4 Key Reasons To Use Concrete Masonry

Splitface Concrete Masonry

There are many things to consider when undergoing new building construction. One of the first choices to consider is what materials to use. Every building material has its advantages, and the compelling reasons for concrete masonry are plentiful. Listed below are four key categories discussing why concrete masonry rises above the other options.

Splitface CMU and Clay Brick
Construction using CMU's is a highly sustainable option with many environmental benefits. Buildings made with concrete masonry will last a lifetime and beyond, with proper care and minimal maintenance. The manufacturing of concrete masonry is possible with different amounts of recycled content utilizing both pre-consumer and post-consumer content. Old and used blocks can also be crushed for reuse as aggregates and fillers.

When thinking about the overall carbon footprint of your new building, take into consideration that CMU's are a natural carbon sink that absorbs substantial amounts of carbon dioxide over its life cycle. Though difficult to quantify, research is being done that estimates CMU's may actually be a carbon neutral product, capturing as much CO2 over time than is created during the manufacturing process. Concrete masonry is also a locally manufactured product leading to less transportation emissions. Energy efficiency is another component to consider when thinking about your environmental footprint. Concrete masonry buildings are traditionally more energy efficient across the lifespan of the building, maintaining more consistent temperatures which reduces heating and cooling energy consumption.

CMU House Foundation
Construction utilizing concrete masonry provides both short-term and long-term cost benefits. Because most CMU's are manufactured locally, not only are you supporting your local economy, you're also the beneficiary of decreased transportation costs. Concrete masonry construction offers incredible design flexibility. Not only is it easy to design incredible floor plans and unique layouts, you're also afforded the luxury of on-demand changes and adjustments. If you encounter unforeseen issues or want to make alterations once construction has started, you aren't limited or held back by excessive change order costs.
Long term benefits include long-lasting durability with minimal upkeep and maintenance. Couple that with the energy savings compounded over the life of your building. CMU construction also provides indoor climate stability, maintaining more consistent temperatures with less fluctuation from hot to cold. Concrete masonry holds heating and air conditioning, leveling out peak energy consumption.

Ground Face CMU and Stone Veneer
Concrete Masonry can be manufactured in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. In addition, the units can be made with different surface textures or even split apart for various attractive finishes. If you're searching for specific color options, CMU's can be manufactured in a wide variety of colors, plus matching or complimentary mortars and accent blocks can be used to really make your design stand out. The use of integral pigments in the manufacturing process ensures the color will last much longer than paints or stains used to achieve similar effects.
Multiple sizes and shapes of block allow for a tremendous amount of design flexibility. Because CMU's are fully engineerable, virtually any shape or design can be achieved. Concrete masonry allows for easy integration of other building materials, like glass and steel, while also providing an excellent surface for other desirable finishing materials (brick, stone veneer, tile, and stucco). You're only limited by your imagination.

Splitface CMU Building
When constructing a new home or building, safety is always a main concern. Concrete masonry provides many levels of safety features to consider when deciding how to best start your project. CMU strength is a big safety feature. Manufactured CMU's meet, and often exceed, national building standards for compressive strength and water absorption, as well as fire, flood, and earthquake resistance.
Concrete masonry will not burn, melt, or warp when subjected to heat and fire. Not only is this a great feature for resisting external fires, but it is also a great way to slow and contain fires that may start and spread within a structure. Despite common beliefs, when properly engineered, reinforced concrete masonry structures are significantly better suited to withstand damage caused by earthquakes. Add the ability for CMU's to resist mold, moisture, insects, and destructive pest; concrete masonry makes for an easy choice for your next construction project.

Lampus Block Yard

Concrete Masonry as we know it today has been a trusted and reliable building material for over a century, and Lampus has been a leading manufacturer in Western Pennsylvania for 97 years. You can feel confident and safe choosing CMU's for your next project. For more information or questions about your upcoming project feel free to contact us. We are happy to discuss product options and point you in the direction of skilled, qualified Masonry Contractors in your area.