Have you ever wondered how humans could create ancient houses made of simple materials readily accessible in their environment and then build tall skyscrapers, complicated facilities, and other structures developed after many years?
The construction industry, over the years, has used different materials or methods that create other structures that will benefit the totality of any project. These materials can range from cost-friendly to lightweight to expensive materials that will also provide their specific benefit.
Architects often consult with structural engineers on the load-bearing capabilities of the materials they design, and the most common materials include concrete, steel, wood, masonry, and stone. Each has different strengths, weight, and durability, making it suitable for various uses. Let’s look at the most common materials that engineers, architects, and contractors mainly pick in a construction project.
Steel is a standard construction material composed of a metal alloy of carbon and iron and often other alloying materials to make it more robust and indestructible than iron. Stainless steels are corrosion and oxidation-resistant because of the additional chromium in their composition. Engineers utilize this material for the structural framework because it is so strong compared to its weight and size. This material relatively costs more than other metals. Engineers can also consult on choosing the most cost-effective measures to use in a house to support the actual load on the building.
Steel is also commonly used to make different products that benefit the building. Some examples are steel-framed windows, stainless steel access doors, panels, etc.
Concrete is also an important material when it comes to construction. It is a composite material created from fine gravel, crushed stone, recycled concrete, and geosynthetic aggregates combined by a liquid binder such as cement that cures over time. The strength of the concrete can vary depending on the mixture. Concrete can also create any shape and harden into a material similar to stone.
This versatile, cost-effective, and robust material is ideal for any structure foundation. Since it can tolerate a heavy load and withstand any environmental condition, it opted for residential and commercial construction.
You may have seen traditional houses and establishments made out of wood materials. Wood has been used for as long as we can remember. It has properties that make it an ideal material for construction and even in the days of synthetic materials. Nowadays, wood pieces are typically machine-planed and cut into standard dimensions so professionals can utilize their appropriate measurements for dimensional lumber.
This material is easily accessible and is a natural resource. Wood is a versatile material because it is lightweight and easy to standardize in size. Wood is easy to work with, adaptable, and shows excellent performance in terms of durability, but contractors also prefer this because of its cost-efficiency.
This material is also one of the oldest building materials and wood. It is known to be a durable and long-lasting building material. Although engineers and architects must make some special considerations when planning a building using stone, it still does have its specific benefits. Dry stone walls created from dense rock have been utilized for thousands of years. Soon after, professionals used different forms of mortar to merge them.
Unfortunately, stone can be challenging to work with because of its density and weight. Stone is used as an effective insulator since its structure is difficult to keep at a warm temperature. Other stone types are best for various uses. As an example, slate is a stone that has fire-resistant properties. Granite is one of the most robust stone types and one of the most durable products available.
Brick is most commonly used in masonry construction to build structures usually bound together by some mortar. People formed clay bricks in a mold and kiln-fired in the past years. The most robust and commonly used masonry unit is a concrete block, which you can reinforce with steel for extra durability.
Bricks or masonry are durable and fire-resistant. This construction method can resist compression loads, making it a good material for load-bearing walls. Masonry can support multi-story buildings and be an economical choice when reinforced with concrete. While it is a reliable method to use in many types of construction, lasting masonry installation can depend on mortar quality and craft.
Getting to know these versatile materials responsible for creating complex structures is an advantage, especially if you want to pursue a profession and career in the construction industry. You can even experiment and create more innovative designs to help the industry.