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10 benefits of concrete over other building materials

Contractor using building materials

When it comes to building materials, contractors always consider the costs, strength, sustainability, durability and safety of the various materials. Concrete is a fantastic all-rounder, which is why it is one of the most common building materials.

Steel may be strong, but it is expensive and prone to rust. Wood may be very cheap, but it is not very durable. Concrete is the perfect balance between all these factors. It is strong, affordable, safe and durable. It does not rust or rot and it can be made into any shape or size.

Concrete has many advantages over other building materials, which is why you should consider using it for your next building project. Here are 10 benefits of using concrete over other building materials:

1. Low maintenance

Concrete is a low-maintenance material. Once poured and set, it requires little effort to keep it in top shape. It does not need to be painted with protective coats or treated with chemicals. Concrete holds its shape and its integrity for decades without any necessary intervention. This cuts down on repair and maintenance costs in the long run.

2. Highly durable

Concrete is designed to last for many years – even centuries. Concrete has a lifespan that is two to three times longer than other building materials. It can withstand wear and tear better than wood or steel. Concrete’s durability means that it is a once-off investment when building – it will not need to be replaced again.

3. Can be made into any shape and size

Because concrete is essentially a liquid before it sets, it can be moulded into any shape or size. Architects love working with concrete as it allows them greater flexibility with their designs. It is perfectly suited to large-scale projects or small-scale home builds. Concrete can even be stamped and moulded to resemble wood and bricks.

4. Not affected by rust or rot

Unlike wood and steel, concrete does not rot or rust. Moisture in the air and heavy rains can cause wood to weaken as it slowly rots. Similarly, excess moisture can cause steel to rust, especially in coastal areas. Concrete is unaffected by these problems, which is why it is highly durable.

5. Energy-efficient

Concrete is a good insulator, which means that it can keep buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This means that concrete is more energy efficient as it reduces the need for heaters and air-conditioning units. It can cut electricity bills and save the building owners money. Concrete is energy-efficient in another way; it takes less energy to manufacture concrete than it does to produce steel (three times less, in fact).

6. Fireproof

Due to its low conductivity levels, concrete is actually fireproof. This has many obvious advantages, but most importantly is the safety of building occupants. Wood is highly flammable and steel can melt in intense fires, which makes them inferior building materials to concrete. When a building burns, often the walls, floors and concrete foundations are the only things left standing. This makes repairs cheaper and quicker.

7. Not affected by wind or water

Concrete is more resistant to high winds and flooding than wood, for example. This means that in extreme weather conditions, such as storms and cyclones, concrete is a safer building material than steel or wood. Concrete is highly resistant to other effects of wind and flooding, such as rust and rot.

8. Minimal waste

Concrete is a building material that can be used with minimal waste. It can be produced in exact amounts so that no excess goes to waste. It is also reusable and recyclable. Once the concrete has served its purpose, it can be broken down into rubble and reused for other building projects.

9. Reflectivity

Unlike metal and glass, concrete does not reflect light. This can have safety advantages for road users and pilots. In addition, its neutral grey colour means that it does not absorb solar radiation like darker materials, such as steel and asphalt. This means that concrete has the right balance between reflectivity and absorption of light and heat.

10. Concrete is quieter

Concrete has been proven to reduce noise. It makes buildings quieter for residents. Steel, glass and wood can transfer noise from the outside world into the interior of a building. Concrete has a higher soundproofing capability than other building materials.

These are the ten main advantages of concrete over other building materials. Concrete is a popular choice for architects and contractors for the reasons stated above. LafargeHolcim Tanzania produces a variety of cement products that have different applications for concrete.

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LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 

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LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.

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At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.

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