In architecture, construction, engineering and real estate development the word building may refer to one of the following:
In this article, the first usage is generally intended unless otherwise specified.
Buildings come in a wide amount of shapes and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a wide number of factors, from building materials available, to weather conditions, to land prices, ground conditions, specific uses and aesthetic reasons.
Buildings serve several needs of society - primarily as shelter from weather and as general living space, to provide privacy, to store belongings and to comfortably live and work. A building as a shelter represents a physical division of the human habitat into the inside (a place of comfort and safety) and the outside (a place that at times may be harsh and harmful). Ever since the first cave paintings, buildings have also become objects or canvasess of artistic expression. In recent years, interest in sustainable planning and building practices has also become part of the design process of many new buildings.