The first step in getting started with any construction projects is understanding the importance and benefits of various types of construction materials. Below, you can read about 5 materials that are most important for any type of construction or technology nowadays, so you can better understand what you need for your next project.
Concrete is perhaps the most common out of all materials, as it can be used for many different purposes – building foundations, in the construction of residential and commercial buildings, bridges and sewers, all essential for the development of any urban area. The reason it is so popular is because it is strong, durable, and can be poured into any shape you want.
Concrete is made from fine and coarse aggregate (e.g. gravel or crushed stone, mixed with cement or water to bind it all together. It also comes in different varieties, such as lightweight concrete, waterproof concrete, or reinforced concrete. Each of these should be used for different types of construction projects, so make sure you research which type fits your project best first.
Strong, durable, sustainable and easy to obtain, wood has been around the longest out of every construction material. Wood can be used for many different purposes, such as walls, floors, ceilings, doors and window frames, frames for buildings and bridges, and also thermal and acoustic insulation.
Wood works really well in combination with other materials such as steel or marble, and it is also environmentally sustainable (if procured through ethical means and not through unsustainable deforestation). The only downside of wood is that it does not age well in the presence of water – some species are better suited for different climates, so it is best to research this before starting your project.
Steel is a metal alloy made from iron and carbon and it is considered one of the most important materials for modern technology and engineering. Steel by itself is strong, durable and holds well under pressure, so it is used in various types of construction: metal frameworks for buildings, roofing (for this, it is sometimes better to use sheet metal cut to size), rails/stairs or piping installations.
Steel has the added benefit of being super lightweight and easy to work with. Not only that, but if it is high quality and anti-corrosive, it can be used anywhere no matter the environment, so you don’t need to take climate into account as much as with other construction materials.
Masonry refers to the use of rectangular blocks bound together with mortar. In the past, bricks used to be made from clay which was moulded into brick shapes and kiln-fired, but nowadays concrete blocks are way more common in masonry.
The added benefit of masonry is that it is incredibly durable and holds well against fire and heat – not only that, but it also can bear a huge amount of weight, making it perfect for walls and taller buildings (especially when used in combination with reinforced concrete). In masonry, it is important to make sure there is enough mortar between each brick, while not leaving too much space between them, to ensure a higher durability and resistance.
Out of every material, stone is the one that can last the longest – after all, many thousands of years old-ancient structures we can still admire today are made from stone.
Stone can be used in walls, floors, dams, and bridge piers (stone is much more durable against water), and stones like marble can be used for polish finishes due to their aspect.
Stone also comes in many different shapes and textures as well as colours. Just be careful: stone is a poor insulator, so you will need to combine it with something else if you want to keep the heat in.