Beautiful, bespoke, energy saving homes

Masonry Construction – A Solid Investment

Quiet, warm and solid

Design & Materials specialises in Masonry Construction and it is easy to see why it remains the natural choice for individuals building their own home.

  • Tried and tested
  • Cost effective
  • Flexible design options
  • Preferred by builders
  • Start building as soon as planning approved
  • Fast construction
  • Energy efficient
  • Airtight structure
  • Solid floors and walls throughout
  • Option for concrete staircase
  • High thermal mass
  • Outstanding acoustic performance
  • Enhanced fire resistance
  • Warm in Winter: Cool in Summer
  • Highly adaptable to meet current and future needs
  • Increased comfort levels
  • The first choice of 93% of homeowners (source CBA)
  • Built to last 150 years

“Choosing masonry build was an easy decision; we wanted solid floors and walls for acoustic performance and increased fire resistance and a high thermal mass … you simply can’t get that with timber frame construction.” Dr Pacey, Lincolnshire

Increased comfort levels

Our system provides a minimum ‘U’ value of 0.17 W/m²K for external walls and an extremely airtight structure, both of which exceed the requirements under Building Regulations. Solid upper floors and internal walls ensure our clients enjoy outstanding acoustic performance, enhanced fire resistance and increased levels of comfort. Due to the high thermal efficiency of our masonry system you’ll immediately notice the difference in your energy bills and it’s a well-known fact that solid structures are cooler in summer – think about being in a church.


If you have a particular ‘U’ value or energy rating in mind we can tailor your design and specification to meet your requirements. With masonry construction you also have the option of a concrete staircase allowing a wide range of finishes. You will also benefit from enhanced thermal mass, outstanding sound reduction and increased fire resistance.

Solid floors and walls give outstanding
sound reduction and fire resistance

Concrete staircase being installed on a Design & Materials project in 2016

Concrete stairs provide flexible design options, enhanced fire resistance, improved acoustics, safer working for builders, increased thermal mass and a wide range of final finishes such as marble, limestone or terrazzo.

Marble finish

Polished concrete

Terrazzo tiles

The BuildFast system: the super-fast way to build your new home

This is a tried and tested system which utilises thin-joint technology. The inner skin of masonry is erected first and the dwelling quickly made wind and weather tight. This allows the internal trades to start working sooner and the builder then carries on with the outer skin and roof tiling work. The system is very adaptable and allows for all external finishes be it brick/render/stone or cladding.

Using the BuildFast system means for a two storey house of 200m² the structure can be weather tight in as little as 14 days allowing the internal trades to commence work sooner. Overall build time is significantly reduced resulting in significant savings on labour and site overheads and the cost of renting temporary accommodation.

The benefits of the BuildFast system:

  • Significantly reduces construction times
  • Internal trades start sooner
  • Better quality construction
  • Reduced site waste
  • Increased bond strength
  • Improved air-tightness

With our BuildFast system a building can be weather tight in less time than other forms of construction

Look at the facts

Take time to do your own independent research. We are confident that once you have looked at all of the facts, the natural choice for building your own home is masonry construction.

Living with masonry

What do our clients say about their masonry build homes?

“We’ve just had our second winter in our new home. At nearly 1,000 m² ours is a big house with large period windows … but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by our energy bills which are actually less than our previous home and that was a much smaller house. We’ve also noticed how cool the interior of the house is in summer … in fact we’ve been very impressed by the all-round comfort levels of this house. Choosing masonry build was an easy decision; we wanted solid floors and walls for acoustic performance and increased fire resistance and a high thermal mass … you simply can’t get that with timber frame construction.” Dr Pacey, Lincolnshire

“Our new home is a contemporary design so it features large areas of glazing … despite that our heating bills have been a revelation. We did consider timber frame but once we looked at the facts choosing masonry construction was a no brainer. With teenage children we were worried about noise and creaks and echoes but the solid floor and walls have done everything D&M said they would, it’s a brilliant house to live in.” Mr Brown, Gloucestershire.