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An updated cost study for the Los Angeles region now concludes concrete masonry is 2% lower in initial cost than wood. The study compared the wood-framed version of a structure to a concrete masonry and precast floor system. The masonry and precast system provides superior resiliency and fire compartmentation. The long-term costs of wood will be much higher.
Initial Cost of Construction Study, Mulit-Residential Structures, published October 2017, sought to develop a construction cost model to accurately evaluate the relative construction cost of a multi-family building constructed using six different construction materials. The concept of multi-family included traditional apartment type buildings, condominium style buildings, student housing, elderly housing, and others. The result of the study specific to Los Angeles showed concrete masonry compared favorably to wood framing, without accounting for the higher insurance costs for wood.
The updated Los Angeles Addendum released August 2020, now shows a concrete masonry and precast concrete plank system having a lower initial cost than wood framing, again without considering insurance costs. Read more at AngelusBlock.com.
When the life safety, fire compartmentation, and disaster resistance attributes of concrete masonry are also considered, the system cannot be overlooked.