Construction Materials

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Materials used in constuction

Construction of buildings

Construction machines

Environmental impact of buildings

Materials used in construction

Materials used in construction are those that are employed in the edification. In construction we can exploit different types of materials:

Petrous or stony materials

Aglomerative materials


Ceramic materials

Other materials

Petrous or stony materials

Compact rocks: they are blocks of limestone, marble, granite, slate, sandstone, etc...

Disintegrated rocks: they are fragments of rocks of variable size. In construction we use:

> Clay: it can absorb water.

> Arids or fragments of the disgregation of rocks. They can be sand, gravel,...

Aglomerative rocks

When they are mixed with water they turn pasty and when they solidify they adquire lightnessg

Lime: to obtain this material we heat limestone.

Gypsum: it is mineral in powder and, when we add water to it, we use it to cover walls or roofs. There are three types:

> Black with impurities.

> White without impurities.

> Plaster.

Cement: its the most used aglomerant. There are a lot of types (metallurgical,...). The most employed is Portland cement, which is made up of a mix of limestone and clay and it is cooked in a rotative oven.


It is a mixture of arids, aglomerants and water. There are different types of concrete, but the most used are:

Regular concrete: it includes powdered cement mixed with water.

Cellular concrete: it is concrete produced by the addition of an air entraining agent to the concrete or a lightweight aggreggate like expanded clay pellets or cork granules.

Cyclopean concrete: it is made up of cement, water and big arids (of more of 30 cm of diameter).

Reinforced concrete: inside of it there is an armor made up of steel bars that can be tense before the concrete solidifies, or after.

Ceramic materials

They are pieces fabric with molded clay and cooked in an oven. The process of elaboration:

Mixing and molding: clay and water are mixed together and then it is molded.

Cooked in oven: the molded material is heated inside ovens with differents temperatures so it doesnt break.

There are different types of ceramic materials:

Bricks: they are pieces of cooked clay. There are two types, thin bricks and ordinary bricks.

Tiles: they are square or rectangular pieces. We used them for the tiled of walls.

Roof tiles: they are employed in roofs and covers.

Porcelain: it is covered with varnish. It is used in baths,...

Other materials

Metals; those we use in construction are:

> Steel.

> Aluminium.

> Copper.

Woods: it is very use in doors, floors,...

Plastics: their use is more common now. They are used in cables, plugs, insulators, outlets,...

Glass: they are used in windows, doors, decoration,...

Building constructiong

The construction of a building is a long and complex process that is compound of several phases, and a lot of material is employed. The different phases are:

Preparation of the land: by clearing-up the field, demolition and nivelation.

Cimentation: it the placement of the base of the building. It is underground and the main elements used are blocks, piles,

Building construction

Structure elevation: we build the stilts and the shields. Some metallic structures are made up of steel beams, but most of structures are made up of reinforced concrete.

Water covering: it consists of the building of the roof, which depends a lot of the climate of the place. The most employed materials are zinc plates, slate and tiles.

Building construction

Pavements placement: above the plates of each floor we place marble, wood,

Elevation of walls: it consists of the construction of walls and partitions that close and divide the different floors. For this phase we use ordinary bricks.

Placement of instalacion: water, electricity, gas, television, They are made up by specialised workers.

Finished works: the consits of the fines jobs that specialised workers do too.

Construction machines

In construction several types of machines are used:

Diggers and loaders. They are used in excavation and land's movements.

Cranes are used for hoisting heavy materials. They consist of three parts: the tower, the feather and the counterweight.

Construction machines

Lorries transport materials.

Bulldozers are used in the nivelation of the field and rollers are employed to compact the land.

To prepare the concrete we use a concrete mixer.

Environmental impact of buildings (I)

A building causes an environmental impact since the construction materials are obtained.

In Europe, a 40% of the energy used is employed in the construction sector, and most of the energy is spent in heating of buildings, and a big part of materials are employed in construction too.

Environmental impact of buildings (II)

The way a person uses the energy spent in the building influence a lot in the environmental impact.

The uncontrolled construction of building affects a lot in the natural habitat. There are a lot of cases of illegal buildings or building corruption.