Have you ever had the privilege of viewing, up close, some of the most incredible and lasting structures of the ancient world? The Taj Mahal of India, the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Aztec Temples in Mexico, the Great Wall of China; these are some of the greatest construction feats of humans ever made, and the fact that they remain standing today is testament to the solid foundations on which they were built. With Canada still being a relatively new country the term "old building" is usually attached to a hundred year old home on real estate or anything that predates the condominiums in downtown Toronto.
The amazing thing about all of these structures is that they were built entirely using manual labour, from the creation of the materials that were used in the building, to the assembling of the pillars and columns, right to the placing of giant spheres and domes at the top of some of these structures. The construction of these monuments really was an incredible feat by these ancient cultures. Can you imagine even the average Mississauga homes for sale being built this way today?
Now, of course, we have buildings all over the world that eclipse these wonders in almost every way; most cities of any size have a few buildings that stand taller than even the tallest pyramid, including some Yorkville condos. However, we have to keep in mind that up until the second Industrial Revolution, which saw the invention of the combustible engine, the world we lived in was largely marked by smaller buildings, as the effort, expense, and time it took to build monumental tributes were reserved for only the most important projects.
Today, though, thanks to the use of construction machines, humans are able to build structures that are taller, have more capacity, and are more structurally sound than ever before. You wouldn't have seen a building like Toronto's Pier 27 even twenty years ago. We can also build these structures without driving other human beings to death; most of the ancient world's most impressive buildings were erected by the labour of slaves, millions of whom would have perished in the effort.
Construction machines make building quite a bit safer for all the workers involved; cranes assist in lifting heavier materials to higher levels, where once this job had to be done by hand (pulley systems were used but these still had to be operated manually, and could often prove dangerous).
It's estimated that it took 22 years to complete the construction of the Taj Mahal. Compare that to the time it took to build the Air Canada Centre in Toronto; ground was broken for the home of the Maple Leafs in 1997, and the Centre opened for business in 1999. Granted the ACC isn't quite as intricate, but the discrepancy in construction dates is a good demonstration of just how much we count on our construction machines to keep society moving forward. The same difference would be seen comparing an Etobicoke condo complex with the equivilant number of residences even one hundred years ago.
And construction machines don't just help us put up buildings easier in less time; they also let us build in places that we never could have before. If Katrina had hit New Orleans just five decades ago, the city would probably never have recovered; it would be a wasteland, and moreover a health hazard. Thanks in large part to the various types of construction machinery, and waste water treatment chemicals, the city was able to rebound and start to be functional again within a year.
There are a lot of different genres and types of construction machine, and they remain fascinating to all sorts of different people today. We will take a look at them in this section.