Have you ever wondered about the objects that make our cities, towns, roads, and homes? Building larger structures is a skill that sets humans apart from many other species on this planet.
Over the many years of human history, our ancient ancestors created societies out of a plethora of materials, from mud and straw to gold and marble. Today, five main objects make up most buildings here in the States and around the world. Let’s dive into different materials used commonly for construction.
Concrete dominates our cities and towns, as many large buildings and public roads use this affordable material. The basic components of concrete (fine and coarse aggregates) make it extremely easy to produce.
Plus, it’s highly durable and a great option for publically funded buildings with lower budgets. However, there are many environmental and quality issues associated with this material, so more people are opting for asphalt over concrete in road, parking lot, and driveway applications.
Humans have used sturdy stones for construction for thousands of years, such as dry stone walls. Most ancient buildings still standing today are made from stone, making it one of the more durable construction materials on this list.
However, building with stone is a complex and expensive process, and stone structures often suffer from poor insulation, making it very unpopular today.
Brick, or masonry, is another tried and true construction material. Mining, molding, and baking clay don’t require elaborate machines or advanced technical skills. Brick is highly resistant to fire, so many cities and towns from the past preferred masonry over wood structures.
Modern brick is reinforced by concrete and is an excellent option for multi-floor buildings and load-bearing walls. Bricks are better insulators than stones.
Steel is a mostly industrial construction material, used predominantly for large structures like factories and hangers. Steel is also optimal for construction structures such as scaffolding, building sheds, and raised platforms. It’s a bit pricier than other materials on this list, but it’s perfect for any environment and acts as an amazing framework for skyscrapers and other behemoth buildings.
Now we arrive at the oldest building material on this list – trust timber! Wood instantly replaced earth resources like mud and straw as the most popular construction material for thousands of years.
Even today, wood is an affordable, durable, and easy-to-build option for homes and other structures. The best aspect of wood is the wide selection of colors, grains, and strengths available.
These five different materials are commonly used in construction today for one simple reason – they’re dependable. Each category has existed for hundreds to thousands of years and continues to dominate our society.