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TEXTS:

LESSON 1
ALL ABOUT BUILDING MATERIALS
Building materials are materials used for the construction. There are basic kinds of
materials that are used today in different types of constructions:
Wood is a product of trees. It is used in some structures or facade. Typically, the roofs of
the houses are made of wood. This material is and strong.

A brick is a rectangular block made of red adobe. There are two types: simple bricks and
bricks with coating. Simple bricks are thin rectangular blocks and usually, walls are made of
this material. Bricks with coating are strong rectangular blocks and big walls are made of
this material because they are more resistant.

Concrete is made of a combination of cement, sand, small stones, and water. Usually, the
base or the floor of a building is made of concrete.

Metals, like steel or iron, are used as structural framework for larger buildings such as
skyscrapers. Steel is a grey metal and it is made of iron and carbon. Typically, structural
shapes are made of steel because it is flexible. Iron is a hard metal, and tall structures are
made of it because it is strong.

Windows are made of glass. It is used to cover small openings in a building. Actually, it is
used to cover the entire façade of a building, for example, modern buildings such as
skyscrapers or modern houses are made of glass. It is a transparent or translucent material.

Ceramics are used as coverings in buildings. Floors, walls, or even ceilings are decorated
with ceramics. They are used for decoration because they are made of different colours and
forms.

LESSON 2
STEPS TO BUILD A BUILDING
When we think about a construction process, we can imagine different steps in order to
make a building.
First of all, the style of the building is designed. This step is one of the most important
because it will define the entire building.
Secondly, the materials are selected. In order to make a strong building, it is necessary to
select the different materials, for example, bricks, iron, wood, steel, cement or lime for the
kind of building we are going to construct.
After the selection of the materials, it is necessary to think how to combine the materials to
build the desired building, so different techniques are put into practice, for example: cast
iron or steel are used to get the shape required, or different types of bricks are chosen
according to the type of building. To make the building stronger, it is better to use bricks with
coating.
So, after that, the base of the building is made. Generally, important buildings have
magnificent structures, so they need to have a strong base.
Once the base is finished, the structure is built.
Finally, some distinctive objects as clocks, majestic windows or doors are placed to make
the facade more attractive. According to the type of building different steps and techniques
can be followed. But in general, the steps presented in this article are the basic ones.
LESSON 3
A BUILDING IN LONDON: THE “BIG BEN”.
The Elizabeth Tower, commonly known as Big Ben, is one of the most important historical
buildings. It is located in London, UK and it is the most famous building in the city.
The construction of this tower was ordered after the fire that caused the destruction of the
old Palace of Westminster on October 16, 1834. This tower was built next to the new palace.
The new Palace of Westminster was designed by Charles Barry and the Elizabeth Tower
was designed by Augustus Pugin as one new part of the new palace. This tower was
designed in a Victorian Gothic style and the architectural design was made 96,3 metres high.
Its construction process began in 1843 and after 16 years it ended, precisely in 1858.
The base of this tower was made 4 metres deep, to support the construction and the weight
of the tower, which is approximately 8600 tons. For its construction process, different
materials were used. Bricks with coating were used for the body of the tower up to 61 meters
high and the rest of the tower was built with cast iron. Its structure was made of iron and its
conical shape was made of steel.
The most representative of this tower is its four clocks. These four clocks were placed at 55
metres high on each of the faces of the tower. And on September 7, 1859 the tower was
inaugurated when the clocks were put into operation.