- 15 Jun, 2021
Common Types of Construction Materials Used in Buildings
There are a variety of materials used when constructing buildings like steel, concrete, wood, and masonry. Each material has its values and limitations in terms of durability and cost, and is applied in different scenarios. Here are some of the common materials used in construction and the projects you’re most likely to see them used:
Concrete is made by mixing cement, aggregate (sand or crushed stone), and water to create a stone-like material. It takes a few days for concrete to harden after it’s poured into a mold, and can take up to a week before it reaches most of its strength.
Since concrete is so versatile, it works well for projects that need a strong and durable material like building foundations. While concrete can hold up under compression, it’s brittle. When reinforced with rebar, it’s better for larger projects like bridges and tunnels.
Steel is one of the strongest build materials and is good for structural framework in large buildings thanks to its high strength-to-weight ratio. It comes in standard shapes like I beams and can be welded together.
Steel can be expensive, so it’s important to a structural engineer to determine the proper amount needed after calculating loads. Steel is also easier to install than concrete and is suitable for any kind of environment.
Wood is a readily available material and can last for hundreds of years if it’s properly maintained. It’s lightweight, budget friendly and makes a great building material for homes. Lumber comes in a wide range of sizes and is commonly used to construct floors and walls.
However, since wood is so lightweight, it’s not the best choice when a heavy load needs support. It’s not used in foundations or basements since it would need to be pressure treated if it were to come in contact with moisture.
Masonry uses individual blocks to create a structure. These blocks are typically made of concrete or brick, are held together with mortar, and are sometimes reinforced with steel. Masonry is good for load-bearing walls since it can withstand compression well and resistant to fire damage.
Let our experienced engineers at JT Engineering help you with your next construction project. You can contact us here with any questions or concerns.