Structural Engineering

Buildings and structures take careful planning in order to ensure that they don't collapse or fail in any way. Structural engineers analyze and study the way in which buildings support loads.

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Why are blueprints blue and not some other color? There's a specific chemical process behind it, and its discovery has all the elements of a dark fairy tale.

By Laurie L. Dove

It's always been a dilemma for humans: how to move that super-heavy object to a new place. But we always seem to find a way, don't we?

By Patrick J. Kiger

One of the most travelled stretches of U.S. highway was designed by a woman who loved mathematics and wasn't interested in being a teacher. Who was she, and where is it?

By Terri Briseno

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Sometimes it seems as though Earth has been hitting the caffeine a little too hard, with all the shakes from earthquakes. So, how do structures stand strong amid all those quakes?

By William Harris

The Bay Bridge is a wonder of structural engineering. Find out how multiple architectural styles were incorporated into the bridge that unites Oakland with San Francisco.

By Wesley Fenlon

Steel-framed skyscrapers are common sights in any city skyline these days. But someone had to be the first to build up, up, up. Find out where this architectural standard was born.

By Wesley Fenlon

A soft-story building has a first floor that's more flexible than the ones above -- think apartments over a department store that's mostly open space. How does soft-story retrofitting keep such buildings from collapsing in a quake?

By Jonathan Atteberry

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Steel is getting more expensive because the prices of iron and coal are rising. Are there alternatives to steel that can do the same job -- or better -- for less?

By Becky Striepe

You might associate green architecture with plastic rain barrels or ugly solar panels, but green design has come a long way. Green architecture can be gorgeous, as we'll see in this article.

By Becky Striepe

If you think regular old domes took the world of structural engineering by storm, you should meet their geodesic cousins. What is a geodesic dome, and who first came up with the idea of building triangle-covered spheres as practical structures?

By Nathan Chandler

Bridges span the gap and help us get from point A to B, but who knew they could float, too? Find out what the deal is with floating bridges in this article.

By Nathan Chandler

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Jenga seems like such a simple game -- all you have to do is keep a tower of wooden blocks from toppling over. It may be simple, but it's anchored by several complex structural engineering concepts.

By Dave Roos

Playing with Lego blocks isn't just child's play. In fact, these blocks and products present a hands-on opportunity to learn the basics of structural engineering.

By Marianne Spoon

You may see most bridges as those things you cross on your way to somewhere else, but where would you be if one collapsed? We've figured out 10 reasons why the worst happens.

By Ed Grabianowski

The World Trade Center employed several new approaches to skyscraper construction. From slurry walls to sky lobbies to "tube within a tube" design features, what made this project distinctive from an architectural engineering standpoint?

By Michael Franco

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The materials used to build the World Trade Center's twin towers have been heavily scrutinized since the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- including the steel that formed the frames of the skyscrapers.

By Michael Franco

It's been compared Jerusalem's Wailing Wall. What purpose did the slurry wall serve the World Trade Center, and what is its significance now?

By Patrick J. Kiger

It took years to construct the 110-story World Trade Center towers and less than an hour to bring them down to rubble. What ultimately caused the towers to collapse on Sept. 11, 2001?

By Clint Pumphrey

Pisa without its precariously tilted landmark is like San Francisco without the Golden Gate or London without Buckingham Palace. Will the peculiarly enduring tower ever vanish from the Italian skyline?

By William Harris

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When it came to building or improving things, the ancient Romans really knew their stuff. Which cool engineering tricks did they pass along to us?

By Gallagher Flinn

Over the centuries, some of the most breathtaking buildings on Earth have been restored many times. Whether they were to make necessary repairs, update designs or adjust to changing needs, all these projects required big bucks.

By Sara Elliott

Water towers can be found in just about every town and city in America. Have you ever wondered if they freeze in the winter?

Bridges move cars, trains, bikes and people, among other things. These 10 may even move your soul with their engineering ingenuity and beauty. So which 10 make the cut?

By William Harris

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Have you ever passed by an abandoned warehouse or gas station and wondered why the government doesn't just tear it down? Well, it may be a brownfield.

By Echo Surina

Whether we're trying to save a sinking city or dig a massive tunnel, our appetite for construction knows no bounds. But if designers had known the actual cost of these 10 projects, they might have gone back to the drawing board.

By Jacob Silverman & Patrick J. Kiger