven Wonders of the Modern World:
The Empire State Building (New York, NY, USA)
The Itaipu Dam (Brazil and Paraguay)
The CN Tower (Toronto, On, Canada)
The Panama Canal (Panama)
The Channel Tunnel (France and United Kingdom)
The North Sea protection works, including the Zuiderzee Works and Delta Works (The Netherlands)
The Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, USA) ASCE sponsors numerous awards for outstanding work in various areas of civil engineering, some of which are based on papers submitted to its many journals.
ASCE holds annual black-tie event to present the Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) AWARDS. Four different awards are presented there; the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Wesley W. Horner Award, the Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research, and the Charles Pankow Award for Innovation.
The Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award (OCEA) has been presented annually since 1960. It “honours Wesley W. Horner the projects that best illustrates superior civil engineering skills and presents a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society. As a project award, it recognizes the team effort of all the engineers involved in completion of the project,
The Lifetime Achievement Awards has been presented annually since 1999. It recognizes a lifetime achievements and accomplishments to five different individual leaders. One award is present in each category of design, construction, government, education, and management.
Initially created in 1968 by ASCE’s Sanitary Engineering Division, the award is named after former ASCE President Wesley W. Horner. The award is given to a recently peer reviewed published paper in the field of hydrology, urban drainage, or sewerage. Special consideration is given to private engineering work that is recognized as valuable contribution to the field of environmental engineering.
ASCE also sponsors competitions for student chapters. Each regional conference determines the events. Two major national competitions include:
· Concrete canoe
· Steel Bridge (steel bridge competition) (Co-sponsored with American Institute of Steel Construction).
Computers and Town Planning
Computers have promised to revolutionize the practice of urban planning ever since the 1950s, first with the emergence of large computers that seem crude by contemporary standards and more recently with the development of microcomputers and software that potentially bring computing capability to every planner's desk top. Planners, whose work depends greatly upon the collection, analysis, and presentation of information, have always been quick to recognize the potential of computers to support these activities.
The historical contributions that computers have made to planning, the fundamentals of computer technology, and some of the many new applications that are beginning to affect planning practice.
The Сomputer Age first influenced planning during the mid-1950s, bringing with it the capacity for large-scale data management, analysis, and graphic display. Planners had long been concerned with demographic and economic analysis, as well as with land use and transportation studies, all of which required extensive data collection and manipulation. Computers promised to facilitate these tasks. More importantly, computers promised to open the door to a generation of predictive mathematical models that would allow planners to anticipate future urban growth and development and to experiment with the effects of alternative policies upon the real world. For almost a decade and a half, planners pursued these elusive computerized crystal balls.
Although computers never became crystal balls, they continued to greatly enhance the capabilities of planners who had appropriate training and access to the expensive computers of that period. More recently, the emergence of microcomputers promises to revolutionize planning by promoting the development and use of computer tools suitable for planners who have no specialized computer training.
Babbage, Hollerith, and the Computer Age
The modern computer traces its lineage to Charles Babbage, who designed a prototype Difference Engine in 1822 to solve polynomial equations and a more ambitious Analytical Engine in 1834 to perform many kinds of calculations. The latter is generally considered to be the first real computer because it included an input device, a processor (or number calculator), a control unit to direct tasks, storage to hold a number to be processed, and an output device. All these elements can be found in the modern computer.
More pertinent to planners, however, was Herman Hollerith's device invented to facilitate the processing of the 1890 U.S. Census. Hollerith's notes in predetermined locations on specially designed cards, the predecessor of the IBM card. While this early computer barely resembles today sophisticated ones, two considerations make it a direct ancestor of those presently used in planning practice. First, the binary code used to store and transmit information in Hollerith's machine was fundamentally the same as is presently used in all computers, which use electronic (i.e., magnetic) charges instead of holes in cards. Second, Hollerith's machine was invented to improve the tabulation and analysis of census information, which continues to interest the planning profession. Whereas it took years to tabulate the 1880 census by hand, the results of the 1890 census were published in 6 weeks. The Tabulating Machine Company formed by Hollerith in 1896 merged with two other firms in 1924 to become International Business Machines (IBM).
IBM's commitment to the modern computer was cemented by its success in 1944 with Harvard's Mark I. IBM funded construction of the Mark I as a modern equivalent of Babbage's Analytical Engine. Although not very efficient, the 8-foot-high, 55-foot-long machine worked well enough to promote continued funding for computer development.
The first electronic digital computer was constructed in 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania by Dr. John Mauchly and \. P. Eckert. Called the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), it had no moving parts and was 300 times faster than the state-of-the-art electromechanical machines that preceded it. But even ENIAC was awfully crude by today's standards. It needed 1500 square feet of floor space, and its 18,000 vacuum tubes produced enormous heat.
In 1951 the best-known first-generation computer, the UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer), was delivered to the U.S. Bureau of the Census to support the 1950 census effort. Also designed by Mauchly and Eckert, UNIVAC provided the public with its first taste of computing power by predicting Dwight Elsenhower's election as President after only 5 percent of the vote had been tabulated. This dramatic demonstration marked the popular beginning of the Computer Age.
The First Computer Revolution
By 1959 computerized land use and transportation models had evolved sufficiently to warrant a special issue of the journal of the American Institute of Planners. Even though computers were expensive and required highly trained personnel, planners hoped that computerized models could simulate urban conditions well enough to predict future urban development patterns and solve associated problems.
In 1965 the Journal of the American Institute of Planners once again devoted an entire issue to computers, this time documenting progress toward the computerized models being constructed for several large metropolitan areas. Simulation models of Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Boston were built as computer "laboratories" within which to test planning decisions. By simulating urban development in a computerized environment, planners hoped to be able to evaluate the future impacts of alternative plans, policies, and programs quite fast and relatively inexpensively.
Despite the fervor, none of such promising models ever proved useful. The computers were powerful, but the urban system was too complex and insufficiently understood. More successful were computerized educational simulations, such as the Community Land Use Game (CLUG) and Metro-Apex, which were imaginative but still limited adaptations of the more ambitious simulation models.
By 1973 the energy that had been expended in developing urban simulations had yet to yield one that was workable. There was barely a murmur in response to Douglass B. Lee's article, "Requiem for Large-Scale Models." Lee argued that comprehensive urban development models could not be developed at reasonable costs and that planners could more fruitfully direct their energies A toward developing more modest, limited-purpose models.
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