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Old 03-11-2020, 11:34 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
I'm not totally unfavorable to wood, as long as it's properly treated before use and the work is done properly. When it comes to concrete and brick, I always lived in houses and apartments built that way, and even though extra insulation is not so frequently applied to them it fares quite well regarding thermal comfort. Sure it's also a matter of how it's built in order to take more benefit from the materials.
Proper design and workmanship is key for all types of construction.

I disagree on uninsulated concrete performing well for thermal comfort - at least in the areas where I have lived. I suspect it works quite well in areas where the primary thermal issue is staying cool. In that case concrete has lots of thermal mass so you can open the house to the air at night to cool it down and then the house slowly warms up during the day. The offices I visit in Mexico are concrete with no heating or cooling and the day starts cool with a light jacket required but by the afternoon it has warmed up to a temperature that is comfortable for short sleeves. I see you are in Porto Alegre where the average temperatures are a low of 10C in the winter and a high of 30C in the summer for a range of 20 degree.

I don't think concrete works well where the primary concern is heating. Where I lived in Michigan the average winter low is -9C and the average summer high is 28C. A range of 37 degrees. When it is -9 outside in the winter we need to raise the inside temperature to 20C for a difference of 29 degrees. That is a huge difference without insulation to keep the heat in.

The key here is the difference in R - Factor.
A 6" concrete wall has an R factor of 3.12
A 6" wall with steel 2X4 studs 16" on center with R11 insulation is R 5.5
A 6" wall with wood 2X4 studs 16" on center with R11 insulation is R 12.4

That difference is R factor between a wall with steel studs vs wood studs is a big reason why steel studs are not popular for houses. Steel is also more expensive.

I'm currently renting an apartment in Heredia, Costa Rica. It is typical concrete construction. Temperature isn't an issue as it is not cold or hot here. (The temperature ranges from about 15 - 25C all year) The biggest thing I have noticed is the NOISE. As I type this a can hear my neighbor's entire phone conversation. I've also notice that opening or closing the door and window does almost nothing to change the level of street noise.
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