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 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.
- Holiday Inn Express, Louisville, KY - Best In Show Hospitality
- Coca-Cola Pavilion, Lake Buena Vista, FL - Best In Show Light Commercial
- The Village at Mountain Shadows, Paradise Valley, AZ - Best In Show Development
- Graymoor Friary, Garrison, NY - Best In ShowMultifamily
- Howells Residence, Fountain Hills, AZ - Best In Show 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.
- San Francisco de Asis Church, Flagstaff, AZ - 1st Runner Up Heavy Commercial
- West High School, West, TX - 1st Runner Up Education
- Frost Street Apartments, Brooklyn, NY - 1st Runner Up Multifamily
- Kuebitz Residence, Poway, CA - 1st Runner Up Large Residential
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 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.
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.
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.
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 EstimatorPRO4
Fox Blocks Estimator PRO4 is now LIVE and available to download and use for project take offs and estimates! Estimate ICF quantities including specialty blocks, opening material, ancillary products, lineal feet of rebar, volume of concrete and man hours for a specific job. Our ICF estimator was created by industry professionals with decades of intensive technical experience in the ICF construction industry.
Gathering feedback from users of our popular PRO3 we were able to update and change PRO4 to allow better navigation, more robust help tools and redesigned summaries. Our Insulated concrete form estimator will be your go to estimator when using ICF construction. When you use PRO4 you will notice:
- Faster loads, as JAVA is no longer needed
- Ability to open multiple copies so you can do a group of estimates
- The print outs are clean and professional and allow for control of what you want to print
- Refine your numbers to the closest block with the new ADD/REMOVE block buttons
- Fully comprehensive “Man Hours” tab that includes costs
- Clear and visual help tools for each section
- Full version is only a 7.2 MB download (Click here to download)
Our online version has simplified to increase functional speed for quick use for basic estimates, for the full feature set please download the full Estimator PRO4. Available in both a PC and MAC version.
Use Fox EstimatorPRO4 as your go to insulated concrete form estimator
In this video, Fox Blocks’ Glen Klassen does a walk-through of how to properly brace the Fox Buck prior to pouring the concrete, and how to shave off excess ICF with a cheese grater if you don’t.
Earlier this year, Fox Blocks introduced a new product called the Fox Buck made out of the same type 2 EPS the ICF blocks are made from removing the need to use wood or vinyl bucks. Fox Blocks’ Glen Klassen gives an overview of the Fox Buck ICF window and door buck.