What Is Building Materials? | Type of building materials

Type of building materials

What Is Building Materials?

Materials used for construction purposes such as wood, concrete, steel, cement, aggregate, bricks, clay, metal, etc. are called building materials. It usually uses a variety of materials for construction purposes

In the old days, people used bricks, or wood, for building construction. But in the modern age, engineers have learned to use the right materials for high-rise buildings. Materials are selected for any building based on the client’s budget and building projects.

Various building materials are used to create a quality structure for any building. The construction of any building is based on its need. Therefore managers and field engineers for the project should carefully analyze for the required materials.

The Importance of Selecting the Right Building Materials

  1. The quality of a building made of suitable building materials has a big impact on the life of the building. Many problems arise in construction when materials are cheap and low. And the life of the house will not last long.
  2. The choice of the right building materials to use is often overlooked. of building materials.

Also Read : What Is a Beam Bridge? | Types of Beam Bridges | Advantage & Disadvantage of Beam Bridge

Type of building materials

The building material used in construction is described as follows,

1. Mud and Clay in Building Material

Mud and Clay product

  • Mud is the result of water and soil dence mixing. The formation of mud is due to soil erosion after rainfall near rivers or water sources. After drying for a while, the mud hardens to form mud.
  • Mud is a semi-liquid material used in building construction. The use of mud sticks to coats, seals, or other materials due to its properties. Depending on the use of mud, it has been given many different names. The various names include slurry, mortar, plaster, stucco, and concrete.


  1. In the early years, stone, mud, and other materials were used as building materials. In the old days, mud was used to fill the gap between bricks and stone.
  2. A building built using mud as a building material was not as strong as concrete, but a mud house is able to keep the house cool during the summer.
  3. In general, materials such as stone, gravel, lime, and bitumen can be mixed with soil and water to form walls, floors, and ceilings.

Also Read : What Is Modulus of Rupture of Concrete? | What Is Modulus Rapture? | Standard Test | Methods of Modulus of Rupture of a Beam | Calculation of Modulus of Rupture

2. Sand in Building Material


  • Sand is naturally composed of mineral particles due to the erosion process of the rock. The most common component of sand is silica, which is usually found in the form of quartz.
  • The formation of sand is due to changes in the climate of the rocks. According to natural resources, sand is classified as follows: Pit sand, River sand, Sea sand.


  • Sand is mainly used as a building material in works like concrete, masonry, plastering, waterproofing and, china mosaic, etc.

Also Read : What Is a Tie Beam? | Advantage of Tie Beam | Bar Bending Schedule for Tie Beams | To Withstand Earthquakes, Tie Beam Specification

3. Clay Bricks in Building Material

Clay Bricks

  • Mud bricks are known as clay bricks in building construction. In Spanish territory, mud-brick construction is commonly called adobe.
  • Mud brick is prepared by air drying. Mud brick is made from a mixture of loam, mud, sand, and water.
  • Mud bricks have been used in buildings and other structures for thousands of years.
  • We have also been doing Cooking Pits and Ovens in rural areas.
  • Mud brick is used as a paver as a path and as a border in the garden.

4. Aggregates in Building Material


  • Aggregate is a building material. Aggregate is used to form bases for roads, bridges, and buildings. Aggregate is used in more than 90% of asphalt pavements and up to 80% of concrete mixes.
  • The size of aggregate as building material ranges from 4.75 mm to 18 mm. Aggregate with rough and non-glassy texture helps to get good strength with cement paste.

Also Read : What Is the Grade Beam? | The Construction Process of Grade Beam | Advantages & Disadvantagesof Grade Beam

Generally, the use of aggregates for concrete is classified into 2 types: –

  • Coarse aggregates:- >4.75 mm
  • Fine aggregates:- <4.75 mm.

5. Stone or Rock in Building Material

Stone or Rock

  • Rock is a naturally available material on the construction site. It can be used in construction as outdoor in various places. The stone used for construction should be hard, durable, free from cracks. So that the strength and durability of the rock do not change.
  • Stone for construction can be used in different places depending on the need of their property.
  • There are many different types of stones available in different places. Stones such as basalt, marble, limestone, sandstone, quartzite, travertine, slate, guinea, laterite, and granite, etc. can be used as building materials.
  • Stone is the oldest building material used in the world. Rock is used in important monuments and buildings due to its strength and durability. It is also used in places of worship, forts, and palaces.

Some well known different types of stone are as follows

  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Sandstone
  • Slate
  • Laterite
  • Limestone.

Also Read :What Is Lean to Roof? | Composition of Lean to Roof | Important Notes for Construction of Lean to Roof | Advantage & Disadvantage of Lean to Roof | Roofing Materials Suitable for Lean to Roof

6. Wood and Timber in Building Material

Wood and Timber

  • Wood is the most useful and important building material for construction. It is very important to choose from different types of timber.
  • Timber must be strong, tough, and durable to be used for various purposes in the building. The use of wood in wooden doors or windows contributes to the interior decoration and appearance.
  • The use of teakwood is most appropriate in the construction of buildings. Takewood is naturally durable with good quality. Builders are preferred for their various characteristics, durability, and natural appearance.

Application of Timber

  • Door/windows frame and shutters
  • Cupboard
  • Flooring
  • Cabinets
  • Construction of earthquake-proof buildings.

