What materials are modern buildings made of?

Concrete is formed by combining cement with fine and coarse-grained aggregates. This building material has been used for centuries. Check out the 10 unique building materials that are perfect for modern homes. Also, read the 10 best natural building materials for sustainable architecture and the 12 modern building materials that every architect should know.

The materiality of a building is what our bodies make direct contact with; the cold metal handle, the warm wooden wall and the hard glass window would create a completely different atmosphere if they were, for example, a hard glass handle, a cold metal wall and a warm wooden window (than with the new wood translucent from KTH, it's not as absurd as it might seem). Materiality is as important as form, function and location or, rather, inseparable from the three. Here we have compiled a selection of 16 materials that should be part of the design vocabulary of all architects, from the most familiar (such as concrete and steel) to materials that may be unknown to some of our readers, as well as links to comprehensive resources to learn more about many of them. Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world, making it a good starting material to know it.

However, it also has significant environmental impacts, including a carbon footprint of up to 5% of global emissions. To learn all about concrete design, the Concrete Center has a collection of useful reports, many of which are free with registration. One of the oldest and most traditional building materials in the world is, of course, wood. The material is starting to take on new forms thanks to engineered wood products, and with high-rise buildings and even translucent properties, this diverse material is being taken to new heights.

ReThink Wood has a large collection of resources to learn and help architects design with wood. Although this may seem like a cheap and unsustainable material to some, one should not rush to judge the possibilities offered by plastic. We produce a lot, why not recycle it in the form of architecture or bioplastics? What about the new world that comes with 3D printing? The American Chemistry Council has an excellent overview of plastics as a material, as well as a summary of their main uses in architecture, with links to more resources for each. Another material used for generations in certain geographical parts of the world, stone has a wide variety of textures, colors and strengths.

Despite its heavy and solid materiality, it can still be worked with to achieve various forms. The Building Stone Institute has a variety of resources including fact sheets and specification sheets for many of the most common types of stone used in construction. Our most used material to achieve transparency and light is undoubtedly glass, one of the most used façade elements in contemporary architecture. Some are taking it a step further, trying to expand its properties to create intelligent and sensitive glass.

The PPG Glass Education Center is a great place to learn more. Despite its rigid, rectangular shape made to fit in your hand, brick architecture has been proven to create beautiful structures with the right craftsmanship. Innovative thinkers are also finding new ways to incorporate active sustainability into small building elements. The Brick Development Association has a collection of resources to learn more about brick.

We produce an enormous amount of waste that covers a wide range of materials, but knowing its waste is an excellent idea for future architects. Whether it's turning cigarette butts into building material or plastic bottles into earthquake-resistant walls, recycling is something to admire. Our most recent publication on Debating the Value of Mid-Century Modernity discussed the architect as a multi-party advocate and mediator. It was the latest in a series that explored the interactions between the stakeholders of these buildings and how the intention of the original design can hinder or encourage their rehabilitation and reuse.

With this publication, we begin a series that will focus on the technical aspects of modern materials and assemblies, including how construction methods of the time affect current decisions on repairing and improving midcentury building envelopes. From the beginning, materials were important to the design intent of modern architects and to the performance of their buildings. This trend first emerged in Europe before World War I, when design strongly aligned itself with industrial production, challenging centuries of architectural values and design approaches. Visually, the buildings no longer reflected history.

Instead, they echoed the aesthetics of civil engineering and industrial structures. Traditional craftsmanship was replaced by factory-made components assembled on site with a minimum of expressive manual labor, just as glass, steel and concrete began to be seen as expressive elements. This change represented a deliberate affront to refined stone surfaces, the complexity of carved ornaments, and the social hierarchies implicit in previous building facades and spaces. If we talk about modern building materials, we have to start with concrete.

Not only is this ubiquitous material the most widely used building material on earth, but it has long been a key component of modern architecture. While on the positive side, its popularity stems from the fact, but it can be shaped as desired, it has its negative aspects. For example, concrete is responsible for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. What would architecture be today without glass, without the windows that allow us to maintain our connection with the outside world?.

One thing to keep in mind is that not all windows are created equal. Research and development efforts have resulted in the introduction of glass materials that improve aspects such as U-value and thermal efficiency, and beyond that, there has even been news of efforts to develop “smart” glass. Although it is also one of the oldest building materials in the world, wood and wood definitely deserve their place on any list of modern building materials. The inextinguishable popularity of this material, which perhaps stems from the simple fact that it is organic, seems to suggest that wood will never go out of style.

