It’s essential to ensure a durable material is used when constructing houses and buildings, so that they can survive environmental conditions and last the test of time. Concrete is widely considered to be the most popular building material as it provides a variety of benefits, including durability, sustainability, low cost and energy efficiency.
Concrete has been used to create multiple infamous structures including the Hoover Dam, Panama Canal and Roman Pantheon. The material was first introduced in Roman times, where it was used widely to provide all kinds of structures. Nowadays, Estimates suggest that the concrete industry provides over 2 million American jobs.
Concrete is the most used material throughout the world, mainly thanks to its durability and strength. Concrete can handle almost ever climate and is resistant to erosion, rotting and rust- meaning that it requires minimal maintenance. Concrete can outlast wood and other common building materials and its strength improves over time.
Concrete is environmentally friendly throughout the construction process, from raw material production to demolition. This certainly contributes to its popularity as a building material, now that building culture is moving towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly construction. Limestone is the raw material used in cement which makes concrete. Limestone is a plentiful resource, however concrete can also be made with power plant by-products, such as ash.
Concrete can be used for the construction of buildings, dams, tunnels, pavements, roads and bridges. It’s fire resistant which increases the number of projects it can be used on.
Raw materials used to make concrete include air, cement, water (to form a paste) and aggregates (sand, gravel, crushed stone). When these are combined a chemical reaction occurs and the paste hardens with rock-like strength. Concrete is malleable whilst wet and strong once hardened, making it extremely versatile. As concrete can be poured, this means it can be molded in to any shape desired. Concrete is routinely used for foundations, roads and bridges for this reason.
As concrete can be poured, this means it can be molded in to any shape desired. Concrete is routinely used for foundations, roads and bridges for this reason.
Concrete is highly energy efficient and buildings built with it can enjoy concrete’s ability to absorb and retain heat. Conversely, light colored concrete absorbs less heat and reflects sunlight, which is ideal for pavements in warmer climates.
Concrete is sound proof, ideal for family homes and houses/buildings built near busy roads or in loud city areas.
Concrete is one of the most cost-efficient building materials and its price remains steady even when other material costs change. Costs do vary depending on the grade, finish, surface preparation cost and tools required so it’s important to bear this in mind.