Also Read : What Is Parapet Wall? | The Need of Parapet Wall | Uses of Parapet Wall | Types of Parapet Wall | Importance Notes for Parapet Wall Construction

7. Thatch in Building Material


  • Thatch is a layer of naturally occurring organic matter that accumulates on the lawn around grass plants.
  • Thatch is a mixture of living and dead plant material, including stolons, rhizomes, and roots.
  • A small amount of thatch can work effectively against temperature and humidity fluctuations. This method was commonly used for roofing.
  • Thatch is used in developing countries because of its low cost. In developed countries, the home uses thatch for a rustic look.


  • Thatch is commonly used for roofing materials with properties such as good impression, good water resistance, good wind resistance.

Also Read :What is Mat Foundation? | What Is Mat Foundation Used For? |Types of Mat Foundation | Construction of Mat Foundations |

8. Cement in Building Material


  • Cement is used for construction as a binder. Cements used in construction are usually based on lime or calcium silicate. Which can be classified as non-hydraulic cement and hydraulic cement based on the process of setting of cement in the presence of water.
  • Non-hydraulic cement does not set in wet conditions or underwater. This type of cement reacts with carbon dioxide in the air.
  • Hydraulic cement is formed due to a chemical reaction between dry elements and water. This type of cement is very durable in water and resistant to chemical attacks.

Cement is used in construction for some of the following purposes

  • concrete is used for foundation, beam, column, chajja, lintel, etc. for building construction.
  • Cement + sand = Mortar. Mortar is used in plaster, masonry work, waterproofing, etc.
  • Cement slurry:- Slurry is used for fixing tiles.

Also Read : What Is Chain Surveying? | Principle of Chain Surveying | Instruments Used in Chain Surveying | Technical Terms of Chain Surveying | Procedure for Chain Surveying | Advantages & Disadvantages of Chains in Surveying

9. Foam in Building Material


Synthetic polystyrene or polyurethane foam is used in construction. Foam is light weight and an excellent insulator. It is commonly used in buildings as a structural expansion joint.

Applications of Foam

Foam is used as an insulator material in homes or buildings.

10. Glass in Building Material


  • Glass is a product of a mixture of sand and silicates. Glass is widely used as a building material in modern times.
  • Glass is commonly used in windows panels. Which has a transparent surface. The purpose of which is to bring light into the building. And is able to keep outdoor weather.
  • Nowadays glass is used for architectural purposes in the outer part of the height of modern buildings.

Applications of Glass

  1. Float glass is used in the front of the shop and as railing partitions.
  2. Laminated glass is used in bridges, stairs, floor slabs, etc.
  3. In addition, clear vision type glass is used in houses for elevation purposes.
  4. Double glazed glass is used for insulation purposes in houses.

Also Read : What Is Shoring? | What does Shoring Mean? | What Is the Use of Shoring? | Type of Shoring

11. Gypcrete in Building Material


  • Gypcreten is commonly used in wooden frames as a building construction material. It is also used in concrete construction for fire rating, noise reduction, heat absorption and floor leveling.
  • Gypcrete is used as a flooring material by architects and designers. Gypcrete is used as a building material due to its properties and advantages.

Applications of Gypcrete

  1. Flooring
  2. Ceilings
  3. Rapid wall

12. Fabric Structures in Building Material

fabric structures

  • Fabric is used in many places as a building material. Nowadays fabric structure is used to provide users with a variety of aesthetic building designs.
  • Fabric structures are a type of tensile structures. The fabric structure can be given a three-dimensional shape. Fabric Structure can be used as a ceiling, shading, or decoration. Fabric structures can cover a larger area without columns than traditional roof systems.
  • Usually, fabric structures are made from real fabric material.
  • Usually, the fabric can be coated and laminated with synthetic materials to increase its strength. In addition properties such as durability and environment can be provided.

Application of fabric:-

  1. This type of building material can be used to cover a large area and build stadium domes.
  2. This type of building material is used for tents and low tension frame structures.

Also Read : What Is Skillion Roof? | Types of Skillion Roof | Uses of Skillion Roof | Advantages & Disadvantages of Skillion Roof | Cost of Skillion Roof

13. Steel in Building Material


  • Steel is used in construction as a strong building material with excellent strength in both tension and compression. It is especially used for the infrastructural structures of tall buildings and large industrial.
  • Structural steel is available in various standard shapes such as angles, c- beams, and C-channels in various elements. These shapes can be designed into any shape by welding with each other. Since steel is capable of resisting large forces and distortions it can be used to make high-strength bolts for fixing the structure.
  • Steel is the most expensive building material, so it is the responsibility of the structural engineer to choose the economic size and shape according to the actual load of the building.
  • Steel is used as reinforcement in concrete to provide tensile strength to the component. Steel reinforcement is used because the concrete is weak in tensile strength.

Applications of Steel

  1. Pipe fittings, manhole covers
  2. Roofing and accessories
  3. High strength bolts
  4. Kitchen platforms
  5. Stair.

14. Plastic in Building Material

Plastic product

Different types of plastic materials are being used in the construction industry. The following are some examples of plastics used in buildings.

  • Expanded Polystyrene
  • Polycarbonate
  • Acrylic
  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyvinyl Chloride.

As plastic is light weight, it can be easily transported and worked. plastic does not rot. The plastic surface is durable, knock-and scratch-resistant. Plastic material can be easily removed and recycled easily.


1. Pipes 

  • Plastic pipes are used in electrical conduits, rainwater, and sewage pipes, plumbing, gas distribution, etc.

2. Cables

  • Plastic is used to make PVC insulation on cables and in insulation tapes.

3. Windows & doors

  • Plastic is used in the section for doors and windows and panels.

4. Storage tanks.

Also Read : What is a Short Column? | What Is a Long Column? | Difference Between Short Column and Long Column

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