Building material

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A building material is a material (in the form of raw materials , auxiliary materials or semi-finished products ) that is used to construct structures and buildings .

The earliest building materials used by humans were wood , clay and natural stones . Today, mass raw materials such as sand , gravel , crushed stone , lime and simple substances made from them such as cement, concrete or glass dominate.

Colloquially, the terms building material or consumable are also used in this context . In the legal nomenclature, building materials are referred to as building products . In 1989 the Construction Products Directive (BPR) came into force; on July 1, 2013 it was replaced by the Construction Products Ordinance. The German Chemicals Act and the REACH Regulation differentiate between preparations and products ( products ) ; for these, certain guidelines and regulations must be observed.


Many raw materials are not used in the form in which they occur in nature , but building materials are made from raw materials. For example, clay bricks are made from clay , which are easier and more economical to process than the original material. Another example: Limestone is a material that is used to make cement (as a building material ), which in turn is part of the concrete (as a building material ).
This concrete is used to produce components like a column that is built into a building .

The quality of the building materials depends on factors such as the choice of material, material combination, material quality, material compatibility and material processing. In order to avoid quality-related errors in the manufacture of structures and buildings, the planning and project planning principles, the current DIN standards and guidelines, the legal requirements and ordinances, the processing instructions and the generally recognized rules of technology apply . The use of building materials always depends on the state of the art in a culture. New building materials often open up previously impossible uses in architecture. The architectural style of modernism was only made possible by developments in glass technology. Each building material requires its type of construction . The solid structure is created with stones , while steel , for example, is particularly suitable for skeleton structures .

  • Building materials are sold in the building materials trade , which by its nature is trained as a wholesale and retail trade .
  • Building materials science deals with the properties of building materials and their testing. If the properties of a building material are not precisely known or if the wrong building material is used, this can have negative consequences, such as damage to the building and / or damage to health.

So far, there have been many building materials with harmful effects, for example by emitting toxic gases. During the approval process, building material manufacturers must submit the formulations of their products to the Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik - but they are not obliged to check or (if known) state which reactions result from the formulation. This is only checked in a few exceptional cases, for example when new sealing compounds and floor coverings are approved . The Federal Environment Agency issues - so far non-binding - recommendations as to which emission values ​​should not be exceeded. Many building material manufacturers, however, refrain from taking measurements on their products or even publishing them.


One differentiates:

  • organic building materials (e.g. wood, cellulose and organic fibers , but also bitumen ) / inorganic building materials. Today, mostly inorganic building materials are used.
  • Recycled building materials (also called secondary building materials) and building materials without recycled components.
Natural building blocks (natural stones)
Sandstone · Limestone · Granite · Slate · Marble · Tuff · Grauwacke · Rhyolite · Basalt and others
Artificial building blocks
Brick · brick · Tonhohlplatte · tiles · sand-lime brick · Hüttenstein · Concrete Block · lightweight concrete block · heavy concrete block · aerated concrete · concrete block · concrete roof tile · expanded clay · Adobe
Anhydrite · Building lime · Alabaster · Cement · Mixed Binder · Masonry cement · bitumen · Clay
Natural and artificial aggregates in mortar and concrete ( aggregates )
Sand · Gravel · pumice · blast furnace slag · furnace slag · expanded clay · Blähschiefer
Masonry mortar · plastering mortar · screed mortar · tile adhesive
Lightweight concrete · normal concrete · heavy concrete · reinforced concrete · prestressed concrete · fiber concrete · steel fiber concrete · aerated concrete
Iron and steel
Structural steel · rebar mat · reinforcing bars · prestressed concrete steel · Cast iron · profile steel
Non-ferrous metals
Aluminum · magnesium · lead · tin · zinc · copper
Timber · Plywood · laminated beams · Plywood · Coarse particle board · OSB · glulam · MDF · flat press plate · multiplex board · wood wool · extruded plate
Plastics ( thermoplastics )
Ethylene-Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Polyethylene (PE) Polypropylene (PP) Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) Polystyrene (PS) Polyvinyl acetate (PVAC) Polycarbonate (PC) Polyamide (PA) Polyisobutylene (PIB ) Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)
Plastics ( thermosetting plastics )
Phenol-formaldehyde resin (" Bakelite ", PF) · UF resin · Melamine formaldehyde resin (MF) · Unsaturated polyester resin (UP) Epoxy resin (EP)
Plastics ( elastomers )
Polyurethane (PUR) · rubber · Silicone · acrylic
Insulation materials
Flax fibers · wood wool -Leichtbauplatte (z. B. Heraklith ) · wood fiber board · grain beds (Ceralith) · glass fiber insulation · hemp fibers · Mineral fiber insulation · wool · foam glass · foam plastic · Strohleichtlehm · cork · coconut matting · Press straw · Perlite · felt · Torfplatte · polystyrene · calcium silicate Board · cellulose · reed board · mineral wool
Bitumen · dimpled sheet
Glass block · flat glass · pressed glass
Rolled asphalt · Mastic asphalt · Natural asphalt · Semi-rigid surface
Composite materials
Plasterboard · Reinforced concrete · Fiber concrete · Steel fiber concrete · Biorock · Wood-based materials
Historically used building materials
Clay · wood · natural stone · brick · clinker · lime
Obsolete building materials
Torfit · coal tar
building materials hazardous to health
Asbestos · lead ( lead poisoning ) · tar


Building materials are sold in the building material trade , in hardware stores and on the Internet. Tradespeople and architects are important sales intermediaries, as builders are advised by them when choosing building materials.


In order to have documentation in the event of complaints, deliveries of construction materials to construction sites should be documented by the construction manager in the construction log . This applies in particular to building materials that are no longer visible after processing or from which samples can no longer be taken later in the event of damage . The recording with detailed information such as type designation, batch , supplier is recommended especially for the delivery of building materials for load-bearing components (cement, structural steel, ready-mixed concrete) .


  • Manfred Hegger , Volker Auch-Schwelk, Matthias Fuchs, Thorsten Rosenkranz: Atlas as a building material. Edition Detail / Birkhäuser, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-7643-7272-9 , structured according to building material groups and building material applications, it is the first standard work with comprehensive life cycle assessment data for building materials and component layers.
  • Scholz: Knowledge of building materials. Werner Verlag, ISBN 3-8041-3451-3 .
  • Lucas, Hans Günter; Grimm, Wolf-Dieter (1994) Building Block Mapping and Building Material Geology. Earth sciences; 12, 1; 3-10; doi : 10.2312 / geosciences . 1994.12.3

Web links

Wiktionary: building material  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations




Individual evidence

  1. Construction Products Ordinance
  2. Dr. Uwe Schönfelder: Determination of the condition of real estate using the ERAB method - basics for maintenance strategies . Werner Verlag, Dortmund 2012; ISBN 978-3-8041-5253-3
  3. Interview with building lawyer Barbara Gay, Rheinische Post from March 26, 2010, page B3 PDF file
  4. Information from the Bundesvereinigung Recyclingbaustoffe eV ( Memento from October 2, 2010 in the Internet Archive )