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Stone walls are one of the oldest construction methods known to mankind. The first stone walls were made laying up stones without any mortar. With this method stones are held together by gravity. These walls are usually larger at the base. In Ireland and north-eastern UK counties this kind of wall was made by farmers to create fences. It was quite a long and labour-intensive method, but with no costs. When cement appeared, the first mortared stone walls were created, where cement paste fills the gaps between the stones. The first cements were made using burnt gypsum or lime, mixed with water. Concrete includes Portland cement mixed with sand, gravel and water, which makes it resistant to cracking. To make it even more resistant, steel reinforcing bars can be added. Most stone walls today are made using this method, because it is fast and cheap.


1 The first stone walls were made … 2 When cement appeared … 3 The first cements were created using…. 4 Concrete is Portland cement…. 5 Steel reinforcing bars can be added ….   a. burnt gypsum or lime, mixed with water. b. to make concrete even more resistant. - c. first mortared stone walls were created. d. without any mortar. e. mixed with sand, gravel and water.  



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Text 1. BRICK

Brick, stone, and timber are known to be the oldest building materials. Bricks belong to artificial (man-made) materials. Their production started in prehistoric times. Since then they have been produced and tested in all types of climate and in many countries. Thousands of years ago the builders in Egypt already knew the advantages of bricks and used them for construction. In those days the production of bricks was quite different from the modern one: bricks wore produced not by burning but by drying in the sun, there being much sunshine in Egypt all the year round. Brick work was also popular in Rome, there being very few growing forests and as a result little timber there.

In modern times bricks can be made of concrete, mortar, of burnt clay and of a combination of some other substances. For example, different types of clay and shale can be used as raw materials. Accordingly, bricks produced nowadays have different sizes, shapes, colours, and textures. Bricks also vary with the method of fabrication and temperatures of burning. It should be noted that some types of brick, such as, for example, salmon bricks are underburnt and highly porous. Naturally, their strength is extremely poor. This property of salmon brick should be taken into account when choosing brick material for construction. But there exist many other types of brick that are extremely strong and almost glass hard. Between these extremes there lie some other types of brick with different properties. Brick properties are of great importance and should be taken into account while choosing material for construction purposes.

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1. Shale and clay belong to (natural, man-made) materials.

2. (Metal and glass, clay and mortar)___________ are used

for fabricating bricks.

3. In (prehistoric, modern)__________ times bricks (are, were)

________ made by {drying in the sun, burning)_ .

4. Russia is extremely (rich, poor)_____ in raw materials.

5. There were (many, few)___ growing forests in Rome in pre­historic times.

6. Bricks (are extremely different, do not differ)______ in size,

colour, and texture.

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