Technical

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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Press Release: ICFs Outperform Wood in Independent Scientific Study

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CLEB LABORATORIES THERMAL STUDY PROVES INSULATING CONCRETE FORM WALLS CAN ACHIEVE UP TO 60% ENERGY SAVINGS AND 58% GREATER R-VALUE FOR HOME AND BUILDING OWNERS Oklahoma City, OK –  According to a recent scientific study, commissioned by the ICF Manufacturers Association, an ICF wall produces a 58% better overall R-value/RSI than an insulated wood frame cavity wall. This is the first time an SCC and ISO accredited and internationally recognized testing facility has been commissioned to evaluate a realistic side-by-side comparison of these two types of wall assemblies within a single study.  How the Study Was Performed This is the first test

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Asked & Answered: How Does Rebar Interact With BuildBlock Webs?

Asked-&-Answered

Reinforcing ICF Walls The plastic ties (or webs) in BuildBlock ICFs hold the two foam panels together and are embedded into the foam. This provides furring strips as well as options to place rebar in the proper position in the wall. Steel rebar reinforcement is required and the plastic webs help to hold it in place. This rebar gives concrete the additional strength needed to resist different types of pressures. It’s the combination of reinforcement and concrete that makes a BuildBlock wall so strong.  Since rebar can’t be made to be continuous for every project, lengths of rebar are cut and

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BuildBlock ICF Installer Training Series: Basic Estimating

basic estimating

Basic Estimating Welcome to the BuildBlock ICF Installer Training Series. This 20 part video series is intended to be an educational walk through of the ICF building process. From the early planning phases to pouring concrete and finishing walls, this series will provide the basic knowledge you need to have a successful BuildBlock ICF build. In the 5th video of the series we take a look at how to estimate the amount of blocks, rebar, and concrete needed for your ICF job. We walk through several basic formulas that will help you plan for a successful build. The videos in this series

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The BuildBlock Comprehensive Guide Waterproofing

Waterproofing ICF Homes

The BuildBlock Comprehensive Guide to ICF Waterproofing demonstrates the most effective strategies for waterproofing ICF structures.   Waterproofing ICF homes is substantially different from standard concrete construction and is commonly overlooked or installed incorrectly. The BuildBlock Comprehensive Guide to Waterproofing is a 15 page educational manual that is free to download and is intended to be used in conjunction with other BuildBlock Technical Manuals. The strategies, advice, and information apply to any ICF construction below grade, large or small. Waterproofing is the last mile in ICF construction. Even if everything else has been done perfectly, a small mistake in waterproofing can ruin the experience of

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Basic ICF Construction in 22 Steps

basic icf construction

While BuildBlock ICFs are extremely installer friendly, there are always questions when working with new material. Whether you’re a do-it-yourself home builder or a contractor looking branch into ICFs, BuildBlock is here to help. This Basic ICF Construction gallery starts with excavation and ends with the pouring of concrete. Complete with helpful tips and tricks along the way, you’ll be more than ready to plan your next ICF build. For more detailed information on each of these steps, visit the How to Build section.  Free Online Training For an in-depth training experience,  visit BuildBlock.com/Training. We currently offer 2 courses: first is an expanded version

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Common Misconceptions Regarding ICFs and Current Energy Codes

There are common misconceptions regarding ICFs and the current energy codes. While many people involved in the home design, construction and inspection process are familiar with the R-value requirements of a cavity wall, most do not understand that different standards apply to ICFs. Wall Types Cavity walls are usually wood or steel framed with insulation between framing members for the outside walls. Most single family structures in the United States are built this way. Cavity walls may meet local and national building codes, but lack the performance and resilience when compared with ICF mass walls. The International Energy Conservation Code

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White Paper- STC and Sound Performance of BuildBlock and BuildLock Knockdown Insulating Concrete Forms

BuildBlock ICFs can provide an STC Rating of 54 keeping noise pollution outside where it belongs. The STC rating of a wall assembly refers to its resistance to sound transmission. Sound is measured in decibels, (db) and is on a logarithmic scale, meaning that the values are not linear in nature, and a 50db sound is not twice as loud as a 25db sound. A doubling of volume would correspond approximately to a 10db change.  In construction, it is important to limit noise and sound transmission through walls. This is especially important in certain venues, such as movie theaters, concert halls and hotels. Airports and other

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White Paper: Cement Fiber Board Installation

“Lap siding is a popular exterior finish for both residential and commercial ICF jobs.  Cement-board siding is particularly popular, due to its durability, ease of installation and fire-resistant qualities. “ Clark Ricks, ICF Builder Magazine(http://www.icfmag.com/how-to/ht_exterior_finishes.html) Installing Cement Fiber Board siding over an ICF is becoming more prevalent. There is little instruction from the siding or backer board manufacturers, due to the variations among ICF blocks. BuildBlock Building Systems offers three different block styles. BuildBlock and BuildLock are similar and will be treated together. GlobalBlock has a much different attachment system and will be described separately. The starting point for any

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Footing to Wall Connections

Footing to Wall Connections The connection between the footing and an ICF wall is very important. Too often, this connection is omitted from the discussion about reinforcing an ICF wall. There are a number of factors that have to be taken into account. These include the wind loads, exposure categories and seismic zones. The typical connections between the footing and the ICF wall are either a keyway or dowels. Keyways are made by setting a 2×4 into the top of the footing when it is being poured, and floating the concrete flush with the top of the board. When this is removed, it leaves

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