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.