The Topic:
Building & Construction

Easier - Building and construction is the art, the work, job, or business of combining, forming, or putting together materials to make a structure. Construct means to make or build something. People who construct or build things are sometimes called builders. Structures such as a house, store, office, barn, church, skyscraper, and a school are called buildings. Other structures built or constructed by people are cars, railways, ships, bridges, and highways.
Harder - Building and construction are the techniques and industries for the assembly, joining together, or erection of various structures. Constructed shelters, workplaces, storage facilities, and other structures are the means by which humans adapt to their environment. Structures such as streets, subways, highways, tunnels, and bridges are completed to facilitate travel. Dams and reservoirs are created in an attempt to control river flooding, provide ample water supplies, generate power, and expand water recreation areas. Canals, railroads, and airports are built for transportation. People also build intricate infrastructures including systems for telecommunications, electrical power, freshwater, and sewage disposal.
Building Big from PBS
This site includes great facts and challenges spanning bridges, domes, skyscrapers, dams, and tunnels.
Another Related Website from PBS:
2) Great Projects: The Building of America
Related Website:
3) Building Big from Idaho PTV
Construct My Future
This site is designed to help people explore and learn about the interesting and varied careers in the construction industry.
Related Website:
2) Carpentry and Construction Career Guide from Vocational Information Center
3) Civil & Structural Engineering Technology Online from British Columbia Institute of Technology
Kikki's Workshop from Komatsu Ltd.
Check out the Great Picture Book of Construction Equipment (, meet Kikki's friends, or enter their coloring picture grand prix.
Related Websites:
2) Building Stuff from Texas Department of Transportation
3) Caterpiller
4) Construction Equipment from Reed Business Information
5) Everything About Construction Equipment from Komatsu Ltd.
6) Link-Belt Construction Equipment
7) Tools of the Master Builder Series from
8) Volvo Construction Equipment
New York Underground from National Geographic
New Yorkers go about unaware of what is happening just beneath their feet: Power pulses, information flies, and steam flows. The city's infrastructure starts just below street level, but it doesn't stop there.
Related Websites:
2) Down the Drain: Chicago's Sewers from Chicago Public Library
3) What Is Infrastructure? by D.F. Schulz
You may also want to visit these related websites: (1) Architecture (, (2) Bridge Building (, (3) Castles (, (4) Railroads (, and (5) Shelters (, - - all from eduScapes 42eXplore.
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of the following activities.
Create A Building & Construction History Timeline. Use the websites and other information resources to identify the important historical developments in built and constructed structures. Create a timeline that identifies the developments that you consider as having made significant impact on human lives.
Help Bob Tidy Up His Toolshed. (Activity for young learners) Help Bob the builder hang up his tools. Read his directions and see if you know the names of his tools. Find this activity at (1) Bob the Builder ( or (2) Bob the Builder from Nick Jr. (
Help Out As A Building Volunteer. Volunteer to help build affordable housing; find out how at Habitat for Humanity International (
Complete A WebQuest On Building & Construction. Adapt or follow the procedures found at one of these webQuest sites:
1) Architects Chair by P. Bowman
2) Building: An Adventure by J. Barthelmes
3) Building Blocks: The Mathematics of Homebuilding (Grades 6-8) by M. Leverette
4) Design It! Build It! (Grade 5) by E. Huddy'retheArchitect/You'retheArch . . .
5) Eighth Wonder Of The World (Grades 4-6) by J. Johnson
6) Spaghetti Earthquake WebQuest (Grade 5) by H. Eissler
7) Structure Project (Grades 7-10) by N. Powell from Teachers Network
8) Up with the Walls (Grade 8) by R. Reynolds
What Does It Mean To Build Green? Most of us know a little about this concept, but do you understand the ramifications completely? Begin investigating the issue by visiting several of these websites. Form your own opinions and then create a presentation that explains, educates, and convinces others.
1) Building Green
2) GreenBuilder
3) Green Building Basics
4) Green Building Resource Guide
5) Green Home Building
6) Natural Building Colloquium
7) Natural Building, Environmental, and Related Web Pages
8) Natural Building Materials
9) U.S. Green Building Council
10) Your Home Planet
11) Siting A Natural Building by M.G. Smith
Design Your Dream Home. Visit several of the websites featuring house plans. Investigate different home styles, floor plans, design features, components, and building materials. Then create your design for a home of the future.
Websites By Kids For Kids
Building the Windy City (Platinum Award, 2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Learn all about the buildings that make Chicago a unique center of architecture.
