Regional Studies: Concrete Masonry vs. Popular Building Materials

The construction cost model accurately evaluates the relative construction cost of a multi-family building constructed using six different construction materials including wood, steel, masonry, precast, and ICF. The concept of multi-family included traditional apartment type buildings, condominium-style buildings, student housing, elderly housing, and others.

It has long been, and in many cases is still, the opinion of design professionals, code officials, and legislators that non-combustible, more robust construction solutions are significantly more costly than other alternatives such as wood with gypsum firewalls with sprinklers.

Today, the load-bearing masonry wall system with precast concrete plank floor system compares very favorably with both the conventional wood frame system and the light gage steel framing system with an increased cost of less than 4 percent over the conventional wood frame system.

The minimal increase in construction costs can also help pay for itself over the life of the structure.  Materials like concrete masonry have many other advantages beyond their inherent fire performance including resistance to mold growth, resistance to damage from vandalism, and minimal damage caused by water and fire in the event of a fire in the building.  

Let’s start the conversation on how a load-bearing masonry wall system can be the building solution in your market!

Charlotte, NC (2020)

$193.33
$189.69
$194.02
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Raleigh, NC (2018)

$178.41
$183.05
$187.18
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Richmond, VA (2018)

$196.94
$204.45
$209.25
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Atlanta, GA (2018)

$202.53
$210.27
$215.28
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Towson, MD (2017)

$185.87
$188.90
$200.96
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Edgewater, NJ (2017)

$185.87
$188.90
$200.96
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Dallas, TX (2017)

$185.87
$188.90
$200.96
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Columbia, SC (2018)

$174.94
$181.85
$185.92
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Savannah, GA (2018)

$186.42
$193.69
$198.15
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Knoxville, TN (2018)

$184.12
$195.70
$191.32
Wood
Concrete Masonry Block
Light Steel Framing

Costs per square foot.

View Full Research

Stay Connected

Have the latest news, information and resources for Architects, Engineers, and Contractors from the Southeastern Concrete Masonry Association sent directly to your inbox.

Join our Mailing List Have a Question?