BuildBlock Blog: News, Projects & Information

BuildBlock Blog: News, Projects & Information. Discover the latest tips, answers to technical questions, educational videos, BuildBlock ICF projects, and more. 

Air Quality in ICF Structures

air quality

Controlling Indoor Air Quality BuildBlock Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) are used in all types of residential and commercial structures. BuildBlock walls provide unparalleled energy efficiency, safety, durability, comfort, and air quality. The Importance of Good Air Quality Indoor air quality is often something that people don’t think about until it goes bad. Maintaining a healthy environment is essential in any indoor space and ICFs provide a wall system that greatly assists in this effort. BuildBlock ICF walls provide a tight exterior building envelope. Walls that are “tight” (meaning they have low air infiltration) is the first step in controlling the

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The 2018 ICF Summit

Join BuildBlock and the ICFMA at the 2018 ICF Summit! BuildBlock is a proud member of the Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association (ICFMA) and is excited to participate in the upcoming ICF Summit.  The ICF Summit spans 3 days with engaging seminars conducted by industry-leading  ICF professionals. Whether you currently operate an ICF business or are someone looking to break into the growing ICF industry, you’ll find these presentations to be enlightening, fun, and incredibly useful.  The 2018 ICF Summit is presented at The World of Concrete in Las Vegas. Information on how to register is below and don’t forget to visit the BuildBlock booth in the North Hall at Booth #N2053.

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New ICF Training Course: ICF Construction in 25 Steps

Revolutionary Online Training You may be aware that earlier this year, BuildBlock launched the first ever online training site for ICF construction. If you didn’t know that, now you do! Welcome to the party! BuildBlock.com/Training takes a revolutionary approach to ICF education. Users receive an in-depth level of training through interactive lessons, videos, and quizzes all from the comfort of your internet connected device. We launched this site with our inaugural course, The Basic ICF Installer Training Course. New Course BuildBlock is now excited to offer our second course, ICF Construction in 25 Steps. The name of this course does an excellent job of explaining its contents; a simple, straightforward overview of

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R-Value Part 4: Is More Insulation Better?

Part Four: Is More Insulation Better? In the previous sections of our deep dive into insulation, we’ve covered the basic types of insulation, discussed the properties of ICFs, and talked about the difference between actual and performance R-value. Now let’s take a look at the wizard behind the curtain, the secret sauce, the ICF MVP… concrete.  Concrete doesn’t really add any R-Value, but what it does is resist changing temperature. It requires a lot of energy to change the temperature of concrete. Think about a concrete sidewalk after a hot summer day. That concrete will radiate heat and is still warm

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R-Value Part 3: Fun with Foam

Part Three: Fun with Foam In the last article, we mentioned that BuildBlock ICFs and most others use about 2.5” of EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam on each side of a concrete core. The concrete core provides the strength and is designed to generally match the construction of standard reinforced concrete wall thicknesses (ACI 318 to be exact). So that explains the concrete, but why 2.5” foam panels? Honestly, there are two reasons. First ICF forms must be able to withstand the pressures created when rebar is added and concrete is first poured into the forms. Most ICFs are 16” tall and

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R-Value Part 2: The Science of Performance

Part Two: The Science of Performance   In the first part of this article, we learned that ICFs are a superior form of construction (click for part 1) through simplicity of construction, fewer materials, disaster resilience, and insulation performance. So let’s talk a bit more about actual R-value versus performance R-value. All types of building insulation have two levels of performance: material performance and in-use performance. It’s no different than “estimated” miles per gallon when you buy a car; real-world performance is always different. In the case of ICFs, the real world, in-use performance is actually higher than the R-value performance

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Natural Disasters, Construction, and the Importance of Predictability

An honest comparison of major construction materials and their ability to protect during natural disasters. A Growing Threat  In the wake of the dramatic destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and Irma, it’s important to have a frank conversation about disaster resilience in home construction. No matter your opinion on climate change, it is proven that ice caps are melting and sea levels have risen. And while these events do not specifically cause hurricanes, they do in fact exacerbate the situation. The recent historic flooding in Houston is a glaring example of this. The dilemma of “more water” isn’t just going

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R-Value Part 1: What R You Doing?

What R You Doing? A four part series looking at insulation, R-value, and value. What is the value of good? No, this isn’t a Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance moment, but we all want to know how much is really worth it. So you’re building a new home or updating your existing home and you have the same questions we all do. When it comes to insulation, how much is enough? What are my options? And at what point, as the phrase goes, “are we putting lipstick on a pig?” There are a lot of companies out there to

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Top 5 Ways to Ensure a Successful ICF Pour

For many, the concrete pour day is the most exciting day on an ICF jobsite. You’ve stacked your walls, everything is straight and plumb, and now it’s time for that sweet concrete. And that’s exactly how pump day should feel; fun and exciting, from beginning to end. Your wall is about to reach its full potential! But with great power comes great responsibility. Mistakes on pump day could cost you and your crew a lot of time and money. We at BuildBlock want your concrete pour to go as smooth as mud (pun!) so we’ve compiled a list of five

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Habitat for Humanity & BuildBlock Prove that Anyone Can Build With ICFs

Volunteers in South Dakota are building amazing homes alongside deserving families by utilizing the strength, efficiency, and simple installation of BuildBlock ICFs.  Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all. As of today they’ve helped build, renovate, repair, and increase access to improved shelter for over 5 million people worldwide. This is all accomplished through a dedicated network of volunteers and supporters from all

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