How do buildings stay up?
  • There are lots of important things that help a building stay up. These are some of the basic ones.
  • Architects (are-key-tekts) need to check out climate conditions like wind speed and direction, temperature range and rainfall and things like soil stability and drainage before so they can design the right house for the land.
  • Builders need to use the right tools and materials for the job.
  • The building needs to be put together in the right order, starting with a strong structure using bracing to help stop the building from moving and shifting.
  • A brace is made whenever a triangle shape is made in a structure.
  • A triangle forms the strongest brace because it wonít buckle, bend or collapse out of shape when itís under pressure.
  • You can find bracing in a building in the walls, ceiling and floor, but you donít normally see it when the ceiling, walls and floor are finished.
  Did You Know?
  • The plan that builders follow is drawn by a building designer called an architect.
  • Behind the boards that make your walls, ceiling and floors your house might look a bit like a skeleton made of wood.
  • Houses made out of bricks use the way the bricks are put together for bracing.
Make different shapes and test how strong they are.
Try making shapes with pieces of wood and nuts and bolts. Join the pieces of wood together to make different shapes and then see if you can push or pull them out of shape.
Try a square, a rectangle and a triangle. Is the triangle really the strongest shape?
Knock on your wooden walls
Explain what youíre doing first otherwise it will drive everyone else crazy! Then gently knock with your knuckles along the wall and see if you can hear any difference in the sound the tapping makes. If it sounds hollow and the noise echoes back to you then the space behind where youíre knocking is probably hollow.
If it sounds like a dull thud youíll probably find that a piece of the wood that makes up your houseís skeleton is behind where youíre knocking.
This is a useful thing to know if you want to hang a picture on the wall!
What did one wall say to another?
Meet you at the corner!
From Cenara Davies-Bell

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