Stay Up-to-Date on Insulated Concrete Forms with Fox Blocks

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.

Round Top Openings with the Fox Buck: A How To

| Building Tips Using ICFs | September 30, 2013

Just because your Fox Buck comes linearly shaped does not mean you cannot have round top openings. Fox Block’s Glen Klassen shows you how to get it done for three different radiuses.

How to Turn a Corner with a Corbel Ledge Block

| Building Tips Using ICFs | September 2, 2013

In this video, Fox Blocks’ Glen Klassen shows how to make a mitered corner with the Corbel Ledge Block (some people know this as brick ledge block). A little eye-balling, a box saw, maybe a little tape, some tips on cutting straight and done. Anyone can do it.

Fox Blocks and Menards Promote Storm Safe Homes

| Building Tips Using ICFs | August 19, 2013

Through a series of in-store demos July – September we are teaming up with Menards to promote storm safe, energy efficient home construction for contractors. One of the greenest things you can do to your home is increase energy efficiency. With our products, energy efficiency is improved with products that meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building status. Our 6-inch and 8-inch blocks are superb choices for foundations and walls to provide an extremely energy efficient building envelope offering superior strength, sound, air quality, and well insulated walls.

Our insulated concrete forms are solid monolithic walls and withstand the worst of rainstorms, fires, and high winds – including tornadoes. Not only are ICFs storm resistant, but they also protect from urban noise and create a barrier to insects, including termites.

“Our products are easy to use by both contractors and the ever growing do-it-yourself home renovation market,” said Mike Kennaw, Vice President of Sales. “A wide variety of our products are available in the Menards stores so that customers have access to the newest innovation in ICF building materials that will increase energy efficiency, while providing a storm safe building envelope for the home. We also support our products with in-store demonstrations, allowing contractors and homeowners to learn about the uses and installation of Fox Blocks ICF products.”

Upcoming Menards In-Store Demonstrations

  • August 30, 2013 – Muskegon, MI
  • September 4, 2013 – Eau Claire West, WI
  • September 11, 2013 – Carmel, IN

How to Cut the EPS Fox Buck

| Building Tips Using ICFs | August 5, 2013

Not sure how to cut your Fox Buck to the right size? This video covers several different ways to cut the Fox Buck for your next insulated concrete form project. Finally, an EPS window and door buck that will accept stucco on your ICF job.

How to Attach Heavy Stone Veneers to ICF Blocks

| Building Tips Using ICFs | July 8, 2013

Masonry foreman, Carl from Casciani Masonry, explains the process and outcome of attaching heavy stone veneers to insulated concrete forms with Hohman Bernard 2-Seal Concrete Ties, also referred to as “cow bells”.

Insulated Concrete Form Installation Checklist

| Building Tips Using ICFs | April 8, 2013

Fox-Block-Installation-ChecklistChecklists can be an important part of any project. Not only do they keep you and your team on track even while the lead may be unavailable, but they are helpful in reminding you of the proper sequencing as well as highlight items that could be missed during the project. We’ve created a series of installation checklists broken out in phases to help you be the most efficient with your next ICF project.

  1. Prior to Job
  2. Product Deliver
  3. Start of Job Check List
  4. Row 1
  5. Reinforcement
  6. Row 2
  7. Row 3
  8. Row4
  9. Bracing
  10. Openings
  11. Prior to Close
  12. Multiple Levels
  13. Concrete
  14.  Post Concrete
  15. Extreme Weather Concreting

Attaching Floor Joists to Your Insulated Concrete Forms

| Building Tips Using ICFs | March 8, 2013

Just one way to attach your floor system to the side of a Fox Blocks wall when building with Insulated Concrete Forms for multiple stories of construction.

Remove Costs on your ICF Project

| Building Tips Using ICFs | January 24, 2013

The Fox Blocks extended 90° corner block showing it's stand alone strength during concrete placement.

The Fox Blocks extended 90° corner block showing it’s stand alone strength during concrete placement.

Two Proven Areas to Remove Costs

1. Corners

Problem: Historically, Corner Blocks have proved to be very difficult for installing contractors to hold the corner positioning or actually holding concrete during the consolidation process. Contractors have resorted to inserting internal ties, external strapping and bracing to gain needed strength. This adds cost in additional materials and man-hour rates.

