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Solid house – advantages, disadvantages and costs of massive houses made of brick and concrete

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The name solid house is based on the building materials used in this type of construction. Solid building materials are distinguished not only according to their gross density but also according to their compressive strength, their heat and sound insulation properties and their heat storage capacity.

Solid construction includes a wide variety of materials from precast concrete construction to composite brick construction . Sand-lime bricks, lightweight building blocks and pumice are also used and are usually used in combination. Lightweight precast concrete elements are often used for wall and roof elements; roofs are usually built in the conventional way with a wooden roof structure.

Solid houses with a long tradition

Solid construction has a long tradition. Mineral building materials such as brick, concrete and natural stone are ideally suited for the local climatic conditions and enable the realization of very different building projects.

Massive houses with their different styles have shaped the character of cities and villages in all parts of the country. Correspondingly, solid houses are also considered to be durable and of stable value.

They can be realized at a good price / performance ratio and at the same time guarantee a high resale value .

Solid construction with mud bricks is becoming more popular

Typical basic building materials in solid construction are

  • burned bricks
  • Aerated concrete blocks
  • Expanded clay bricks
  • Wooden cladding stones

Natural building materials have recently experienced increased interest again, which is why materials used in the past such as cinder blocks, natural stones and especially mud bricks are very popular again today . In addition to the monolithic construction, in which only bricks and mortar are used, the double-shell masonry also plays a role, in which two wall shells are built with internal insulation.

Good sound insulation of solid components

Such requirements are not placed on walls within apartments, which is why they can easily be erected in lightweight construction, as long as there are no static concerns against it. The undeniable advantages of solid construction include the good sound insulation values ​​of heavy components. The area-related dimensions, i.e. the weight per area , is a decisive factor when evaluating the sound insulation value. The demands placed on partition walls in residential construction can hardly be met by lightweight walls.

Solid building structures show excellent fire protection behavior . Masonry made of bricks or sand-lime bricks is considered fire-resistant even with a wall thickness of 11.5 centimeters or more. In order to achieve the same classification, a wooden structure must have thicker profiles with an insulated cavity and cladding on both sides made of wood-based panels or gypsum fiber panels. Walls that are used to separate fire compartments must not be made of flammable materials at all.

Solid house has an advantage over prefabricated houses

Also, subsequent changes to the plan are relatively easy to implement in masonry , for example, if non-bearing walls are to be shifted in favor of a room. In the case of prefabricated houses, on the other hand, changes in the floor plan lead to high costs and delay the progress of construction by a considerable amount. In addition to the wall to be moved, all adjoining parts also have to be redesigned, manufactured and assembled. Solid houses are planned and built individually according to the client’s wishes. The size and location of the property, the living habits of the residents, the requirements of the building authorities and the style of the neighboring buildings are taken into account. In many cases, prefabricated houses only offer solutions from the catalog, individualization through appropriate special equipment usually has to be paid for at a high price.

Joints are often weak points in construction, as the load-bearing elements, the thermal insulation and the sealing layers are interrupted. Since the dimensions of the individual parts cannot exceed certain dimensions in prefabricated construction due to the framework conditions during production and transport, a large amount of assembly joints is required here. In the case of solid construction, on the other hand, all components are created on site , which is why building joints are only made where they are required as expansion joints or separating joints between different materials. There are hardly any assembly joints in solid construction.

Natural building materials for high quality houses

Most of the materials used in solid construction are made from natural raw materials and are durable and resistant without chemical additives. The binding agents lime and cement are also of natural origin. Since mineral plaster by itself ensures airtightness, no foils or similar materials are required . Modern masonry stones of mineral origin have high insulation values ​​and, with wall thicknesses from 30 centimeters, meet high demands on thermal insulation even without additional insulation. Concrete components, on the other hand, cannot be used in buildings with lounges as external walls without additional insulation layers.

Longer construction period as it can seldom be built in winter

With the massive construction method, the building to be constructed is exposed to the weather during the entire construction period, which leads to a longer construction period compared to prefabricated houses. Concrete, plaster and screed generally require a certain setting time in order to be able to fulfill their functions. In freezing temperatures, masonry and concreting work cannot be carried out at all, as concrete and mortar do not set at these temperatures. Due to the building materials used and in adverse weather conditions, the moisture that is brought in must first dry out of the components, and a completed house must first be “accustomed to dry”.

Have solid houses planned individually by the architect

While many components and materials are repeated in prefabricated house construction, the same amount of a certain material can be stocked as desired or delivered “just in time”. In the case of solid house construction, the client’s individual wishes usually have to be met in many areas, and longer order and delivery times are to be expected in the case of short-term changes. IN the case of prefabricated houses, the elements are planned down to the last detail and can then be manufactured in the same way as often as required. The individuality of solid houses means that the details for each house have to be thought through and planned anew. In the event of planning changes, all affected components, pipelines, etc. must be adapted, which means considerable effort.

Costs for a solid house per square meter

As far as the costs for a solid construction are concerned, one can only give rough estimates. Depending on the equipment, costs between 1,100 euros and 1,800 euros per square meter of living space can be assumed, with the price of the property and other ancillary costs not being included. For a house with 140 square meters of living space, for example, that would be between 154,000 and 252,000 euros, although there are actually no upper limits. In particular, extras such as a pool, a sauna, bay windows or winter gardens make prices rise quickly. Builders often assume that they can save up to 20 percent of the construction costs by doing their own thing, but the possibilities for this are often overestimated.

Solid, low-energy or passive houses save energy

If you look at the rising energy prices, you should consider whether you should decide to build a new solid house with the standard of a low-energy house or a passive house. The qualitative difference between a solid house in low-energy construction and a standard solid house entails an additional price of 2.5 percent, which is primarily due to higher insulation thicknesses. A further surcharge of three to five percent must be taken into account in order to achieve passive house status . Amortization of these additional costs through savings in heating costs can be expected within ten to 15 years. As a builder, you benefit from living comfort at the highest level.

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