Asked & Answered: What is the Sound Performance of BuildBlock ICFs?

Asked-&-Answered

In general, it is important to limit noise and sound transmission through walls. While important in residential structures, this is especially critical in certain commercial structures such as hospitals, movie theaters, concert halls,hotels and airports that require substantial noise reduction. Homes built on noisy streets or near interstate highways will benefit from reduced sound transmission. Lastly, many builders are using BuildBlock ICFs for sound proofing in interior rooms such as a home theaters and media rooms.  Insulating Concrete Forms, (ICFs) can be used to construct nearly any type of building, and offer a wealth of benefits to the builder and the

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BuildBlock ICF Above Ground Safe Rooms

Tornado season is upon us, and once again, we in the Midwest and Southeast will see thunderstorms forming and rolling across the plains, and we will look up and wonder if that is just a low hanging cloud, or something more ominous. Safety is of primary concern during a tornado.  It is an immensely powerful, destructive force, which can devastate anything in its path. Historically we in the plains states have been told to move to the middle of your home and either open or close windows depending on who you have listened to.  If you had the luxury of

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White Paper- Vapor Barriers (Retarders) and Air Barriers

Air and moisture can get into a home a number of ways. Convective transfer involves moving air, such as a draft around a window or door, electrical boxes, or other wall penetrations. Diffusion refers to moisture moving through a material, similar to a sponge soaking up water. Cavity wall construction typically with fiberglass batt placed into the cavities between studs allows air to pass through and requires an additional, separate vapor barrier, typically polyethylene sheet (Visqueen) or kraft paper facing on the fiberglass batts. Continuous insulation (EPS foam or XPS foam) can also be used as a vapor barrier. Vapor

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White Paper- R-value and Performance of BuildBlock and BuildLock Knockdown Insulating Concrete Forms

The R-value is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry and is generally understood to indicate how efficient the insulation value of the material or product. R-value under uniform conditions it is the ratio of the temperature difference across an insulator and the heat flux (heat transfer per unit area per unit time, QA) through it or R=ΔT/QA. Thermal resistance varies with temperature but it is common practice in construction to treat it as a constant value. (A common method is to standardize the temperature at which the values are reported. (75° typical) (1). BuildBlock

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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 as 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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