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FOX BLOCKS JOINS THE ICF MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION

| Insulated Concrete Forms | February 13, 2017

Ottawa, Ontario, February 10, 2017 — The ICF Manufacturers Association (ICFMA) is very pleased to welcome its newest Primary Member, Fox Blocks by Airlite Plastics.icfma

On February 10, 2017, Fox Blocks joined the ICFMA and became the sixth primary member of the ICFMA, joining Nudura Corporation, Logix Insulated Concrete Forms Ltd., Quad-Lock Building Systems Ltd., Superform Products Ltd. and BuildBlock Building Systems.

“We are very pleased to welcome Mike Kennaw and his Fox Blocks team to the fold.” says Andy Lennox, Chair of the ICFMA. “The mission of the ICFMA is to promote and enhance the social, environmental and economic value of insulating concrete forms in the North American marketplace. Our industry has a great story to tell, and the ICFMA has had great success since our inception in representing and growing the ICF industry in an energetic and professional manner. Having Fox Blocks on the team will only make our organization stronger and more effective as we move forward.”

“Fox Blocks by Airlite Plastics Co. of Omaha, Nebraska, values the opportunity to join the ICFMA as its newest manufacturer partner.” says Mike Kennaw, Vice President, Marketing and Sales of Fox Blocks. “We feel the ICF industry is on the verge of significant market share growth, and we have plans to leverage our 70 plus years of manufacturing and 20 plus years of ICF experience to participate strategically in the growth that lies ahead. The collaborative partnership within the ICFMA will allow the sharing of resources to accomplish our mutual goals.”

About the ICFMA:  The Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association is the North American non-profit trade association for the Insulating Concrete Form industry. It was founded in 2014 by a dedicated group of manufacturers with the shared interest of promoting and enhancing the social, environmental and economic value of insulating concrete forms in the North American marketplace.

Fox Blocks Takes Home Nine Awards During World of Concrete

| Insulated Concrete Forms | January 30, 2017

WOC 2017

Fox Blocks received nine top awards for innovation and efficiency at the 2017 International ICF Builder Awards in Las Vegas, NV. Over 300 professionals attended this year’s award ceremony, held in conjunction with the World of Concrete Tradeshow. The executive director of ICF Builder Group and organizer of the competition, Clark Ricks, said, “The variety and scale of projects being built with ICFs is truly astounding. It’s time these outstanding projects received recongnition, and we feel privileged to take a leading role in that. These projects truly represent the best of the best.” Five “Best In Show” awards were given to Fox Blocks for outstanding breakthroughs in the use of ICFs in the following categories: hospitality, light commercial, development, multifamily, and small residential.

Fox Blocks received four, 1st Runner-up awards for major accomplishments advancing the use of ICFs in the heavy commercial, education, multifamily, and large residential categories.

Key factors considered in being chosen for these awards were affordability, energy efficiency, complexity of design, striking architecture, and the challenges the construction team faced and overcame during the build – setting a new standard for the entire ICF industry. Without the cooperation of a wide array of team players, these wins could not be achieved. We thank our dealers, distributors, and installers that contributed to the construction of these outstanding projects, as well as the many developers, architects, engineers, and building owner that have recommended and specified our product. We would also like to thank the organizers of the annual Builder Awards for their continued support and dedication to the ICF industry. Congratulations to all who participated!

Fox Blocks Announces Membership in the NRMCA

| Fox Blocks ICF Events | November 10, 2016

We are excited to announce that Fox Blocks is now a member of the National Ready Mix Concrete Association (NRMCA).

The NRMCA is the leading industry advocate; representing and serving the industry through leadership, promotion, and education with a goal of ensuring ready-mix concrete is the building material of choice.

The NRMCA was founded in 1930 and partners with state associations and works at a national level addressing regulatory concerns and other interests. Through communications from NRMCA, we will learn more about products, services, and programs available to help Fox Blocks expand our market and improve our operations.

