Introduction History Concept Materials Examples Advantages Disadvantages Modern uses Conclusion References
The building method of post and lintel has been used for centuries. All structural openings have evolved from this system, which is seen in pure form only in framed structures, because the posts of doors, windows, ceilings, and roofs normally form part of the wall. Post and lintel construction is recognized by its simple vertical and horizontal design, in which a pair of vertical supports are set in the ground or a foundation, and a horizontal structure is balanced on top of them.
Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman architects made extensive use of Post-and-lintel construction to support the roofs of temples and public places. Such ancient structures as Stonehenge, in Britain, were constructed on the post-and-lintel system, which was the basis of architecture from prehistoric to Roman times. The interiors of Egyptian temples and the exteriors of Greek temples are delineated by columns covered by stone lintels. The Greeks substituted wooden beams for stone because the wood required fewer supports and opened up the interior spaces. One of the earliest and most renowned post and lintel example is the prehistoric Stonehenge monument in England, where massive stone blocks were placed in a circle in the support-and- overhead design. Pure post and lintel construction also can be found in a variety of early shelters, including huts, cottages and stables. The Romans developed a variation of post and lintel construction with the arch, which added stability and support, and by the Catholic Church in Europe with the introduction of buttresses to support massive cathedral walls.
Post and lintel, or in contemporary usage Post and beam, is a simple construction method using a lintel, or header as the horizontal member over a building void supported at its ends by two vertical columns, pillars, or posts. This architectural system and building method has been commonly used for centuries to support weight, such as a roof or deck, depending on the vertical posts it rests on. It can support a huge amount of weight, and is effective for reinforcing tall buildings or heavy structures. The post refers to the vertical support, which is paired with an identical support to form the full design. Posts can be columns, poles or beams, modified to meet as architectural designs.
There are two main force vectors acting upon the post and lintel system: weight carrying compression at the joint between lintel and post, and tension induced by deformation of self-weight and the load above between the posts. The two posts are under compression from the weight of the lintel (or beam) above.
The posts must support the lintel and its loads without crushing or buckling. Post material must be especially strong in compression. Post and lintel construction can incorporate wood, metal and stone. Stone has this property and is more versatile in its use as a post than as a lintel. Under heavy loads, stone is superior to wood but not to iron, steel, or reinforced concrete. When used in doorways, wood and steel are the most common materials. Depending on building requirements and ordinances, the supports in windows may be made of plastic or fiberglass, while wood or metal form the surrounding frame. Masonry posts, including those of brick, may be highly efficient, because loads compress the joints and add to their cohesiveness.The most important detail about post and lintel construction is the pieces must fit together exactly, so they are often prefabricated in mills and shops, and then assembled on-site. Stone Brick Wood Cast Iron Concrete Steel
The Parthenon, Greece St. Pauls Cathedral, London Temple of Horus at Edfu, Egypt
Roman Architecture. Stonehenge, England. Temple of Karnak, Egypt. Glass House, Philip Johnson, Connecticut.
The simplicity of the method itself Nowadays, building time is much shorter when it comes to post and beam construction because the walls to fill in between the posts are prefabricated and transported to the job site, where they can simply be put up when necessary. The post and beams are pre-drilled prior to going to the job site, so they can simply just be put together. This saves a great deal of time at the actual job site, once the house begins to be constructed. Stability The brute strength of the timbers and the joints. This allows for fewer individual pieces of lumber compared to platform construction.
The lintel will deform by sagging in the middle because the underside is under tension and the topside is under compression. Limited weight that can be held up. The small distances required between the posts. Its not nearly as common as platform construction. This may translate into higher building prices for post and lintel construction. The weight of each piece.
Today, most post and lintel construction has a third component, the wall, which adds additional support and hides the post and lintel design within the framework. It can still be seen in doorways and columns, in which the space between the vertical supports is open. Variations on post and lintel design can be found in bridges, complex archways and crossbeams, sometimes with cable support adding extra stability. Because post and lintel construction is so simple, it forms the base for the entrances to modern buildings that do not feature curves, which add stability.
Post and lintel construction is an ancient method barely used today, because there have been developed other construction methods which are cheaper and more efficient, although, many of the construction techniques used in modern architecture are derived from this prehistoric technology; so we can say its still a reference and a start point for future architectural projects.