Building: materials and advice in Vicenza

The term "building" derives from aedes, which in Latin means dwelling, and from aedilis, meaning "builder", which in Rome was the magistrate in charge of public and private buildings. 

In its broadest sense, the term means "the activities and works by which the territory is made available for settlement purposes". Thus the term includes all those activities and interests that involve political, economic, legal, scientific and social spheres and that are directed towards the urbanisation of a territory. In this case we usually speak of "building activity". 

But this is only one of the meanings of the term. In common speech the term Construction is also used to identify the activity of constructing buildings of various kinds, and 'building materials' are defined as the materials needed for the construction process. 

Before reading further, let me list these ASSIOMS FOR GOOD CONSTRUCTION written in 1878 by Daniel Ramèe:

  Stability is the first quality that a perfect construction must have. It results from the good quality of the building materials, their strength and the skill with which they are put together. 
1 For a building to be stable, therefore, all its parts must be made of materials of good and durable quality.
2 That all its parts are fully supported or leaning.
3 That all the parts below or below ground are larger than those above. 

That the hollow parts such as doorways or window openings and the full parts rise plumb on top of each other: the hollow on the hollow, the full or solid on the full or solid

5 That the part which bears the weight is more solid than the weight supported.
6 That the materials are bound together in such a way that the parts that weigh do not break or crush the parts that support them or break them up
7 That the materials as a whole are well united, so that those which are to make a solid and compact body touch each other in the greatest possible number of points, adopting each other well to form a strong and homogeneous whole.
  One must never lose sight of these first axioms of good construction


Building materials in Vicenza

What we offer, in our two sales outlets in Arzignano and Gambellara, is not only sales but also assistance, advice and answers to the many doubts that beset those who have to build or renovate their homes. We are not a "self-service" shop, nor a multinational company looking for a low price at all costs, but we are a traditional shop, with trained and experienced operators, able to give valuable advice. 

Construction is not only about building materials, but also about processes, techniques, sequences that must be respected and technical times that must be known. The combination of this knowledge will result in the "building process", which includes operations, players, building materials and construction procedures. 

Only with the right project, the right player (we know almost all of them in the Vicenza and Verona areas) and the right choice of materials will the new house satisfy the owner.

the sequence of works: flooring

Building materials to renovate the house

This is one of the most frequent requests nowadays: to find the right materials to renovate your home. Renovation is, in fact, favoured by tax breaks such as the 50% tax credit on expenditure for extraordinary maintenance and renovation, or the 90% facade bonus, and finally the new 110% ecobonus for energy efficiency(insulation, heat pump boilers, doors and windows, photovoltaics, etc.) and seismic improvement. 

The renovation of a house must always start with a project, i.e. an analysis of the family's needs, which must be transformed into a graphic design, a plan and 3D renderings. Once the idea has been confirmed, the project must become an "executive", complete with specifications (i.e. a list) of the materials that will be used for the renovation. 

The executive project and the specifications are two rather complex elements to define, but they should not be overlooked or underestimated because they are fundamental for the certainty of the final cost, which otherwise becomes an unknown.

It is impossible to know "more or less the cost of renovating a house" if you do not first go through these stages: needs analysis, project, executive plan and specifications.

Renovating with prefabricated or in-situ building materials?

When it comes to the operational phase, you either have to order building materials that are delivered and processed on site, or you order building elements that are pre-assembled in the factory and only installed on site. 

In each case it is necessary for the owner to provide a space for storage and possible on-site processing of building materials and for the site logistics to take into account the delivery time and available space to optimise the arrival of the necessary products at the site. This is one of the many coordination activities required of the construction management (a word that is simplified with the acronym DDLL) which, in many cases, the final client centralises on himself.

In our experience, however, it is highly inadvisable and disadvantageous to deal with the construction process if you are not an expert and it is better to delegate this task to experienced and specialised operators. 

Construction: bricks

The basic element for building a house has always been the brick. Bricks are actually part of the brick family, along with other more specialised pieces for individual tasks.

When we speak of bricks in construction, we mean artefacts produced by drying and firing a mixture of clayey soils. In architectural language, the term has been used since the 16th century to indicate construction products obtained by natural or artificial hardening of clay, previously shaped, and intended to replace natural stone in buildings. 

The earth is first dug, then ground and mixed, and finally shaped to obtain the raw product. It is then dried and fired to obtain the final piece. Clay is a sedimentary rock that is not very coherent and is the result of the decomposition of feldspathic rocks. When mixed with water, it becomes plastic and workable, and once it has been modelled it retains its shape. 

Once ground and kneaded, the pieces are shaped by passing the mixture through a die or rolling mill and then cutting (as if they were macaroni) the formed mixture regularly, resulting in regular pieces. The pieces can be solid and regular, as in the case of bricks or tiles, or curved, as in the case of roof tiles.
Some elements can be perforated, such as the 'perforati' used for internal partitions or the 'tavelloni' used for the roof. 

Construction: Cement 

Cement is a powdery construction material, belonging to the family of hydraulic binders which, by reacting and combining with water, provides a mixture capable of holding together inert solid elements. 
Cement should also be considered, due to its characteristics of greater resistance than other hydraulic binders, a basic material in the building activity, both in the production process that takes place on the building site, and in the manufacture of other semi-finished products to be used in the construction activity. 

It was discovered at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but it was not widely used until the mid-nineteenth century, after a long period of experimentation to obtain a strong, durable hydraulic binder with characteristics extraordinarily similar to a limestone found on the Portland Islands in Great Britain, which is why it was given the name Portland Cement. 

The use of cement is now widespread in all construction activities and has in fact represented, together with the introduction of iron, the fundamental technological breakthrough in building activity in the last century. 


Construction: reinforcing steel

Reinforced concrete is the protagonist of today's constructions, i.e. an element built by pouring concrete into a formwork of appropriate size and shape and embedding metal reinforcement in it. 
The metal reinforcement, arranged in relation to the internal tensions produced within the mass of concrete by the external forces (loads and weights), accommodates the tensile stresses to which the conglomerate offers very modest resistance. 

The reinforcement also has the purpose of connecting two concrete elements, for example vertical elements with horizontal elements. The iron ensures that the elastic system generated by the union of the elements distributes the tensions, generating collaboration and greater resistance of the building in general. 

Reinforcing iron allows us to realise extraordinary works such as bridges and industrial constructions, but also to obtain particular architectures: bold, sinuous, soft and enveloping shapes that have inspired the most famous archistars. 

The construction shop: a 'strange' presentation...

Our building shop in Gambellara: power tools, paints, plasterboard, installation equipment... All presented by our colleagues who, for the occasion, took on the role of actors.

Behind the scenes of the presentation video