Concrete constructions are still the main method of building a house in Ireland. Traditional concrete buildings still dominate at least 85% of all new houses built in this country.
According to Gerry Farrell, Chief Executive of Irish Concrete Federation, Irish people prefer concrete homes over other lightweight forms of construction. This fact will be proven over the next number of years as the self build market becomes ever more important and people have to decide what kind of home they want to build and live in.
There are obviously advantages and some disadvantages with every method of construction and this also applies to concrete homes.
Concrete buildings are mainly made of a cavity wall made of blocks with rendered finish for the external walls and a masonry built partition walls for the internal walls.
As far as the construction time of this type of building it must be considered that it will not be as fast to construct as Timber Framed buildings but you should take into account that with Timber Framed buildings, the same amount of time will be taken back at the manufacturing location to construct the frames.
Advantages of Concrete Homes;
Concrete's strenght and durability means that today's houses and apartments can stand for centuries to come, with minimum maintenance.
Concrete's ability to absorb and store heat produces a comfortable environment avoiding unwanted temperature swings. Modern, well insulated concrete homes are highly energy efficient, making a positive contribution to the challenge of climate change and minimising the effects on the built environment.
Concrete homes are easily adaptable. The internal layout can be easily changed to accomodate any design.
Concrete is fire resistant and non-combustible. In the event of fire, concrete built homes retain their structural stability and will be less costly to repair.
Concrete is water resistant and will not warp, rust or rot. Concrete homes are less affected by flooding or by leaks from tanks or water pipes.
Concrete has excellent sound insulation properties. Concrete walls and floors absorb sound and vibration.
Concrete walls between adjoining properties offer high levels of security and peace of mind to property owners.
Concrete is both functional and aesthetic. It can be used to build homes that are functional or grand designs which are complex and elegant.
Insulated Concrete Form
If you inted to go for a concrete home, you should then also consider ICF method of construction. The following is the information provided on ICF by Reward Wall Systems:
Considering the advantages and disadvantages of the Traditional Concrete build and the imperative to construct sustainable buildings into the future, Insulated Concrete Form is the solution to taking advantage of the strengths of Concrete and to eliminate it’s disadvantages. The Irish building industry now has the ability to construct environmentally friendly buildings taking full advantage of the strength of a reinforced mass concrete monolithic structure using Rewards “iForm” and achieve a Calculated U-value of U = 0.24 W/m2*K. while at the same time producing faster builds. The ability to Pour up to 5 Metre lifts vertically at a time means a watertight building shell can be constructed quickly allowing internal services and finishes to be run independently of the external cladding eliminating delays to follow-on trades.
Services are easier to install. “iForm” is lightweight and easily managed and manhandled on-site. Lower plant and equipment costs plus lower labour costs and very little waste material saves money.