Obviously, the issue of sustainability is a concern and all efforts to end deforestation are worth supporting, but it seems that wood will always have a place in architecture. The rise of engineered timbers is a step forward that is worse when you consider. A material that has been cited as having five times the strength of steel, but which is also much lighter than steel, carbon fiber clearly has enormous potential in architectural contexts. When it comes to carbon fiber, the best advice is, without a doubt, to “keep an eye on this space”.

Plastic at the Beijing National Aquatic Centre This contemporary steel truss bridge located at Oatley Train Station in Sydney is reminiscent of the oldest steel bridges that cross Sydney's rail network. Located only on St in Adelaide, a well-known and vibrant part of the city, this establishment, which sits comfortably between two office buildings, highlights the contemporary use of wood. Glass office building in North Sydney Located in the northern Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park, this office building, which at first glance looks like a glass box, also incorporates several other modern building materials such as wood and aluminum in its exterior. Modern Home Design Materials Stucco, Fiber Cement Siding, and Fiber Cement Panels Modern homes may incorporate some commercial products or design features.

For example, we designed a modern house in Brooklyn, New York, using fiber cement board panels that would normally be used in a commercial building. Maybe some commercial products will help modernize your home. Cement plates or metal panels can be used in a single-family house, as well as in a multi-family building. You can use commercial windows or, generally, commercial hardware.

The construction of the front of the store can also be used in a house. Below is a photo of a townhouse we designed with modern fiber cement panels and large commercial windows. The three main ingredients of modern architecture are glass, steel and concrete. All of these materials are resistant and can be molded into any design.

They allow people to see everything from the inside out, which makes the building more open and less closed. This is different from traditional buildings, which have thick walls for protection, so people only see what you want them to see. The history of building materials is a story of trial and error. Materials are the basis of all architecture.

Terms such as wall, ceiling and floor are abstract concepts, what matters is what they are made of. However, although these terms and concepts rarely change, the materials that compose them have evolved considerably over the years. As such, the history of building materials is a story of trial and error. Each step is accompanied by lessons learned and improvements made.

Perhaps the most common architectural element, the interior partition, as most people know it today, is materially quite different from what it has been historically. Before the mid-20th century popularization of drywall (GWB), especially in North America, most interior walls were made of spreading wet plaster over metal battens or meshes. GWB, a mixture of gypsum and other additives pressed between layers of paper, completely supplanted mass market gypsum for the simple fact that it is cheaper and easier to install, although gypsum is still occasionally used to shape difficult curves or for some high-end luxury applications. Technological advances have already evolved in the way architects view construction.

For example, reinforced concrete and developed metal made it possible to build taller skyscrapers and expansive bridges. These material advances make possible not only design improvements, but also the future construction of the city. Bacteria included in concrete can remain inactive for up to 200 years, making the reinvented material relatively long. There are many, many different materials available for use as building insulation, and while choosing the right one is often a trade-off between several factors, one type that is no longer available is insulation that contains asbestos.

Construction science took a back seat to aesthetic considerations for most American architects. Steel as a construction material has qualities such as durability, strength, lightness, can be recycled, can withstand varying weather conditions. American architects such as Louis Kahn and Paul Rudolph began to use material as a symbol of matter itself, crafting pure geometry and raising overhangs with the material Rudolph called “mud”. Similar to the history of asbestos in building materials, lead-based paint was widely used, at least in the United States, until its ban in domestic applications in 1978. Pei, on the other hand, worked to make the smooth concrete in situ of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Green Building (1964), Cambridge, MA) are mixed in the surrounding context of limestone and toasted brick.

Strives to build more beautiful, functional and resilient spaces that are self-sufficient and in harmony with their natural environment. Although there are some positive developments to report in your rescue, support is still needed to sign the petition (it's easy to do) and write letters to save the building. The technology behind this improved building material involves mixing Bacillus bacteria with calcium lactate. You don't need to build a modern glass house completely of glass to have transparency and lots of natural light.

Among the oldest, or perhaps the oldest, building materials, wood has been used for thousands of years and has properties that make it an ideal building material even in the days of synthetic and engineering materials. Since rammed earth for buildings is usually taken from the project site itself, transportation costs are essentially zero, while modern construction tools allow it to be formed and compacted much more effectively and efficiently than the old tools one worked with. . .

Arnold Kinsland
Arnold Kinsland

Proud web trailblazer. Lifelong beer practitioner. Typical food enthusiast. Professional food evangelist. Lifelong beer aficionado.