Building Materials used in Construction: Types and their uses

Any material used in the process of home building or a civil engineering project is called Building materials. Throughout the year human beings have been using various kinds of building materials to make their houses better. The most commonly used items for building construction are wood, clay, cement, bars, sand, brick, aggregates etc. Clay is the most commonly used material used in construction. The choice of what building materials are to be used depends upon the effectiveness in resolving an issue and the cost-effectiveness.

There are two categories of building materials used during the construction are Natural building materials and the other is man-made building materials. Natural materials are the ones that are available in nature and are ready to use, Whereas Man-made building materials are those which are artificially made by people for desired needs.

Natural Construction Materials

1. Clay and Mud: Clay and mud are the most significant building materials. The effectiveness of clay and mud depends upon the quality. Clay is most commonly baked into brick or roof tiles. Clay has good stability, durability and robustness.

Mud is used in construction because of its low cost and malleability. It is extremely tensile and offers better insulation than steel-and-concrete structures. Buildings made by using mud utilizes local technology and material and therefore there is no need for a contractor and also costs less to maintain buildings made of mud.

2. Fabric: For years tent has been a choice for many people in construction. Modern developments have made new development and introduced tensile architecture and synthetic fabrics. The fabric has greatly been modified and fabric structures are stronger and more reliable. Fabric as a building material is easily insatiable and lightweight and is very low maintenance.

3. Rock: Rock have served as the main building material since the start of civilization. Different types of rocks like granite and slate are used in different types of construction. Rock is notably the most low maintenance material of all. Rock is very durable and it stands the test of time.

4. Wood: Wood is a product derived from trees and is used for construction purposes for the making of boards, planks and similar items. Wood has flexural strength which makes it quite flexible against loads and sturdiness while bending. Wood can be used to make just about any structure in most climates Wood is highly energy-efficient and is highly insoluble.

Man-made Building Construction materials

1. Brick: Bricks are made from baked clay and used for construction. Its sturdy nature and affordable manufacturing make it an ideal material for any kind of construction. Bricks are weatherproof and sustainable. Bricks can be used for the construction of walls, floors, arches and can also be utilized for decorative purposes.

2. Concrete: Concrete is made up of cement, coarse and fine aggregates and mixed with water of suitable proportion. Concrete is a very strong and durable material and has high compressive strength. It is low maintenance and fire-resistant. Concrete is versatile in nature and can be cast into any shape according to needs.

3. Cement: Cement acts as a binding agent for other materials. Without cement, no building construction could be complete. Cement has a high thermal mass and is really easy to mix. There are 16 kinds of cement used in various construction depending on the type of structure.

4. Metal: Metal in the construction industry are used for a variety of functions due to their resistance to weather, durability and strength. The most commonly used metals during construction are stainless steel, copper, steel, brass etc each of these metals serves a different purpose.


Building different projects require different types of materials both natural and man-made. The resources are to be selected properly and according to the needs and structure of the project.

To learn more, watch the following video tutorial.

Video Source: Mobile Tutor

Building Materials used in construction: Types and their uses