Engineered Concrete Gallery
Simply A Better Way To Build
This home has a full basement, master bedroom and mother-in-law suite on main floor, and three bedrooms upstairs. Average monthly cost of heating and cooling is under $100.
A monolithic concrete slab has been poured, Arxx (predecessor to Fox Block) forms delivered, and basement wall construction is beginning. The exposed black polypropylene studs in the forms are a trademark of Arxx.
Basement walls are nearing completion. Note the vertical rebar is headed toward being dropped in the cavities. Note the studs do not deviate from a plumb line, enabling e.g. drywall screws to be accurately placed into the studs. Vertical bracing has yet to be placed before the walls are pumped full of concrete.
Walls are full of concrete, windows are in place, roof trusses are decked and roofed, bricking is beginning. Brick ties will be screwed into the black recycled polypropylene studs which are embedded in the 6-inch wide concrete wall.
Completed home. How would you know this is an ICF home? Two ways: get a close look at the windows, noting the significantly increased depth of the window sill over that of conventional construction. Second, once a month look in the mailbox for the power bill. And see that the cost of heating or cooling is around 50% of conventional construction. This home has a full basement, master bedroom and mother-in-law suite on main floor, and three bedrooms upstairs. Average monthly cost of heating and cooling is under $100.
This Six Mile home replaced one destroyed by fire. When I saw a basement being dug after the fire, I approached the owner and his builder about Insulating Concrete Forms. “Makes a lot of sense,” both agreed. “Let’s do it!” As a bonus, the children saw the concrete home as more secure than the one they had felt lifted and shifted by a tornado when they had recently been spending the night with friends.
A full basement provides a bedroom, storage area, workshop and recreation area. The gas fireplace logs provide heat to knock off the morning chill, often enough for the rest of the day. “Not quite well enough insulated to heat with a candle, but close,” says the owner. Steel pan is being screwed to the joists in preparation for placement of 4 inches of standard weight 3000 psi concrete. Composite pan requires no rebar.
This ICF home is nestled in Upstate South Carolina, containing near 4,000 sq ft on two floors above a full basement. Radiant heat in suspended concrete floors, reversible geothermal heat pump, high performance windows allow less than $400 per winter, not per month, per winter, to heat this home and also less than $400 per summer to cool. Roof deck is insulated with Demilec open cell foam. Observing visits may be arranged via the contact page.
The front porch nearing completion. HardiPlank siding screwed directly to ICF walls, with stone bay; colored splitface CMU wall supporting stamped concrete floor; tilt and turn windows; 24 inch overhang; steel columns yet to be wrapped; 26 gauge R panel roof.
This Greenville insurance office includes a full basement below street level. The upper-level offices open onto the atrium foyer, giving the building a grand ambiance. With South-facing rear windows, no heat is required after mid-morning 95% of days.
This home of a Clemson University professor is a masterful design. The architectural features were so easily built of Insulated Concrete Forms. Rock solid of course, and most efficiently heated and cooled.
Rear view shows off the grand porches, arches galore, tall doors and windows, covered entrances ... What a home!
Fox Blocks make excellent firewalls/demising walls between townhomes providing sound control, structural strength and fire protection in multiple homes such as these. Over the years since 1998 Poinsett Development executed 10 townhouse subdivisions in three Upstate South Carolina counties. We built 584 firewalls there, floor to rooftop, front to back.
We built the two firewalls of this 3-home building TWICE, in 2009 and in 2014. See next slide for why it was rebuilt.
In early spring 2014, a cigarette from a car caught fire to the dry Bermuda grass sod landscaping behind these homes in Riverwood Subdivision. The mid-afternoon fire swept across the sod and caught fire to the pine privacy fences behind all three units. It then raced up the vinyl siding on conventional OSB on pine framing, penetrating each of the units individually from the rear, the center one most destructively. Please note the rear walls were of conventional construction – NOT FoxBlocks.
Expectedly, the firewalls stood unfazed; one is visible in the upper right of the photo. The EPS had of course melted off.
My reaction was to fir out the concrete, apply drywall and rebuild on the slab. But the insurance company argued that probable damage to the PVC plumbing and electrical components in the slab precluded that possibility. So a backhoe tried to bring the walls down in order to rip up the slab, but a larger track hoe had to be brought in to tear them down in order to haul the rubble to the landfill. Apparent is the #4 rebar that had reinforced the wall.
So we rebuilt the walls following the same plans as originally and as they stand today.
The walls of these condominiums are not Fox Blocks, but we poured many yards of concrete in each one of them.
To provide fire protection to the six condos above, we built concrete ceilings above the side-entry garages, which became floors to the second level residences. We also built solid concrete fire stairs to all levels in the front of each building.
This Spanish style single-story home faces Lake Hartwell. Clean design, very well built of Insulated Concrete Forms. Yes, the South Carolina state Palmetto tree will survive, even thrive, this far North. The palmetto has been a symbol for South Carolina since the Revolutionary War when it was used to build a fort on Sullivan's Island that withstood British attack.
Three courses of Fox Block forms have been placed around basement walls of this Paris Mountain home. Cubes of forms have been placed inside the perimeter for ease of access while building the walls. Nominal 10-inch Fox Block forms were required by the structural engineer.
