Practices and Potentials of the History of Construction Technology
Because of increased construction activity related to the redevelopment and renewal of existing buildings, all participants in design and execution of building tasks are confronted more frequently with structures that are no longer – or only partially – up to current standards of construction. Special responsibilities fall to the structural engineer: he must evaluate the historic structures and finally decide whether and under what conditions these will satisfy the increased requirements. "Can history help us with this...?" was the question that Dipl.-Ing. Volker Wetzk (BTU Cottbus) asked in a presentation on "History of Construction Technology and current Engineering Practice: How History Helps with the Evaluation of Old Bridge Bearings" that he gave on 11 October 2007. Volker Wetzk answered with a resounding "yes". Because of this, the Chair for the "History of Construction Technology and Structural Preservation" of the BTU Cottbus (Chaired by Prof. Dr. Ing. Werner Lorenz) and the working groups on "History of Technology" (Chaired by Dr.-Ing. Karl-Eugen Kurrer and Dr. Stefan Poser) and "Construction Technology" (Chaired by Dr.-Ing. Hilka Rogers) of the Berlin-Brandenburg VDI chapter have been organizing a series of lectures on the "Practices and Potentials of the History of Construction Technology" at the German Museum of Technology in Berlin.