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Evolution of building materials

2016-09-22 21:05:33

Very initially, buildings were made of perishable materials like leaves, branches and animal hides. With invention, materials like stone, clay and timber were used. Slowly came the age of bricks and concretes. Then, with industrial revolution, came metals and steel, which was considered as a revolution of architecture. Today, we see buildings made of bricks, concrete, wood, steel and glass. These materials are no more a revolution.

Now, other innovative materials are coming up in the industry of architecture. With ongoing research and innovative technologies, a variety of modern material options have become available today. With the styles and designs on modern construction, we need materials that can maintain structural strength while reducing its impact on the environment. Polycarbonate is one of the latest materials used in construction because they can withstand harsh weather conditions like wind, rain, hail and snow. They are also highly corrosion resistant and can also resist fire. Thus, polycarbonate roofing is one of the best and most popularity-gaining materials today that is used in greenhouses, skylights, pergolas, sidings, sidelights and many other roofing applications.

Modern construction materials also need to be able to adapt to various climatic conditions from freezing sub-zero temperatures to dry heat or high humidity. Ever since man started constructing dwellings to reside in, building materials have been evolving only in an attempt to defeat weather. Let us look at the evolution in detail.

  • Mud and clay were among the first construction materials. Clay would be easily formed into shapes. Mud was held together with the help of hay, straw, sticks and other organic fibers and dung. Ice was used in the Arctic areas to form igloos.
  • Then came the time when wood, logs, sticks and thatch were used. Large uncut rocks were piled together to form historic structures. Further, man started building structures with advanced composite materials like cement and concrete, reinforced with steel or other metals.
  • Men then shifted from mud huts and tents to the age of skyscrapers made of glass or metal, which has made buildings more practical than in history. Today, most high-rise buildings are made with steel or other metals.
  • With steel and metals getting sensitive to corrosion, people started coming up with other options that could last longer. This was when plastics came up that are formed of polymers, and can be easily moulded while in liquid state. Moreover, plastic is very light in weight and comparatively cheaper.

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