Marine Concrete Technology in Vitruvius’s De Architectura Libri Decem

Lino Bianco

Rezumat/Abstract. Vitruvius’s De Architectura Libri Decem is a treatise on architecture dating to the onset of the Pax Romana. It covers the design and practice to erect private and public buildings including marine structures. Terrestrial and marine concrete is one specific construction material covered in various sections of this handbook; its durability is proven by nearly two millennia of history, as buildings such as the Pantheon testify. The technology for marine concrete is similar to that of the former except for the mix proportions and water quality used. Furthermore, based on research undertaken as part of the ROMACONS project, the formation of a rare hydrothermal mineral accounts for the durability of marine concrete. This article concludes by (i) outlining good practice in marine concrete technology in Roman antiquity as stated by Vitruvius and (ii) proposing the further research potential of exploring De Architectura from a sustainable design perspective including a comparative reading of Roman architecture and engineering alongside similar contemporary building typologies.

Cuvinte cheie/Key words: Vitruvius, De Architectura, marine concrete, concrete technology, building materials, sustainability, Roman antiquity

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