Modern Warehouse Construction Techniques

Warehouse construction contractors are increasingly designing multi-functional facilities that are safe and comfortable for users and aesthetically appealing. This translates to increased productivity, cost savings, enhanced corporate image and consequently, more profits. Choice of construction technique is therefore of essence during the planning phase of warehouse construction.

Techniques Used in Modern Warehouse Construction

Warehouses are often large structures that may require ample investment and time to complete. With modern construction techniques however, these structures can be put up cost effectively and in no time, an appealing aspect especially for businesses that need the space within the shortest time possible. Techniques such as pre-engineered buildings, prefabricated steel and tilt up construction buildings are durable, modern-looking and take a relatively short time to complete.

Prefabricated Steel Buildings

The components used in prefabricated steel construction come as complete kits from the manufacturer. These are then set up according to the design of the building within a short time to complete the structure.

Many commercial applications such as warehouses, hangars, call centres and garages are constructed using this technique. Because the materials allow a lot of flexibility, this technique is ideal for warehouses that store goods requiring both enclosed and open space or extremely high rooftops to allow easy movement of huge consignments.

Post-Frame Construction

Also known as timber framing, this technique uses engineered wood frame system. Wood columns and posts are implanted in the ground or mounted onto a concrete foundation. Other framing components are then attached to create a framework onto which other components such as the wall girts and roof are attached. The sturdy wooden columns support the rest of the framing components to create the building.

Post-frame construction is a light-weight, flexible, sustainable and cost effective technique used in many modern commercial and residential applications including warehouses and others such as convenience stores, garages, strip-malls, office complexes and many others. The wood frames can support a variety of materials for interior finishing and exterior facade including brick, stone, steel and vinyl among others. This gives the owner a wider choice regarding the finishing.

Tilt Up Construction

This technique is popular in the US and is commonly used for commercial applications. It basically involves constructing wall panels horizontally and then mounting them up in place on a concrete slab foundation. Footings attached all around the slab are used to secure the wall panels in place.

The wall panels are created by first constructing a mould from pieces of wood that are joined together. The dimensions of the mould determine the size of the wall panels and openings are left on the wall panels for doors and window installation. Once the mould construction is complete, concrete is poured in and left to cure.

The moulds are then removed and the concrete wall panels are tilted up and positioned in place on the foundation by a crane. The panels have embeds attached to them that secure the panel to the footing. Finishing is then applied to complete the structure. Tilt-up construction is relatively quick. Experienced contractors can erect as many as 30 panels in day.

Mesopotamia – Could This Civilization Be Responsible For Modern Culture?

One of the earliest civilizations that have influenced western culture to this day has been the civilization of Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia was perhaps the first civilization to create art in the form of huge structural creations and sculptures. This art has helped each oncoming civilization grow and develop from there, helping others to improve on their own lives. However, we cannot talk of Mesopotamian art without discussing their location, way of life, and religious traditions.

The name Mesopotamia literally means, “Land between two Rivers”. These two rivers are the Tigris and Euphrates. Farmers were often having problems with their crops because of the flooding of these rivers. Eventually, they developed methods of irrigation allowing them to grow more crops then what they actually needed. By having control over the rivers, and having excess crops, these people needed some form of record keeping.

Historian Delahunt believes that cuneiform was the first writing system developed in the world in about 3500 BC. They used wet clay tablets and used sharp reeds to scratch the records onto the tablets. The tablet would dry becoming a permanent record. However, not everyone could read or write therefore, official scribes had that duty. Scribes became important people since even some kings couldn’t read. Knowing that the scribes kept all the records, it is logical that the scribe’s duty would also included having good math skills just like in Egyptian culture.

It would be common then to make sculptures of their scribes as a tribute to them. One such sculpture that is believed to be a minister of finance is the stone sculpture of Ebih-Il, the Superintendent of Man. The sculpture found in the Temple of Ishtar is made of a type of stone called alabaster. A closer look at the statuette reveals cheerful optimism by the person and a fur skirt, which tries to portray realism. With clasped hands and wide eyes there is a sense of divinity revealed by this sculpture.

