Building Materials: Concrete Appeals to Specific Markets

The appeal of concrete for luxury projects stems from its potential to offer greater energy efficiency, durability, and even comfort for homeowners than other building materials

By Kate Carsella, Associate Editor | October 4, 2018
Low-angle shot of home exterior with pink and concrete accents
More luxury homes are being built with concrete walls now than five years ago. (Photo: Unsplash/David Hofmann)

At the start of 2018, home design experts forecast that industrial home design with concrete walls and accents would rise.

Home Innovation Research Labs’ Annual Builder Practices Survey, released in August, finds that the homes most likely to be constructed with above-ground concrete walls are luxury homes and homes built in Florida that are vulnerable to severe weather events and local pest species, which preclude building with lumber.

According to Home Innovation, in 2017, luxury homes accounted for the highest share of single-family detached houses with above-grade poured or precast walls. Four percent of these homes used concrete—2.2 percent more than starter homes, which had the next-highest share. Additionally, more luxury homes are being built with concrete walls now than they were five years ago, though they number slightly fewer than the historical high of 5.6 percent in 2010.

Who is building these homes? Typically, small-volume builders constructing one to 10 homes per year are more likely to build homes with poured or precast concrete walls (3.7 percent), the survey found, while just 1 percent of builders constructing 50 or more homes annually are using concrete walls.

The research also points out that most concrete wall construction is concrete block, and the share of homes built with site-poured or precast concrete walls accounts for less than 3 percent of all U.S. new homes.

The appeal of concrete for luxury projects stems from its potential to offer greater energy efficiency, durability, and even comfort for homeowners than other building materials. 

 

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