Manufacturer Construction and
Engineering Statement

BuildBlock Building Systems is a manufacturer of Insulating Concrete Forms, (ICFs) and related products. BuildBlock Building Systems provides engineering for informational purposes only. The BuildBlock Installation Manual and other technical documents are based on the following resources:

  1. Prescriptive Design of Exterior Concrete Walls for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, PCA-100, Portland Cement Association. The PCA 100 is a consensus standard that was developed by the PCA’s National Standards Development Committee which operates under PCA’s American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved “Procedures for the Development and Maintenance of Portland Cement Association Standards”.  The consensus process of PCA for promulgating standards is accredited by American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
    1. The PCA 100 was adopted by the International Code Council 2009 & 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) in Sections R403, R404, and R611.
  2. Prescriptive method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential ConstructionUS Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Prescriptive Method and PCA-100 are based on engineering calculations from:

  1. ACI-318 Slender Wall Design, American Concrete Institute

These are the primary engineering documents that we recommend for use in residential construction design.  All site-specific engineering must be performed by a licensed engineer in the state where the project will be constructed. Site-specific engineering supersedes the engineering found in the previous documents, as it relates directly to the specific project. The BuildBlock Installation Manual, technical resources, Prescriptive Code, PCA-100, and ACI-318 are a general set of guidelines for a range of applications.

BuildBlock Building Systems provides the Prescriptive Method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential Construction, US Department of Housing and Urban Development document as a reference, subject to the limitations therein. BuildBlock forms are simply concrete forms and only affect the engineering of a wall by adjusting the concrete core width and spacing of reinforcement within the wall. The installation manual and the tables provided within that document are for reference only and do not reflect a minimum requirement, but rather a recommendation based on experience.

The tables depicted in the Prescriptive Manuals also illustrate a safe design to cover many different situations and allow for homes to be built without consulting a structural engineer each time. These design guidelines have limitations. Home designs that exceed these limitations must have an engineering stamp. Retaining the services of a structural engineer for a specific project provides the most accurate information as it is based on the local conditions at the site. A structural engineer’s guidelines will always be the final specification for any construction project.

Commercial projects should always have site-specific engineering completed. There is no Prescriptive Method that covers commercial work under the International Code Council (ICC) International Building Code (IBC). BuildBlock Building Systems can provide insights into the layouts to assist engineers in their design, but cannot provide actual calculations.

The BuildBlock Install Manual is provided to explain the installation of ICFs. Due to variance among soil types in different locations the suggestions and charts in the manual are for general information only. They will result in a well-built home in most instances. Due to the wide range of areas that can be covered with the information contained in the BuildBlock Installation Manual, some homes may be over-built depending on the stability of the local soils. Adjustments have not been made for seismic or high wind load areas and homebuilders, engineers, and architects should refer to the Prescriptive Method or actual calculations to design for these areas.