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Building Safer Homes & Schools with BuildBlock ICFs

ICF home in NW Oklahoma City built in 2009.
ICF home in NW Oklahoma City built in 2009.

There are many ways to design homes, schools, and buildings to safely survive many different types of disasters. One of the most innovating technologies developed is Insulating Concrete Forms. Insulating Concrete Forms are EPS foam blocks that stack together in the shape of the walls of your structure, are reinforced with steel rebar, and filled with concrete. They include high density plastic support webs that hold the block together and provide a place to attach drywall, brick or other fixtures. The form forms stay in place and combine high resistance wind and impacts from hail and other storm debris and provide incredible energy efficiency.

Building with concrete has typically been reserved for commercial or industrial structures because of both cost and aesthetics. ICF structures today have solved both of those challenges. ICF homes and buildings are virtually indistinguishable from any other home on the block. The notable differences are how quiet they are inside and the depth of exterior door and windows. The siding, brick, stucco or other exterior finish appears just like any other building. The other difference is how much less they cost you in energy each and every month.

“Tornadoes are far and away the biggest disasters of all ever to challenge home owners in North America. They are about four times more destructive than hurricanes or earthquakes. And yet the uncomplicated engineering and architecture required to build houses that are safe is essentially ignored. It is not at all technically difficult to design and construct homes that will stand up to these monster winds. It has been effectively done for half a century, but not in North America. And they can be built for approximately the same cost as wood-framed houses.” []