Which Are The Most Important Building Materials Used In Construction?
The materials used for the construction of building can be termed as the building material. Human beings have been experimenting with building materials to find the optimum combination which will be both cost-effective and useful in solving construction issues. Building materials can be categorized as natural and man-made materials. Natural materials are all the elements which can be procured from nature itself whereas man-made materials are those which are synthetically made to achieve the desired property.
NATURAL BUILDING MATERIALS
• MUD AND CLAY
The effectiveness of mud and clay depends on its quality. The use of mud and clay have reformed history. The cob/adobe style signifies high presence of clay, whereas a sod building represents low presence of it. The usage of sand and straw mixture to mould as rammed earth can be spotted in historic structures.
Use of clay as a building material:
- Versatile: Even in case of structural changes and complications with regards to interior designing aspects, the use of clay is multi-dimensional.
- Durable: The use of mud and clay is extremely durable. Deterioration due to environmental factors is low.
- Insulation: Clay has insulation properties. It can absorb high thermal mass, store it and then release the heat according to the surrounding.
The tent has been called home by a number of nomadic groups for over tens and thousands of years.
They were mostly known as “Conical Tepee” and “Circular Yurt”. The reason why cotton and hemp were extensively used as building materials for construction due to its strength. With modern architecture now it has been modified and the fabric structure has been made even more strong and reliable.
How is fabric as a building material useful:
- It is lightweight and easy to install: Its versatile nature is what made it popular among nomads.
- Low maintenance: The cost of maintaining fabric is really low.
Rock is one of the most long-lasting material which has helped humans sustain for thousands of years. The diverse property of rocks has helped it to spread worldwide. Owing to its high-density rocks offer durability to environmental impacts.
Various types of rocks such as granite and slate have been used previously in the medieval period as well as in the primitive civilizations.
Harvested through grass, thatch is one of the oldest materials when it comes building materials. It acts as an excellent insulator. Within tribes of Africa, Thatch has been used as a year around roof. Thatch has been successful as a domestic house building material but not in the industrial application. New Zealand has come up with innovative ways to use that in modern times.
ADVANTAGES OF USING THATCH AS A BUILDING MATERIAL:
1. Water-resistant: It is one of the few water-resistant natural materials.
2. Insulator: Thatch can hold air pockets among it, therefore, it can ensure that the building remain warm and cool depending on the season.
Wood or timber is a fibrous product we get from trees. As a binding material wood has been used in the form of boards, planks and other similar materials. Wood helps in building condition even during severe climatic condition due to its eco-friendliness.
Wood provides flexural strength under loads and sturdiness when bended. Wood has diversified properties depending on the variety of climate it is introduced to. Earlier, wood was used in sleepers of railways and building supports or braces.
ADVANATGES OF USING WOOD:
1. Energy-efficient: Wood, due to its insulating property saves energy.
2. Highly versatile nature: The mould-able property of wood allows it to be used in various ways, effectively.
Ice has been an important building material in the northern colder regions. Ice was used by Inuits to build their igloos. Now ice is even used to make ice hotels and other artistic interiors. Ice helps in protecting people living in high winter areas from severe storms.
ADVANTAGES OF USING ICE:
1. Insulation: To build storm-resistant house the high insulating property of ice is effective.
2. Accelerated construction: Ice houses can be constructed in a short time.
The word Puzzolana come from the name of a town in Italy called “Puzzouli”.
The volcanic dust which settles around the town due to frequent eruption when mixes with the hydrated lime it is found to possess hydraulic properties. From then on, puzzolana has been used as a building material in construction. Before the introduction of cement, puzzolana was mixed with lime to form concrete. It is now used to replace a proportion of cement when making concrete.