Solution: Our engineering staff at Fox Blocks developed more length to the corners and introduced the heaviest cross tie corner bracket in the market. When adding these features to our large/strong interlock, this stopped rotation or movement within the blocks during the pour and added needed burst

Result: Confidence to the installing contractor, lower man hour rates and lower material costs proven by over 5 years of successful projects. Utilizing our Fox Blocks “next Generation” corner block design will save you money through time and material reductions. strength. Having this bracket and no less than two ties from each corner in all 45″ and 90″ block eliminates need for additional strapping or internal ties.

Cost: The Fox Blocks corners cost the same per square foot as the Fox straight block. Cost will appear higher than our competitors because our corners are 16″  or more in length. In many cases our corners are actually lower in cost per square foot and at the same time saving you even more in the time and materials.

The Fox Blocks extended 90° corner block with an extra tie on each end for strength

The Fox Blocks extended 90° corner block with an extra tie on each end for strength

2. Truss Wire (Form Lock, Block Lock)

Problem: Some ICF interlocks and slender plastic webs have caused the need of internal truss wire to aid in producing adequate strength to add rigidity to produce a straight wall.

Solution: Two very simple Fox Blocks innovations cured this problem:

  1. A bold and reversible interlock was created to help hold the wall true.
  2. A full height internal tie was designed to use solid stacking strength to hold the wall from settling or racking.

Result: A wall that, through design, eliminates the need for truss wire.

Using Fox Blocks Eliminates the Need for Truss Wire


Truss wire costs over $0.50 per lineal foot and is called for at bottom of wall and then every 4 or 5 rows of block. Actual cost = Over $0.14 per sq ft in materials and at least $0.04 per sq ft labor for a total of $0.18 or more per sq ft cost. This is equivalent to $0.40 per block.

New Training for the Fox Block Interlock

| Building Tips Using ICFs | December 27, 2012

Interlock Seem Example

We have found it to be a waste of time and energy to attempt to offset or stagger the block as in the photo to the left. By creating a vertical stacked seam you will be more accurate with the job dimensions and will increase your profit by gaining efficiency with your crew

Row One:

Simply start from each corner to a point within the wall. Cut one of the blocks to fit perfectly. The cut does NOT need to be on the cut lines. Measure the cut block and mark its measurement to the side of that block large enough for everyone to see.

Row Two:

Start from the corners again and when you reach the cut block on row one, cut the block above it to line up exactly. Again the cut does not need to be on the cut line. Measure the cut block and mark its measurement to the side of that block large enough for everyone to see.

Row Three:

(five, seven, nine, etc)
Should be exactly the same as row one.

Row Four:

(six, eight, ten, etc)
Should be exactly the same as row two.

Prior to Concrete:

Simply connect vertical seams together with strapping, or plywood, on both sides of each block. Use one 12” to 24” long strap, 3” to 6” wide, made out of 1 x wood boards or plywood sheathing attached with one screw in each tie on each side of seam.


We have found that the man hour rate will drop using this method because the crew spends less time thinking how they can get closer to the building dimension and more time actually being productive.

Building Multiple Levels with Different Sized Block:

All sizes of Fox Blocks ICF’s fit well on top of each other for any type of configuration with little or no modifications needed. This is simple math. Fox Blocks ICF’s are reversible with 2” projections and recesses which means you will work with a 4” offset. For this reason the 4”, 8” and 12” block all work well together as they are all divisible by 4”. Using the same math the 6” block attaches to all sizes of Fox Blocks with a 2” difference in tie alignment. This is not a concern as this joint line will usually happen at a floor diaphragm.

6″ Corner block on Top of 8″, 10″ or 12″ Block:

The 6” corner works well on top of the 8”, 10” or 12” corner blocks when going around an outside corner. For inside corners simply remove the projections off the corner block and continue building. You may need to create a stacked seam on one or both sides of the inside corner at which time we recommend you just move the stacked seams for each wall closer to that inside corner.

Corner Block

6” 90˚ corner block on top of 8”, 10” or 12” 90˚ corner block