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The Interplay between Chemistry and Architecture in Our World

Updated: Jan 27, 2022


[Photo Credit: onlinelibrarywiley]

Constructing a building requires the most exquisite and minuteness of work. BuildingCos in the modern world have started playing important roles in people’s lives as they became a workplace or a home to people. Architects now carry heavier responsibility for the impact they can put into people’s life depending on how well they have designed the buildings. As the demand for buildings increased, the knowledge and technology of construction alone have created limits. These limits restricted the height, shape, and components of the buildings. It seemed like these limits could never be recovered until the intervene of chemistry in architecture.


Chemistry and architecture seem to be apart, but surprisingly, chemistry is the key for

architects to build stronger and safer buildings. Chemistry helped architects to understand the materials and make wiser decisions about materials. They taught architects about the relations between materials and atmospheric changes such as acidic rain, snow, and other weather. Chemistry also broadened the spectrum of materials that can be used by creating new substances through numerous experiments. These materials made possible by Chemistry allow buildings with stronger sustainability and resiliency. These are several examples of materials that allowed stronger buildings by Chemistry:


  • Spray polyurethane foams (SPF) reduced air leakage, green air emissions, and contaminants for indoor air quality. They also have increased the building’s resistance to air uplift during severely cold weather. They play a role in creating insulating air and air-sealed houses and buildings which made houses possible to maintain and constant temperature.


  • Vinyl Flooring helps to provide a much more hygienic environment which benefits people by having no fibers that trap dust or other allergens.


  • Polycarbonate plastic used in windows and frames made them both shatter-resistant and lightweight. It has a low thermal conductivity which reduces heating and cooling costs and protects buildings from inclement weather changes.


Further on, architects could learn the specific advantages, disadvantages, and the strength of the materials. For example cement and concrete. They are both made from limestone while cement is made from heating the powdered limestone with clay and concrete is mixing cement with sand and rock. People in the past did not know the difference between these two and often got confused about when to use what. However, through chemistry, materials could be tested and examined.


Chemistry and architecture are two subjects that have to go along together. While architecture is directly involved in choosing the design and in the process of construction, chemistry indirectly gets involved by playing the role of judge. It judges whether the design is appropriate for the building and which materials are safer. Therefore, the role of chemistry can not be ignored in architecture and should be highly recognized.






Works Cited

Council, the American Chemistry. “How Chemistry Helps Enhance Building Sustainability

and Resiliency.” The American Institute of Architects,

https://www.aia.org/articles/154081-how-chemistry-helps-enhance-building-sustai

“Materials Science.” Building With Chemistry, 2 Mar. 2021,

https://www.buildingwithchemistry.org/building-future/materials-science/.

“Materials Science.” Building With Chemistry, 2 Mar. 2021,

https://www.buildingwithchemistry.org/building-future/materials-science/.


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