ADVANTAGES OF USING PUZZOLANA:
1. Leads to better workability of concrete with reduction of segregation and bleeding.
2. High resistance to freezing and thawing is provided by concrete made with pozzolana.
3. It helps in reducing the leaches of soluble compounds in concrete which helps the concrete be impermeable.
MAN-MADE BUILDING MATERIALS
• BRICK AND BLOCK
A brick can be described as a mixture of clay-shale heated together in a kiln. To create more sturdy structures clay bricks have been used. In the older days’ bricks were made of volcanic ash and subtle amounts of lime.
Now, bricks are made through extruding clay machines and are cut into shapes. Bricks brought in sturdiness and affordable manufacturing as a building material after mud.
ADVANTAGES OF USING BRICK AS A BUILDING MATERIAL:
1. Weatherproof: The most important advantage of using brick is its weatherproof nature.
2. Sustainable: Using brick is sustainable to the environment.
Concrete is the second most consumed material after water. It is the material of the future. The combination of cement, sand and aggregate makes concrete. Concrete can be hardened like a stone by hydrating it. Customized concrete can now be created with consistent innovations in the industry.
Ready to mix concrete are now adopted on major construction sites to enture high productivity and quality control. Modern age building materials need to possess qualities such as ease of transport, durability and reinforcement.
ADVANTAGES OF USING CONCRETE AS A BUILDING MATERIAL:
1. Versatile application: The easy to mould ability makes concrete a good option.
2. Economical: The substantial benefits of using it has been economical.
The reason why metal is used extensively for building structure is because of its flexible quality and strength providing a structural support for large building. Effective control of corrosion can easily make metal one of the best building material.
Metal succeeds concrete in terms of lightweight and sturdiness. While building high rise industries the corrosion of metal is a serious concern. Titanium and aluminum have the property of high tensile strength therefore can be used well. Metals such as gold and silver have decorative applications.
ADVANTAGES OF USING STEEL AS A METAL:
1. Economical construction: Steel are comparatively cheaper and therefore cost effective.
2. Strength and aesthetic: Metal structures provide strength and have high surface area ratio to strength.
Glass was invented in 3600B.C. It is a great material prepared by heating sand and silicate at high temperature. Glass has been used to make see through windows and for other decorative purposes.
With constant innovation glass has been made brittle proof and energy efficient. It can be used to create space frame.
ADVANTAGES OF USING GLASS AS A BUILDING MATERIAL:
1. Weather-resistant: It can benefit us with its environment resistant property.
2. Sustainable future material: Glass can offer high sunlight friendly houses with its low refractive indexes.
Ceramics are used in decorative materials such as tiles and fixtures. They are prominently applied as a cover for certain building part or for setting up fixtures. The most common ceramic uses are wall paints, counter-tops, ceramic floors and also fall ceilings.
Ceramic are also used in a number of countries as part of flooring to cladding to buildings.
ADVANTAGES OF USING CERAMIC AS A BUILDING MATERIAL:
1. Lightweight: Ceramic is light weight and offers high strength to weight ratio.
2. Extreme hardness: They are extremely hard for impact.
Paint is a liquid surface coating which on drying forms a thin film.
There are a number of different types of paints. Of which there are oil paints, water paints, cement paints, bituminous paints and special paints such as fireproof paints, luminous paints, chlorinated rubber paints (for protecting objects against acid fumes) these are used in building construction which makes paint one of the most important material in building construction.
ADVANTAGES OF USING PAINTS:
1. It protects the surface from stresses and resists deterioration.
2. Provides a smooth and fine finish on the surface.
3. Protects the wood work from decay.
• POLYMERIC MATERIALS
Polymeric materials are used for making rubber, plastics and resins. Polymers are macromolecules with high molecular weight. By the process of polymerization reaction small molecules are formed into large molecule.
ADVANTAGES OF USING POLYMERIC MATERIALS:
1. Rubber is used for making conveyor belts, linings for tanks. It is also used to make insulating materials.
2. Flooring tile can be made by using phenolaldehyde resin with waste rubber.
3. For adhesive and protective coatings production chlorinated rubber is used.
4. Foam rubber which is made from rubber is used widely to make upholstery and furniture.