Defects in Construction | Building Materials used in Construction





Building Materials used in Construction | Defects in Buildings

The building materials used for construction of the building are the major factors of a successful structure or a failed structure. The major core materials that are responsible for the standing structure are:

  1. Sand
  2. Mud
  3. Cement
  4. Water
  5. Cement Mortar

Usually, the failure of a building is due to the development of cracks. The intensity of damage describes the kind of crack and the repair measures to be taken….

There are two major types of cracks:

  1. Minor causes of Cracks resulting in minor cracks or surface cracks in Buildings
  2. Major causes of cracks resulting in major cracks or structural cracks in Buildings
Villas Construction site, India

Villas Construction site, India

The purpose of writing this article was to figure out the different building materials used for different purposes and how their quality or the quality of their mixture affects the structure as a whole.

Uses of Sand in Construction

Sand is the major building material used in any kind of construction. It is used in every phase of the construction project, i.e. from the foundation to the finishing of the floor.

There are three major varieties of sand:

a) Fine sand

b) Coarse sand

c) Medium sand

Fine sand is usually used for the topmost plastering of the surfaces.

Plastering is done in two coats: Rough coat and Final coat.

Coarse sand

It is generally used in RCC work and in the foundations of the Super – Structure.

Medium sand

It is used in the mixture of mortar and while laying the flooring tiles.

Stone dust

Baby chips are coarse. They could be used in the concrete mixture as a substitute to Coarse sand.

• 1bag of cement + 6 ghumpas of sand + 7 ghumpas of stone metal

• 1bag of cement + 5 ghumpas of sand +1 ghumpa of dust + 7 ghumpas of stone metal

These are the suitable proportions for a “Cement Concrete Mixture”.

Uses of Mud in Construction

Mud should never be used alongwith sand. It destroys the strength of the structure.

Before sand is to be used for the purpose of construction, the sand test should be performed.

(sand + water = sand test)

Filter beds are also used to clean the dirty sand. They are rejuvenated every few months.

Cement is nothing but crushed limestone. After the limestone is crushed, some chemicals are added to increase the durability of cement.

MARKET SURVEY

A bag of crushed limestone costs =50/-

Cost of crushed limestone treated with chemicals = 250/-

Some contractors use just crushed limestone instead of chemically treated crushed limestone on the construction site to make profit. In Practice, the quality of the mixture and the materials used are not really paid much attention to which is very bad and results in substandard construction.

We as Architects and Engineers should take a vow and prevent this from happening atleast in our own projects…

We will be discussing Cement, water and Cement Mortar used in construction…



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  1. #1 by ELAMURUGU on January 1, 2011 - 10:35 pm

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        • #5 by BenzuJK on June 14, 2011 - 9:27 am

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