Technical

Asked & Answered: What is the Prescriptive Method and why do we talk about it?

Asked-&-Answered

What is the Prescriptive Method? The Prescriptive Method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential Construction is the accepted method for installation, general engineering, and standard for ICF home design. The Prescriptive Method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential Construction is a document, originally drafted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has been incorporated into the International Residential Code (IRC, Section R611) and which gives a general engineering design for use with ICF, within the most common home sizes. The Prescriptive Method provides engineering tables showing reinforcement specifications for common wall heights and openings, as well as

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Asked & Answered: Do ICFs Need a Weather Barrier?

Asked-&-Answered

One of the questions we are frequently asked is the need for an additional weather barrier or house wrap in ICF construction. The short answer to the question is no. ICFs are a more effective and higher class vapor and water barrier than any house wrap product. ICFs must only be protected from sunlight and impacts through coverings such as brick, stone, stucco, EIFS, siding, etc. Building wraps such as DuPont™ Tyvek® and other house wrap products are designed to shed bulk water such  heavy wind blown rain. They also allow the moisture that occurs in cavity walls to escape. Cavity (stud)

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Asked & Answered: Unfinished Basement Fire Barrier

Asked-&-Answered

What’s required for my unfinished ICF basement? The BuildBlock Intertek IRR1003, requires a 15 minute fire barrier for all EPS that is exposed to the interior of the building. This can be drywall, which is typically the most cost effective method, stucco, plaster, EIFS, wood paneling, or any other finish product with a 15 minute fire rating. A stem wall or any other ICF wall below grade would not require anything as it is below a slab, however any area that is used for living space, storage, as an air transfer with the home, or is planned to be anything more than utility

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EPS Foam Significantly More Energy Efficient Than XPS

There are many reasons BuildBlock ICFs are the premiere ICFs on the market, our use of EPS foam is one of those reasons.        As reported by Concrete Construction, “what makes EPS and XPS different is their manufacturing processes. EPS uses steam and the blowing agent pentane to expand polystyrene resin beads and subsequently mold them into blocks, which can later be cut to size. XPS, on the other hand, processes melted polystyrene resin through an extruder and expands it, using blowing agents. There are key differences between EPS and XPS—most importantly, moisture resistance, environmental impact, long-term R-value, compressive

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BuildBlock Field Notes

BuildBlock Distributor Jim Deering takes a few minutes to discuss his method and strategies for installing ICF walls. This 15 minute video lays out a few ways that BuildBlock makes your job on site easier, faster, and nearly eliminates all waste.  

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Fastfoot & Rising Damp

BuildBlock uses and recommends FastFoot products on any home construction job to protect the foundation, walls and structures from unwanted moisture. A link to their article is here: http://www.fab-form.com/fastfoot/fastfootRisingDamp.php

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