Also, the control of these two rivers allowed for the people of Mesopotamia to settle into city-states. Each city-state was protected by thick walls and had a towering mud-brick building in the center of the city. This structure is called a ziggurat. These ziggurats were towers constructed as terraced pyramids with inclined walkways connecting each terrace.

The ziggurats were used as temples for worship of their many gods and goddesses according to Delahunt. Stone figures found in the Abu Temple, from about 27– 2600 BC, reveal some interesting facts about religious traditions. These Tell Asmar figures were “stand-ins”. These figures were part of a religious ritual of leaving stand-ins at the temple when a person was dead.

The Tell Asmar statues are stylized with large eyes and are in a pose of supplication. Every element of the Tell Asmar figures except the faces is reduced to the simplest form possible. This method reinforces the “power” of the faces.

The figures are dominated by huge eyes (eyes that would have once had colored stones). Also, the different sizes of the statues reveal that there was a hierarchy in this society. Males generally were made taller, had long hair and a heavy beard. The female is smaller in size with a heavy coil arranged vertically from ear to ear and a bun behind.

A consistent symbol of Mesopotamian royal power has been the bearded bull’s head. Ancient Mesopotamians valued cattle. Cattle were good working animals, provided milk, leather, meat and had religious importance to them. The Bull headed lyre, was part of an ancient Sumerian harp. It has gold-decorated posts, four narrative scenes, and a bulls head with a lapis lazuli beard. The lyre was found near the body of a musician who may have performed during the burial ceremonies.

Another interesting sculpture that represents the Mesopotamians and gives us more insight into who they were is the Ram caught in a thicket or also called He-Goat in Flowering Tree. This sculpture was made in 2800 BC and is roughly 18 inches long. First this ram is not really a ram. It is a golden goat. It was found in a Sumerian grave at Ur.

The animal’s head and legs, as well as the flowering tree, were made of wood overlaid with gold. His coat is of shell, his horns and eyes are of lapis lazuli.

The ram is much different from the Figures of Tell Asmar. There is lots of energy and power in the bearded face, bright eyes, curling horns, and springing flowers. The ram may represent the god Tammuz-the male principle in nature. This figure is stylized in some respects, but the overall effect is one of life and energy. Also, it is considered to be a symbol of fertility.

One more sculpture worth mentioning is Head from Nineveh. This sculpture is a magnificent copper head. It most likely represents Naram-Sin, Sargon’s grandson. It accentuates the nobility of Akkadian Kings, who by 2300 BC began to take on godlike aspects.

Also, sculptures began to express a new idea. The idea gave emphasis to dignified and powerful monarchs. The hair is plaited, wound around the head and gathered in a tight bun. As mentioned by Robert C. Lamm, in The Humanities in Western Culture, this head reveals “he is a ruler in absolute control.”

Mesopotamian sculpture and art was elaborate and complex. Clay was the most abundant material while stone, wood and metal had to be imported. Art was primarily used for religious purposes or had religious association. The Mesopotamian way of life, location, and religion helped to further develop the great civilizations that were about to follow.

Galileo Galilei – "Father of Modern Observational Astronomy"

Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) Galilao has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy.” He made improvements on the telescope that was invented by Hans Lippershey. He used the telescope to make observations of sunspots, lunar mountains and valleys, the four largest satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus.

He also worked on a method of determining longitudes at sea by using the positions of Jupiter’s satellites. In 1609 Galileo had built a telescope of 20 times magnification; with wich he discovered mountains and craters on the moon. He saw that the Milky Way was composed of stars. Later he made one that was 30 times magnification.

Today astronomers have telescopes that are much larger than anything used by Galileo. The $120 Million Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) sits at 10,400 ft on Mount Graham in Arizona. Its components were fabricated in several countries around the world including The United States, Italy and Germany. It was put into service in October, 2005. This telescope combines light from two mirrors to simulate a telescope with a single mirror. When it was first put into operation, astronomers operated the LBT using only one primary mirror. Later that year the second mirror became operational.

Galileo, the “father of modern observational astronomy,” did not have the materials or the technology of today’s modern LBT, but he did pave the way for modern astronomy. There are many telescopes that are similar to what Galileo used. Many are small enough to use in a back yard observatory.

