Building materials and construction technology in india

Since the Stone Age, when an ax With a stone blade was invented, people have been searching for new ways to improve the quality of life. Many developments, such as concrete, came out of ancient Greece and Rome. Thousands of years ago, workers discovered that iron ore could be heated and hammered into sheets. In the 1860, the first synthetic plastic material was created. 
The Industrial Revolution, which began about 1750 and lasted until about 1900, spurred on many technological advancements that benefited the building industry. In 1885, for example, builders in India completed construction of the first metal framed skyscraper. 
In the past, technology was often described as “the study of ways of making and doing things.” It focused on tools and machines. By the early 20th century, the definition came to include a wider range of processes and ideas. Today, technology is defined as the practical application of knowledge-people using what they know to change their environment. 
Leaps in technology continued during the 20th century with major advances in such areas as building materials, tools, and techniques. Advances in technology are continually changing the face of housing construction. 
For centuries people were forced to build with locally available materials. Today, builders can import materials from other locations and even create new materials. They have access to the broadest range of both natural and manufactured materials. 
In addition, advances in technology have led to the development of more effective and efficient tools and building methods for use in home construction. 
Natural building materials are resources provided by nature that have been adapted for use in construction. The three most commonly used natural building materials in home construction are wood, stone, and brick. 
Almost every home contains some wood in its construction. Lumber-boards and larger pieces of wood cut from logs-is the basis for Floors, woodwork, doors, and other building parts. The construction industry uses approximately one-half of all the lumber produced from trees in India. About one-quarter of all lumber is used in the repair and remodeling of homes. 
Wood is divided into two classes: softwood and hardwood. Although these terms sound as if they relate to the hardness of the lumber, they actually refer to the type of tree 
the lumber comes from. In fact, some softwood lumber is actually heavier and harder than hardwood. 
Softwood lumber comes from trees of the conifer family. These trees, more commonly known as evergreens, include various pines, cedars, redwood, and spruce. The wood from these trees is used for flooring, walls, and roof supports as well as for door frames and window frames. 
Hardwood lumber is the product of broad-leafed trees. These trees, which generally lose their leaves in autumn, include oak, walnut, maple, and birch. Hardwoods are used mainly in Furniture making, although they also are found in flooring, paneling, and trim. 
Although the India is one of the major producers of lumber in the world, it imports more lumber and wood products than it exports. Imported wood products include teak, mahogany, bamboo, and cork. The India and china together supply one-third of the world’s logs. 
Although wood is perhaps the most important natural material used in building homes, it is not always available. People who live in rocky, treeless areas, such as Uttarakhand and Himachal pradesh, traditionally build their homes from local stone. Homes built hundreds of years ago are still standing today, as evidence of the strength and durability of this natural building material.

