Benefits of Concrete Blocks and Wood in Building and Construction - Essay Example

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629 words
Middlebury College
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Traditionally, most homes were built from wood, whereas, people preferred using concrete block materials in the construction of learning institutions like schools amongst other official buildings. However, to date, the use of concrete blocks has become common in the structuring of residential homes too. Due to this trends, it is essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each of the above constructing materials; this knowledge will allow one to make the right decision regarding the proper materials to use whenever he or she decides to construct any building (Cabeza et al., 2014). In general, builders can enjoy specific benefits from using concrete blocks as compared to wood or vice versa in constructing residential and commercial buildings.

The cost of the materials is the most crucial element in any given construction project. Concrete block buildings are generally expensive compared to those built from wood. However, the expense is worth it especially if the building is meant to serve a long-term purpose (Cabeza et al., 2014). On the other hand, wooden materials are much cheaper to construct. However, they are useful for short-term durations since they are easily spoiled. Also, other than the cost of buying the materials, the transportation costs of the concrete blocks from the supplier to the customers destination is higher compared to that of wood or timber, this is mainly due to its bulkiness (Pajchrowski et al., 2014).

Another factor to consider is the durability of the material used. Houses made from concrete blocks take a lot of time to deteriorate compared to those obtained from wood. Another significant benefit associated with using concrete block materials is the fact that they are mostly animal and insect repellant (Pajchrowski et al., 2014). Block buildings are also fire resistant because it takes a very long time for them to catch flames. Wooden buildings, on the other hand, last for relatively shorter periods of time since they quickly wear off after being fed on by wood eating insects (Cabeza et al., 2014). However, if well taken care of, the wooden building can also last for a significantly more extended period.

The type of material used in framing is also of vital importance to the buildings exterior and interior conditions. The benefit of using wooden frames over concrete-made frames, in this case, is that they are lighter in weight, they are also easier to move and adjust in whichever angle of shape the constructor desires (Pajchrowski et al., 2014). Moreover, wooden frames are good insulators to households especially during winter (Cabeza et al., 2014). Concrete-made structures, on the other hand, appear to excel where wooden frames are least useful. As mentioned previously, concrete blocks cannot be affected by termites or insects as in the case of wood frames.

In spite of their diverse benefits in construction utility, use of concrete and wood as construction materials leaves several negative impacts on the environment. For instance, trees have to be cut down for production of wood materials. Even though one may replace them, it takes a lot of time for them to mature enough and serve their purposes in their environment (Pajchrowski et al., 2014). On the other hand, exploitation of concrete blocks involves quarrying, at times deforestation, and transportation of the concrete raw materials which may significantly pollute the environment (Cabeza et al., 2014). Both materials are also affected by weather fluctuation especially in situations where temperatures reach extremes.



Cabeza, L. F., Rincon, L., Vilarino, V., Perez, G., & Castell, A. (2014). Life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle energy analysis (LCEA) of buildings and the building sector: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 29, 394-416.

Pajchrowski, G., Noskowiak, A., Lewandowska, A., & Strykowski, W. (2014). Wood as a building material in the light of the environmental assessment of full life cycle of fourbuildings. Construction and building materials, 52, 428-436.


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