5 Long-lasting Building Materials



Brick is an incredibly sturdy material to build with.
Brick is an incredibly sturdy material to build with.
Medioimages/Photodisc/­Getty Images

­Usually made of clay, brick has been used in many ancient structures, like the Roman aqueducts, the Pantheon and the Great Wall of China. The Sumerians made the earliest recorded bricks, and we can deduce that those early bricks used in construction were crude, uneven, sun-dried blocks probably made of silt that was deposited when high waters receded after storms [source: Britannica].

The silt dried naturally to a very hard consistency, and then it was dug up, broken into chunks and used to make the walls of huts and other structures. Some experimentation led to the development of forms and molds to create uniform bricks that could be stacked easily for smooth walls with clean corners.

This style of brickmaking is still being used today and is very stable in dry climates. But too much rain and the walls of your painstakingly built hut turn to mud. That's solved with the application of high heat. These bricks are durable, weather resistant, fire resistant, easy to make and convenient to work with.

In the next section, let's take a look at a building material for the ages, stone.