Construction materials

building materialsThe market offers today more and more amounts of building materials, and every material has pros and cons. The choice of materials to be used in the buildings depends on many aspects, among those considered to be the function that the material will have, the size, the type and location of the building.

Strength and flexibility are among the most important features in the field of building materials. But count equally also fire resistance, the thermal insulation ’, the ability of accumulation and thermal diffusion, the reaction to the absorption of external agents. All they affect in a fundamental way on the microclimate and well-being of a hydrothermal environment; We're going to see better detail.

The thermal insulation

MaterialiIsolamIf the outside temperature is lower than the inside of the House is going to develop a heat loss. The correct thermal insulation material which is able to limit the loss. It should be considered that a Home well insulated and can save up over 80% of energy; given the current cost of heating, This also involves considerable cost savings.

A very important role in thermal insulation of the building is covered by fixtures (doors and Windows), they are obviously close, leaving no draughts and heat loss (the easiest way to improve the insulation of Windows is to use blinds or rolling shutters holding closed during periods of low solar lighting).

The piling up of heat

This term refers to the ability of a building material to keep and accumulate heat. This feature impacts heavily on maintaining ideal temperature and constant as possible within a ’ House during all seasons, and preserves, during the cold period, maintaining a pleasant climate and warm without the ’ overuse of alternative heating systems, While, during the summer, an average temperature tends to be cooler than all external ’.

If the capacity of heat accumulation on the part of the walls is too low, you create the so-called Cabin climate, typical of precarious and elementary buildings, cooling too quickly and easily in winter and hot in summer time.

The heat loss

In addition to thermal insulation of the external surfaces of the building (such as perimeter walls and roof), We must also consider the internal surfaces of walls and ceilings. Internal finishing layer affects a lot on the microclimate of the dwelling and then agree to use materials that have a low thermal conduction. It is advisable to pay particular attention in the choice of floors, that should ensure a low percentage of heat dissipation and hygrometric State of health of the walls that must always be perfectly dry and well protected from the elements.

L’ soundproofing

MaterialiAcusticoIn areas of high population density, as in urban areas or near streets traffic-intensive, noise can affect very negatively on the quality of living. The critical points, which allow the penetration of noise in buildings, are usually the Windows, the doors, caissons blinds, the niches for the heating and ventilation holes.

The noise protection is, however, one aspect that needs to be considered and solved already at the design stage, because the location of the building in relation to noise sources (streets, production buildings, etc.) greatly affects the distribution of the interior spaces of the building.

On this feel-good acoustic lens would always avoid locating the bedrooms close to elevators, of stairs, of corridors, bathroom and kitchen. Unfortunately with limited space today all this is not always possible, then the correct choice of insulating material is critical to ensure a good living standard.

Knowing that the noise is transmitted through the air or through solid bodies, any noise protection are achieved by using sound-absorbing materials (i.e. able to absorb some of the acoustic energy that hits them).

Protection from fire

MaterialiIncendiAlso in the issue of fire protection construction materials should be evaluated according to three different parameters:

– fix the material to ignite;
– quantity of smoke emitted from a material time incendiatosi;
– quantity and quality of gases emitted during combustion.

The building materials are typically divided into classes of fire resistance, that express the duration of fire resistance of material before catching fire and describe the material behavior in case of fire.

More difficult is estimating the production of harmful gases that are emitted from the material in case of fire. In this field, many variables come into play, but in principle it is possible to affirm that natural materials emit generally less smoke and less toxic gas of synthetic products.

Breathable capacity

In a room atmosphere is always present a certain amount of moisture which can be caused by several factors. However, the humidity should be allowed to escape from the room to prevent phenomena condensation that are manifested with water droplets that remain stably suspended in the colder walls.

The value of humidity in a House should be between 40% and the 60%; higher values report
– a poor breathable capacity of ’ building
– excessive moisture production (from human activities or from moisture lifts)
– insufficient ventilation of the building
all causes that lead to the formation of mold along the walls due to the continuation of the wet state of internal condensation.

A good masonry It must be able to breathe properly and allow internal moisture can escape from the building in a natural way with the absorption and the capillary exchange of construction materials with the outside. To this end, it is equally important to pay close attention to the materials used as alloying elements (malte), the materials used for finishing of walls (plasters), paint used inside houses (to water, synthetic fibres, etc.), and avoid as much as possible (and since the design phase) the so-called thermal bridges.

The pleasantness of the materials

The building materials are visible outside the building or within individual locations, In addition to satisfy specific needs and sanitation techniques, they must also be pleasant to look at and to touch. This is especially important with regard to the wall surfaces, for finishing materials (doors and Windows, doors, Windows, hardwood floors), for items of furniture and the fabrics (curtains, upholstery, etc.). These are important elements that affect strongly the housing quality and wellbeing of users of those locations.

Construction materials should not be then chosen only as a function of the technical characteristics, but also in relation to the suggestions and sensations that can transmit and that can generate direct users to. In practice, to create a comfortable and pleasant environment you must leave space to our senses and our imagination.

materials research centre IgroDry