Building Materials in Architecture
Building materials play a critical role in determining the performance and sustainability of buildings, as well as their impact on the environment. For students of architecture, it is essential to understand the properties, advantages, and limitations of various building materials, and to use this knowledge to make informed decisions about the materials used in their designs. In this blog post, we will provide a beginner’s guide to building materials research for architecture students.
Construction materials, Building science, Sustainable building materials, Green building materials, Advanced building materials, Building envelopes, Energy-efficient materials, Durable materials, Smart materials
Why is Building Material Research Important for Architecture Students?
Building materials are an essential aspect of architecture and have a significant impact on the performance, sustainability, and cost of buildings. As a result, architects must consider a wide range of factors when choosing building materials,
- Durability: The ability of the building material to withstand environmental conditions and wear and tear over time.
- Sustainability: The environmental impact of the building material, including its energy consumption and carbon footprint during production and disposal.
- Cost: The cost of the building material, including the initial cost and long-term maintenance costs.
- Aesthetics: The visual appeal of the building material, including its texture, color, and pattern.
By researching and understanding the properties, advantages, and limitations of different building materials, architecture students can make informed decisions about the materials used in their designs and create more sustainable, cost-effective, and visually appealing buildings.
How to Conduct Building Material Research for Architecture Students
- Start with Online Resources: The internet is a vast resource for architecture students conducting building material research. Websites like the Architecture Building Materials Database and the Construction Materials Database provide detailed information on a wide range of building materials, including their properties, sustainability, and environmental impact.
- Visit Building Material Manufacturers: Visiting building material manufacturers can provide valuable insight into the properties and limitations of different building materials. You can also learn about new and innovative materials, as well as the manufacturing process, which can help inform your research.
- Attend Industry Conferences and Workshops: Industry conferences and workshops provide an excellent opportunity to learn from experts in the field and network with other architecture students and professionals. These events can also provide valuable information on the latest building materials and design trends.
- Conduct Life Cycle Assessment: Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a method of evaluating the environmental impact of building materials over their entire life cycle, from extraction to disposal. Conducting an LCA of building materials can provide valuable information on their sustainability and help inform your research.
- Read Industry Reports and Studies: Industry reports and studies provide valuable information on the latest building materials and design trends, as well as their performance and sustainability. Websites like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Green Building Council provide access to a wide range of industry reports and studies.
Building materials play a critical role in determining the performance and sustainability of buildings, and it is essential for architecture students to understand the properties, advantages, and limitations of different building materials. By conducting building material research, students can make informed decisions about the materials used in their designs and create more sustainable, cost-effective, and visually appealing buildings.
Here are some case studies on building material research in architecture:
The Empire State Building, New York City – The iconic skyscraper, completed in 1931, is a prime example of how materials like steel and concrete can be used to create efficient and sustainable buildings.
The Diamond House, Tokyo – This experimental house, built in 2008, features a unique diamond-shaped exterior made of ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) foil. ETFE is a durable, lightweight, and energy-efficient material that provides a high level of insulation and natural light.
The Self-Sufficient House, London – This sustainable house, completed in 2016, is designed to be self-sufficient, producing its own energy and collecting rainwater for irrigation. The house features a range of sustainable building materials, including recycled steel, bamboo flooring, and a green roof.
- Ashby, M. (2017). Materials and the environment: Eco-informed material choice. Butterworth-Heinemann.
- Fridley, D., & Fisk, W. J. (2017). The materials and energy balances of US buildings. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 42, 47-71.
- Koens, P. (2015). Sustainable Building Materials: A Review of Current Status. Procedia Engineering, 120, 188-194.
- Kibert, C. J. (2016). Sustainable construction: Green building design and delivery. John Wiley & Sons.
- Lechner, N. (2015). Building materials in civil engineering. John Wiley & Sons.
- Rees, W. E. (2018). Life cycle assessment in construction. Routledge.
- Spath, P. L., & Mann, M. K. (2018). Life cycle assessment and construction materials. Routledge.
- Wimmer, R. A. (2018). Building construction illustrated. John Wiley & Sons.