Organic building material

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An organic building material in the sense of organic chemistry is a building material that contains carbon compounds in the form of macromolecules . Simple compounds like carbon dioxide or pure carbon like in carbon fibers are therefore not counted.

The term traditionally serves to differentiate combustible building materials such as plastic , wood and natural fibers from inert mineral building materials such as natural stone , clay , bricks or concrete .

The term "organic" is mainly used today by the building materials industry to denote building materials made of synthetic resins and other plastics. In contrast, wood and other building materials made from plant fibers and natural resins are often referred to as natural building materials .


In 1939 Richard Grün defined : "The organic building materials are the result of the activity of animals or plants and contain their products." This definition is essentially limited to natural building materials. These were primarily wood , fiber materials and textiles , as well as in traditional construction also as palm fronds , straw , reeds , peat or dung . There were also bioplastics such as linoleum . Plastics that are made on the basis of mineral oil products, such as Bakelite at that time , have not yet been taken into account because they were not yet of great importance.

The archeology can often only indirectly infer the use of organic materials, because these by rotting are mostly destroyed.

Due to the decreasing use of traditional building materials since the 18th / 19th In the 19th century, the importance of organic building materials initially decreased. Fire protection and slowed aging served as arguments for solid construction with mineral building materials.

Since the 20th century, petroleum products such as bitumen , a larger selection of wood-based materials and many polymer materials have been added to the organic materials that are used in construction, so that one can now differentiate between natural and synthetic-organic building materials.

Many mineral building materials today contain organic additives. These often make processing easier, specifically improve certain material properties and enable faster and lighter construction or thermal insulation .


  • Gustav Peter, Marc Ladner, René Muntwyler: Baustofflehre, Springer, Berlin 2013. P. 56ff. ISBN 978-3322867834

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Richard Grün: Chemistry for civil engineers and architects, Springer, Berlin 1939, p. 113.