Lu Ban 鲁班

The founder of Chinese civil engineers


Chinese Name: 鲁班

English Name: Lu Ban

Other Names: Gongshu Ban 公输般, Gongshu Pan 公输盘, Ban Shu 班输

Born: 507 B.C.

Died: 444 B.C.


The founder of civil architecture 土木建筑鼻祖

The founder of carpentry 木匠鼻祖

Lu Ban 鲁班
Lu Ban 鲁班

Brief Biography of Lu Ban

Lu Ban, a native of the State of Lu in the Spring and Autumn Period 春秋, has actually become a symbol of the wisdom of the ancient working people.

Lu Ban 鲁班, family name Gongshu 公输, is called Gongshu Pan 公输盘, Gongshu Ban 公输般 and Ban Shu 班输. He is also called Gongshu Zi 公输子, also known as Lu Pan 鲁盘 or Lu Ban 鲁班, courtesy name Yizhi 依智.

Lu Ban 鲁班
The statue of Lu Ban 鲁班塑像

He was born in the 13th year of King Jing of Zhou Dynasty 周敬王 (507 BC) and died in the 25th year of King Zhending of Zhou Dynasty 周贞定王 (444 BC). He lived in the late Spring and Autumn Period and the early Warring States Period 战国, and was born in a family of generations of craftsmen. He participated in many civil construction projects with his family since childhood, gradually mastered the skills of production and accumulated rich practical experience.

Personal Life and Major Contributions

Early experience

About 450 BC, he came to Chu 楚 from Lu 鲁 to help Chu manufacture weapons. He once created a ladder to attack the State of Song 宋国. Mozi 墨子 traveled thousands of miles from Lu to Ying 郢, the capital of the State of Chu, and argued with Lu Ban and the King of Chu to persuade the King of Chu to stop attacking the State of Song.

Lu Ban 鲁班
The memorial hall of Lu Ban 鲁班纪念馆

It is said that the hand tools used by carpenters, such as drills, planes, shovels, curved rulers, and ink pipes for scribing, were all invented by Lu Ban. The invention of each tool was inspired by Lu Ban’s production practice and came out through repeated research and experiments.

For more than 2400 years, people have concentrated the collective creation and invention of the ancient working people on him. Therefore, the story about his invention and creation is actually the story of the invention and creation of the ancient Chinese working people.

Innovation and creation

Many tools and instruments used by carpenters were created by him, such as the curved ruler (also called the rectangular ruler or the Lu Ban ruler), and tools such as ink fountain, plane, drill, saw, etc. were also invented by Lu Ban. The invention of these woodworking tools liberated the craftsmen at that time from the original heavy labor, and the labor efficiency was doubled, and the civil technology took on a new look. Later, people honored him as the ancestor of Chinese civil engineers in memory of this famous master.

Lu Ban 鲁班
One of Lu Ban’s inventions 鲁班的发明之一

Hook and ladder are commonly used weapons in the late Spring and Autumn Period. Mozi · Lu Wen 《墨子·鲁问》 records that Lu Ban changed the hook into a “strong hook 钩强” for boat fighting. The Chu army used this tool to fight with the Yue army. The more the boat retreated, the more it be hooked. The more the boat attacked, the more it refused. In Mozi · Gongshu《墨子·公输》, it is recorded that he changed the ladder into a cloud ladder that can stand in the air to attack the city.

Luban Prize of China Construction Engineering

Luban Prize for Construction Engineering was established by China Construction Industry Federation in 1987. This award is an industrial honor award and belongs to the folk nature. At that time, the number was 20 per year, with strict selection methods, application and review procedures, and strict review discipline. The review shall be conducted by the review co mmittee.The review committee is composed of 21 members, who must be experts with senior technical titles, familiar with engineering expertise, and have held certain professional and technical posts.

In July 1996, according to the decision of the Ministry of Construction, the National High Quality Project Award established and organized by the government in 1981 was merged with the Luban Award for Construction Projects. The award was named as the Luban Award for China’s Construction Projects (National High Quality Project). Once a year, the award amount is 45. On May 15, 2000, China Construction Industry Association released a new evaluation method for Luban Prize (National Excellence) of China Construction Engineering, and 80 Luban Prize projects are selected every year.

Lu Ban 鲁班
Luban Award for Construction Engineering 鲁班奖

Establishment and issuance

Luban Award is a high-quality project award established by the former China Construction Industry Federation in 1987. In 1993, it was transferred to China Construction Industry Association with the cancellation of the Federation. In 1996, according to the decision of the Ministry of Construction on “combining the two awards into one”, the National Quality Engineering Award and the Luban Award for Construction Engineering were merged, and the title of the award was determined as the Luban Award for Construction Engineering in China (National Excellence).

This award is the highest honor award in terms of project quality in China’s construction industry, awarded by the Ministry of Construction and the China Construction Industry Association.


The Ministry of Construction and China Construction Industry Association hold an award conference every year to award Luban golden statue, medals and certificates to the main contractors who have won the Luban Prize, to award medals and certificates to the main participants who have won the Luban Prize, and to give a notice of commendation to the award-winning enterprises. The main contractors can inlay unified honor marks on the award-winning projects.

Relevant regions, departments and award-winning enterprises can give awards to award-winning enterprises and relevant personnel according to the actual situation of the region, the department and the enterprise. The China Construction Industry Association is responsible for organizing the compilation and publication of the album of award-winning projects of the Luban Prize of China Construction Engineering (National High Quality Engineering), which will record the award-winning projects and award-winning enterprises in the history of China’s construction industry.

Video: Legends of Ancient China Episode 6: Legendary Carpenter Lu Ban

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