White Paper: The ICF Effect

Continuous R-Value, reduced air infiltration and thermal mass all make up the ICF Effect New energy codes, higher fuel prices, and colder winters have all contributed to an increased awareness of energy efficient construction. For consumers and builders, this means a stronger focus on increased “R-value” of the building envelope. Understanding the history of code prescribed R-value will give perspective of this measurement as it is used today. Prior to the oil crisis in the 1970’s, energy was cheap and little focus was placed on insulation, as evidenced by the lack of any insulation in “midcentury” homes. The skyrocketing fuel prices triggered a

READ MORE

NBC Bank Utilizes BuildBlocks ICF Disaster Resistance Capabilities

NBC Bank Utilizes BuildBlock ICF’s Disaster Resistance Capabilities for security of important documents and equipment.  As far as banks go, this is one of the most energy-efficient banks in Oklahoma. Banks are high traffic, and considerations for foot traffic must be accounted for in the design. ICFs coupled with the spray foam roof insulation lower the utility costs by more than 40%. This project was designed to blend into the surrounding residential area. The owners chose ICF because this branch was outfitted with a data center housing networking and computing infrastructure utilized by the bank.  This room had to be protected from the

READ MORE

DIY Plowman Home using BuildBlock ICFs

The DIY Plowman Home using BuildBlock ICFs is a true do-it-yourself project from start to finish. Science Teacher, Phillip Plowman and his father are sharing their BuildBlock ICF project. They have been building an entire home themselves from top to bottom for the last year, using much of summer break and weekends as peak working hours.    Phillip is a science teacher in Virginia and has been working on this home for the past year with his father. Phillip mentions he is fortunate to have weekends and summers off to work on building his own home. Phillip and his father

READ MORE

The Puddingstone Cottage

The Puddingstone Cottage is a 1,200 square foot all ICF earth bermed home. Even the retaining walls utilize ICFs for their toughness. Puddingstone Cottage is an all ICF home that utilizes full height earth berms on three sides of the house to achieve its ultra-high energy performance and added protection from Mother Nature. This hybrid home is an all-electric house built among 50+ year-old cottages near a lake in southwest Michigan and blends in handsomely with its surroundings. Puddingstone Cottage was designed and built by National Award winning designer/builder Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes, LLC. Using the research gathered from Bearup’s

READ MORE

BuildBlock ICFs Meet Future Building Codes Today

BuildBlock ICFs meet future building codes today and are independently tested for compliance with 2015 building codes. Building codes are constantly evaluated and revised and BuildBlock ICFs continue exceed current code requirements and planned future building codes for energy efficiency. Every three years the IRC and IBC release updated codes. These codes are usually the basis for all state and local building codes and represent the best cost effective method of building safe and energy efficient structures. BuildBlock’s codes compliance is evaluated through independent third-party testing by Intertek. Their Code Compliance Research Report (CCRR) program and Intertek are one of the most trusted ETL marks in North America. In Minnesota, 2015 building codes include changes

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

Slagell’s Building ICF Home in Hydro, Oklahoma

The Slagell’s are Building their ICF home with BuildBlock ICFs in Hydro, Oklahoma. The Slagell’s were drawn to the idea of ICFs because of the energy efficiency and long life construction ICFs provide. Doing all the work themselves, they had to choose very closely what materials to use. They chose to use BuildBlock ICFs for their home. Bethanie says, “Everything has been very user friendly. We like that you can reverse the blocks.” The BuildBlock construction phase is finished currently with the windows and doors installed.  The home is going to be roughly 1600 sq.f  with  a very open floor plan for the

READ MORE

BuildBlock Building Systems visits a BuildBlock project in Chihuahua, Mexico.

  BuildBlock Insulating Concrete Forms, (ICFs) expands manufacturing to Monterrey, Mexico. This new location increases availability of the ICFs in Mexico making BuildBlock ICF products viable for any project in the Mexico. BuildBlock CEO Mike Garrett and Latin America Sales Executive Alfonso Nieves recently spent time on a new residential project in the city of Chihuahua, located northwest of Monterrey, Mexico. They joined BuildBlock Distributor ICF México who is in charge of the project. The large three story home is being built using the GlobalBlock ICF for interior and exterior walls. ICF México General Director Daniel Rios said,      

READ MORE

First ICF home in Yazoo County, Mississippi built using BuildBlock ICFs

The first ICF home in Yazoo County, Mississippi built using BuildBlock ICFs is a showcase for disaster resistant construction in the community . In Yazoo, Mississippi both local political leaders and building code officials have watched the construction of this home closely as they evaluate new building codes and severe storm resistance construction requirements. This rustic farmhouse type home sets a new standard for energy efficiency and disaster resistance and is a shining example the possibilities using BuildBlock ICFs. The beauty of this home is largely hidden beneath the surface in the intricate engineering and redundancy. Even after a detailed inspection this

READ MORE

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

READ MORE