Construction Cost Study
Initial Cost of Construction Study, Multi-Residential Structures, October 2017*.
Concrete masonry’s attributes are generally recognized: durability, seismic performance, fire resistance, water-damage resistance, thermal mass, sound attenuation, and simultaneously structure and design finish. Designers of essential services and education structures have long taken advantage of these benefits, and in a holistic view, understand the cost advantages of concrete masonry as a multi-function material.
Often overlooked, however, is just how competitive concrete masonry can be in multi-residential, multi-use, hospitality, and student housing structures. Wood structures may – or may not – be less than other structural systems in initial cost, but as the studies below demonstrate, concrete masonry is very competitive.
Factor in the full range of concrete masonry’s life safety, fire compartmentation, energy, and structural attributes, then the system really stands out. Reduced insurance, repair, and maintenance costs typically mitigate or negate any initial cost advantage of wood construction.
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*Published by Pennsylvania Concrete Masonry Association, available from Building Studies, www.buildingstudies.org.