Current government issues the NRMCA engages with include transportation and infrastructure, environment, labor, taxes, and resilient construction. Specific issues are related to long-term highway infrastructure funding, representation in regards to labor policy and the NLRB, as well as incentivizing stronger, more durable construction while increasing safety, reducing cost and environmental footprint.

As a principal sponsor of the  CONEXPO-CON/AGG, the NRMCA supports this international trade show for the construction industry. Held every three years, the next expo is March 7 – 11, 2017. The show brings together contractors, materials, and producers at the largest expo in the Western Hemisphere. With over 2-million square feet of exhibits, the concrete, aggregate, and ready-mix industry will showcase products and present live demonstrations.

As an industry leader in ICF, Fox Blocks is looking to our membership in the NRMCA as a means to further the interests of the industry while participating in the advancement of the industry through education, research, and concrete promotion programs.

Fox Blocks at Federal Asset Management Policy Forum and Expo

| Benefits of ICFs | Building Tips Using ICFs | Fox Blocks ICF Events | Insulated Concrete Forms | October 25, 2016

IMG_6759Fox Blocks Vice President Mike Kennaw and East Coast Sales Manager Brian Medford participated in the 3rd Annual Federal Asset Management Policy Forum and Expo in the Washington, D.C. area the week of October 17, 2016.

The first keynote speaker was Norman Dong, Commissioner of the General Services Administration Public Building Services. Another speaker was Leantha Sumpter Department of Defense Deputy Director, Program Development and Implementation Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy. Also presenting was Mary Ruwwe, Facilities and Construction Federal Category Manager.

More than 30 other distinguished executives from public and private entities spoke on the subject of improved asset management for the U.S. Federal Government. Kennaw and Medford participated in the Risk and Review Work Group Panel that focused on the ways to reduce risks for the Federal Government. Also on the Panel was Keith Cunningham, Government Accountability Office, Assistant Director of Physical Infrastructure Team.

After a “big picture” overview of Risk and Review policy and recommended improvements to Risk Management, Kennaw and Medford offered specific ways to reduce risk with facility assets by increasing resiliency to blasts and natural disasters using Insulated Concrete Forms and advanced reinforcement methods.

Kennaw started by noting Fox Blocks’ recent investment in a Building Information Model initiative that makes construction information about resilient buildings available earlier in the planning process, making it available in design, construction and  throughout the project lifecycle.

Kennaw highlighted Fox Blocks’ involvement in BIMStorm, an online brainstorm using Building Information Models, as an indication of dedication to reduction of risk by making information securely available in all phases of a project.

Medford showed Fox Blocks’ long-history of involvement in Federal projects, showed blast testing that validates avoidance of bomb threats and listed many instances of ICF buildings surviving hurricanes, tornados, fire and storm surges.

Medford noted that the ability of ICF buildings to secure real property assets also helps protect personal property, IT and people from risks.

Fox Blocks “mini blocks” samples and product literature were also on display at the National Academies of Sciences historic facility where the Federal Facilities Council continued the activities of the Federal Asset Management Week, co-hosted by the Asset Leadership Network. A keynote speech was given at the historic facility by Admiral Thad Allen, USCG (ret.).

Fox Blocks involvement in BIMStorm was also noted at the National Academies of Science when Kimon Onuma, FAIA called for more availability of web-based information for owners from building product manufacturers and others.

At the National Academies of Sciences, Katherine Hammack, Department of Defense, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, noted that a Colorado base has built a Net Zero building that cost less and took less time to build than the same building previously built with traditional methods. Fox Blocks was not involved in that project, but has contributed to other, super insulated buildings at the same base in Colorado.

Finally, Kennaw was involved in a Legislative Outreach on Capitol Hill that started with a briefing in the Capitol Hill Club and including Kennaw meeting with the Legislative Director for U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford, from Omaha, Nebraska, the home town of Fox Blocks parent Company, Airlite, Plastics. Kennaw informed the Legislative Director, Chris Kelley, about the week-long series of asset management events calling for increased focus on use of the ISO 55000 series of asset management standards to help save Federal tax dollars.

