Bautex Wall Systems vs. Concrete Masonry Construction

An important benefit of the Bautex Wall System over concrete masonry con­struc­tion is Bautex is faster and simpler to construct. In the past 50 years, increas­ing demands on wall systems have led to improve­ments in energy effi­cien­cy, dura­bil­i­ty, and fire and storm resilien­cy. Wall systems must also provide a com­fort­able and healthy envi­ron­ment for building occupants. The Bautex Wall System meets these demands and is also simple, quick and easy to build.

Problems with Concrete Masonry Construction as it Strives to Meet the Demands of the Modern Wall System

Sur­pris­ing­ly, with the rise in demands on wall systems, the basic design of concrete masonry con­struc­tion or units (CMU) has not changed in decades. Instead of improving the overall design of CMUs, designers and builders have applied a band-aid approach that adds new com­po­nents, extra layers, and addi­tion­al steps. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this com­pli­cat­ed process has resulted in longer con­struc­tion schedules, more money, and more oppor­tu­ni­ty for errors during the building of a CMU wall system.

Advantages of Bautex Wall System Vs. CMU

The Bautex Wall System sim­pli­fies con­struc­tion, shortens the schedule, lowers cost, and reduces con­struc­tion problems over CMU. The Bautex Wall System combines the strength and fire resis­tance of cement with the light­weight and insu­la­tion prop­er­ties of foam in one easy-to-install unit. The Bautex wall system uses one trade instead of the several required for insulated CMU con­struc­tion. Also, Bautex uses fewer materials,steps, and less labor than CMU. Con­se­quent­ly, the Bautex unit installs at least two times faster than CMU. The goals of both the Bautex Wall System and CMUs are to create energy efficient, durable, and fire and storm resilient wall systems. The wall systems must also provide a com­fort­able and healthy envi­ron­ment for the occupants and faster con­struc­tion for the builder. The notable advantage of the Bautex Wall Systems versus concrete masonry con­struc­tion is Bautex is quicker and easier to build than concrete masonry construction. 

How the Bautex Wall System is Constructed

Building a Bautex Wall System is simple and fast. Con­struc­tion of a Bautex Wall System involves a crew laying the composite Bautex Blocks end-to-end, then gluing them together with a foam adhesive. Next, the crew installs hor­i­zon­tal and vertical rein­force­ment rebar inside the wall as they move up the structure. Finally, the crew pours high-flow struc­tur­al concrete into the wall. The com­po­si­tion of the Bautex block includes expanded poly­styrene (EPS), which provides built-in con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion, and cement, which is durable and fire-resistant. The Bautex Wall System also consists of the Bautex Air and Moisture Barrier which limits thermal convection1 by pre­vent­ing the infil­tra­tion of air and moisture to the interior of the structure. A single con­trac­tor, trained by Bautex, installs the entire Bautex Wall System. Typically, a three-person crew can build 800 square feet of Bautex wall in one day — half the time it takes to produce the same size concrete masonry wall. 

There are several reasons concrete masonry walls take more than twice the amount of time to construct over Bautex walls:

  • Bautex Blocks are four times the size of 8”x8”x16” CMU blocks and close to the same weight as one CMU block.
  • Bautex Blocks are dry stacked and glued together, elim­i­nat­ing the labor and time to mix, handle and trowel mortar like CMU construction
  • Bautex can be installed by less skilled, less expensive and more available labor.
  • Pro­duc­tion rates per labor hour are double that of CMU
  • A concrete masonry wall needs an appli­ca­tion of insu­la­tion. Installing insu­la­tion over the concrete masonry wall requires a second trade to the job site. The second trade adds costly labor and more time to the con­struc­tion schedule. 
  • Because concrete masonry walls are fifty percent heavier than Bautex Wall Systems, they require a stronger foun­da­tion than Bautex Wall Systems, which adds addi­tion­al time and expense over Bautex Wall Systems.

For one- to three-story building projects, the Bautex Wall System saves money, reduces labor and shortens con­struc­tion schedules over concrete masonry wall systems. The Bautex Wall System also ensures an energy efficient building that exceeds the most demanding building codes with an R‑value of R‑14, without exterior or interior finishes. Addi­tion­al­ly, the Bautex Wall System is noise reducing and storm-resistant and has an ASTM E119 fire rating of four hours with ASTM E84 values for flame speed of zero and smoke devel­op­ment of twenty. Impor­tant­ly, the Bautex Wall System is easy to install and can save money and con­struc­tion time over concrete masonry wall systems.

1Thermal con­vec­tion occurs when heat moves from the warmer side to the cooler side of a wall by the flow of liquid or air molecules. A tightly sealed building envelope with adequate air and moisture barriers can stop thermal con­vec­tion and create a com­fort­able envi­ron­ment for the occupants.