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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

 

HolidayInn2compressedOur Lady4 compressed

Fox Blocks Acquiring Key Assets of ARXX Building Products

| Fox Blocks ICF Events | Insulated Concrete Forms | January 30, 2014

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

Fox Blocks and Arxx building products

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ICF Builder Awards Round Up

| Fox Blocks ICF Events | December 16, 2013

Entries into the 2013 ICF Builder Awards have been submitted. And while we’re anxiously anticipating the results to be announced at the 2014 World of Concrete event in Las Vegas, we thought we’d share a round up of some of our previous awards.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department: Steele Creek Division

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department: Steele Creek Division, ICF Builder Award Winner 2012

Las Vegas Fire Station 107

City of Las Vegas Fire Station 107, ICF Builder Award Winner 2012

Glasgow High School

Glasgow High School, ICF Builder Award Winner 2012

Nashville, TN Residence

ICF Builder Awards 2012, Large Residential

Quilter Residence

ICF Builder Award Winner 2011

Fox Blocks ICF to Acquire Reward Wall Systems Assets

| Fox Blocks ICF Events | December 1, 2013

Omaha, NE (November 20, 2013) – Fox Blocks ICF announced today that it will acquire select key assets from Reward Wall Systems, Inc. on February 15, 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.

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 40 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.

“Reward 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.

Both Airlite Plastics Co. and Reward Wall Systems, Inc. are headquartered in Omaha, NE where the companies have enjoyed a long-standing business relationship. Airlite Plastics is one of the earliest molders to design and manufacture ICF blocks and produced Reward ICF units from 1996-2008.

Reward Wall System, Inc. President Ed Storm endorsed the purchase, explaining, “This is a perfect marriage. Airlite Plastics worked with Reward for years and is intimately familiar with the product line. Their expertise in ICF design and self-manufacture together with this expanded volume make for a potent synergy that should be great for existing and new ICF customers.”

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 over the next three months will be to introduce Reward customers to the Fox Blocks products and personnel. This will insure a smooth transition once the asset acquisition is closed. Prior to the February 15th close Reward Wall Systems will continue to exclusively handle sales and service of Reward products.

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About Reward Wall Systems
Tracing its ICF roots back to 1988, Reward Wall Systems, Inc. is one of the ICF industry’s leading founders, market developers and industry expanders. Reward is known for its ICF innovation, commercial market expertise and broad based ICF industry experience. Reward has developed a strong network of ICF customers, developers, architects, general contractors, residential contractors, and construction supply distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada. More information about Reward Wall Systems, Inc. can be found at www.rewardwalls.com.

Have You Heard? We’re Expanding ICF Production to Alaska!

| Fox Blocks ICF Events | October 31, 2013

Map of AlaskaFox Blocks is expanding manufacturing and ICF production  to Anchorage, Alaska, by partnering with Insulfoam Manufacturing Facility. Initially they will be manufacturing and supplying to the Alaska construction market 8-inch block: straights, extended corners, Fox insulated window & door Buck, and HV Clips, with additional products coming in 2014. With a shorter construction season, manufacturing the ICF blocks in Alaska allows a faster and more efficient delivery.

Read the full press release

Fox Blocks ICF Partners with Habitat for Humanity

| Fox Blocks ICF Events | October 17, 2013

Fox Blocks donated Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) to the Habitat For Humanity’s 30th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project which took place in Union Beach, N.J., on October 10-12. The volunteers and materials donated by Fox Blocks will help rebuild the home of Elmer Lamberson’s whose home was lost in Superstorm Sandy.

Fox Blocks ICF in Union Beach

Superstorm Sandy leveled blocks of neighborhoods in the Borough of Union Beach, close to 270 homes were demolished. Nine months after the storm, Union Beach homes are finally starting to rebuild. The selection of Union Beach as part of Habitat’s Jimmy & Rosalyn Carters Work project will remind the nation of the devastation this community endured.

“Fox Blocks is honored to be a participant in the Union Beach Habitat project”, said Brian Medford, Fox Blocks Regional Sales Representative. “We have been delivering Fox Blocks to homes and aiding in the rebuilding in Union Beach for the last six months. Having Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter Work Project on site to rebuild the home of Mr. Lamberson will boost awareness for the many more in need and the fact that together businesses and the community can rebuild a community.”

Jimmy and Roslyn Carter Union Beach Fox Blocks

Fox Blocks has a rich history with Habitat for Humanity, making contributions of ICF block to Eco-Village in River Falls Wisconsin. Eco-Village is based on a LEED for Homes Platinum, carbon negative, net zero energy approach to environmental, economic and social applications. Eco-Village is situated on five acres in an existing, yet vibrant and progressive neighborhood. Close to parks, schools and other amenities. Eco-Village will provide 18 new families an innovative community that blends the energy efficiency of a home, with the sustainable environmental and social awareness of a lifestyle geared to the future. Fox Blocks (ICF) is assisting Eco-Village attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building status and is a clear choice for building designers to maximize points in the LEED rating system.

Fox Blocks’ 6-inch and 8-inch blocks are superb choices for foundations and walls to provide an extremely energy efficient building envelope that offers superior strength, sound, air quality, and well-insulated walls. Fox Blocks ICF is a solid monolithic concrete wall and withstands the worst of rainstorms, fires, high winds and flooding.

Tilt Up Construction and Insulated Concrete Forms

| Fox Blocks ICF Events | December 17, 2011

Fox Blocks worked the Tilt Up Concrete Association Expo in Kansas City, MO. It’s cool working for a company that gives you a green light to pursue some different market opportunities. The Tilt Up folks are not known for using much ICF, but Tilt up buildings are getting furred out and insulated so here we come with a great alternative.

We have a new product called the Fox Tilt Insulation Furring System; it’s basically a knockdown ICF panel with a very slick insert that some smart folks at our company engineered in-house. The Fox Tilt Insert is a sleeve in, ratcheting, structural embedment fastener into the concrete. It’s the heart of the system; it’s what mechanically fastens the insulation panel and the plastic furring studs to the concrete wall.

Last year Fox Blocks decided we could add speed and value to the Tilt Up industry and it took all of 2 weeks to get the Fox Tilt insert engineered, mold made, and production started. I can’t stop grinning about the capabilities of our parent Airlite Plastics.

The Tilt Up Expo featured an outdoor exhibition of technologies and we did an actual concrete pour into a sample tilt up panel that had Fox Tilt as underlayment, and as a wet set array. You can see this demonstration in the video above.

A unique and interesting feature of this video is you will see me doing physical labor. A rare and wonderful thing – it is not to be missed. The real heavy lifting and knowledge base came from our associate Brian Smith; he has done multiple projects with this method and is true industry proponent. I edited the video and he is not in it much. It appears I am the expert. I don’t know how that happens.

Here are some fun things to consider. The Fox Tilt Insert stands ¾” from face of foam and therefore does not interfere with any rebar. Existing engineering applies. The Fox Tilt Insulation Panel is a flat panel; the thickness of the concrete remains the same. Existing engineering applies. All we are doing is providing a mechanically fastened insulation and furring system to either the interior or exterior face (or both if the sales guy is really good) of the tilt up wall.

So the reason this was so much fun at the Tilt Up Expo was showing off how fast we can do this and at how little it costs. So if you see a tilt up project specified to be furred out and insulated, or if you see a tilt up project that is specified as a concrete sandwich with the foam in the middle (yikes!) let us know. There’s a good possibility there’s a funner way to get the job done.

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