Different Types of Building Materials and Their Characteristics

Any material which is used in construction of residential or commercial buildings is dubbed as building material. The choice of building material depends on the size and nature of building, its design, intended purposes, availability of resources and location. Usually building materials are classified as natural and synthetic materials (where natural materials have minimal or no human intervention in the production and synthetic materials are mostly made by humans). Let's read about some of the most commonly used building materials all over the world.


Easily, one of the most solid and durable material used in constructions, the durability is palpable by existence of several centuries old historical buildings made of stone. However, the weight and hardiness that makes the buildings hard-wearing becomes a drawback when it comes to portability and molding. In addition to that, using rock as the primary building material is a bad choice because it stores energy, leaving the inhabitants vulnerable to extreme weather conditions in summer and winters.

Mud & Clay:

Mud and clay are the most commonly used materials in residential buildings. Not as long lasting as rock but far from being fragile. Buildings made primarily of mud and clay can easily endure many years. Using mud and clay in buildings is a very good option for warm places, as it keeps the building reasonably cool even in scorching heat.


Concrete is made by mixing cement, sand, gravel and water, while the structures are made using steel bars. Concrete is another material known for its durability and is on a par with rock when it comes to longevity. At the same time, it is more convenient to use as far as portability and molding is concerned.

Metals & Wood:

Probably the oldest type of building materials is wood. Humans have been using tree logs and other parts of plants to build homes, for ages. Wood obtained from certain plants is quite durable, however low quality wood is open to many extremities. These days wood is mostly used for making cabinets, furniture or wardrobes. Different kinds of materials are put into use for modern structures, with steel being the most common one. Unlike rock it is flexible, while offering the similar level of durability.

Glass & Plastic:

Glass is normally used in doors and windows and occasionally in walls or roofs. Unlike other building materials, glass allows the light to go through, allowing you to make good use of daylight. Plastic is a light, flexible substance, used mostly for piping in buildings.

Resource: Ezine Article


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