From Medieval to Modern Spelling in Spanish Literature

The Spanish language has radically changed during the last one thousand years. At the beginning of the 11th century A.D., Spanish literature began its journey as Muslims in Iberia wrote “jarchas”- a mixture of Arabic and Latin poetry. Beginning in the 13th century, non-Muslims Christians in Spain and Portugal wrote many works in poetry and prose. In both countries, the language in these early Iberian texts was a synthesis of dialects of earlier conquerors: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, Jews and Muslims. Alfonso X, “wise” king of Portugal composed an exhaustive number of poetic literature, but most of these works are in Galician-Portuguese. In the 14th century, writers from Spain composed a majority of its poetry and prose. The spelling of many old Spanish words is erratic and confusing, but I have included a list of medieval-modern translated quotes and words from Old Spanish texts.

Try reading these quotes from two Medieval Spanish texts:

1.Dixo Dina: – Dizen que avia un rrico ome en una cibdat e tenia una mugger muy ‘fermosa e entendida.’ (Calila e Dimna, 15).

Modern spelling: Dijo Digna:- Dicen que había un rico hombre en una ciudad y tenía una mujer muy ‘hermosa y entendida’. Translation: Digna said, “They say there was a rich man in a city, and had a very beautiful and wise wife (woman).”

2.Ya lo vee el Cid que del rrey non avie gracia. Partios de la puerta por Burgos aguijava, lego a Santa Maria luego descalvaga, ‘finco los inojos de coracon rrogava. La oracion fecha luego cavalgava; salio por la puerta e (en) Arlancion passava. (El Poema del Cid, 52-57).

Modern spelling: Ya lo ve el Cid que del rey no había gracia. Partió de la puerta por Burgos aguijaba, llegó a Santa María luego descalbaga, hincó los inojos de corazón rogaba. La oración hecha luego cabalgaba; salió por la puerta y en Arlanción pasaba.

Translation: The Cid knew the king was angry. He turned away from the door, galloped through Burgos, straight to Saint Mary’s cathedral, where he dropped from his horse. He fell on his knees, and prayed from his heart. The moment his prayer was finished, he departed. He left through the gate and crossed the Arlacion (River).

Basic spelling rules from Medieval Spanish are grouped as follows:

v-b: avere-(h)aber,(to have); fablava-hablaba, (spoke) avia-(h)abia, (had);

f-h: fablar-hablar, (to speak); fazer-hacer, (to make, do); fasta-hasta,(until); fijo/a-hijo/a,(son, daughter); fallar-hallar,(to find); fer-ser, (to be); fago-hago, (I make, do);

z-c: fazer-hacer, (to make, do); dezir-decir, (to say); plazer-placer, (to please). (The “z” gives the words a “z” or “ts” sound.)

qu-cu (at the beginning of the word): quando-cuando,(when); qual-cual, (what, which); quanto-cuanto, (quantity); quarto-cuarto, (quarter); quarto-cuatro, (four).

t-d (at the end of the word): maldat-maldad, (evil); verdat-verdad, (truth); cibdat-ciudad, (city); piedat-piedad, (piety).

x-j: dixo-dijo, (said); Ximena-Jimena, (name for a woman); dexo-dejo, (I leave). (The “x” makes a “sh” sound.)

ss-s: passar-pasar,(spend time, pass); vassalos-vasallos (vassals);

rr-r: rrico-rico, (rich), rrey-rey (king). (The two r’s at the beginning of a word make the “trill” sound.)

l-ll: lorar-llorar (cry); lueve-llueve (it’s raining); lover-llover (to rain). The two LL’s together are pronounced like a “y”.

Words that began with “de” were contracted to words that today are separate:

Dello-de ello, deste-de este, della-de ella, dalli-de alli, daquel-de aquel;

m-n before “b” or “p”: lunbra-lumbra, (light); canpos-campos, (fields); nonbre-nombre (name).

u-v: oluidar-olvidar, (to forget); auia-avia,(had); caualgar-cavalgar (to ride a horse).

