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 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.
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.
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
- Light Commercial Division
- 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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
ICFs and Speed of Construction
Fox Blocks ICF products played an important role in reducing the time of construction and reduced manpower on the Las Vegas Army Reserve Center Phase 2 located in Sloan, Nev. Ease of stacking and quality interlocking corners made for fast and efficient installation on the 9,000-square-foot ICF project.
The Las Vegas Army Reserve Center Phase 2 is a two story above ground structure with three buildings totaling approximately 62,430 square feet. The Phase 2 facilities will include a 37,060-square-foot training building, a 20,965-square-foot Area Maintenance Support Activity (AMSA)/Organizational Maintenance Shop (OMS), a 4,405-square-foot unheated storage building, and 16,375 square-yards of paving areas and roads. The building was designed to meet the criteria and standards, and be compliant with the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED).
“The speed and ease of using Fox Blocks ICF on this project allowed our company to perform this job beyond our expectations,” said Troy Nibbelink, President Nibbelink Masonry Construction Group. “We completed 9,000 square-feet of wall in just five days with only five men. With normal masonry, it would have taken double the man power. Fox Blocks quality and ease of installation is important in an industry where time is money.”
“ICF llc was proud to supply the Fox Block and coordinate the Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) bracing for the U. S. Army, Las Vegas Reserve Center Phase 2. Nibbelink Masonry did an excellent job installing the Fox Block in an expedient time with a very efficient team,” said Bart Jones, Principal ICF, llc, and Southern Nevada Distributor. “Over the past ten years, ICF llc has supplied ICF and Fox Blocks for a church, numerous homes, from Lake Las Vegas to Lee’s Canyon, Fire Stations, a medical office building and now a Federal building. The value of Insulated Concrete Forms in our extreme desert climate is becoming more important and obvious to all aspects of the building industry.”
YouTube Link: ICF Military Contractor Fox Blocks speed vs. CMU
Fox Blocks product lines include: Fox Blocks Straight Block, Angle Block, Corner Block, HV Clip, Fox Blocks Energy Stick, Fox Curb Block, tieKey Masonry Anchor, xLerator Ledge Reinforcement and the Fox Buck.
Fox Blocks ICF is a solid choice for building contractors looking to maximize energy efficiency. The Fox Blocks ICF wall system provides an extremely energy efficient building envelope offering superior strength, sound, air quality, and well insulated walls. With Fox Blocks products, energy efficiency is improved allowing for contribution to LEED Green Building status.
ARXX Building Products will become part of Fox Blocks on February 3, 2014
Omaha, NE (January 30, 2014) – Fox Blocks ICF announced today that it will acquire select key assets from ARXX Building Products on February 3, 2014, integrating those assets into its own operations and augmenting the Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) product line. The companies have started working together now to develop and implement a plan that ensures a seamless transition for customers and employees. The transaction was approved by the Canadian Court on January 29, 2014 and is before the US Court for approval on January 31, 2014.
Fox Blocks ICF, recognized as the fastest growing ICF Manufacturer in North America and a Best in Class Sustainable Green Building Solution, is a branded product of Airlite Plastics Co. The company has produced over 45 million square feet of ICF wall surface for the construction industry and pursued this acquisition opportunity as a way to expand customer access to innovative green building solutions.
“ARXX has done an excellent job of growing the residential and commercial ICF market segments by working closely with contractors, design professionals and owners. We’re excited about the opportunity to expand Fox Blocks’ product line — and the growth of this market — by combining the strength of two ICF innovators and leaders,” explained Brad Crosby, Airlite Plastics Co. President & CEO.
Fox Blocks ICF Vice President Mike Kennaw commented, “This acquisition reflects the Fox Blocks commitment to helping grow the ICF market. By gaining scale and volume, we hope to be an ever stronger member of the ICF market, expanding our footprint in the North America market at the same time that we help expand the industry’s footprint in the broader construction products market.”
A key objective will be to immediately introduce ARXX customers to the Fox Blocks products and personnel insuring a smooth transition.
About ARXX Building Products
Tracing its ICF roots back to 1978, ARXX Building Products-Blue Maxx-AAB was one of the ICF industry’s leading founders, market developers and industry expanders. ARXX is known for its ICF innovation, commercial market expertise and broad based ICF industry experience. ARXX has developed a strong network of ICF customers, developers, architects, general contractors, residential contractors, and construction supply distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada. ARXX ICF products are being discontinued as of March 2014