Building Material and Construction

Building Materials & Construction

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What is Building Materials & Construction?

‘Building Materials & Construction is a very vast subject. The knowledge about the construction and its materials are an integral part of Architecture. In other words, ‘Construction’ is the process of constructing a building or structure. During the past few years, the new materials and techniques for constructing a building have been flourished. So in this post, we will discuss the properties of materials, their specifications, techniques of construction, and the use in architecture.

History of Construction

As per the History of construction techniques and materials, the first constructed shelter, ‘Huts’ was made by simple tools and hands. In other words, they used locally available materials like wood, thatch, stones, and clay or mud. Then, ages to ages cities development begin a different class of craftsmen like bricklayers, sculptors and carpenters have emerged.

After that, in the 19th century, Cranes, Bulldozers, and Excavators like diesel and electrical powered vehicles and machinery were used in construction fields. Now in the 20th century, construction is also considered as a ‘Fast-track construction’ because precast building material (like columns and beams are cast in factories) is available for easy constructions of buildings or high rise structures. It is one of the most popular types of construction technique used in fields.

Building Materials

Building Materials are the materials that are used in the construction field for making buildings or any type of structure. Different types of materials used in construction, for instance, bricks, cement, sand, steel bars, aggregates, tiles, stones, plaster of Paris (POP), etc. with different grades and properties. Building materials can be used as per the requirements of the building design and with proper specifications. So, some of the basic building materials used in construction are as follows:


Bricks are made up of clay, moulding in rectangular blocks with uniform shape and size. Then, drying and burning these blocks in kilns and sunlight. The actual size of the brick is 19 cm x 9 cm x 9 cm and the nominal size (the size includes the joining of the mortar between the bricks) is 20 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm. The top surface of the brick is being lowered called the frog (the display made of the brick). For instance, refer to the image below:


Read : Types of Brick and its classifications


Stones are the natural element. It consisting of a piece of rock, which shaped with hard blows of a heavy cutting instrument like a chisel and hammer. The building stones are obtained from the rocks. They are used as building materials in construction for different purposes like foundation, wall, arches, roofs, lintels, for cladding of walls, pavings, and also in footpaths, roads, etc. They are also used in bridge construction, piers, and dams, etc.

Building Materials & Construction Stone


Cement is a binder material or a substance which binds and also hardens the materials together. The natural cement is obtained by crushing and burning of stones. It contains a clayey substance and some carbonate amount of magnesia and lime. The net quantity of cement bags in India is 50 kg and also in the USA, the quantity of the bag is 43 kg. The colour of the natural cement is uniformly grey with a greenish shade. It has a smooth texture and free from any hard lumps. Also, it is an important ingredient of Mortar.



Sand is a naturally occurring granular material that is composed of finely divided rocks and mineral particles. It is a textural type of soil and also can be identified by the size of particles. The use of sand in construction depends upon the sizes. It can be classified as fine, coarse, and granular sand. It is an important ingredient of Mortar. Sand is obtained by the natural resources in the river, sea, and pit sand. Due to the various effects of weather or natural resources, it is formed by the decomposition of sandstone.

Building Materials & ConstructionSAND


Aggregates are the inorganic materials or inert granular consists of stone or solid like stones. The popular use of aggregate is to prepare a Mortar. In addition, to form a Portland cement concrete (a mixture of chemical components like calcium, silica, iron, and alumina). Aggregates can also be classified with their different properties and varieties. According to their, Sizes (coarse and fine), Sources (natural and manufacture), Unit weight (Light, Normal, and Heavy). It is used as a road base, in railway track fillings, or with various cement concrete work.


Mortar is a paste prepared by adding a mixture of (binding material) cement or lime, (a fine aggregate) sand and the required quantity of water. It is used for joining the brick or stone structures. Similarly, the two main components of mortar are the binding materials and the fine aggregate called Matrix. The durability and strength of the mortar are mainly depended upon the quality and the quantity of the Matrix. It can be classified as different grades of mixture like M15 (1:2:4), M20 (1:1.5:3), M25 (1:1:2), etc. It can also be defined as the ratio of Cement: Sand: Aggregate. Therefore, these three materials are important ingredients of Mortar.

Building Materials & ConstructionMORTAR


Tile is a composed piece of durable and resilient materials like stones, ceramics, metals, or glass. It was first used as a building material in Egyptian Civilization, it also signifies the royalty, welfare, and the elegance of that era. In the medieval period, it was made on-site by using the clay (locally available material) and harden it by burning or heating. In other words, it is a thin slab of clay or a baked piece of clay with different shapes and sizes. Nowadays, Tiles are making in factories with different varieties like HD tiles, Mosaics, Vitrified, Ceramics (Glazed, Unglazed, Matt Finish, Rustic, Glossy, etc. The ‘Tile Industry in India’ is in Gujarat.


Timber is the word derived from the English word ‘Timbrian’ which means ‘to build’. A wood, that is suitable for carpentry, building structures, and other engineering purposes. The trunk of a tree, which is not less than 600mm in circumference, is used for construction. The age of the timber is identified with the sapwood (the number of rings) present on the trunk of the tree. The seasoning of timber is an important process. After that process, timber is suitable for use as building materials for construction. It is also used for various purposes like doors and windows, for furniture, formwork for cement concrete, centring, scaffolding, temporary bridges, boats, musical instruments, and tools, etc.


In conclusion to this topic, we discussed some basic materials for building construction. So in our upcoming posts, we will discuss elaborately by each material with their properties, the process of making, their techniques, and the uses.

Building Materials & Construction PDF In English

For any queries related to this topic and if you want any post on other subjects. So feel free to suggest us in the comment section.

Also Read – Vastu Shastra In Architecture

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