Masonry construction … so many pluses
With architects needing to consider many factors when designing houses – structural integrity, noise levels, fire ratings, durability and looks … they need look no further than Firth’s Architectural Masonry and Grey Masonry.
Cooler in summer, warmer in winter…
One of the most valuable advantages of concrete masonry is the cost saving derived from its capacity to store energy and to delay the passage of heat – known as the ‘thermal mass effect’. This allows masonry buildings and walls to be designed with less additional insulation. Hence, material costs and energy consumption can be reduced, and the all year-round comfort of living space is improved.
Safer and healthier …
Naturally solid masonry homes are completely fire resistant. A 20 series, solid filled masonry wall will provide a fire rating of 240 minutes, exceeding requirements under the building code.
They are also healthier … one of the problems with ‘well sealed’ light timber frame houses is that they rely on keeping heated or cooled air inside, and condensation then builds up from cooking, showering, even breathing. A major benefit of masonry construction is its durability – it will not rot.
Tranquil and peaceful…
The high density that makes masonry homes comfortable to live in also makes them quiet and peaceful inside. A masonry home’s thick, solid walls provide superior built-in sound insulation, without the expense and effort of additional soundproofing often required for timber-framed walls. Concrete masonry is an ideal sound barrier, providing reduced sound transmission relative to the size of the wall.
With the World Health Organisation announcing that noise is threatening to become one of the world’s greatest health issues, masonry walls offer an effective sound and vibration control solution, whilst also meeting code requirements of STC 55 under Clause 6 of the New Zealand Building Code. Higher ratings can be achieved using combinations of materials with solid filled masonry. For example, walls plastered on both sides can achieve STC* 57, and up to STC 70 can be achieved depending on the requirements and space.
For more information on the acoustic performance of masonry in the New Zealand Concrete Masonry Manual click here.
With so many factors in favour of Firth masonry walls, why wouldn’t you consider masonry construction for your home?
For more a copy of the New Zealand Concrete Masonry Manual click here.
*Sound Transmission Class (or STC) is a rating of how well a building partition attenuates airborne sound.
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