What are building materials?

What are building materials and what kinds of building materials are out there? Building material is any substance that is used to construct any kind of building; be it a house or a farm. This is an important subject that is related to architecture, engineering, and construction technology.

Many of building materials naturally occur (clay, sand, rocks, and woods ). However, advancing technology made it possible to create custom-made and completely new kinds of constructions materials.Thus, nowadays, building materials and construction technologies are very hot topics in architectural, engineering, and construction learning institutions.

We will learn about the essential of building materials. This course is a reference that focuses on the basic materials and methods used in building construction. We will focus on common construction systems such as light wood frames, masonry bearing walls, steel frames, and reinforced concrete. Most of the new homes in North America and in many parts around the world are built using mostly wood, steel, and concrete. In this course, we'll look at 10 other building materials that are being used today.

We will talk about, Mud and clay, Wood, Rock,Thatch and Brush, Sand, Concrete, Metal, Glass, Plastic, and Foam as building materials.

Flexible material are extensively used in modern buildings and a popular choice by most architects and designers. When designers and architects choose specific materials, they must consider so many different factors. For example, the amount of each material used in a building is a leading factor that decides the kind and style of buildings.

Mud and clay as a constructions material:

Building a place using clay is an old practice that is still wildly used in many parts around the world for it has so many advantages over modern buildings that use new materials. Many of old the buildings that were built using clay (hundreds of years) are still standing nowadays. Modern Clay Building techniques are, however, different than traditional techniques. For example, in modern techniques, wood chips are used instead of straw as an aggregate in light-clay mixtures.

Soil and clay is good thermal mass. In addition to keeping temperatures at a constant level, houses built with clay are cool in the summer and warm in cold weather.

Wood as Building Material

Wood as natural building material has been used to building homes for thousands of years.

As a wellbeing, wood is very warm and durable material. There are some log houses that are over 800 years old. It's a very bearing building material.It's beautiful material.

A course about Wood Properties


Rock formation occur as a result of forces inside and outside the Earth. It's a chemical composition.

Rock structures have existed for as long as history can recall. It is the oldest building material available. There are many types of rock with differing attributes that determine their particular uses. Because it's very dense material, it's considered a very powerful building material as it gives a lot of protection.

It's, however, has the disadvantage of being heavy and awkwardness. Before using cement to hold stones together, rocks were used to build shelters by putting one stone on top of another, and then later in history different forms of mortar were used to hold the stones together.

The Pyramids in Egypt are the best example of one of the most beautiful structures built using entirely rocks along with the remains of the Inca civilization structures.

Stone Houses Design

Thatch and Brush

Thatch and Brush are also considered building materials as they are still used heavily in many parts around the worlds specially in Africa and Asia.

Concrete, Cement composites Metal, Glass, Plastic, and Foam

We have complete courses about the remaining buildings materials (Concrete, Cement composites Metal, Glass, Plastic, and Foam ). We discuss in details those materials and the methods used to install them. We also discuses modern industry, and the production and harvesting of raw materials for building purposes.

Some of the Universities that offer the best Materials and Methods courses:


BCIT: Building Science BSCI 9020 - Building Materials

UBC: UBC Architectural Technology


Harvard: Hravard, Building Technology, Materials and Methods