Kennaw said, “It is a pleasure and an honor to be involved with raising the awareness of improved asset management for our Federal government. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with the many organizations working to bring improved effectiveness and efficiency to U.S. tax payers.”

Kennaw also spent time with the Asset Leadership Network in Legislative Outreach activities on Capitol Hill where findings of the week’s events were presented to Senior Legislative Staff of Senators and Representatives.

Fox Blocks Goes to Washington

| Fox Blocks ICF Events | October 17, 2016

Insulated Concrete Form Manufacturer Fox Blocks brings its newly developed web-based BIM tools to a forum focused on Federal Asset Management.

 

Fox Blocks is participating in the 3rd Annual Federal Asset Management Forum in Washington, D.C. from October 17 – 20. Co-hosted by the Federal Facilities Council of the National Academies of Sciences and the Asset Leadership Network, the week-long Forum is guiding Federal thought leadership regarding the expanding business concentration on asset management.

 

The series of interrelated events include Fox Blocks Vice President Mike Kennaw speaking on a Risk and Review Panel addressing improved physical resiliency in buildings. Kennaw is also participating the Association Asset Management Summit and making educational materials available in the National Academies of Sciences historic facility on the National Mall.

 

In addition to explaining the resilient nature facilities built with its products, Fox Blocks is using the occasion to announce a new array of web-based BIM tools intended to help building owners more efficiently and effectively plan, design, construct and operate resilient facility assets.

 

A Building Information Model (BIM) is a virtual representation of facility that allows visual clarity and data consistency throughout a project’s entire life cycle. Fox Blocks is helping those who model buildings through inclusion in the BIM Smith Forge web-based Revit wall system family configurator from Anguleris.

 

Anguleris also created 3D BIM objects of all Fox Blocks products in Revit. Also included are sample details that can be customized in Revit. This content will be available on the web in multiple locations including the Fox Blocks website, BIMobject.com, CADdetails.com and the SketchUp 3D Warehouse.

 

Mike Kennaw, Fox Blocks Vice President says, “It is an honor to roll out the beginning of our long-term commitment to web-based BIM business processes that can drive dramatic benefits for owners of large portfolios. The ability of Fox Blocks to support requirements for highly resilient Federal buildings allows us to proudly support the mission of protecting U.S. buildings, staff and citizens.“

 

The ability of sufficiently reinforced Fox Block wall systems to protect a building from natural and man-made forces not only protects real property assets but also the personal property assets and human resources inside facilities, according to Kennaw.

 

Fox Blocks is also participating in the 2016 BIMStorm Data Independence that is being presented during the week and will be highlighted in the National Academy of Sciences. BIMStorm Data Independence continues the 9-year history of online “brainstorms” using web-based Building Information Models.

 

During the BIMStorm, Fox Blocks has used it’s new, web-based BIM tools to show how owners can gain benefits from having more detailed information earlier in their planning processes that can accurately show costs and performance while also keeping the initial information available for real time access throughout the lifecycle of a building.

 

The BIMStorm Data Independence business processes are using real data from the Department of Defense, Defense Health System, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the California Community College. Demonstrating what is possible in the virtual world helps owners gain confidence for introducing proven processes into their real world projects.

 

Established by Kimon Onuma, FAIA, BIMStorm processes have been adapted by the Federal government and have been connected to the MAX.gov platform from the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget. Initially established for the DoD and VA, the processes are now being explored by the U.S. Department of State, which wants to bring together many Federal agencies to use the same web-based processes that Fox Blocks now supports.

 

People in the Washington, D.C. area can register for the event at: http://assetleadership.net/policy-forum-2016/registration/

 

Federal staff can attend for free.

Fox Blocks Recognized at 2016 ICF Builder Awards

| Fox Blocks ICF Events | Insulated Concrete Forms | March 18, 2016

The ICF Builder Awards are held annually and are meant to bring awareness to the ICF industry as well as to showcase the innovation and quality that is possible utilizing ICFs. “The variety and scale of projects being built with ICFs is truly astounding,” said Clark Ricks, organizer of the competition. “It’s time these outstanding projects and the ICf professionals associated with them receive widespread recognition, and we feel privileged to take a leading role in that.”

