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Building Raw Material Sources - Environmental Sustainablity

Updated on October 21, 2019
hmkrishna profile image

The author hails from South Indian village, situated in the South-West coastal region. He is into farm science and agriculture.

Building homes

A good home is everybody's need. A warm dwelling place solves many problems. Problem-Free dwelling abodes are the result of the quality raw materials used for building those constructions. Main raw materials used are bricks, cement, wood, steel, etc. Let us see what are the requirements and how best we can make use of them.
A house is built by us once or twice in a lifetime unless we are connected with the job of building such ones. So, choice of good raw material is very important for strength, durability, finish and comforts.

The following are important steps to be taken in the note during constructions;

  • Building blocks
  • Cementing for future
  • Strengths that are compromise-free
  • Doors to the brighter world

Quality is important for everything. However, depending on our capacity to afford, we do compromise. But, when it comes to construction raw materials. These ventures are once in a life-time or rarest tasks and it is important to care for durability.

Sand filled boats at the jetty area and the trucks loading the sand
Sand filled boats at the jetty area and the trucks loading the sand

Raw materials

Some of the quality raw materials in many parts of the world are not supplied by the branded suppliers. It will be time-tested, peer-recommended and perception-based quality, beyond the mere brand.


Sand is one of the important raw material for construction. Coarse sand of a particular size is procured and used for making the mortar. If it is collected from the beaches, these are of average quality. It is due to the high amount of salt present in this sand, which gradually cause erosion in the constructions. Sand collected from the deserts is better than the sand collected from the beaches in their quality. Sand collected from the river mouth underneath the water is of superior quality.

The mesh sizes used for sand sieving are 30, 40 and 60 for various purposes of constructions.

Availability of superior quality sand is limited, there is a restriction for the extraction of sand from the river mouth. Good quality sand is available and is also lifted from a few kilometres upstreams. These are the topmost quality sands, provided if there are no pebbles and shells. So, while choosing the raw material for construction, it is very important to get the right kind of sand in the first instance. Sand mining is regulated by the geological and revenue authorities, mining without their permission is illegal. The sand is used for extraction of silicon and thorium and because of which also, mining of natural sand is being done and it replenishes quickly.

Blocks of rock or brick

Next is the important building blocks. The building blocks can be granite, laterite or clay bricks. Granite blocks are the superior ones, next is the laterite red stone and the average ones are clay bricks. There is very limited availability of granite blocks because the granite sources are less in number and granite mining is strictly controlled by the geological authorities. The usual size of a granite block is 8 inches width 8 inches height and 16 inches length.

The laterite red stones are strong, provided only if they are obtained from the right place. The availability of laterite red stones is also limited to the volcanic laterite rocks. Laterite stone cutting is also regulated by the revenue authorities. The usual size of the laterite red stone is 12 inches length 10 inches width and 10 inches height.

The most available construction blocks are clay bricks. Baked clay bricks are available from the tiles factories. Clay bricks are also prepared by the rural people on-site. Clay bricks available from the tile factories of 8-inch length 4-inch width and 4-inch height. The bricks prepared on-site are of varied sizes.


To bind the sand and the blocks, very good quality cement is most essential. Very good quality cement is mined and prepared in very limited quantity. The distribution channels and distribution of cement are completely regulated by the authorities. Cement prices also regulated according to norms. Superfine grade cement is available for plastering purpose. Portland cement, cement grades in 43 and 53 mesh sizes are available in the market, besides white cement for fine finishing purposes.


When the constructions are done in the substratum without sufficient strength, steel girdling is used. When the building blocks are not sufficiently strong, when the height of the building is tall, the building blocks alone cannot sustain. In such situations, steel-reinforced concrete pillars are used to strengthen the buildings from crashing.

By understanding the required strength and by estimating the required support, the quality of steel is determined.


Availability of very high-quality wood is important for preparing the doors, windows and shelves, as well as in some cases the partitions and the ceilings, decorative items, linings, etc. Due to restriction for wood cutting as well as due to non-availability of high-quality wood, there are many problems faced by the construction industry. High-quality hardwood from the rainforest is used for strong wooden bar constructions. For ceilings and doors, for less weight board making, hardwoods of lightweight are used.

As far as construction is concerned, there should always be a balance between the availability of budget raw materials. A well-constructed building can withstand various challenges of nature and give happiness to the owner for a long time.

When we take into account the raw materials, it is utmost important to conserve the raw materials by curing of the logs and waterproof coating, curing of the same and waterproofing as well as crack proofing, curing of the wood against the termite attacks and good quality finish are important.
In case of clay bricks also termite proofing is very important for long-lasting constructions. Prevention of rusting and corrosion in the reinforcement steel is also very important as far as the strength of the buildings is concerned.
So, as far as the building construction and availability of the raw material is concerned, the builders, raw material seller, as well as the building owners always look for high-quality materials to sustain their construction for longer life and happy stay in the buildings.

Red laterite cut-stone blocks
Red laterite cut-stone blocks
Granite slabs for flooring the buildings
Granite slabs for flooring the buildings
Granite slabs for flooring
Granite slabs for flooring

Eco-friendly and recycled materials

Recently, there has been increasing awareness, regarding depletion of raw materials and natural resources for the purpose of construction. In order to maintain ecological sustainability, the fast depletion of natural resources has to be controlled, which is highlighted by the naturalists. To this extent, authorities are regulating extraction and mining activities.

Whether there is a restriction or not, the people are planning and proceeding with the construction of buildings and other developmental infrastructure. A great deal of mad run is taking place for raw material procurement. Legal and illegal agencies are active in the raw material supply chain.

However, a strong impulse is being created for waste reuse and waste recycling for building materials preparation. The granite powder from the mettle factories are used as a sand and are called manufactured sand (m-sand), plastics and rubbers are used in preparation of blocks, paper and sawdust from timber wood factories are used for making MDF and other types of boards.

Construction value chain

Buy looking into the building planning, we must take into consideration, the interests of various key players in the value chain for success of the building venture, which is very important.

  • Suppliers
  • Customers
  • Workers
  • Financiers
  • Confusion free
  • Eco-friendly solutions

By considering and honouring the interests of the key players alone a building task will be completed without heart-burns.

Last words

One must be very cautious in selecting proper raw material for construction, keeping in mind durability and cost-effectiveness. Unprecedented exploitation of nature for construction raw materials is a threat to the environment. Therefore, eco-friendly and recycled materials find a place in building construction and dwelling-roof for every family of the growing global population.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Halemane Muralikrishna


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