INDEPENDENT NEWS

Concrete Houses Become More Cost Competitive

Published: Fri 10 Mar 2000 06:27 PM
MEDIACOM-CEMENT & CONCRETE ASSOCIATION
The recently announced timber price increase has been welcomed by the Cement and Concrete Association. Chief Executive Richard Henderson says the predicted ten per cent increase in the price of timber will bring the cost of concrete houses in line with timber houses.
Concrete homes have historically been more expensive to build than timber framed houses and have therefore tended to be limited to the upper end of the market, where owners are prepared to pay a premium for the superior performance concrete homes offer.
"Any reduction in the premium for concrete homes is great news for the consumer," Mr Henderson said. "With concrete more accessible in cost terms, those building new homes have greater choice in construction materials."
Market research suggests that although designers are aware of the benefits concrete homes offer the owner, cost has been a limiting factor.
"We know that many designers are keen to use more concrete in their houses but the small increase in cost above timber frame construction has created a barrier to getting concrete accepted by their clients."
Mr Henderson said the increase in the price of timber will overcome this barrier and allow designers and home builders to focus on the many benefits of concrete.
"Concrete homes have obvious benefits of durability and low maintenance. What is less well known is that concrete homes can offer significant health and comfort benefits. The high mass of concrete walls provide a heat sink effect which means concrete homes are warm in winter and cool in summer. The mass of the concrete walls also provides noise insulation benefits," he said.
Mr Henderson said the price of concrete and concrete products has remained stable over recent years and is not expected to increase significantly in the near future.
ENDS....

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