There are four groups involved in the construction of a custom concrete home: the owner, the architect (and perhaps the engineer), the builder, and the concrete contractor. For mid- and low-income housing projects, builders and developers take the prominent role in material decisions.
People in the concrete construction industry tend to believe the values and benefits of concrete make it the best for home construction. But structural concrete is a difficult concept to sell to owners, architects, and builders for many reasons:
Owners historically live in wood houses and know little about concrete. Also they don't like the additional engineering design costs for a concrete structure.
- Architects and engineers are comfortable with the materials they typically design with, and don't want the risk associated with new or different technologies.
- Builders understand wood construction technology and rely on loyal subcontractor relationships.
- Concrete contractors like the idea of building concrete homes, but it's a new technology for them and, depending on the method of construction, there can be additional equipment and tool costs involved.