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Beauty of Building Materials
Building materials have a great impact on Architecture. They have a strong visual impact and also contribute to the structural stability of the building. The cost of the building materials constitutes 65-70% of the total project cost. Hence, any savings made towards this can make a significant difference in the overall construction cost.
The choice of building material largely depends on their availability. Locally available materials are always given a priority as you can save on the transportation cost.
The choice of building material also depends on the function of the building and its structural requirement. The location of the site and the climate also influences this decision.
Another aspect that influences the choice of building material is the visual impact it creates. The Taj Mahal, listed in the new Seven Wonders of the World, is well known not only for its perfect geometry and proportions but also for the material that is used in its construction i.e., the white Makrana marble. Similarly, the Red Fort in Delhi which is named after the colour of the building material, the red sandstone.
There are broadly two kinds of building materials – naturally sourced and manufactured. The quality, strength and looks of naturally sourced materials depend on the place where it is sourced from. Working with these materials needs more skill and understanding. Whereas the manufactured materials are lab tested and always have uniform properties with regard to looks and strength. No matter the material, when well used, each imparts a certain visual quality to the building.
Here are some examples of residences built using different building materials.
Stone is a natural building material that has a long history. It comes in a large variety and depending on the type and finish of the stone used, it can impart a rustic to a very sophisticated and rich look to the building. It is strong and structurally best suited to take compressive loads.
Natural stone comes in a number of colours and types having different properties, such as Granite, Marble, Sandstone, Slate, Soapstone, Limestone etc.
Stone is also available as a façade material. As natural stones can be expensive, the façade tiles help to impart the desired look.
Mud is a natural material that comes in a variety of colours. There are a number of building methods depending on the type of mud and the purpose it is being used for. Like making mud blocks, ramming the earth method, moldings the earth, wattle and daub, etc. Building with this material needs skill.
Mud as a building material is getting popular due to its environmentally friendly properties.
Brick is a manufactured material. It is easy to use, and is mostly plastered and painted upon to give the desired colour and look to the building. Brick also has its own inherent beauty. The variety of masonry works possible with this material results in exciting elevations.
Concrete as a building material is used in almost all constructions. It is extremely versatile and moldable into any shape, which makes it a popular material with architects experimenting on non rectilinear shapes. Exposed concrete finish became popular during the modern architectural movement. This finish is bold and stylish and makes a minimalistic statement.
Glass is transparent which makes it the perfect material to link the outdoor and the indoor. This material also imparts a light and airy feel to the buildings. With the newer types of glass available in larger sizes and added strength, the experimentation with this material, in the building industry, has just begun.
Wood is a natural building material. Its colour and texture imparts a sense of warmth and comfort to the building. As it is not an environment friendly option, a number of materials which look like wood, are available in the market.
For architects, building materials are like a vocabulary which they use in creating beautiful spaces. New materials, brings new vocabulary, and in the hands of a sensitive architect, they transform into the creation of a new and beautiful language of building.
Image source: http://www.vernarch.com/final_gal/krishnan_kadambi/images/view8.jpg
Image source: http://ipdesignstudio.in/residance-kamalchand.php
Image source: https://www.trendir.com/brick-wall-house-boasts-minimalist-style-with-maximum-appeal/
Image source: https://www.homify.in/projects/460240/the-courtyards-house
Image source: https://www.decoist.com/modern-indian-house-wooden-slats-glass-walls/
Image source: https://www.archdaily.com/872904/marble-house-openbox-architects?ad_medium=main-image&ad_name=chrome-extension
Ar. Gouri M Kasinathuni