Reaching New Heights (2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This webproject looks at the five tallest buildings in the world (as of August 2000), the Petronas Towers, the Sears Tower, the World Trade Towers, the Jin Mao Building, and Sky Central Plaza.
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (2001 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Learn about the buildings that once were considered to be true wonders. Find out what has happened to them over time and what is left of them.
Online Journals for Building & Construction
Structures of the World
Arch History & Architectural Information from National Park Service
Learn about the construction of the Gateway Arch (St. Louis, Missouri), the materials and techniques used to build it, and even take a look at the mathematical equation used to create the catenary curve shape of the Arch.
Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
In the first two decades of the 20th Century, an unprecedented development of massive industrial structures changed the face of Detroit and heralded a second industrial revolution. Today all of those structures are in ruins, abandoned, decayed or destroyed.
Geoguide—Dams! from National Geographic
Get your feet wet investigating dams! Contemplate why—and How—people build dams, and explore the good and bad impacts a dam may have on a community. And find questions to probe further.
Related Websites:
2) United States Society on Dams (USSD)
Great Buildings
This online database documents a thousand buildings and hundreds of leading architects, with 3D models, photographic images and architectural drawings, commentaries, bibliographies, web links, and more, for famous designers and structures of all kinds.
Great Engineering Feats
Learn about some ancient and historical engineering and construction feats.
Great Projects: The Building of America from PBS
Learn how the greatest engineering feats in American history were accomplished, including the electrification of America, building the Hoover Dam, constructing the George Washington Bridge in NY, and Boston's Big Dig.
Great Structures of the World
Here is a a gallery of the world's greatest structures!
Hoover Dam from PBS's American Experience
Follow a construction timeline, get dam facts, and learn about the people and events throughout the dam's history.
Related Website:
2) Hoover Dam: Lonely Lands Made Fruitful
Lewis Wickes Hine: The Construction of the Empire State Building, 1930-1931
Construction of the Empire State Building began in March of 1930 on the site of the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel at 350 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. It was completed 14 months later in May, 1931. Check out photos of the construction of this building and find lots of facts about it.
Related Website:
2) Empire State Building
Notre Dame de Paris Historic Overview from Earthlore
This site relates the history of the cathedral which was constructed between the years 1163 and 1285.
Related Website:
2) Notre-Dame Cathedral
Sears Tower
Here you find photos and facts on this Chicago building.
Related Website:
2) 1973 Sears Tower from Chicago Public Library
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The list comprised the seven most impressive monuments of the Ancient World, some of which barely survived to the Middle Ages.
This is a database of the skyscrapers and tall structures of the world.
Other Related Websites:
2)Daniel's Manhattan Architecture
3) High-Rise Pages
4) History of Elevators and Skyscrapers
5) How Skyscrapers Work (Webpage 1 of 8) by T. Harris from How Stuff Works
6) Skyscraper Museum of New York, NY
7) Tall Office Buildings
World Federation of Great Towers
The construction of a tower is one of mankind's oldest dreams. For earlier civilizations, a tower made it possible to see the approaching enemy and protect oneself. Modern ingenuity and technology now make it possible to reach incredible height.
World Trade Center (Webpage 1 of 10) by T. Harris from HowStuffWorks
This website remembers the Twin Towers for everything they were - - a remarkable technological achievement, a representation of an ideal, and ultimately, a staggering reminder of our own vulnerability.
More Websites on Building & Construction
AEC Info (Architectural Engineering Construction)
In the areas of architecture, engineering, construction, and home building, this site offers a lot: updates on governmental regulation, on-line specs, interactive discussion, a building product library and links to other sites.
This site is designed for use by anyone involved with residential construction.
Related Websites:
2) Before the Architect
3) Build Your House from
4) How House Construction Works (Webpage 1 of 18) by M. Brain from HowStuffWorks
Builder Web
Site dedicated to building manufacturers, building dealers, building designers and remodelers, building design software and building specialists, for the building industry.
Related Websites:
2) Builder's Network
3) Building Industry and Construction Web Directories
4) Building Online
5) Housing Zone
Center to Protect Workers' Rights (CPWR)
CPWR is the research arm of the Building and Construction Trades Dept., AFL-CIO. Focusing on construction worker safety, they offer here hazard alerts, a publications list, newsletter, and related links.
Code Check - Help With Building Codes
Site contains condensed guides to the most commonly cited code violations encountered by building inspectors.