Fox Blocks is proud to announce winning several awards this year and would like to thank our partners throughout the industry. Without our team of contractors, dealers, distributors,developers, owners, and architects, winning these prestigious awards would not be possible. Congratulations to all who were involved!

  • Small Residential Division

2nd Runner Up, Kauder Residence, Milton, DE

  • Multifamily Division

Winner, Holiday Inn & Conference Center, West Chester, OH

  • Light Commercial Division

Winner, Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Phoenix, AZ

  • Light Commercial Division

1st Runner Up, Christian Life Center, Dayton, OH

  • Heavy Commercial Division

1st Runner Up, Park City Sound Studio, Park City, UT

  • Heavy Commercial Division

Winner, Health City, Cayman Islands

 

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Do you have a High Performance Window Buck that will stand up to these tests?

| Benefits of ICFs | Fox Blocks in the Field | Insulated Concrete Forms | February 4, 2015

Building Envelope Protection = Property & Life Protection:

During a severe weather event, the most critical factor for increasing the chances of a building’s survival is protection of all the openings to the outside. Once the wind enters the structure, the pressure changes lead to disastrous results.

Impact testing simulates windborne debris striking a window during a hurricane. Within the laboratory setting, this is done by firing a 2×4 projectile at predetermined locations on the window and seeing if there is any penetration.

The cycling portion of the testing ensures that a window having withstood impact by the 2×4 can then stand up to the rapid increases and decreases in pressure within the building during a hurricane.

Fox Blocks ICF Featured on News Segment on Fire Resistant Homes

| Benefits of ICFs | June 23, 2014

ICF Construction for Fire Resistant Homes

Fox Blocks was recently contacted to supply some info for a quick story airing on Fox News, on fire resistant homes and ICFs. The Southwest has been increasingly ravaged by wildfires in recent years, so building a home or business to resist fire is becoming more common place. Fox Blocks have fire ratings of 4 hours and ICFs have been shown to resist fire to allow for crucial minutes for the fire department to arrive, or to allow more time to evacuate the premises. See the Fox News TV segment on ICF Construction featuring two Fox Block ICF Builders! Plus check out the videos below that for more ICF Vs. Fire stories.

 

More Stories on ICFs and Fire

1. Link to video of Colorado Wildfires and ICF Homeowner- http://bcove.me/d7i6cxx4  
2. ICF Home Saved Owners Life:

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Fox Blocks Expands ICF Manufacturing to Texas and Missouri

| Fox Blocks in the Field | June 10, 2014

Fox Blocks is excited to announce continued expansion of our ICF manufacturing locations!  We are now being produced in Keller, TX and Nixa, MO- bringing the total to 18 manufacturing points across the US and Canada.

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Increased ICF Manufacturing Capabilities

These recent additions follow on the heels of expansion with plants in Becker, MN and in Nazareth, PA, all which have been brought online to meet the growing demand for Fox Blocks ICFs. Demand has grown aggressively due to intense ICF market penetration, in addition to the acquisition of Reward Wall Systems and ARXX, earlier in the year.

“Adding these two plants reinforces our ability to service large scale heavy commercial jobs, as well as allowing the residential client to gain better access to Fox Blocks ICF. The capacity of our molder network is second to none, and our strategic placement of our plants assures efficient and timely supply of our products to our customers,” says Mike Kennaw, Vice President of Sales.

“The Texas plant has been a long time coming, as the market potential is enormous. We are now the only ICF company manufacturing there. This allows for Fox Blocks products right in the heart of the Texas, made by Texans for Texans.”

Dedicated tooling at our Plants

The new Fox Blocks ICF manufacturing locations, with Foam Fabricators in Keller, TX and Diversified Plastics in Nixa, MO, are now in Pre-production testing and have received dedicated tooling and are undergoing extensive on-site QA/QC testing and training. The Keller, TX plant is expected to be online producing ICFs by July with Nixa, MO slated for end of June.The Nixa plant will start by producing only 10″ and 12″ product to meet market demand requirements.

