Reading 1 started off by discussing building elements, such as different structural systems and the defining qualities of a building. Reading 1 also talked about different materials and pros of cons of each of them. 

 Considering the fact that a building is made up of many integrated systems, understanding systems such as the enclosure and mechanical system is very important. The enclosure system is considered to be the “shell” or “envelope” of a building. Exterior walls, the roof, windows and doors are considered to be a part of this system. The Mechanical system on the other hand is the functions of a building, the water supply, sewage disposal, HVAC, electrical, vertical transportation and fire fighting systems are all a part of this. 


The different building materials used in construction can help optimize the durability, functionality and the looks of a building. Concrete is one of the materials discussed in the reading, it is made up of 3 other individual “ingredients” cement, water and aggregate ( sand and gravel). There is 5 different types of concrete, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Concrete is found in another building material known as C.M.U. which comes in many shapes. There’s also multiple types (and grades) of brick. Brick is made up of clay that’s been fired in a kiln or sun dried. Steel is another material that comes in many shapes, although it is considerably good at handling stress, steel can not handle high temperatures. Stone and wood are the last 2 materials the reading explains. Stones have different geological origins, it could be igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rock. Wood can either be soft or hard (not in a literal sense).  The soft wood refers to wood from trees such as pine, fir, or spruce. The hard wood on the other hand comes from trees such as cherry, maple or oak. Even the way a wood is cut can have an impact on its strength.