Project Spotlight: Building an ICF Castle Part 3

BuildBlock ICFs were critical to hold up 150,000 pound slate & copper roof. The Drew Castle in southeastern Michigan tour continues.  In parts one and two Mike and Sue Drew showed us the inspiration for their dream castle and many of its features. Now we learn why BuildBlock ICFs  and other materials we used to make this castle stand for centuries.  Staying true to the traditional castle design, the Drews had to do plenty of research about slate roofing. Mike explains that the , “Slate Roof Bible” was his guide. It taught lessons about slate roofing must be nailed into at least 1″ thick

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ICF BUILDER AWARD WINNER FOR BEST LARGE RESIDENTIAL 2014 – KER THOMSON HOME

  Ker Thomson Home Awarded Best Large Residential, Built Using BuildBlock ICFs. This Houston, TX home is the only TRIPLE CERTIFIED (IBHS, USGBC, DOE) house in the country.  BuildBlock ICFs play an important role in achieving this incredible certification. First, ICFs are perfect for the US Gulf Coast. The coast suffers from termites, humidity, rodents, mold, mildew, heat, cold, rain, bugs, roaches, and of course, the occasional tropical storm and/or full blown hurricane. All of these are mortal enemies of wood framing and stick built houses are essentially obsolete before they are occupied. This region calls for building with a

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BuildBlock ICF Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build House in Nevada County 2012

This project was part of the annual Habitat for Humanity National Blitz-Build Program. Throughout the US during the week of June 3rd thru June 10th, 2012, approximately 200 homes were to be built and hopefully completed that week. This home in Nevada County however, was built using BuildBlock ICFs    When the Nevada County Habitat for Humanity was obtaining permission from the City of Grass Valley for its 16 home Heritage Oaks Subdivision, design criteria for the aesthetic features of the homes and landscaping were imposed. The homes are designed to fit in with the historical and traditional architecture of

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ICF Half-Truths, Myths, Misconceptions and Lies

Fear, uncertainty and doubt rule the marketing campaigns of traditional builders. Fear of change, uncertainty about new products and doubt about the future. When your customers start seeing new ICF homes in the area and are interested in considering the technology as an option for their home they will often end up with half-truths and myths about the reality of insulating concrete forms. ICFs are too expensive… ICFs cost 3%-7% more on average compared to using traditional wood construction. This difference can be reduced by smaller HVAC requirements, energy-efficiency tax breaks and lower utility bills. ICFs are too complicated to

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ICFs are the future of foundations and homes.

There is an unmistakable trend: Buyers are demanding homes that use less energy. Builders and developers are starting to take notice. Green energy efficient construction is one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy not only in North America, but worldwide. The adoption of the 2012 Energy Codes and even more stringent codes in 2015 along with extreme temperatures mean more consumers are needing greater energy efficiency. Green building products cannot be in name only. They must deliver benefits to the end user and be cost effective for the homebuilder or contractor. They need reduced construction time, waste and

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Asked & Answered: Is there an advantage to using wood bucks for window/door openings versus BuildBuck?

Asked-&-Answered

The majority of heat loss in an ICF home comes through wall openings such as windows and doors. You want to ensure that you have maintained as much insulation as possible around your openings. We have recommended V-buck for a number of years, but sadly they are no longer in business. Disadvantages of wood window and door bucking Wood is an organic food source for mold, mildew, and other hazards. Wood is a potential food source for infestations such as termites. Wood will also decay over time and there is a potential for wood to react to the chemicals in concrete causing damage. During

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Asked & Answered: Recycling Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam

Asked-&-Answered

Recycling Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) are made up to two different types of materials EPS foam and polypropylene plastic webs. One of the questions we frequently get is whether Styrofoam™ or EPS foam can be recycled. All ICFs use some recycled material. Recycled material is mixed with new virgin material and manufactured into ICFs and other goods. One of the reasons EPS is such a great insulation is that it is 95% air. This makes EPS foam very light and easy to transport, but it takes lot of space in both distribution and in landfills. Recycling removes it from landfills

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Video: How BuildBlock ICFs are Made

How BuildBlock ICFs are Made Insulating Concrete Forms, or ICFs are they are known, have become one of the most efficient building materials available today for both homes and commercial buildings. ICFs come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the project. Today we will take a look at how ICFs are made. But first, what exactly are ICFs? Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) are hollow foam blocks that are stacked and lock together in the shape of the outside walls of a home or building, reinforced with steel rebar, and then filled with concrete. The forms stay in place

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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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