The Use of Concrete in House Building
Although the property boom which reached its height in mid 2007 saw a large increase in buildings made from wooden preformed structures, the Irish Association of Self Builders estimates that up to 85 percent of new Irish houses are constructed from concrete and concrete blocks.
The basic formula to produce concrete was developed over 2,000 years ago, creating concrete from a mix of materials. An example of a concrete widely used in house construction is Ordinary Portland Cement, which is composed of silicates, lime, aluminium and iron oxides, all heated sufficiently until they become molten and blend together.
The advantage of using concrete in house construction include its inherent strength, resistance to weathering, and fire resistant properties. As well as being used to create concrete blocks to build up the walls of a house, concrete reinforced with iron or steel (rebars) is used in laying the foundations and flooring of a property.
Its ability to resist temperature changes make concrete a good insulating material, helping to keep the temperature of your house warm in winter and cool in summer. The Irish Concrete Federation claims that using concrete can increase a building's ability to absorb, store and later radiate heat by up to 20 percent.
Another advantage of concrete is its acoustic insulation properties, for example 100mm solid concrete walls will produce a sound reduction of around 45 dB, in contrast to a standard timber stud partition wall, this will reduce the sound in the next room by almost half.
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