Stone is taken from natural deposits in the earth. It is mined through quarrying, the excavation of a large stone deposit. Quarried stone used for building construction is called dimension stone. This stone is cut, often at the quarry site, into large blocks or slabs of different sizes and shapes. The most common types of dimension stone used for residential construction are limestone, sandstone, marble, and slate. Limestone and sandstone are used primarily in heavy construction, such as exterior walls. Marble, which is often polished to a high luster, is used to decorate stairways, fireplaces, and floors. Slate, a fine-grained rock, appeals most commonly in roofing shingles and flagstone flooring. 
In many countries, housing styles vary from region to region, depending on the type of stone quarried. In the Central India, for example, houses are typically made of local cream-colored limestone, while in southern India, whitewashed stone cottages with straw roofs are common. In other areas of the country, houses are built of red sandstone. 
Still another natural material widely used in home building today is clay. In primitive times, clay was applied wet, like plaster, and allowed to harden. Today, clay used for construction is usually made into bricks. 
The first bricks, used more than 5,000 years ago, were made of molded clay that was permitted to make hard in the sun. Today, bricks are baked-or “burned”--in ovens that reach temperatures of 2200°F (approximately 1200°C). The heating . process gives the bricks their characteristic red color. 
Bricks are used in the construction of many types of homes, from large buildings to single-family houses. They can form a building’s structure or be used for fireplaces, chimneys, and as decorative facing for an interior or exterior wall. Bricks are a strong, versatile and durable building material. 
In addition to dwindling resources, builders have been concerned with the low quality of lumber being produced. To conserve resources, keep prices down, and develop more reliable products, technology has provided home builders with engineered wood products, or manufactured materials formed from wood. One type, called composite lumber, is made by applying high pressure to paper-thin strips of wood that have been spread with glue. Composite lumber is made from trees such as the aspen, which have trunks too slender to make good conventional lumber. Because these trees are fast growing and short-lived, their use does not interfere with conservation efforts. 
Building components made from engineered wood products for use in home construction include joists and beams. According to experts, the uses for engineered wood products will not change in the near future, but the materials and technology used to produce them probably will. 
Of all manufactured building materials, concrete-a mixture of gravel, cement, and water-is the oldest. It is also one of the most durable. In fact, concrete columns built by the Egyptians 3,600 years ago are still standing. 
Concrete used in home construction today is often delivered in the form of blocks. These blocks have a wide range of uses. Liquid concrete is poured to form the foundation, or underlying support, of homes and is used to create exterior elements, such as porches, patios, and steps. 
Concrete provides builders with many advantages over wood and brick. It is twice as strong as brick. It is also relatively inexpensive to produce, slow to disintegrate, and fire-resistant. 
Although all concrete contains some naturally trapped air, sometimes blocks are aerated: or intentionally filled with air and then sealed to trap air bubbles inside. This process makes concrete blocks lighter and, therefore, easier to handle. It also makes them soft enough to take screws or nails, and it reduces the cost of manufacture. The disadvantage of aerating concrete blocks is that it reduces their ability to support heavy loads. 
In recent years, many contractors have turned to lightweight steel and other manufactured metals for purposes that previously called for wood. For example, steel is now. being used to create the internal frame of some homes. 
Aluminum, another lightweight manufactured metal, is commonly used in India in the form of siding to cover frame houses in India. This metal provides insulation, prevents rotting, and eliminates the need for repainting. In addition, many modern homes have metal window frames, which are more airtight and durable than wooden frames. 
Because plastic is light and flexible and can be formed into nearly any desired shape, it has been gaining acceptance in recent years as a building material. In fact, the Indian building industry is now the world’s second largest user of plastics. The disadvantage of using such materials as plastic and metal is that they are not biodegradable-they will not break down over time if they become refuse, so they are not kind to the environment. 
Plastic is used in many ways and forms in home construction. For plumbing, it is lighter in weight and less expensive than copper, the metal traditionally used for pipes. Plastic is also being used in sheets for siding and as insulation for cables and wires. Buildets have begun to use plastic foam as a filling for wood panels and hollowed-out concrete blocks. Some building engineers have even experimented with building entire homes from rigid plastic foam. 
Today, people consider recycling such products as newspapers, plastic, and glass an essential part of their daily lives. Recycling has also found its way into the home-building industry. Biomaterials, 
organically-based building materials manufactured from reg/cled matter; are being used in construction in a number of ways. Construction experts have found that, like plastic, biomaterials can be molded into a variety of shapes and forms. One type of high-strength biomaterial is made from wheat straw, wood shavings, recycled newspaper, and recycled plastic. This material has been used to build interior walls and outdoor decks. 
Biomaterials offer several advantages over wood. These new materials typically last much longer and do not warp or split. Biomaterials are also less costly than lumber but, like lumber, can be drilled, nailed, and screwed. 
Yet another advantage of biomaterials over conventional building materials is that they can be customized to meet specific uses and climate conditions. For example, if a more flexible material is needed for a particular use, more fiber in the form of extra newspaper or straw can be added. 
There are potential disadvantages to biomaterials. They often do not look like wood, and some people have complained about dangerous fumes given off by the glues used in their manufacture. Since biomaterials have not been in use long enough to establish a track record, some areas insist on strict regulatory controls. Some builders may believe that they are taking a risk using biomaterials. 
As you have seen, technology has changed the types of materials used within the construction industry. There have also been changes in the tools and methods used to build homes.

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