Physical Properties of Building Materials or Construction Materials

Building materials are the involved as the major part in construction activities.In modern world there are several construction materials have been founded with more economical way.Before inventing a building material,we should look to there safe and economical aspects.Before we research into these aspects of building material,we should check the long term properties of these construction materials.

Today we are going go study about the properties of building materials.The properties of building materials can be classified into physical properties and mechanical properties properties.First we are going to learn about physical properties.

Properties of Building Materials

Physical Properties of Building Materials


As you know,It is the mass of a substance occupied per unit volume.Its unit is kg⁄m³.

Density of some common building materials are listed below

Steel = 7800

Brick = 2600

Granite = 2800

Wood = 1500

2.Bulk density

Bulk density is another important properties of building materials.The bulk density is measured in its natural states.So they have the influence of pores and voids.

Bulk density is the mass occupied per unit volume in its natural state.

In most cases bulk density is less than density.However the density and bulk density are almost same,Bulk density is the more important properties of building materials.Bulk density of different construction materials are listed below.

Steel =7800

Brick =1700

Granite = 2500

Wood =600

Construction Materials

3.Specific weight

The third property of building materials we are going to discuss about is specific weight.Specific weight is defined as the weight occupied per unit volume.The difference between specific weight and density is,density multiplied with acceleration due to gravity gives specific gravity.This property of building materials is useful for finding out the weight of the structure.

The symbol used for specific gravity is” w “

So we can find out specific gravity using equation

w= ρ × g

ρ = Density of the substance in kg⁄m³

g = acceleration due gravity in m/s²

4.Specific Gravity

Specific gravity is defined as the ratio of the density of given substance to the density of water at 4°C .Specific gravity is an important property of building material.

Specific gravity is a dimensionless quantity.Specific gravity is denoted by the symbol “G”.

G = Density of substance/Density of water

Density of water is  1 g/cc or 1 KN/m³.To know properties of fluids check here.


As we know every substance is not purely homogeneous.Every material is made up of solids and voids.Porosity is an important term in geotechnical engineering.

Porosity is defined as the ratio of volume of voids to volume of solids.

The notation of porosity is ‘n’

n =Vv / V

Vv =Volume of voids

V = Total volume

6.Void ratio

Void ratio is another important property of building materials.Void ratio is the ratio of volume of voids to the volume of solids.

Void ratio is denoted by the symbol ‘e’

e = Vv / Vs

Another properties of construction materials are 

Weathering resistance

Density index


Resistance against fire

Thermal conductivity

Heat conductivity




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