Unlike competing brands of ICF we have dedicated tooling at our plants so out products can be ready to ship when you are ready to receive! The combination of tooling, production efficiencies and an industry leading quality control program ensures the delivery of a premium Fox Blocks quality industrial strength ICF.

Fox Blocks now manufactures ICFs in 18 locations including Omaha, NE; Nazareth, PA; Becker, MN; Orlando, FL; Northbridge, MA; Post Falls, ID; Jerome, ID; McFarland, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Colorado Springs, CO; Cherryville, NC; Anchorage, AK; Keller, TX; Nixa, MO; Montreal, QC; Starbuck, MB; Ponoka, AB; Cap Pele, NB.

Phoenix Schaumaplast Plant Inv 7 2012 003

 

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ICFs and Severe Weather

| Fox Blocks in the Field | Insulated Concrete Forms | April 28, 2014

Severe Weather Starts its Seasonal Havoc

As we all are very aware, this time of year and throughout the early summer, is prime weather conditions for severe weather to occur. Most notably, tornadoes are a huge concern, especially in the Midwest. As of last night, tornadoes have started their annual ravaging of parts of the Midwest all the way down south. The tornadoes these last few years seem to be occurring more , bigger in size and staying on the ground longer. This brings us to the important issue of having a shelter that can withstand the winds and debris of a tornado, hurricanes, and other high wind forces. recently Fox Blocks just publish a quick overview on how to build an ICF storm shelter, check that out with the embedded video below.

Insulated Concrete Forms Build Safer Homes

By using insulating concrete forms for homes across the country, the home becomes a safe haven from tornadoes and hurricanes. This is one of the huge benefits we have always talked about with our type of product. The steel reinforced concrete, which can cure stronger than normal concrete because of the foam insulation, can withstand winds of over 200 MPH, and projectile debris traveling over 100 MPH. There are dozens of eye witness examples of ICF homes taking EF5 tornadoes head on with the walls still standing.

There have been lab studies done to prove its resilience to wind and there are stories and real world examples of homes, across the country, that have withstood natural disasters because of the unique attributes of ICF construction.

Stronger than Wood and Steel

Plenty of third party research on testing the strength of our ICF walls versus typical wall with wood and steel studs has been done. The chart below shows the strength of ICFs, so its easy to see why ICFs are left standing after a bout with mother nature.

Axial Capacity – pressure or force placed downward upon the wall from roofs, floors and walls
Wall Bending Stiffness – the strength of the wall structure to resist deflection
Lateral Capacity – sideways movement pushing against the wall due to soil, wind or earthquakes
Deflection – movement within a wall assembly

Type of Wall Axial Capacity (plf)
Wall bending Stiffness (psf)
Lateral Capacity (psf
Fire Resistance Rating
2×4 Wall Cavity @ 16″ o.c. 435 9.5 37.5 30 min-1hr
2×6 Wall Cavity @ 16″ o.c. 3220 37 80 30 min-1hr
6″ Core ICF Wall #4 @ 24″ o.c. 22,000 300 65 3 hours

 

Below are a selection of photos taken over the years of ICF homes withstanding hurricanes and tornadoes. In fact the Bay Waveland Housing Authority built with ICFs for all of these reasons we mentioned above. Now they are witnessing all the other benefits of ICFs: energy efficiency, HUGE savings on wind and general insurance, and providing safe homes for the community.

ICF Home Tornado Indiana

F2 Celestine, IN Spring 2011

Tornado and ICF Wisconsin

ICF home took a direct hit from an EF4 Tornado. The entire neighborhood was devastated, the home left standing was still in construction and unoccupied at the time.

IA Tornado Disaster Resistance

Tornado near Parkersburg, IA. Notice complete leveling of the home on the left side of picture.

 

Iowa Tornado ICF constructions

Reward insulating concrete form home in Parkersburg, IA. Minimal structural damage

Hurricane ready ICF Home

ICF home before(left) and after(right) Hurricane Katrina, and the bottom photo is a house in the same neighborhood.