(das) Gebäude = Building (Please put the dots on the a, it makes a difference to meaning as well as pronunciation. If you can't find the ä on your keyboard, use "ae", that is the accepted alternative).
(der) Bau = Building works (I.e. an unfinished building that is still in the process of going up). Bau also means "warren", as in where rabbits, badgers, groundhogs etc. live.
First, Gebäude is a neuter word (das Gebäude), so in the nominative AND the accusative case it will be "ein Gebäude".
Second, even if Gebäude were masculine, it would still be 'ein' as the verb 'sein' (to be - sind, ist, seid, bin) equates two equal things, so the case stays nominative for both sides. Therefore Gebäude is in nominative case.
Hope this helps!
It can refer to both.
Ich gehe noch zur Schule "I still go to school" means that you're a schoolchild -- here Schule is a concept.
Die Schule ist abgebrannt "The school has burned down" refers to the building
And something like die Wiener Schule "the Viennese School" would refer to a kind of movement rather than a literal school.
It’s etymology, not phonotactics. A bit like “ee” versus “ea” in English.
Gebäude is related to bauen and so has äu.
- Täufling "person to be baptised" is spelled with äu because it's related to Taufe "baptism"
- Teufling "little devil" is spelled with eu because it's related to Teufel "devil"
The pronunciation is identical.
I think this is the first -e ended noun that is not die...
Haven't you come across der Käse or das Gemüse yet?
There are a number of neuter words in Ge...e -- das Gebäude, das Gemüse, das Gebirge, das Gelände, ... as well as nouns formed from verbs that generally express the idea of "the (constant) action of ..." as in das Gerenne, das Gekreische, das Getue, ....