Types of Building Materials – Properties and Uses in Construction


Building material is any material used for construction purpose such as materials for house building. Wood, cement, aggregates, metals, bricks, concrete, clay are the most common type of building material used in construction. The choice of these are based on their cost effectiveness for building projects.

Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, sand, wood and rocks, even twigs and leaves have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many man-made products are in use, some more and some less synthetic.

The manufacture of building materials is an established industry in many countries and the use of these materials is typically segmented into specific specialty trades, such as carpentry, plumbing, roofing and insulation work. This reference deals with habitats and structures including homes.

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1. Natural Construction Materials
Construction materials can be usually categorised into two sources, natural and synthetic. Natural materials are the ones which are unprocessed or minimally processed by using enterprise, such as lumber or glass.

Synthetic substances are made in industrial settings after a good deal human manipulations, along with plastics and petroleum primarily based paints. Both have their uses.

Mud, stone, and fibrous flora are the most primary materials, aside from tents made of bendy substances including fabric or skins. People all over the international have used these three materials collectively to create houses to match their neighborhood climate situations.


In wellknown stone and/or brush are used as simple structural components in those homes, even as mud is used to fill in the space between, performing as a type of concrete and insulation.

A primary example is wattle and daub usually used as everlasting housing in tropical nations or as summer season structures by means of ancient northern peoples.

Natural Building Materials
2. Fabric
The tent used to be the home of desire among nomadic organizations across the world. Two widely recognized types encompass the conical teepee and the round yurt. It has been revived as a primary creation technique with the development of tensile structure and artificial fabrics.

Modern homes may be fabricated from bendy fabric consisting of cloth membranes, and supported by using a system of steel cables or internal (air pressure.)

3. Mud and clay
The quantity of each material used ends in extraordinary sorts of buildings. The determining thing is normally related with the nice of the soil being used. Larger amounts of clay normally mean the use of the cob/adobe fashion, whilst low clay soil is generally related to sod building.

The other principal elements include greater or less sand/gravel and straw/grasses. Rammed earth is both an old and newer take on developing partitions, as soon as made through compacting clay soils among planks with the aid of hand, now bureaucracy and mechanical pneumatic compressors are used.

Soil and in particular clay is right thermal mass; it is superb at retaining temperatures at a regular level. Homes built with earth have a tendency to be evidently cool within the summer time heat and warm in cold climate. Clay holds heat or bloodless, liberating it over a time frame like stone.

Earthen walls trade temperature slowly, so artificially raising or decreasing the temperature can use extra resources than in say a wood constructed house, but the warmness/coolness stays longer.

Peoples constructing with in general dust and clay, together with cob, sod, and adobe, ended in houses which have been built for centuries in western and northerly Europe as well as the rest of the arena, and stay built, though on a smaller scale. Some of those buildings have remained habitable for loads of years.

4. Rock
Rock structures have existed for so long as records can keep in mind. It is the longest enduring building material available, and is typically comfortably to be had. There are many sorts of rock through out the sector all with differing attributes that cause them to higher or worse for particular makes use of.

Rock is a very dense material so it gives quite a few safety too, its important draw-returned as a cloth is its weight and awkwardness. Its strength density is also taken into consideration a large draw-returned, as stone is hard to preserve warm without using massive quantities of heating resources.

Dry-stone partitions had been constructed for so long as people have positioned one stone on top of some other. Eventually one-of-a-kind sorts of mortar have been used to hold the stones collectively, cement being the most not unusual now.

The granite-strewn uplands of Dartmoor National Park, United Kingdom, for instance, furnished adequate resources for early settlers. Circular huts were comprised of free granite rocks in the course of the Neolithic and early Bronze Age, and the stays of an estimated five,000 can nonetheless be visible today.


Granite continued to be used at some point of the Medieval period (see Dartmoor longhouse) and into present day times. Slate is any other stone type, generally used as roofing material in the United Kingdom and different components of the world wherein it’s far determined.

Mostly stone buildings can be visible in most main towns, some civilizations constructed entirely with stone together with the Pyramids in Egypt, the Aztec pyramids and the stays of the Inca civilization.

