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Civil construction materials or building materials are the basic building blocks of any construction activity. Understanding them so that you are able to make the right choice is extremely critical as it would go a long way in determining structural durability of your home or office.
Below, we have put together the key items used and what you should look out for. All these products can be purchased here:
- Sand: No introduction needed for this product. But what you must know is that there are different grades of sand available in different markets. Sand, being a natural product, is “mined” or “sourced” locally. A key grade of sand is called river sand, which as the name indicates, comes from river or similar natural water bodies. This grade of sand is especially recommended for all the interior works like plastering etc.
- Kadi (or Concrete): This is another crucial building material. Kadi is actually a rock or stone line material, which is mixed with sand, cement and water to form concrete, this is the base that is used to form the floors, staircases, columns and beams in your home or office.
- Cement: Quite a well-known product again. There are broadly 2 different types of cement: Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and Pozzolonic Portland Cement (PPC). The difference between the two types is due to a slight difference in composition. In terms of attributes, PPC has greater strength and hence offers more durability. These days, even for interior works, generally the usage of PPC is recommended. Cement is also referred to as Grey or Black Cement in some markets.
- Bricks: Possibly the oldest of the construction materials. The most popular ones are reddish in color, these are actually made of clay fired at high temperatures, hence called red clay bricks. These days, an advanced version of bricks, called AAC bricks (or Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) are also used, these are basically engineered bricks, which offer advantages like lighter weight, bigger size, better thermal and sound insulation and easier and quicker installation. On the flip side, these tend to be more expensive compared to the conventional red clay bricks.
- White Cement: To put it simply, white cement is ordinary cement, which is imparted a pure whitish color, through a change in the manufacturing process. This tends to be much more expensive compared to ordinary cement, hence it is not used for construction purposes. Typically, it is used for decorative work, many a time by adding colored pigments to it, to get the desired shade. It also used for application on the walls, since it tends to be cheaper than the decorative paints, it can be cost-effective way to give a shiny, white finish to the walls.