Other words in Medieval Spanish include:

agora-ahora (now);

omne, ome, ombre-hombre (man);

mugger, muggier-mujer (woman, wife);

do-donde, (where); doquiera-dondequiera (wherever);

ca-causa (because);

non-no;

nin-ni; (neither).

This list is only a basic guide to spelling words in Medieval Spanish literature. If you read all of the Castilian literature between the 11th through the 15th centuries, you would probably not recognize all words because there is a staggering amount of different spellings. The spelling is erratic. In El Poema del Mio Cid, many words are scattered or missing. There are spaces between words, letters and accents; it is no wonder very few works were compiled during the 11th century. By the 14th and 15th centuries, grammar used in poetry became much more stable, and the words more recognizable. The change in spelling also included minimal changes in pronunciation and grammar. Prose followed a less erratic pattern of disjointed letters, accents, words; its sentences were much more comprehensive.

In the late 15th century, the Renaissance that was born in Italy was adopted by Spanish culture. Many scholars believe this culture phenomenon started in 1492 when Elio Antonio de Nebrija wrote the first Spanish grammar book, La Grammática de la Lengua Castellana, which set standardized rules for Spanish spelling, pronunciation and grammar. At the same time, many literary works were created, such as: Amadís of Gaula, La Celestina, La Jaula de Amor, and poetic compositions of Jorge Manrique, the marqués de Santillana, Íñigo López de Mendoza, and anonymous writers, as well. Popular productions like romances, carols and love songs were also written and sung. A majority of works were written in “Early Modern” Spanish, because there were some words and sounds that had evolved from Medieval Spanish; but that was about to change.

In the 16th century, writers’ words started to resemble the way Spanish words are spelled today. Well-known works like Lazarillo de Tormes were written, which broke the awkward spelling of Spanish vocabulary. In the 17th century, modern Spanish words are fully recognizable in Miguel de Cervantes’ famous work, Don Quijote de la Mancha.

At this time, Spain also colonized parts of the North American and all of Central and South America, except Brazil. Spanish became even more important as a language, not just for Spain but its colonies. Today, Spanish is spoken by 400 million people in over 20 countries. Modern Spanish includes many more words, accents, and dialects from all of these countries that were impacted by Spain.

The 11th century brought spelling changes to the Spanish language. Since the composition of El Poema del Mio Cid to the latest 21st century publications of Spanish and Latin American authors, linguistic alterations have been documented through written literature. That being said, the Spanish language has evolved over time, probably more so than any other Romance language, even perhaps most languages.

Modern Architecture

Modern architecture is a style found in the buildings that have simple form without any ornamental structures to them. This style of architecture first came up around 1900. By 1940, modern architecture was identified as an international style and became the dominant way to build for many decades in the 20th century. Modern architects apply scientific and analytical methods to design.

Many historians relate the origins of this style of architecture to the social and political revolution of the time, though others see modern architecture as primarily driven by technological and engineering developments. The availability of new materials such as iron, steel, concrete, and glass brought about new building techniques as part of the industrial revolution. Some regard modern architecture as a reaction against ancient building style. Above all, it is widely accepted as a matter of taste.

For the international style, the most commonly used materials are glass for the facade, steel for exterior support, and concrete for the floors and interior supports. The floor plans are functional and logical. But, many people are not fond of the modern style. They find its stark, uncompromisingly rectangular geometrical designs quite inhumane. They think this universal style is sterile, elitist, and lacks meaning.

Modern architecture challenged traditional ideas about the types of structures suitable for architectural design. Only important civic buildings, aristocratic palaces, churches, and public institutions had long been the mainstay of architectural practices. But, modernist designers argued that architects should design everything that was necessary for society, even the most humble buildings.

Architects began to plan low-cost housing, railroad stations, factories, warehouses, and commercial spaces. In the first half of the 20th century, modern architects produced furniture, textiles, and wallpaper – as well as designing houses – to create a totally designed domestic environment. The aesthetics used by modern architects celebrated function in all forms of design, from household furnishings to massive ocean liners and new flying machines.

Modern architecture originated in the United States and Europe and spread across the rest of the world. The characteristic features that made modern architecture possible were buildings, stylistic movements, technology, and modern materials.