Monday, September 17th 2012
As a building material, concrete is both durable and extremely versatile. Concrete, as we know it, dates back to 300 BC in Rome – where its formula was a closely-held secret. The Parthenon (built in 125 AD by Rome's Emperor Hadrian) was built largely from concrete and still stands today – even after numerous battles, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Given that concrete is a construction material with only four basic ingredients (gravel, sand, cement, and water), most would think that the practice of building with concrete would have long been abandoned in favor of steel. Not so!
Concrete has a long and storied history, and you can journey forward to present day and find that many amazing structures are still built from concrete. Completed in 1998, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia stand as one of the truly iconic architectural landmarks in Southeast Asia – and the world. These massively-tall twin skyscrapers were, for a time, the world’s tallest structures. And although many believe that the Petronas Twin Towers are a steel structure, they are, in fact, built with reinforced concrete.
A Partial Timeline of Concrete Buildings and Notable Events
In present day, concrete is used to form driveways, patios, roads, bridges, overpasses, parking structures, swimming pools, homes, and office buildings. But not all forms of concrete are the same. Some concrete mixes have been specially created for use in areas of extreme weather. Some concrete hardens even under water. And there are all different types of concrete that can be pumped, sprayed, chipped, cast, compacted, and stained a variety of colors.
At Concrete Concepts in Kansas City, we pour concrete that can be stamped, formed, patterned, and stained to create beautiful additions to buildings and homes. And even though many may think of concrete as nothing more than a grayish building material, we know concrete to be an incredibly-flexible medium that can affect almost any texture or color. If only the Romans knew what we know today.