In architecture, construction, engineering, real estate development and technology the term building refers to one of the following:
Any human-made structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or continuous occupancy, or
An act of construction (i. e. the activity of building, see also builder)
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(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.
Buildings may be damaged during the construction of the building or during maintenance. There are several other reasons behind building damage like accidents such as storms, explosions and subsidence caused by mining or poor foundations. Buildings also may suffer from fire damage and flooding in special circumstances. They may also become dilapidated through lack of proper maintenance or alteration work improperly carried out.