5. Thatch
Thatch is one of the oldest of substances recognized; grass is a great insulator and without difficulty harvested. Many African tribes have lived in houses made absolutely of grasses 12 months round. In Europe, thatch roofs on homes had been as soon as typical but the material fell out of favour as industrialization and progressed transport expanded the supply of different materials.

Today, although, the practice is present process a revival. In the Netherlands, for instance, many of new builds too have thatched roofs with special ridge tiles on top.

6. Brush
Brush structures are built absolutely from plant elements and are normally discovered in tropical and subtropical areas, consisting of rainforests, where very big leaves may be used in the constructing. Native Americans often built brush structures for resting and dwelling in, too.

These are constructed normally with branches, twigs and leaves, and bark, just like a beaver’s resort. These have been variously named wickiups, lean-tos, and so on.

7. Ice
Ice become utilized by the Inuit for igloos, but has additionally been used for ice resorts as a visitor appeal in northern regions that won’t otherwise see many wintry weather travelers.

8. Wood
Wood is a manufactured from timber, and occasionally other fibrous plants, used for production functions while reduce or pressed into lumber and timber, inclusive of forums, planks and similar materials. It is a well-known constructing material and is used in constructing just about any sort of structure in most climates.

Wood may be very bendy under masses, preserving energy whilst bending, and is enormously sturdy when compressed vertically.

There are many differing qualities to the exclusive kinds of wood, even amongst identical tree species. This way precise species are better for diverse uses than others. And growing conditions are vital for determining fine.

Historically, wood for constructing massive structures was utilized in its unprocessed shape as logs. The timber were simply cut to the wanted length, every so often stripped of bark, and then notched or lashed into area.

In in advance times, and in some components of the sector, many u . S . Homes or groups had a personal timber-lot from which the family or network would develop and harvest trees to build with. These plenty would be tended to like a lawn.

With the invention of mechanizing saws came the mass manufacturing of dimensional lumber. This made buildings quicker to position up and greater uniform. Thus the contemporary western fashion home became made.

9. Brick and Block
A brick is a block manufactured from kiln-fired fabric, usually clay or shale, but also may be of decrease satisfactory mud, and so forth. Clay bricks are formed in a moulding (the tender mud method), or in industrial manufacture more frequently via extruding clay through a die after which wire-cutting them to the proper length (the stiff mud process).

Bricks had been broadly used as a creation fabric inside the 1700, 1800 and 1900s. This turned into possibly because of the truth that it turned into a lot more flame retardant than wooden inside the ever crowding cities, and fairly reasonably-priced to supply.

Another sort of block replaced clay bricks inside the late twentieth century. It turned into the Cinder block. Made in most cases with concrete.

An important low-price material in developing countries is the Sandcrete block, that is weaker however cheaper than fired clay bricks.

10. Concrete
Concrete is a composite constructing material crafted from the combination of combination (composite) and a binder consisting of cement. The maximum commonplace form of concrete is Portland cement concrete, which includes mineral combination (normally gravel and sand), portland cement and water.

After blending, the cement hydrates and subsequently hardens into a stone-like material. When used within the regular feel, this is the cloth stated by way of the time period concrete.

For a concrete creation of any size, as concrete has a as a substitute low tensile strength, it’s miles typically strengthened using steel rods or bars (called rebars). This reinforced concrete is then called bolstered concrete.

In order to minimise any air bubbles, that could weaken the shape, a vibrator is used to do away with any air that has been entrained while the liquid concrete blend is poured around the ironwork. Concrete has been the most important cloth in this modern age due to its longevity, formability, and ease of shipping.

11. Metal
Metal is used as structural framework for large homes which include skyscrapers, or as an external floor overlaying.

There are many sorts of metals used for constructing. Steel is a metal alloy whose most important factor is iron, and is the same old preference for metal structural construction. It is robust, flexible, and if refined properly and/or handled lasts a long time. Corrosion is metal’s prime enemy in relation to toughness.

The decrease density and higher corrosion resistance of aluminium alloys and tin on occasion conquer their greater price. Brass was more commonplace in the beyond, but is generally confined to particular makes use of or forte items nowadays.

Metal figures pretty prominently in prefabricated systems such as the Quonset hut, and can be seen used in maximum cosmopolitan towns. It calls for a first-rate deal of human labor to supply metallic, specifically within the large amounts needed for the building industries.