Related Websites:
2) Building Energy Codes from U.S. Department of Energy
3) New York City Department of Buildings
4) When is a Permit Required? from City of Alexandria, VA
Construction Education by B.L. Sims
This comprehensive website provides information and resources for engineering, architecture, interior design, construction, building inspection and land surveying industries.
Construction Glossary from Home Building Manual
This indexed list of defined terms is focused on home construction.
Construction Industry from
This comprehensive site leads to information and resources for residential and commercial building, codes and authorities, jobs and careers, and much, much more.
Construction Plus
Here you can access construction-related news stories, magazine and web articles from (1) The Architects' Journal, (2) Construction News, and (3) New Civil Engineer, plus a database of current construction products, and more.
Construction Statistics from U.S. Census Bureau
This site provides monthly statistics on housing construction. You can also get answers here to frequently asked questions about construction statistics.
Construction WebLinks from Thelen Reid & Priest LLP
This comprehensive web portal represents all facets of the construction industry.
Contractor's License Reference
Click on a state to learn of its license requirements or learn how to find out if a contractor is licensed in that state.
Controlled Demolition, Inc.
Building is fun, but it's exciting to watch a structure blown down!
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
This organization studies and reports on all aspects of the planning, design, and construction of tall buildings. They are also concerned with the role and impact of tall buildings on the urban environment.
Design A Room from Armstrong
Once you have your home picked out, you can try different floor coverings in various rooms with this website. Choose the type of flooring, a room in the house, the style of the room, and the type of flooring that you think you would like. Presto! Your room has the floor covering you chose!
High Performance Buildings from U.S. Department of Energy
This website promotes the development of commercial buildings that are energy efficient, healthy and comfortable places to live, work, and play.
Home Excitement
Search and view house plans, get information about building codes, and more.
Related Websites:
2) Archway Home Plans
3) Cool House Plans
4) Design Basics
5) ePlans
6) Homeplanfinder
7) Homes for Today
Home Improvement Encyclopedia from Better Homes and Gardening
This is a step-by-step remodeling and repair guide.
Related Websites:
2) Do It Yourself
3) Home Repair Tips from the Recycle Guys
4) Hometime
5) Natural Handyman
National Contractors
This organization lists commercial, residential and government construction projects and notifies a large base of quality contractors nationwide. Much of the site is restricted to members; however, you can visit the message boards and read a few online articles.
Structural Engineering (World-Wide Web Virtual Library)
This links-site provides an information resource for structural engineering related topics.
Related Website:
2) World Wide Web Virtual Library for Civil Engineeering
This Old House
This is the official website for the television program.
World of Materials from P.P. Pizzo, San Jose State University
Very few people know of the field called Materials Engineering. It all begins with some component of the Earth, organic or inorganic, which can be reduced to create materials useful to civilization. Learn what its all about.
Related Websites:
2) Arcat (Architectural Community Information)
3) Building Materials Trader
4) Canadian Wood Council
5) Links from Building Materials and Wood Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
6) First Source from Reed Construction Data
Websites For Teachers
Constructing a Building (Preschool: Ages 3-5) from Scholastic
Children will develop social, language, math, creative-thinking, and problem-solving skills as they work together to plan and design a building using large appliance boxes.
Construction and Trade Lesson Plans from Vocational Information Center
Here you find a large collection of categorized lesson plans.
Construction Lesson Plan (Grade 4) by T. Lebzelter
Using the book “Stuart Little” students will learn how to build a dwelling, for Stuart, scaled down to his mouse size.
Free Standing Structure (Grades 4-8) by L. Gonzales from ASKEric . . .
This activity is designed to show students that cost, time, planning, modeling, designs, teamwork, and application are important in learning about "real world" construction projects.
Mindstorms for Schools from LEGO Educational Division . . .
The approach to learning is is based on a simple learning process - - the 4Cs: Connect, Construct, Contemplate, Continue.
Paper Landmarks
Here is a source for purchasing paper model kits of famous buildings and structures.
Reaching New Heights (Grades 6-8) from DiscoverySchool
Students investigate the complexity of designing and creating large structures such as skyscrapers.
What's Down Below The Street? City Infrastructure from The Rosenbach Museum & Library
This lesson helps students understand the need for city infrastructure and the importance of good systems for a healthy neighborhood or city. It also focuses on the history of the city and its different uses of land over time.
construction site
Underwriter's Laboratories Label (UL)
trees & forests
iron & steel
sustainable development
U.B.C. (Uniform Building Code)
T & M (time & materials)
building block
wall section
building code
building permit
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/03.