From ancient times to the present day,
builders have used a variety of materials
for construction, like stone, wood,
ceramics, mortar, steel, plaster, etc.
Each material has different properties.
Stone, ceramics & concretes are good for
making columns & walls; wood & metal are
good for making beams; ceramics are good
for making roof tiles.
Stone is a natural material that we extract from
Different types of stone are used in construction:
like granite slate & mable. Each one have different
properties & are used for different purposes.
Stone can be shaped to blocks(construct buildings)
or into panels(as decorative panels).
We use stone broken into “chip stone” to make
Sand consists of very small stones. It's used for
foundations & mixing with cement.
Stone is also a common material for making break-
Sometimes stone is part of other materials.
Cement is a binder. It's dry grey powder that binds
other materials toguether. Cement is a mixture of
ground & baked minerals, oxides, & sometimes
PRODUCTION OF CEMENT
-First step: grind the chalk & the limestone.
-Second step: yo ground chalk & limestone are then
calcinated at 1450ºC in an oven called a “klin”. The
calcinated groud mixture is called “clinker”.
-Third step: Clinker is then ground again with a bit of
-Fourth step: All the other ingredients are mixed with
the clinker & gypsum.
Cement production has considerable enviromental
Mortar is a mixture of cement, sand & water.
When we add water to the mixture it becomes a paste.
When the cement & water come into contact they start a
“Setting” is the chemical reaction between the chemical
elements of the different minerals & also the water.
Before laying the bricks with the mortar, we dip the bricks
If the bricks are dry, they absorb the water from the mix &
there isn't enough water for the chemical reaction(setting).
Bricklayers lay a row of wet bricks & cover them with the
mortar paste. Then they lay another row of bricks over the
It's good practice to sprinkle water over the mortar a few
hours after laying the bricks (helping the chemical
Concrete is mortarwith added pebbles, so it
mixture of cement, water, sand & pebbles.
The pebbles are harder & stronger than the
We use concrete to make structural elements
such as foundatios & beams.
We made a mould with the shape of the element
that we are going to make.
The mould is made of four flat steel panels bolted
to each other.
To remove the air wich can be trapped in the
mould, the concrete is vibrated to help the
bubbles come up.
Reinforced concrete is
concrete with steel bars inside
Rainforcing the element is
important when the element or
a part of the element will suffer
tension forces. Concrete has
good resistance to
compression but not to
tension. Steel has goos
resistance to both
compression & tension.
We always reinforce the
concrete in beams.
Plaster is a soft solid that we normally use
for aesthetic purposes, to cover brick walls
which have a rough surface.
In addition, plaster foam is used as a fire-
Plaster comes from gypsum (a mineral). We
extract gypsum from the quarry, and then
grind it. When ground gypsum is mixed with
water, it becomes a paste and we can
spread it on interior walls.
-Plaster gives a smooth surface and has a nice
-It is easy to work with.
-It is a good sound and thermal insulator.
-It is resistant to fire within a room, reducing or
eliminating structural damage.
-It is weak.
-It absorbs water. (For this reasons, plaster
isn`t used on exterior walls)
HISTORY OF CERAMICS
Ceramic is the oldest artificial material.
In the beginning, ceramic was used for
pottery & ornaments, but not as a
It was in Asia where people first used
ceramics, more than10,000 years ago,
when the Neolithic period started.
Much later come the mass production of
“bricks” for construction purposes.
Bricks in Roman times were similar to the
ones we produce today.
We still use ceramics for ornamental
purposes, but the main use of ceramic is
the manufacture of bricks.
Clay is a mass of very small particules of
rockformed by a long process of natural erosion
Clay is a natural material, but ceramics are
Silicon is the most common mineral in clay, but
we use clay with very different compositions to
It's easy to confuse dry clay with ceramics, but
they are different materials:
-If we add water to dry clay , it becomes soft
again.Then we can dry it, & it becomes hard again.
-If we add water to ceramics, it stays hard.
The most common ceramic
product is bricks.
Other ceramic material are tiles,
such as roofing tiles.
Wall & floor tiles are ccoated
with porcelain. Porcelain is
much harder, it gives a soft
surface, & it is completely
1- MOULDING: The first step in making
ceramics is to give the caly the required shape ,
for example a brick.
We make a mould with the negative shape of a
brick, then we fill the mould with clay.
2- DRYING: The absorbed water is what makes
the clay wet. When it evaporates the clay
becomes hard, but if water is added, it becomes
soft clay again.
3- FIRING: To remove the chemically bound
water we need high temperatures. That is why
the process is called “firing” the clay.
Firing is done in a kiln, at temperatures between
1000ºC & 1600ºC.
Bricks are used to make
Bricks are stronger than
mortar. When cracks
appeared in the mortar, Thy
can't develop in a straight
line, so the crack stop at the
It can be very time consuming and
taxing, it is a necessary evil. The
following are your main paperwork
check off list:
- Contract with the required deposit.
- Builder package goes to the lender.
- Blue prints for your project from the
architect. - All application and fees
- Submit plans for review.
Before any building can take place, the lot
must be prepared. Having a firm foundation
is the key to building a solid structure. This
- Dirt work and lot leveling.
- Footing and foundation complete, Trusses
& Lumber delivered to the job site, and
- Windows, garage and exterior doors in
- Wrap & scratch, brown coat
- Roof tile stacked & Exterior trim painted
During this phase, all of the small
interior details and personal
touches get set into motion.
As your house becomes a home,
there are a few more major
projects that must be completed:
- Insulating your walls followed by
- Texture spray and interior paint.
- Cabinets installed and stained.
- Tile work.
All of the pieces of the puzzle are almost
together and yet there is still more to do:
- Concrete flat work
- Finalizing electrical and plumbing
- Carpet installation
- Then there is a Good Old Fashioned
Cleaning, removal of all signs of construction
so that all you are left with,
is your perfect vision of your new Home.
- Final Inspection