Asked&Answered: GlobalBlock Frequently Asked Questions

GlobalBlock Installation & Technical Manual Cover

GlobalBlock Installation & Technical Manual

In our latest Asked&Answered we routinely get questions about building with one of our newest products, GlobalBlock the All Foam ICF. Let’s answer common questions about ICF construction using GlobalBlock the All Foam ICF.

GlobalBlock Benefits

  • GlobalBlock reduces ICF cost by more than 40%.
  • GlobalBlock uses 1/3 less concrete.
  • Increased EPS foam increases insulation value of wall.
  • GlobalBlock is a fully reversible block as are all modern ICFs.

GlobalBlock offers 30% savings up front, uses 30% less concrete and offers about R-30 insulation (6” form). It fits integrally with BuildBlock and BuildLock forms allowing or seamless integration as infill in a wall, or as the full wall structure.

Engineering up to 2 above grade floors is provided in the GlobalBlock Installation Manual. The 6” forms can stack to 12 feet in height per floor. It offers multiple options for rebar placement, plastic webs, wire saddles, and rebar cross pins. It has large vertical cores spaced 12”o.c., and similar horizontal cores spaced 16”o.c.

The webs are spaced to allow for drywall attachments to meet IRC requirements. The dovetails allow for direct application of stucco to the foam. This was primarily designed to accommodate countries where drywall and siding are not the norm. GlobalBlock can be manufactured simply internationally requiring only an EPS molding facility when used without the optional plastic injection molded webs.

GlobalBlock Differences

How does the structure work with GlobalBlock only without using BuildBlock ICFs for monolithic strength?

Engineering is provided in the GlobalBlock Manual for up to 2 above floors and 12ft per floor (GB-600). Maximum lintel spans are shorter with GlobalBlock, but will work. You may optionally use the flat wall form for greater strength and longer spans if required in your designs.

It is also possible to modify these forms by removing the foam webs and strapping across the forms to create a flat wall. If using this method it is necessary to provide a mechanical connection between the foam and the concrete. This ensures the foam panels are tied together to the concrete since the foam webs have been removed.

The easiest method would be to place long pieces of wire on an angle from one panel to the other through the core. You can also use a basket screw pressed through the foam penetrating into the concrete cavity.

Construction of interior walls, applying drywall etc. would require strapping, blocking, trying to mount thru foam to get to concrete. This defeats one purpose of ICF.

For US use, we strongly recommend using the optional webs. If the house is known to only have a stucco coat, the webs may be omitted. The webs were designed optional for use in other countries where drywall or mechanically fastened finishes are not the norm. To use the blocks with siding or drywall, the webs are required.

How do you do corners, T’s, and intersecting walls? Are they difficult to hold together during pouring without webs to apply strapping?

The optional webs should be used in the US and Canada. Early ICFs were not designed with plastic web ties, and the method for attaching bracing and blocking was to wire through the foam and twist around a 2X on the back side. This was the norm for many years before the system changed to include rigid attachments in the webs.

With the advent of special screws for SIPs, it is now possible to screw to a 2X on the back side of the form (though a foam web to be easier to remove later) and has an even tighter connection.

How would you easily mount a suspended floor joist system?

The ICFVL brackets may be placed into the locations where the cores are, or a pocket may be cut into the foam allowing concrete to flow to the face of the form. A J-Bolt can be inserted through plywood blocking in this area to provide a rigid attachment point for ledgers etc.

Additionally you can easily use BuildBlock or BuildLock Knockdown ICFs as your top course for lintels or a monolithic wall to more easily embed brackets.

What do you mount the ICF bracing to?

The optional webs should be used in the US and Canada. Early ICFs were not designed with plastic web ties, and the method for attaching bracing and blocking was to wire through the foam and twist around a 2X on the back side. This was the norm for many years before the system changed to include rigid attachments in the webs.

With the advent of special screws for SIPs, it is now possible to screw to a 2X on the back side of the form (though a foam web to be easier to remove later) and has an even tighter connection.

More detail is provided in the GlobalBlock Installation Manual.

What is the tradeoff with the reduced cost versus the additional care during construction to brace and strap this product?

Most of the challenges discussed here are covered in more detail in the GlobalBlock Installation Manual. Our installers who have installed this product have overcome the slight differences rather quickly and found that the benefits outweigh any additional time or labor.

Mostly, using the plastic drop-in webs and the added benefit of integrating the BuildBlock or BuildLock ICFs into the same wall made it exceptionally easy.

For more information visit https://buildblock.com/products/globalblock-all-foam-icf/