The Triangle’s Newhome Guide, 2000


Residential builders in Florida, the southwestern United States and most of Europe have been framing with block and concrete for years. So why is Triangle builder Rex Bost, President of BOST Construction Company, involved in this type of construction? Because the more he’s learned about it, the more sense it made to him. BOST Construction has recently undertaken an ambitious new home project, aptly entitled “The Rock.” This home was created to offer the very latest in technology, from its home theatre to its elaborate, state-of-the-art wiring and automation. What is most unique about this home, however, is its concrete masonry construction.

Masonry framing is a process in which the exterior walls of a home are constructed with concrete masonry units, like most of our commercial buildings. The walls are reinforced with concrete and steel. Wood strips are applied to hold sheet rock and create a cavity for wiring, plumbing, insulation, etc. Insulation is placed in the block cavities and in the cavity behind the sheetrock. Interior finishes are like those in any other framed home; exteriors may be covered with stone, brick, siding or stucco.

To Rex, it was simple: even the “Three Little Pigs” knew that masonry construction was the way to go. He once had a client ask him, “Why do you build your homes to burn?” This question, plus his long-term interest in masonry framing inspired him to take action. The Carolinas Concrete Masonry Association (CCMA), and Johnson Concrete Company answered Rex’s request for assistance in developing creative approaches to combine masonry walls with wood framed floors and roofs as well as other construction challenges. “With our recent history of violent weather, unstable lumber prices, and exterior cladding failures, it just makes good sense,” says Rex.

“Concrete masonry construction offers many advantages in terms of termite resistance, thermal mass, sound attenuation, and fire resistance,” says Professor J. Patrick Rand, AIA, School of Architecture at N.C. State. “In North Carolina, softwood lumber has more frequently been chosen as the structural system in residential construction, chiefly because of the availability of relatively inexpensive softwood lumber. As lumber costs increase or the quality of the wood declines, concrete masonry becomes more viable.”

Rex Bost and Alan Gaines are only a couple of the custom builders in the Triangle Area who are currently framing their homes with concrete masonry.

For more information on masonry framing, call the CCMA at (336) 852-2074, or visit our website.