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The history of timber construction is presented from prehistoric to modern times, from the simple hut to multi-purpose halls, from trial-and-error construction to one based on engineering design and analysis, from simple beams and posts to modern spatial systems. The development of common timber construction forms and methods are briefly discussed. Wood, our only basic renewable resource, has been an important part of man's built environment. For this to continue in the future, developments in timber engineering and related technologies should meet the needs and challenges demanded by building occupants and by society, in general.
history, timber, wood, structures, house, building
Principal research scientist and project leader, CSIRO Building, Construction and Engineering, Highett, Victoria