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How Was That Built? The Stories Behind Awesome Structures by Roma Agrawal, Illus. Katie Hickey. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2021

November 9, 2021 Comments off

Roma Agrawal is an Award winning structural engineer who worked on the London Shard building, and in this large sized work, explains the forces that come to bear when building structures, especially those with height.

With the Shard she explains how to build tall buildings, the materials that are used and the techniques used to build the structure. For example the structural steel in the Shard weighs close to 12,500 metric tons which is more than 900 London buses or 70 blue whales.

The author also looks at old buildings such as The Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City which was built on top of an old Aztec temple on an island in a lake. I have seen it and it does look a trifle off centre.

The types of crane used in construction are described and other tall buildings such as the World’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa the core of which is concrete and steel to give the building stability.

Bridges, tunnels and domes are also described and there is a look to the future with building in outer space.

There is an extensive glossary at the back and all the buildings and techniques used are accurately illustrated by Katie Hickey in expert and easily understood ways.

A superb publication with information that could not be presented on the internet in the one place as it is with this book. I learnt a lot from this book and it is fascinating. Suitable for a wide range of reader from primary school through to young adult.