"Building material (EXPRESS SUPPLIES) is any material which is used for construction purposes. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, rocks, sand, and wood, even twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many man-made products are in use, some more and some less synthetic. The manufacturing of building materials is an established industry in many countries and the use of these materials is typically segmented into specific specialty trades, such as carpentry, insulation, plumbing, and roofing work. They provide the make-up of habitats and structures including homes.
The initial economic cost of building materials is the purchase price. This is often what governs decision making about what materials to use. Sometimes people take into consideration the energy savings or durability of the materials and see the value of paying a higher initial cost in return for a lower lifetime cost. For example, an asphalt shingle roof costs less than a metal roof to install, but the metal roof will last longer so the lifetime cost is less per year. Some materials may require more care than others, maintaining costs specific to some materials may also influence the final decision. Risks when considering lifetime cost of a material is if the building is damaged such as by fire or wind, or if the material is not as durable as advertised. The cost of materials should be taken into consideration to bear the risk to buy combustive materials to enlarge the lifetime. It is said that, 'if it must be done, it must be done well'
Wood has been used as a building material for thousands of years in its natural state. Today, engineered wood is becoming very common in industrialized countries.
Sand is used with cement, and sometimes lime, to make mortar for masonry work and plaster. Sand is also used as a part of the concrete mix. An important low-cost building material in countries with high sand content soils is the Sandcrete block, which is weaker but cheaper than fired clay bricks.
Mud-bricks, also known by their Spanish name adobe are ancient building materials with evidence dating back thousands of years BC. Compressed earth blocks are a more modern type of brick used for building more frequently in industrialized society since the building blocks can be manufactured off site in a centralized location at a brickworks and transported to multiple building locations. These blocks can also be monetized more easily and sold.
Structural mud bricks are almost always made using clay, often clay soil and a binder are the only ingredients used, but other ingredients can include sand, lime, concrete, stone and other binders. The formed or compressed block is then air dried and can be laid dry or with a mortar or clay slip.