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No one. The Romans developed the best building techniques in antiquity.

The Romans effected what historians call the Roman architectural revolution or concrete revolution. This involved the extensive use of concrete, the barrel (simple) arch and the vaulted arch. These three elements enabled the Romans to go beyond Greek methods of construction which used cut-stone and post-and-beam or post-and-lintel structures.

The Romans developed a type of concrete (opus caementicium) which was as resistant as modern concrete and also set underwater (and therefore could also be used to build docks for ports, dams, aqueducts and bridges). It was less fluid than modern concrete and had to be layered by hand. It was made by mixing a volcanic rock called pozzolana (which is named after Pozzuoli, a suburb of Naples) with lime as a binder and the addition of rubble from stones, bricks or pottery shreds as aggregates which added body to it. Concrete had technical and practical advantages. It was exceptionally strong and could span great distances when shaped into arches, vaults and domes as it could be moulded. It was layered into a formwork and it took the shape of its container. It did not require skilled labour and therefore was cheaper. It was much faster for construction than laborious masonry walls. It was safer because concrete vaulted roofing was fireproof, unlike the wooden-beamed roofs of traditional construction post-and-lintel methods.

The potential of the previously little used arch and vault, was fully exploited for the first time. The Romans were the first to fully appreciate the advantage of these structures. The (simple, barrel) arch has a strong load- bearing capacity. The vault (vaulted arch) has an even greater load-bearing capacity and its structure is suited to support large roofs. Their construction in concrete made them easier to build and even stronger. This led to the use larger and monumental arches and vaults on a grand scale. However, the Romans did not abandon masonry arches and vaults. The vaulted arch came into two forms: the groin arch is formed by two to four intersecting barrel (simple) arches and the rib arch, where the intersecting arches were not of the same diameter; the ribbed arch has intersected arches of different diameter.

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