Construction in India: An Overview of Major Raw Materials

Date: 1-August,2020Last Updated: 26-September,2022
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For laymen, houses are just four walls and a roof. But lots of things go into constructing your dream homes. These things are various types of raw materials used for construction in India.

In India, the construction industry is dynamic. This is because of the wide range of houses or office spaces; rural areas require raw materials vary depending on the areas of construction. For example, “kaccha” houses made from locally-sourced mud is preferred in rural villages, while in cities cement and sturdy bricks are used for construction. This can also be seen in the construction of roads in villages and cities. In the village, we often find “kaccha” as opposed to “pakka” roads in towns and cities.

Let us delve further to know about major types of raw materials used for construction in India.

1. Bricks


The first material we notice during any construction work is a stack of bricks. They are one of the widely used raw materials because of their durability, ability to endure high temperatures and ease of building. So, it goes without saying that bricks are an essential part of the construction.

Bricks, too, have wide ranges to choose from. Construction in India is often done with 10 types of bricks. They are sun-dried, burnt clay, fly ash, concrete, sand-lime, engineered, porotherm, fire, Jhama and hollow bricks. Each of these varieties is made uniquely and are designed for various purposes. For instance, burnt clay bricks – popularly known as “common brick” – are used to build columns, walls, and the foundation of a building.

On the other hand, if a builder is building an eco-friendly property, they use porotherm smart bricks or “eco brick.” These bricks are hollow and have high strength and thermal insulation. This is why they are considered 100 per cent eco-friendly.

2. Steel


The following common and important raw material to be used for construction in India is steel. While bricks are the building blocks – in a literal sense – steel is a support of any building. Steel bonds well with concrete making it an essential part of any construction process. With the boom in the real estate market, the steel demand has also been increasing rapidly.

There are four main types of steels – light gauge, structural, mild and rebar steel. Light gauge steel is made from thin sheets and is flexible and safe. This type of steel is easy to form a frame system with cold deformed steel.

Structural steel is often used to provide a base for a building and to develop the structure. It is one of the most demanded steels. It is available in a variety of shapes and specifications such T shape, channel section, I-beam, plate type and bar or rod-type.

A mild type of steel is strong steel and is the most commonly used type of steel for construction in India. It is plain carbon steel and is used for conventional and modern bolted pre-engineered buildings.

Rebar steel bonds well with concrete and are used as a mesh of steel wires for construction. This type of steel enhances tensile strength and can be manufactured to long lengths.

3. Sand


Another essential raw material used in the construction of building is sand. Like steel and bricks, sand, too, has different varieties – seven to be precise. The seven types of sand used for construction in India is concrete sand, pit sand, river sand, M-sand or manufactured sand, utility sand and fill sand. These various types of sand offer strength to other raw materials used in the construction process. They are widely used to prepare concrete that binds these materials.

As the name suggests, concrete sand is made from crushed concrete and is commonly used in cement and asphalt mixtures. Concrete sand is crushed, and then it is filtered to get rid of rocks and other fragments.

River sand is a white-grey, fine graded sand obtained from river banks and streams. Since this type of sand is naturally found, it is cheaper as it does not require additional manufacturing costs.

Unlike river sand, M-sand or manufactured sand is manufactured in a factory. This sand is often substituted for river sand since it is readily available and offers excellent durability and strength to concrete. M-sand also helps in reducing any problems that occur during construction.

4. Use of Construction Technology


Construction technology or popularly called as contech is a term that is given to several innovations in the construction industry. This is a blanket term for various technologies that are used widely in construction in India. These technologies include wooden formwork, Mivan technology, RCC frame construction, and Precast Construction technology.

In wooden formwork, timber is used for building different types of moulds, which is then used to pour concrete. The wooden formwork is popular in Asian countries to build villas and independent or row houses. Its striking feature is that it is simple to construct and deconstruct and can be handled fairly easily thanks to its lightweight.

In wooden formwork, timber is used for building different types of moulds, which is then used to pour concrete. The wooden formwork is popular in Asian countries to build villas and independent or row houses. Its striking feature is that it is simple to construct and deconstruct and can be handled fairly easily thanks to its lightweight.

As known as Mivan shuttering, Mivan Construction technology is similar to wooden formwork. Still, the only difference is the wood is replaced with aluminium. Because of this, Mivan technology is called aluminium formwork.

Another technology that falls under construction technology is precast technology. This came into being following criticism to the construction industry that it exploited labourers, and the construction methods used lead to pollution. This type of technology uses computer-based systems to manufacture slabs, tiles, windows, doors based on their digital model. Since the majority of the work involved in precast technology is digital, it helps in cutting down waste materials. It also provides precision and reduces cost.

RCC Frame construction is another important part of Contech and is used by major towers and skylines in India. Under this type of technology, the load of the building is transferred on the columns and beams instead of its slabs. This provides strength to any structure and reduces costs and materials used in the construction. RCC frame construction is often used to build tall buildings that are widely common in major cities.

And there are many more technologies to debut to aid in the construction in India. Like 3D Printing and much more. Let's await the future!

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