The majority of Mexico's dwellings, commercial and public structures, industrial facilities (industrial manufacturing plants, logistics and distribution hubs), and mixed-use buildings are constructed using bricks and concrete, the country's traditional building materials. In recent years, however, there has been a shift toward using natural materials in construction because of their positive environmental impacts.
Bricks and blocks made from clay are used by farmers to build houses for themselves and for livestock. The mud walls they construct provide protection from the elements while not requiring much maintenance. When ready for use as pasture or farmland, these walls are easily removed when needed.
In Mexico City, we saw many brick and stone buildings - including some beautiful colonial structures - but also a lot of concrete buildings. Concrete is mass-produced in factories where ingredients such as gravel, sand, cement, and additives are combined together under pressure to form a strong material that can be used in the construction industry.
One reason why so many buildings are made with concrete is because it is very durable and will not deteriorate over time. This makes it attractive for businesses that may not need to upgrade their buildings for several decades if not forever. It also allows buildings to be built quickly without having to worry about them deteriorating before they have to be replaced, which means more jobs for contractors.
For those of you from the rest of North America and Europe, building procedures in Mexico will be considerably different. There is no wood framework, and the whole structure is made of concrete. The primary building materials in this area are concrete blocks and poured cement.
Concrete blocks are rectangular with flat surfaces and sharp edges. They are produced by pouring a liquid mixture into forms made of strips of wood or metal. The concretes blocks can be colored any one of several ways: red for protection against earthquakes; white for purity; blue for water quality; green for gardening; and black for decoration. Concrete blocks are available in sizes ranging from smaller than 1 square foot (0.09 sq m) up to larger than 20 square feet (1.89 sq m).
Cement is the main ingredient in mortar, which is used as a binding agent for concrete. Mortar is mixed on site before it is used to bind the concrete blocks together. The type of mortar used depends on how long the construction project will last. If it's just for a few years, quick-drying cement is fine. If it's expected to last for more than 100 years, high-quality lime will do the job.
When concrete is placed in forms, it must first be watered down so that when it sets it will have the required strength for its intended use.
According to Miyamoto, the sorts of buildings that have fallen in Mexico City are typical of structural engineers: brick structures as well as brittle concrete buildings, particularly those with weak first floors. Many of the fallen structures, according to Miyamoto, are composed of fragile concrete. "In Japan, we don't have any examples like this," he said.
Miyamoto also said that the number of deaths could rise because many people were still missing after the earthquake.
The earthquake struck at 2:19 a.m. local time (0519 GMT) on Tuesday. It was centered about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south-southeast of Mexico City, near the town of Pijijiapan, and had a magnitude of 8.1. It was the strongest quake to hit Mexico since 1970.
It was followed less than two hours later by a smaller but still powerful aftershock. The U.S. Geological Survey says the second quake occurred about 17 minutes after the first one and had a magnitude of 7.0.
The quakes caused power outages across the city and damaged several buildings, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or injuries.
Mexico City is home to 20 million people and has one of the most sophisticated urban networks in the world.
A home 11 x 9.5 meters in size requires approximately three truckloads of rocks at a current cost of 1,100 pesos each truckload. While adobe is the primary building material in Mexico, most buildings are made of bricks (called ladrillos or bloques) or cinder blocks. The price of a brick varies depending on the type of construction but ranges from 50 cents to $1.10 per unit. The price of a cinder block starts at $8.50 and can go as high as $45.00.
The total cost of building a house in Mexico depends on many factors such as the type of construction used, its size and location. An average price for an uncomplicated house in the Mexican standard system is $60,000-$80,000. However, this figure may vary significantly depending on how far you plan to live away from town, whether you choose to use concrete or not, etc.
In conclusion, the process of building a house in Mexico is expensive and requires special skills that only experienced builders possess. If you do your research and find a good contractor, then the cost of building a house can be reduced considerably.
These traditional Mexican dwellings were built using clay-based soil, straw, and water, and were supported by a wood frame. The clay hardened into strong walls that sheltered the dwelling from extreme heat and cold. Although mud bricks can be mixed and molded at will, concrete was often used in modern construction instead.
Concrete is a combination of sand, gravel, cement, and water. As it hardens, it forms a strong material useful for building homes, schools, and hospitals. Concrete has many advantages over other materials used in construction today including being non-breakable, durable, and easy to work with. Disadvantages include not being recyclable and making cleaning up after a demolition job difficult.
Modern houses in Mexico tend to follow European styles, but usually they are made of concrete. They may have wooden frames, but most are solid walls with no openings except for small windows and doors. This is different from traditional Mexican architecture which had many open spaces inside the house where people could move about without having to go outside.
People began building their own houses out of concrete instead of using mud bricks or timber because it was easier to add on to them later on. For example, a family might build a kitchen/dining room first and then attach it to the main part of the house.
Adobe bricks, which are also composed of clay and straw, have been employed for millennia in Mexico to build massive constructions such as the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan. The bricks used by the Maya were similar if not identical to those used today in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.
The first known written reference to adobe buildings in Mexico comes from a Spanish account of 1555. The writer reported that the Indians built their houses with mud mixed with chopped straw and decorated them with feathers and stone. They also used the bones of animals in their construction.
In 17th-century Mexico, adobe was the most common building material because it was easy to work with and provided good protection from the elements. It was also the most economical choice during times of scarcity when other materials were in short supply.
After the introduction of steel into Mexico, it became obsolete as a building material but it is still used today for special projects such as pyramids because it is easy to carve and very durable.
Most modern-day Mexican adobes are made using cement instead of clay, but some small inns and restaurants still use adobe brick as their main structure because they want to give their guests a real Indian experience.