Tougher fire codes and greater buyer awareness are making masonry walls/hollow core floor construction more attractive than ever. The system is simple. Prestressed concrete hollow core floor and roof planks bear on load-bearing masonry walls. Together the walls, floors, and roof create the building structure. The load-bearing masonry walls carry all the loads to the foundation. They also transfer lateral loads (wind and seismic loads) to the floors and roof. FASTER CONSTRUCTION With masonry wall/hollow core plank construction, it is no trick to put up a floor a week. While masons build walls on one part of the structure, the plank contractor can erect floor planks on walls the masons have already completed. SAVED ENERGY Masonry reduces air conditioning and heating loads because it acts as a massive thermal reservoir. GREATER FIRESAFETY In the wake of disastrous fires in wood-frame apartments and condominiums, more and more communities are changing their building codes to require 2-hour fire-resistant separations. Concrete masonry walls and prestressed hollow core floor construction meets these code requirements. LOWER COST The 2-hour noncombustible rating earns a big insurance discount. Fire insurance premiums can be 90% less than premiums for comparable wood-frame buildings. REDUCED MAINTENANCE Concrete masonry wall apartments with hollow core floors stay pretty much "as constructed." For an apartment owner that means fewer dollars spent on maintenance and repairs.