Building Exteriors: How Brick Stacks Up

When stacked up against common commercial building exteriors, brick costs less than precast, metal and glass, according to a new BIA study.


https://facilityexecutive.com/2017/03/building-exteriors-how-brick-stacks-up/
When stacked up against common commercial building exteriors, brick costs less than precast, metal and glass, according to a new BIA study.
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How Brick Stacks Up

When stacked up against common commercial building exteriors, brick costs less than precast, metal and glass, according to a new BIA study.

A recent study comparing the construction costs of brick buildings to five common building exteriors reveals that brick with CMU costs less than precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall and glass panel curtain wall systems.

building exteriors
Credit: Digital Vision.

Conducted by RSMeans for the Brick Industry Association (BIA), the independent study compares total construction costs in five categories: three-story office building, three-story apartment building, five-to 10-story office building, four to eight-story hospital and a six-story dorm.

Comparisons include exterior installation and finish systems (EIFS) with metal studs (lowest cost), brick with steel studs, manufactured stone with steel studs, brick with CMU, precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall, and glass panel curtain wall.

“National averages show brick costs less than perceived,” said Ray Leonhard, BIA’s president and CEO. “Since it’s a non-flammable and non-combustible material, clay brick also offers superior fire resistance with a minimum one-hour fire rating.”

A three-story office building using manufactured stone with steel studs costs 2.7 percent more than brick with steel studs. Precast concrete costs 2.7 percent more than brick with CMU, and metal panel curtain wall costs 13.1 percent more than brick with CMU.

A five- to 10-story office building with a metal panel curtain wall costs 10.8 percent more than brick with CMU, and 5.7 percent more in precast concrete than brick with CMU. Manufactured stone with steel studs costs 4.2 percent more than brick with steel studs.

A three-story apartment building using manufactured stone with steel studs costs 3.6 percent more than brick with steel studs. Precast concrete costs 4.3 percent more and metal panel curtain wall 14.1 percent more than brick with CMU.

A four- to eight-story hospital project using metal panel curtain wall and/or glass panel curtain wall costs $2+ million over brick systems.

Six-story dorms with precast concrete cost 4.7 percent more and metal panel curtain wall costs 8.8 percent more than brick with CMU. Manufactured stone with steel studs costs 2.9 percent more than brick with steel studs.

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