Building materials and construction techniques of monuments
Building materials available for structural construction up to 18th century, when the industrial revolution began, are compared with those available up to dates. Masonry construction, as it was composed of stones, bricks and mortars was characterised by medium but reliable compressive strength but a very low and unreliable tension capacity. Needs of the society in construction accelerated the massive use of new or known materials from the past, and these gave the opportunity to develop new forms and techniques in construction. Cut stone in drums or monolithic single blocks or in fully shaped orthogonal blocks for construction of columns, unmortared walls and facings is the main material for the articulated monuments. The development of the Roman concrete enabled the construction of structural elements of double curvature relatively easily, since the construction material of the joints could be poured in situ on a formwork or on a centring device.