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...ing cold weather problems. These two innovations changed the exterior walls from ones that carried their own loads to ones that bore integrally with the rest of the system. This created an ability to use concrete as the framing with a curtain wall sealing the building from external forces . Another innovation, which led the construction industry away from its traditional construction techniques of imitating steel and wood, was Robert Maillart's use of the floor slab instead of beams and girders to carry loads. These breakthroughs, along with concrete's ability to resist fire, carry heavy loads, and dampen noise, made it a good choice for factory and apartment buildings at the turn of the century. The difficulty for inventors was then to convince the public that its uses went beyond low-rise apartment buildings. Like steel, it could also soar toward the sky.
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