ICFs Offer Greater Safety & Disaster Resilience

Insulating Concrete Forms create a monolithic concrete wall that is 10 times stronger than wood-framed structures, ensuring your home is safe & disaster resistant. The greatest benefit of an ICF home is the peace of mind that comes with being surrounded by the strength of concrete and steel.

Debris driven by high winds presents the greatest hazard to homeowners and their homes during tornadoes and hurricanes. While wood frame walls offer little protection from airborne hazards, concrete walls are proven to resist the impact of wind-driven debris.

Because concrete, steel, and foam are all nonflammable, an ICF wall is also great at resisting wildfires and stopping the spread.

Concrete homes can be among the safest and most durable types of structures in an earthquake. Homes built with reinforced concrete walls have a record of surviving earthquakes intact and structurally sound.

Whether you're building in an area prone to earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, high winds or other challenges from Mother Nature;
ICFs offer protection and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

See ICFs in action & learn more about building with icfs!

Natural Disasters are a Growing Threat

Picture this: the winds are howling, the rain is pouring, and you’re hunkered down in your home, waiting for the storm to pass. Suddenly, there’s a loud crash and you realize that a tree has fallen on your roof. Your heart races as you wonder if your home will withstand the storm. Natural disasters like tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding can cause devastating destruction, but you don’t have to live in fear.

That’s why it’s crucial to have a serious talk about disaster resilience in home construction. Building a disaster-resistant home means relying on materials that are strong, reliable, and durable. You want a space that’s not only safe but also aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting. The unpredictability of natural disasters makes it even more important to choose the right building materials for your foundation, walls, and roof.

You need to be confident that your home can withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it. From surging winds to changing storm formations, your home must be able to withstand it all. By choosing the right building materials, you can ensure that your home remains disaster-resistant and keeps you and your loved ones safe, no matter what.

How most homes are built in North America today.

Wood Framed Construction

Let’s start by examining the most common building material: wood. As mentioned earlier, predictability is key when it comes to building materials, and wood certainly fits the bill. We know exactly what we’re getting when we use lumber to frame and form a building. However, wood does have some significant drawbacks that are worth considering.

For example, wood-framed homes are particularly vulnerable to high winds. Additionally, flying debris can easily penetrate wood walls, and water can cause wood to rot, which can make a house uninhabitable due to mold and mildew. Wood is also highly flammable, and fires can quickly spread in wood-framed construction, posing a serious risk to both the home and its inhabitants.

These are just a few of the drawbacks of wood as a building material. It’s also worth mentioning issues like termite infestations, high energy consumption, poor sound insulation, and subpar air quality. Unfortunately, despite these limitations, residential construction has relied on wood for centuries simply because it’s what we know.

The problem is that, in the face of natural disasters, wood often proves inadequate. Yet, many homeowners, architects, city planners, and contractors continue to choose wood as their go-to building material, simply because it’s familiar. However, this approach is short-sighted and ignores the fact that there are other options available that could provide greater safety and durability in the face of disaster.

Standard Wood Frame Home
ICF Home with conventional roof
Philadelphia ICF Home

A better way to build for nearly the same cost.

ICF Concrete Construction

Let’s explore another option: concrete. Like wood, concrete is also predictable, but that’s where the similarities end. Unlike wood, concrete offers a solution to each of the challenges posed by natural disasters, making it an excellent choice for building disaster-resistant homes.

  • Steel reinforced concrete can stand up to strong winds and earthquakes, making it a reliable choice for areas prone to these types of disasters.
  • In addition, flying debris is no match for concrete walls, which can stop it in its tracks.
  • Unlike wood, concrete doesn’t weaken or rot when exposed to water, making it an ideal choice for areas that are at risk of flooding.
  • Plus, it simply doesn’t burn, which is a significant advantage over wood-framed homes.

When it comes to disaster resilience, concrete outperforms wood in every way. Building with Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) takes steel reinforced concrete to the next level by making it even easier to build with. With ICFs, you can form, frame, fur, sheath, insulate, and soundproof your home all in one product, which saves time and labor. The end result is a home that boasts all of the benefits of a concrete building while also being extremely energy-efficient, quiet, and healthy.

So if you’re looking to build a disaster-resistant home that can stand up to anything Mother Nature throws its way, consider building with concrete. With its unmatched strength, durability, and safety features, it’s the clear choice for anyone who wants to protect their home and their loved ones in the face of natural disasters.

ICF Homes Are Built to Last

It’s unfortunate that many wood-frame homes are unable to withstand damage from natural disasters like tornadoes or hurricanes. What’s even more disheartening is that despite these shortcomings, many homeowners, architects, city planners, and general contractors continue to rebuild using the same inadequate materials. We witness this cycle every year across the country, from the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma to the catastrophic fires in California and the destructive hurricanes in Louisiana. It’s time for a change.

At BuildBlock, we firmly believe in our motto, “Build it Once, Build it for Life.” We’re committed to providing products that will help break the cycle of destruction and rebuilding. We believe that homeowners should be able to build their homes with confidence, knowing that they are safe and protected from natural disasters.

The images beside us show the catastrophic damage caused by tornadoes to wood-frame homes in Joplin, Missouri. It’s clear that these homes were not built to withstand such devastation. We can do better. By using innovative materials like BuildBlock Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs), we can build homes that are stronger, more durable, and more resistant to natural disasters. With BuildBlock, you can rest assured that you’re building a home that will last a lifetime.

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