Company POV: a Recent Study About Initial Costs of Construction

We recently came upon a recent study about the initial costs of construction. Although it specifically refers to multi-family housing starts, there were a few details included that were too good not to share. Keep in mind that we recently sought the input from several architectural firms about the use of masonry elements in their planning and design stages. Circulated in the form of a questionnaire, we wanted to get to the heart of the issue and have them provide us with an unbiased opinion about what they liked – and didn’t like – about working with masonry.

The official title of the original study we referenced at the beginning of this blog is Study, Initial Cost of Construction, Multi-Residential Structures, Oct. 2017. Though the original information is a tad dated, the methodology was extrapolated to reference the current cost comparison of structural materials used in the construction of multi-family housing using 2022 data. These included prevailing wages, insurance cost, construction cost, cost per square foot and relative cost. The construction materials compared in the April 2022 study included conventional wood framing, light gage steel framing, masonry and precast, precast construction, ICF walls and precast plank, and ICF wall and ICF concrete floor alternative.

The comparison table is below for your review:

According to the data,  masonry and precast have the lowest cost efficiencies in all four categories. The report’s conclusion goes on to state, “Materials like concrete masonry, precast concrete, and cast-in-place concrete have many other advantages beyond their inherent fire performance including resistance to mold growth, resistance to damage from vandalism, and minimal damage caused by water and fire…” The final paragraph concludes by recommending similar studies and the associated cost impact of other typical building types including retail establishments and commercial office buildings.

To which we at Phoenix Masonry reply, “we concur.”