Through history, we have experimented with a variety of building materials through the ages. The determining factors of what is widely used has depended on availability, efficiency, ability to be transported and application. Our capabilities have changed over time and may of the materials that were once used greatly, are not so widely used today. On the other hand, others, such as wood, are still as important as they ever were. This article will take a look at some of the most important building materials available today.
While it is not used so much today given that there are cheaper materials that are easier to work with, the stone has been one of the most important building materials through the ages. It needs to be quarried from under the ground and is very heavy – and therefore difficult to move – but a stone is very strong and durable. It is near immune to fire and given its great weight, can be stacked without the use of mortar (which is necessary with bricks).
Some of the most beautiful ancient structures were built with stone being a primary material, but nowadays it’s generally reserved for decorative elements.
It’s cheap to produce, renewable and easy to work with, given that it can be cut to fit one’s needs. Timber has been used in the construction of shelters for tens of thousands of years. It’s lightweight and also quite strong and timber as a building material also has some advantages as far as insulation goes too. Timber is usually used in the construction of house framing and makes an excellent decorative material too.
However, timber is prone to damage from termites and other pests and water damage. It is also one of the least fire-resistant materials used to build. That said, wooden homes have proved they stand the test of time under the right conditions.
Like timber, brick should be considered as a primary building material and is used in the construction of nearly every home. Not only does it look great, but it’s extremely sturdy in almost any climate, making it very long-lasting.
Essentially, brick is a mixture of clay and shale (neither resource is in short supply) that is put in a kiln at high temperature. It has been used for millennia and was a key material in the construction of the Great Wall of China and Roman aqueducts.
A mixture of a number of materials including stone, sand, water and cement (which together bind it all together), concrete is a material that became widely adopted in the modern industrial era, although it was used at various times throughout history, the craft was never perfected. It is an important material in the construction of the foundation of homes and buildings, with reinforced concrete (which utilises metal rod to strengthen the concrete) considered economical and more flexible and user-friendly than the alternatives.
Buildings and homes today use a combination of many of the material discussed in this article and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re after more information about quality building materials anywhere in Melbourne even if it is a timber, there are many professional folks in Melbourne at your door who are just a knock away!