Other metals used include titanium, chrome, gold, silver. Titanium may be used for structural functions, however it’s far a lot extra steeply-priced than steel. Chrome, gold, and silver are used as decoration, due to the fact those materials are highly-priced and shortage structural features along with tensile strength or hardness.

12. Glass
Clear home windows had been used for the reason that invention of glass to cowl small openings in a constructing. They supplied human beings with the capacity to both let light into rooms even as at the equal time retaining inclement climate out of doors. Glass is typically crafted from mixtures of sand and silicates, and may be very brittle.

Modern glass “curtain partitions” can be used to cowl the whole facade of a constructing. Glass also can be used to span over a extensive roof shape in a “area body”.

13. Ceramics
Ceramics are such things as tiles, furnishings, etc. Ceramics are ordinarily used as furniture or coverings in homes. Ceramic floors, walls, counter-tops, even ceilings. Many international locations use ceramic roofing tiles to cover many buildings.

Ceramics used to be just a specialised form of clay-pottery firing in kilns, but it has developed into extra technical regions.

14. Plastic
Plastic pipes penetrating a concrete floor in a Canadian highrise rental constructing

The term plastics covers a variety of artificial or semi-artificial organic condensation or polymerization products that can be molded or extruded into items or movies or fibers. Their name is derived from the reality that during their semi-liquid kingdom they’re malleable, or have the assets of plasticity.

Plastics vary immensely in warmth tolerance, hardness, and resiliency. Combined with this pliability, the overall uniformity of composition and lightness of plastics guarantees their use in almost all business applications these days

15. Foam
Foamed plastic sheet for use as backing for firestop mortar at CIBC financial institution in Toronto.

More these days artificial polystyrene or polyurethane foam has been used on a constrained scale. It is mild weight, effortlessly fashioned and an fantastic insulator. It is usually used as a part of a structural insulated panel where the froth is sandwiched among timber or cement.

16. Cement composites
Cement bonded composites are an crucial magnificence of construction fabric. These merchandise are made of hydrated cement paste that binds timber or alike particles or fibers to make precast building additives. Various fibrous substances such as paper and fiberglass have been used as binders.

Wood and herbal fibres are composed of diverse soluble organic compounds like carbohydrates, glycosides and phenolics. These compounds are recognized to retard cement putting. Therefore, earlier than the usage of a wood in making cement boned composites, its compatibility with cement is assessed.

Wood-cement compatibility is the ratio of a parameter related to the property of a wooden-cement composite to that of a neat cement paste. The compatibility is regularly expressed as a percentage fee.

To determine wood-cement compatibility, methods based on special properties are used, which include, hydration traits, strength, interfacial bond and morphology.

Various techniques are used by researchers inclusive of the size of hydration characteristics of a cement-aggregate mix; the assessment of the mechanical properties of cement-mixture mixes and the visible assessment of microstructural properties of the wood-cement mixes.

It has been determined that the hydration test through measuring the alternate in hydration temperature with time is the maximum convenient method. Recently, Karade et al. Have reviewed those techniques of compatibility evaluation and cautioned a method primarily based at the ‘adulthood idea’ i.E. Taking in attention each time and temperature of cement hydration reaction.

17. Building Materials in Modern Industry
Modern constructing is a multibillion dollar industry, and the production and harvesting of raw substances for constructing purposes is on a worldwide scale. Often being a number one governmental and exchange keypoint among international locations.

Environmental worries also are turning into a chief global subject matter regarding the supply and sustainability of sure materials, and the extraction of such huge quantities wished for the human habitat.

18. Virtual Building Materials
Certain substances like pix, snap shots, text may be considered virtual. While, they generally exist on a substrate of herbal fabric themselves, they acquire a extraordinary fine of salience to natural substances thru the method of illustration.

19. Building Products
When we speak approximately building products we discuss with the geared up-made particles which can be geared up in exclusive architectural hardware and decorative hardware parts of a building.

The listing of constructing merchandise completely exclude the substances, which might be used to assemble the building structure and assisting fixtures like home windows, doorways, cabinets, and so on. Building merchandise do no longer make any a part of a building alternatively they support and lead them to running.


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