When you think of building materials, don't confuse yourself with building products. These are two different things altogether. Building products are things like doors and windows that are made from different materials to use in the making of supporting structure to a building.
However in case of building materials, it is the material that is used in the actual construction of the building. There are different types of building materials used to construct buildings. Some of them have even existed for years, and are still in use.
Building materials are basically divided into natural and synthetic materials. The materials made from natural products like clay, twigs, sand, leaves and rocks are natural building materials.
Building materials used in industries, that have gone through human processing is called synthetic building material, like plastics.
Here are the 8 types of building materials:
1. Rock is one building material that has been used in building structures for centuries. It is also in fact, one of the longest lasting building materials available. Though it is very protective in function too, it has its drawback of being too heavy to carry, and is ineffective in keeping one warm.
2. Another very old building material used today is thatch. It is very cheap, is a great insulator and is very easily harvested.
3. You find brush being used a lot in tropical and sub-tropical areas. This brush is made from plant parts, and is found mainly in rain forests. It is usually used with rock, where gaps in between stones are filled with concrete and insulation.
4. Ice is another famous building material which was once used only for building igloos. Today, it is also being used in building ice hotels for tourist attractions in cold places.
5. In some places, earth is still used in creating walls. These walls are made by tightly packing and compacting mud between planks. This was previously done by hand, but now machines are being used.
These houses of rammed earth are warm in winter, and cool in summer. This is because soil and clay help at maintaining temperatures at constant levels.
6. Cement is a common building material made from rock. Today, cement is used in constructing most buildings mainly because it is long lasting. Natural fibres and wood have soluble and dangerous organic compounds.
Any wood you plan to use with cement should be checked to ensure it is compatible with cement. You can find this out through different procedures for different characteristics like interfacial bond, strength and morphology.
7. Metal is today popularly used for constructing a building's structural framework. Metals are used mainly because it is long lasting There are different types of metals you can use for building like steel, which is a metal alloy.
Sometimes gold and silver are used for decorative purposes. However not many people can afford it, and moreover, it is not as hard as other metals.
8. Glass is a building material used a lot nowadays in building structures because of its class and richness.
This variety of building materials is used for constructing all those beautiful structures found worldwide. The choice of usage is done based on personal preference and the climatic condition of the place.