The Materials Involved in Commercial Building Construction & Design

There are different types of materials used in commercial building construction.

They have characteristics that could make one better than the others depending on various factors, such as structure size and purpose, load it needs to bear, construction speed, and cost.

Your structural engineer can help determine the best materials to use for the project based on your specific needs. Below are some of the common materials used in the construction of commercial buildings and their pros and cons.


This material is made by mixing various elements, which include cement, water, and aggregates like crushed stone or sand. Because of its durability and strength, it’s a popular material for structural foundations. 

Also, concrete can be used in floor construction, exterior surfaces, parking lot structures, and wastewater treatment facilities.  

Two types of concrete are involved in commercial building construction and design. These include: 

  • Pervious concrete: It’s a mixture of coarse aggregates, concrete mix, and water. It plays a crucial role in green construction due to its energy-efficiency properties. It absorbs the water and filters the oil, which can help reduce the risk of water pollution.  
  • Prestressed concrete: It uses high-tensile steel to enhance the efficiency of the materials. It allows contractors to build and design lighter concrete buildings while maintaining their strength and durability.  

You should know these types of concrete if you’re using concrete for your commercial building. But no matter what type you choose, concrete has advantages and disadvantages.


  • It can take any form so you can shape it to your liking.
  • It’s durable so you can be sure of the sturdiness of the building.
  • It’s affordable, making it an excellent option for any budget. 


  • It’s not aesthetically appealing, especially after several years.
  • It can contribute to pollution. 


It’s known for its strength, thus making it a favorite choice as a structural component for huge, tall buildings. 

Generally, there are different types of steel used in commercial building construction. One of the popular types is stainless steel. It’s a steel alloy with corrosion and weather-resisting properties. It’s also durable, heat-resistant, malleable, and recyclable. 

Due to stainless steel’s durability and increased corrosion resistance, it has been one of the most prevalent materials for construction. For example, wire mesh made from metals like stainless steel is considered a crucial element in construction because it’s primarily used for structuring, sheltering, and screening. To know more about metal mesh products, you can check some reputable websites online for information. 

Here are the pros and cons of using stainless steel in construction and design:


  • It’s fire and weather-resistant, so it can last for years.
  • It’s durable, ensuring the building will not easily collapse.
  • It’s not prone to mold, termites, or rot. 


  • It’s one of the most expensive materials.


It’s a polymer that is lighter but several times stronger than glass. This material is often used in roofing and walls. Many modern commercial buildings use multiwall polycarbonate and roofing because of their ease of installation, low maintenance, and aesthetics. They also allow natural light to get in. 

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of polycarbonate for construction use:


  • It’s lightweight but durable, thus withstanding a heavy load.
  • It’s UV, fire, and weather resistant.
  • Easy to install and maintain.
  • It’s available in various light transmission and color options.
  • It’s impact resistant.


  • It can be expensive, so it can be an issue if you are on a tight budget.
  • It’s also prone to scratches. 


It’s one of the older materials used in construction, and it’s readily available since it comes from renewable natural resources. However, it may not be ideal for structures with heavy loads due to its light weight. 

The following are the pros and cons of wood as a construction material:


  • It’s affordable and readily available.
  • The majority of contractors are experienced in working with wood materials.
  • It’s customizable, so you can easily make it in the shape you want.


  • There can be a lot of waste when sized or shaped onsite.
  • It’s prone to termites and rots.
  • Moisture can penetrate the wood causing mold or mildew growth.


This material is durable, and it’s also readily available. It’s great for keeping the building comfortable.

Using brick in construction has the following advantages and disadvantages:


  • It can help easily maintain the temperature inside the building, thus saving on the energy bill.
  • It can decrease outside noise, minimizing distractions for employees.
  • It’s durable, reusable, and recyclable.
  • It’s available in different colors and sizes.


  • It’s hard to clean and maintain.
  • Also, it’s prone to mold if the place is high in moisture.

Work closely with your engineer to ensure you get the best materials for your project. These materials should make your building durable but still, fall under your budget.