Basement walls have been stacked to main floor level. Concrete has been placed. Rebar is extended to tie to main level walls, which will be built on top of the basement walls. Rectangle in lower center of picture will be a safe room, covered with 4 inches of reinforced concrete. After waterproofing, backfill earth will be placed almost to top of these basement walls.
Main level walls have been laid, reinforced with rebar and filled with concrete. Two pours were made because the front walls are 17+ ft tall. Note elevated trapezoidal beam wall in right rear room. Subfloor by others is above full basement. Red membrane in front of house is extension of basement waterproofing above grade. Flat roof slopes from left to right, and on a perpendicular plane on rear sunroom.
Rear of home. Basement door and windows are visible. Flat roof over sunroom slopes from left to right on left side of picture. Yellowing of forms was caused by UV radiation during the months required by architect and general contractor to design and install the floor system, by others.
Architect’s perspective of the finished home. Note flat (but not level) roof systems.
In this 10-plex theater in Greenwood SC we built demising or dividing walls of Insulating Concrete Forms to provide sound control between adjacent theaters. By doing so, John Wayne’s booming voice doesn’t intrude on a tender love scene next door.
The walls of this theater range up to 29 feet tall, built in three lifts. For structural stability of the tall walls, the engineer specified integral buttresses in the walls. Those buttresses were formed by ICF forms quite easily and strongly.
Not a conventional design, the couple wanted an all concrete home, so we designed and built it. 35 ft X 45 ft white Fox Block walls are surrounded by an 8 ft wide patio. Steel joists will be laid from the ICF walls to an H-beam between concrete columns. Interior steel ceiling joists run from an ICF wall to a structural steel stud wall. To the right is a 2-car garage plus 500 sq ft apartment, with steel pan ready for the 4-inch thick concrete roof.
All steel joists are now securely in place. Steel pan is being screwed to the joists in preparation for placement of 4 inches of standard weight 3000 psi concrete. Composite pan requires no rebar.
Four men are finishing the fresh, darker colored concrete, which has just been place. Now all six sides of the house are concrete, with structural steel support. Let the wolf huff and puff; he’ll not blow this house down. The lighter colored concrete was placed on the garage and apartment two weeks previously.
Steel hat channel has been screwed to the ceiling joists, which will receive sheet rock ceiling. Here foam is being sprayed to the bottom of the steel deck as insulation. All utility lines – electrical, plumbing supply, mini-split HVAC – have been placed within the joist layer, routed through the preformed holes of the joists. Plumbing and exhaust vents were routed to exit under the soffit; no penetration of the roof exists.
The exterior walls of this apartment and the house were covered with colored stucco. High efficiency and secure windows and doors which we distribute were manufactured by Heinzmann, supplied by European Windows. An LVL serves as the sub-fascia, latter wrapped. Gutters were placed on the lower side of the ¼ on 12 pitch roof of both buildings.
This DIY (Do .It Yourself) home site in the South Carolina foothills is on the left of this country road, up a steep and crooked driveway. Delivery on the standard 53-foot semitrailer required us to temporarily offload on this wide shoulder and run the pallets of forms up the driveway on a four wheeler, with hydraulic forks on the front.
After moving forms down onto the basement slab, the first course is nearly complete. Daylight wall will have door and 2 windows. Owner is making room around radiant heat tubing manifold. Rebar dowels are at 24” spacing. Dimensions allowed for no cutting required.
26 cu yds of excellent mud being pumped into the walls. Thank you, MetroCon! Rebar extends into what will be the main level walls. Owner and neighbor are consolidating the concrete using an Oztec rebar vibrator. Note the Simpson ICFVL bracket in place to receive the ledger on which will hang I-Joists ceiling/floor joists.
Oops, forgot to tape the top to preclude spilled concrete from the joint with the main level walls
This DIYer is using Fox Blocks to provide excellent insulation to the passive heat he will gain from the South 12 ft tall wall facing the mountain. The slab-on-grade floor will be the finish floor, so he chose not to screw bracing to the floor as we usually do. Instead he floated 2X6's on the slab to receive the 45 degree brace. Plus he had the room to install bracing outside the walls instead of inside which is often forced by the dirt wall of an excavated basement..
The 9' 4" North wall and sloping wall to match the single-vault ceiling toward the 12-ft wall required 20 cu yds of concrete. We had an excellent mix at 6" slump provided by MetroCon of Six Mile. An experienced pump operator, experienced man on the hose, and excellent concrete mix in Fox Block walls make for an excellent and enjoyable day!
Trusses are up, OSB stacked ready to sheet. Gable overhang framing going in place, atop dropped gable truss.
View from inside corner toward window wall. Columns supporting beams and roof are short wall sections. Could be designed to be less intrusive of view of the mountain, here, on this rainy day, obscured by fog.
View from the same corner to show bottom chord design of truss: level on the left to cover kitchen, utility, etc.; vaulted up from 9' 4" on left to 12' on right. Idea is to admit as much solar radiation as far back in the great room and master bedroom as feasible. By choice, ridge line is centered between left (rear) and right (front) walls.
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