Emerging Sustainable & Recycling Leadership in ICF Manufacturing
You have heard about the benefits of building with Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) walls for years. ICF's are proven energy efficient products that have been well documneted to significantly reduce heating and cooling loads in buildings. These products are typically foam stay-in-place concrete forms specified for projects designed to provide high performance building envelope walls.
Airlite Plastics Co. in Omaha, Nebraska (a family owned company est. 1946) manufactures ICF's as part of a diverse line of products offered to their customers. Approximately 1.6 billion units of plastic and foam are produced annually. This is accomplished with 675 employees - working around the clock - within 650,000 square feet of building space. Airlite produces plastic containers and insulated packaging products for the food, medical, pharmaceutical, animal health, agricultural, mail order, and Sporting Goods markets, as well as ICF's for the construction industry.
15 years ago, Airlite began manufacturing ICF products for their first customer. Since then, Airlite has provided their engineering design services and manufacturing expertise to several ICF sales/marketing companies. Five years ago, after seeing the growth of the green building market, Airlite decided to design, develop and build their own ICF wall system. Early in 2006, Airlite introduced the Fox Blocks ICF Wall System brand as the latest generation of insulated concrete form available from the manufacturer to the market. All totaled as one of the industry leading ICF manufacturers in North Amercia, Airlite has manufactured over 33 million square foot of ICF wall surface for the construction industry.
The backbone of most ICF products is the plastic web connector. It is the inner strength of the product. A good way to gauge the structural strength of an ICF is to find the ratio (by weight) of plastic (webs) to foam (panels).
At Airlite, there are a large number of machine presses molding plastic products to specific tolerances. Anything that does not meet the product specifications is set aside and designated as usable plastic waste (scrap) to be recycled. None of this plastic scrap leaves the plant, so there is ZERO plastic landfill contribution. These out-of-spec products are transferred under the same roof to the Recycling Area.
While at recycling, the plastic scrap is mechanically ground into flakes, pelletized, and then put through a proprietary process to be remanufactured. This 1st generation recycled plastic is then transferred to the production machine presses, under the same roof to mold Fox Blocks ICF plastic webs and corner brackets. These fresh molded webs and corner brackets are then delivered to the EPS Division plant, on site, for placement into the foam molds that produce finished Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Forms. This internal recycling process dramatically lowers the overall ICF manufacturing carbon footprint because there are minimal transportation costs, as everything is performed on site. Airlite is using their in-house plastic waste stream process to source material to manufacture ICF products.
The benefits of the Airlite recycling and molding process are multiple. The plastic resin is a main component that drives the cost of ICF products. The industry balances plastic content vs. competitive costs in the market. Airlite is delivering one of the highest ratios of recycled plastic weight to foam content in the industry at lower costs. A single source of recycled 1st generation plastic and the molding of fresh recycled plastic webs used in the manufacturing of foam ICF forms equals less cost for more consistent products strength, a key benefit to the on site contractor!
Tony Penna of Penna Concrete and Masonry, a long time installer of ICF's said, "Fox Blocks are at least 25 percent stronger than any form I have installed, and I have tried most of them."
More importantly, Airlite has found a unique delivery method of manufacturing ICF forms with the lowest carbon footprint possible to ensure Fox Blocks...as a sustainable building product...treads as lightly as possible on energy resources while offering a high performance building envelope advantage year after year.
Fox Blocks ICF Wall Systems are manufactured in the following locations, with stock and product ready to ship!
Omaha, NE - Corporte Office
Post Falls, ID
Colorado Springs, CO
Cap Pele, New Brunswick
A Product of Airlite Plastics
6110 Abbott Drive
Omaha, NE 68110