Brick Industry Assn. study finds brick buildings cost less than precast, metal, and glass

The study compares costs in five categories of construction.

March 22, 2017 |

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A new Brick Industry Association (BIA) study found that brick with Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs) costs less than precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall, and glass panel curtain wall systems.

The study compared total construction costs in five categories: three-story office building, three-story apartment building, five-to 10-story office building, four- to eight-story hospital, and a six-story dorm. The independent study was conducted by RSMeans for the BIA, according to a news release.

Comparisons include exterior installation and finish systems (EIFS) with metal studs (lowest cost), brick with steel studs, manufactured stone with steel studs, brick with CMU, precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall and glass panel curtain wall. For example, a three-story office building using manufactured stone with steel studs costs 2.7% more than brick with steel studs. In that application, precast concrete costs 2.7% more than brick with CMU, and metal panel curtain wall costs 13.1% more than brick with CMU.

"National averages show brick costs less than perceived," said Ray Leonhard, BIA's president and CEO. "Since it's a non-flammable and non-combustible material, clay brick also offers superior fire resistance with a minimum one-hour fire rating."

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