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In architecture, construction, engineering and real estate development the word building may refer to one of the following:
Any man-made structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or continuous occupancy, or
An act of construction (i.e. the activity of building, see also builder)
In this article, the first usage is generally intended unless otherwise specified.
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.