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Building Materials Analysis


Building materials can be defined in relation to their use in construction activities. This means that it is a material that is used to enhance construction. It should be known that there are various forms of building materials that can be termed as natural occurring substances. This therefore implies that we might be having natural and manmade building materials and this is expected in a diverse society. As far as manmade building materials are concerned, it has led to the establishment of industries that specifically deal in these materials (Mcdonald 2004, p. 23). In a broad perspective, building materials can be segmented depending on the trade in question. Most structures and habitats are in existence as a result of building materials and this is a fact. There are a lot of building materials depending on the structure that needs to be constructed. This means that people will always look for specific building materials that will suit their structures in relation to different tastes and preferences. The efficacy and longevity of a structure depends on the building materials that will be used. Building materials will continue to evolve and emerge as time goes by based on preferences. For instance, there is a lot of focus on green buildings and this is set to revolutionize the building industry.

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It is undeniable that everything has a specific property that makes its stand out from the rest and building materials are not an exception. In this case, there are specific properties of building materials that need to be looked at. These properties play an important role in the final structure and this explains why they are important in all aspects. Density is an important property of building materials because it later on affects other properties. Because density is the mass of a unit, it should be considered for long term sustainability. Strength should be looked at as another property because building materials should be strong to make the structure sustainable. A good structure can not be constructed with weak materials and that is why they are supposed to be strong. Good building materials are always durable and that is why this qualifies as a property. This means and implies that building materials should be able to endure for a long period of time (Thompson 2000, p. 19). As a matter of fact, they should be able to withstand wear and tear which will guarantee them a long usable life. This is very important because there is nobody who wants to use materials that are not durable in any way. Porosity is another property because it looks at the degree at which materials are interspersed with pores.

There are constructions that might need high mechanical strength and this explains why porosity is always looked at or considered. Water absorption is another property that needs to be evaluated as far as building materials are concerned. It is quite obvious that materials will always absorb and retain water as time goes by and this can be influenced by various aspects. The nature of substances that are used in relation to the construction should be considered as far as evaluation of water absorption is concerned. Weathering resistance as a property is very important because structures might be built in different environments (Mcdonald 2004, p. 46). In this case, the material that is used should be able to endure different weather conditions. Fire resistance should also be considered as a property because good building materials should be able to withstand some specific temperatures. In this case, there should be no deformation or loss of the materials strength as a result of high temperature. This property or aspect can also be described as refractoriness. As a matter of fact, building regulations have specified a number of elements that are needed as far as the aspect of fire resistance is concerned. Fire testing allows designers and other people who are involved in construction of structures to go about their activities with confidence based on the materials that they are using. All these properties might not be necessary for all structures because they will always differ in various ways. All this withstanding, they are very important as far as coming up with a good structure is concerned.


Properties that have been discussed above affect the use of building materials in structures in a broad way. As a matter of fact, they can be used for fire testing which is important in any structure. The ability of a structure to resist fire should not be in question and that is why these properties will come in handy when such an aspect is being ascertained. This means that because every material has specific properties, it can not occur that they will be used in every structure. In this case, before building materials are used, there is need to sort them out so that the best quality is chosen. There are materials that are not compatible with others and this means that they will not be used together. Therefore, materials that are used in a given structure should be able to complement well with each other. This will provide and give out a good combination that will guarantee a sustainable structure. The use of different structures will be limited to the quality that is desired of a given structure. In a broad perspective, it is quite obvious that the strength and durability of a given building material will be looked at before they can be used in constructing a structure (Thompson 2000, p. 33). This therefore means that advanced materials can only be used in advanced ways. As a matter of fact, every builder always wants his structure to remain upright and this will depend on the building material. Energy properties of a structure depend on building materials and this also goes into the design.

Reference list

Mcdonald, K., 2004. Sustainability and sustainable architecture. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Thompson, H., 2000. Ecology, community and delight: sources of values in landscape architecture. London: E & FN Spon.

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