Concrete homes are growing in popularity due to multiple factors, such as their design aesthetic, sustainability concerns, and durability. One of the primary advantages of a concrete house is its superior performance against hazards.
Are Concrete Houses Safe?
A properly designed and well-built concrete house is safer against natural disasters, fire, and deterioration over time. Concrete is a strong and durable material that will outperform many more common construction materials for single-family homes.
Using poured-in-place concrete as the primary structural element for a house is not the most common way to build a home, but it is a superior option.
I am Jorge Fontan, an architect in New York and owner of NYC-based architecture firm Fontan Architecture. At our office, we have built many homes using different materials such as wood, steel, and concrete. I have always liked concrete, and as an architect, I appreciate its outstanding durability.
Are Concrete Homes Safer than Wood
Concrete Homes are non-combustible, making them safer than a wood frame. When building for disaster or fire, a concrete home will outperform a wood home. A six-inch thick poured-in-place concrete wall has a 3-Hour fire rating. 3-Hour is a higher rating than required by any code for detached single-family homes.
As an architect, I am always thinking about durability. I have built multiple houses to replace houses that were completely destroyed by fire. I am hyper-aware of this concern and prefer building with non-combustible materials to using wood as a structural element. Wood becomes fuel for a fire, so building a house out of a non-combustible material protects you by removing that fuel. The concrete structure can also withstand fire and natural disasters better than a wood frame house.
Is it Safe to Live in a Concrete House?
Living in a concrete house can be healthier as they are less susceptible to common problems such as mold, termites, fire, and natural disasters. Additionally, concrete is low in VOCs, Volatile Organic Compounds.
The photo below is of one of our concrete houses. This house is in the flood zone. We replaced the original house, which was destroyed by Super Storm Sandy, with this concrete home. The house is elevated on concrete columns because it is in the flood zone.
You are safer in a concrete home than in houses built with other types of construction. For me, it is an easy choice concrete is a superior material for home construction.
Thank You for Reading Our Blog Post on The Safety of Concrete Homes.
I hope this was helpful. If you want to speak with an architect about a potential project, contact us at Fontan Architecture directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.