1853: First Reinforced Concrete
Innovation: Reinforced Concrete
Location: Paris, France
By: Francois Coignet
In 1853 Francois Coignet built the first iron reinforced concrete structure ever, a house at 72 rue Charles Michels in Paris, France. Although initial reports stated that the house may be dangerous, it still stands today and serves as a historical monument and representation of the importance of the material. Before Coignet discovered the use of reinforced concrete, concrete itself was very limited as a building material due to its low tensile strength and ductility. One primary concern was unacceptable cracking and therefore structural failure. However, with the addition of a steel reinforcing bar containing a higher tensile strength and ductility, certain regions subject to tensile stresses would now have a greater resistance to those forces. This innovation lead to the widespread use of concrete in buildings. Of course, reinforced concrete has been and still is one of the most common used materials in structures.