A building or edifice is a man-made structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory.<ref name="Egenhofer"/> Buildings come in a variety of shapes, sizes 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. To better understand the term building compare the list of nonbuilding structures.
Buildings serve several needs of society – primarily as shelter from weather, security, living space, 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 an intentional part of the design process of many new buildings.
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