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ICF Review: First Time ICF Builders Give Their Honest Impressions

About This Video

BuildBlock visited Santa Fe New Mexico in November of 2021 to assist in the build of 2 Habitat for Humanity Homes. Watch this video to hear from several volunteers on what it was like building with BuildBlock ICFs for the first time! These builds are part of a national program spearheaded by the NRMCA in association with Habitat for Humanity International, the ICFMA, and the ACPA. To read more about this initiative, click here. For a brief overview of this project, click here. To learn more about BuildBlock, click here. To learn more about the ICFMA, click here.

Video Transcript

         Last November, BuildBlock journeyed to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to visit a Habitat For Humanity project where BuildBlock ICF were being used. Here are some takeaways from volunteers and staff members on their experiences using ICF for the first time, and how ICF aligns with the goals of their organization.         “Jacqueline Ulrich, I am the Design Build Specialist with Santa Fe Habitat For Humanity. With our regular volunteers, some of them are of the age where things are getting harder to lift for them, so these blocks are are light. They’re easy to maneuver. I mean they they kind of do the work for you. They lock into place pretty well, as long as you don’t bugger up the teeth too much, talk to your concrete subtractors, not to step on the stem wall of course. I mean it’s it’s a pretty forgiving product in the field, in the construction field. Whenever, when in the in the computer, when you’re drafting it, it’s not as forgiving if you don’t understand the module, but in the field it seems that it’s fairly easy to put together.” – Jacqueline Ulrich, Design Build Specialist, Habitat For Humanity          “Well before before this process started, you know, we got on some videos, and looked at what others had done, so we had a little bit of a feel for it. It wasn’t totally void. However, there’s a lot more little steps to-involved. You know, when it, when you first envision this, it’s a tinker toy thing, where you’re building a bunch of blocks and pour some concrete in it, and off you go. Well it’s not quite that straightforward. But once you know what you’re doing, which, I only know a little bit about what i’m doing, actually it’s a pretty interesting process. I think i think a very could be a very cost effective process, as, based on the comp, the competitive ways of building a house.” – Elmer Leslie, 20 Year Habitat Volunteer          “No, the learning curve wasn’t bad, um the key thing is once again to make sure all your webs align, and if you do that, that’s probably your number one rule, and if you do that everything sort of fits together. You do occasionally need to cut a block, and that takes some education on how to best do that and we had been, we in fact had to invent a little tool that was a-an ICF scraper to shave things down, which was uh somebody developed that.” – Bill Bush, Habitat Volunteer          “So we were excited to try it out, and then when we found out the dates were November 1st through the 5th, we all decided we were going to come all the days, even though, normally, we only volunteer two days a week or three days a week. No it’s very interesting to see how it goes up, and you guys are great, you have trained us very well. I think we caught on we made some mistakes, we’d do better the next time, but uh, it really, once you learn the the groove thing, how to count right and so you always have them in the right place. Then it’s really easy to put them up and the doors we built just a little different than we normally would, the door frames and it was a learning curve on how to put on the bucking, but once we figured that out that you can just go like this, it was easy peasy.” – Becca Haffenden, Habitat Volunteer These builds are part of a national program spearheaded by the NRMCA in association with Habitat for Humanity International, the ICFMA, and the ACPA. To read more about this initiative, click here: For a brief overview of this project, click here: