There’s no doubt that construction is one of the toughest jobs in the world, but there was a time when power tools and heavy construction machinery didn’t even exist. Even with those tools being absent on job sites, amazing structures were still built for thousands of years and with extremely intricate detail. SO how exactly did they do it? Tons of manpower and tons of time, something that many modern jobs don’t have the luxury of. Ignoring all of today’s modern conveniences, a group of French construction workers and other skilled tradesmen and women have teamed up to build an authentic 13th Century style castle.
The Guedelon Castle, located in Burgundy, France, has been under construction since 1997 and it’s still not expected to be complete until 2020. Even though the construction process is spread out over nearly 25 years, it’s an incredible feat to complete this project completely from scratch, with a team of on-site quarrymen, stonemasons, woodcutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, tile masons, and rope makers. That’s right, they even have to make their own tile and ropes; there aren’t any Home Depots available on this job. In total, the project employs 70 craftsmen, 40 of whom work on-site. Not all of those tradesmen came with years of experience, as many had to hone their skills in the field. In to the 70 the project employs, around 600 people spend time throughout the year learning the tricks of the trade.
In order to determine how the castles were actually built centuries ago, a team of achaeologists and historians examined illustrations on medieval manuscripts, financial records, and other 13th century castles that are still standing. Not only has this project been an extremely interesting experiment for today’s people to see with their own eyes how these structures were built, but it also helps researchers fill in the blanks on ancient construction methods.
When Michel Guyot, who owns and restores Saint-Fergeau Castle, originally thought of building this authentic 13th castle, many laughed at him, but he soon found a partner in Maryline Martin. The team worked for months planning and fundraising to make the project a reality. One year after construction started, in 1998, the site was opened to the public, so that visitors could see the amazing process. In 2015 alone, 300,000 people visited Geudelon Castle and the project is now completely funded by tourism.
This is an absolute must see if you ever happen to visit France.
In the video below, by Latvijas komanda, you’ll see some incredible footage of many of the processes, from hoisting large stones by hand with rope, to shaping stone and milling freshly cut timber. There’s even a human hamster wheel to help lift materials and supplies to the upper levels.
For some additional history of the project and even more details on the construction techniques, check out this video by La Culture du Vin
Cameras are EVERYWHERE these days. They’re on sites documenting the full construction process of your project, they’re on projects taking 360 degree progress footage, and most importantly, they’re in your pocket on your smartphone. Having a camera in your pocket at all times can be a good or bad thing, especially for employers, because not only can it make lives much easier for communication and documentation purposes, but it also gives people the chance to show the world when things go absolutely terribly.
With cranes being on many construction sites, it’s easy for workers to get complacent. Hundreds or thousands of construction materials can be lifted by cranes throughout the project, but all it takes is one time for a disaster to occur.
Cranes are a necessary and useful piece of equipment on most construction sites, but extreme caution must be taken when working with them, as any failure could be catastrophic or, at the very least, very costly.
On Sunday, demolition contractors tried to bring down the upper portion of the Pontiac Silverdome, former home to the Detroit Lions, but several of the explosives didn’t ignite and the structure was still upright after the smoke cleared. After videos of the failed demolition were posted online, the internet had a field day.
Construction timelapse videos make extremely complicated and long projects look much easier to build than they actually are. The recently opened Louvre in Abu Dhabi took 8 years to complete, but you can watch the full process in only 3 minutes.
High winds can cause problems in many situations on a job site, especially with cranes and scaffolds. A horrific crane collapse in downtown New York City was caught on tape after a gust of wind knocked it down in early 2016. Last week, high winds caused more problems at construction sites, as it knocked over a scaffold above a busy sidewalk and sent a suspended scaffold swinging out of control and crashing into a building.
Getting the perfect view of a major building demolition can get you millions of hits, or even better, shared by us right here on Construction Junkie. Have your video get epic-ly photobombed and you’ll get even more views and definitely shared by us.
Contact with overhead power lines is a major hazard when working on most construction sites and especially when working from elevated platforms or with heavy machinery.
When construction workers cut through nature and dig in the ground, it shouldn’t be a surprise when wildlife is encountered, although some are a little bit more frightening than others. Last year, crews had to help free a giant bear that was stuck in a cesspit and the bear was happy at all about it.