The Building material reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Building material

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Building material is any material which is used for construction purpose.

There are multitudes of Building Materials, and just about every type of available matter material, has been used at one time or another for creating various human and animal homes, structures, and technologies. This reference deals with habitat structures including homes.

Table of contents
1 Human Building Materials

Human Building Materials

From mud to metal, and from plastic to grass has been used to create living abodes and their related structures. These days there is a multibillion dollar industry involved in the production and assembly of various building materials. And much environmental concern has recently surfaced about the effects of such a massive resource extraction on a global scale.

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A modern Cob "mud" house

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a mud, stone, & straw wall

Mud, Stone, and Brush

Mud, Stone, and Brush are probably the most basic building materials aside from tents. Peoples all over the world have used these three materials together to create homes to suit their local weather conditions. In general the stone and brush are used as the basic structural components in these buildings, while the mud is used to fill in the space between acting as a type of concrete and insulation.

Some examples are the wattle and daub mostly used in tropical countries and as summer structures for ancient northern peoples.

The amount of each material used leads to different styles of buildings. Building with mostly dirt and clay such as Cob and sod, resulted in homes that have been built for centuries in western and northern Europe as well as the rest of the world, and continue to be built, though on a smaller scale. Some of these buildings have remained habitable for hundreds of years.

Mostly stone buildings are those seen in most major cities as well as the Pyramids in Egypt, the Aztec pyramids and the remains of the Incan civilisation. Dry-stone walls have been built for as long as humans have put one stone on top of another.

Brush structures are built entirely from plant parts and are generally found in tropical areas, such as Rainforests. Where very large leaves can be used in the building. Native Americans often built brush structures for resting and living in too. These are built mostly with branches, twigs and leaves, similar to a beaver's hut. They were variously named wikiups, lean-tos, etc.

Thatch may in fact be one of the oldest of building materials around. Grass is a good insulator and easily harvested. Many African tribes have lived in homes made completely of grasses year round.

Wood Structures

Brick

Concrete

Metal

Plastic

New Materials