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.