Can ICF Save You Time On Your Commercial Project?

Berlin Encore Boutique Hotel, Event Center & Theatre

During the design phase of your next commercial project, there are many construction techniques that can help you save time during the building process. Utilizing ICF, or Insulated Concrete Form, for commercial projects is one easy way to hit deadlines earlier.

You might be asking in your head, “Can ICF really save me time? How can it do that?” This article will outline the importance of construction workflow in commercial projects, the processes that often take the most time during construction, the benefits of using ICF and how specifically Fox Blocks’ ICF can help save time and costs on your next project.

The Importance of Construction Workflow

Tracking tasks and managing documents are a considerable part of the overall process of a commercial construction project, from preconstruction all the way to closeout. Implementing strong workflow procedures for each part of the project process has significant benefits because it streamlines and clarifies each stage.

The three most critical reasons to implement a clearly defined workflow are:

  • Reduced inefficiencies
  • Streamlined processes
  • Improved quality

A defined workflow helps optimize your time, reduce ineffectiveness, pinpoint bottlenecks and redundant tasks to remove them, and give you a fine-tuned project. All of this will make your clients happy and more likely to provide you with repeat business.

Processes That Take the Most Time During Construction

We know that a construction project is a long and demanding process. The design and pre-construction phase are the most prolonged, and ensuring you make the right decisions in these stages lessens your chances of rework during the actual construction portion.

In the construction industry, trends toward more specialized material and applications have created challenges for contractors because they often need to hire an increasing number of subcontractors. And labor shortages make that challenging. The top five building occupations reporting the most significant shortages are framing crews, finish and rough carpenters, bricklayers/masons and concrete workers.

For example, the complexity of concrete and masonry foundations requires a specific set of skills and experience alongside specialized equipment. This ends up sinking more time on drawing up contracts, creating schedules and coordinating all the moving parts — all of which adds time to your deadline and costs to your project.

The great news is that with an innovative product like Fox Blocks’ ICF wall system, projects can be done much easier and with higher precision. ICF implementation is the perfect example of a way to streamline your commercial project.

Fox Blocks ICF wall system contractors execute the buildings’ division 03 Concrete, load bearing cast-in-place reinforced concrete walls and further provide the continuous insulation (CI) typically performed by a separate contractor within division 7 Thermal Insulation.

In addition, the Fox Blocks ICF assembly also provides the above-grade walls air and vapor barrier further eliminating a division 07 sub-trade. The elimination of redundant sub-trades saves the project first costs and assists with abbreviating the construction timeline.

Benefits of Using ICF

ICF walls for commercial buildings can stand up to tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes, which protects the building’s occupants and the wallet of building owners when it comes to repairs. ICF walls are also fire-resistant and provide up to a four-hour fire rating. All of these combine for increased durability, which minimizes maintenance and repair costs over the years.


ICF constructed buildings are more energy-efficient than their concrete counterparts because of their whole wall R-values of 23+, saving commercial building owners money on their monthly utility bills.

Moisture Resistant

The Fox Block Series provides interior and exterior CI (continuous insulation) to stop air leakage (thermal bridging) and moisture accumulation within the wall system.

That makes it moisture-resistant, preventing the growth of mold and saving building occupants from health problems and saving the building’s integrity. In addition to resisting moisture, they also minimize sound, creating a quiet building with high STC ratings.


ICF walls do not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are made with a minimum of 40% recycled material, making them an incredibly environmentally-friendly choice.

Fast and Flexible

ICF construction provides flexibility in design, whether your design calls for tall walls, large openings, below-grade or multiple stories. It is both fast and easy to construct.

Save on Repairs & Costs

The installation is seamless, and the need for repairs in the long-run is minimal. The ICF wall assembly combines five building steps into just one: the structure, insulation, air barrier, vapor retarder and attachment are all replaced by Fox Blocks. Without the need to coordinate multiple trades, you’ll save time and money on the overall project.

Fox Blocks True Grid

How Fox Blocks’ ICF Helps Save You Time and Money on Commercial Projects

In the short term, Fox Blocks ICF construction’s simplicity and speed will set any contractor’s mind at ease when it comes to creating straight and plumb ICF foundations. The process eliminates multiple steps and subcontractors, which improves scheduling and deadlines, and decreases your initial upfront budget costs.

In the long run, high-performing Fox Blocks ICF foundations are more energy-efficient and resistant to cracking and moisture intrusion than poured concrete foundations. This saves your clients in life-cycle costs, maintenance costs and repair costs, along with the hundreds of labor hours all those extra repairs will take.

Case Studies

Fox Blocks gave the Waterfront Rescue Mission a high-quality space for music, worship, recreational activities, dining and offices with intense wall strength, soundproofing and green certifications — without costing extra time or money.

The St. Juan Diego Catholic Church, a 22,500 square foot church, installed radius windows and arched windows that were easily accommodated with Fox Blocks’ structural wall system. Solid foam blockouts were used for the arches that saved the church massive amounts of time and money.

Discover Elementary was Arlington County’s first 21st-century public elementary school with a very strict budget. Fox Blocks ICF was utilized to ensure the project, a 98,000 square foot building, was built on time and under budget.

The Centre Park Holiday Inn Event & Conference Center, a 116,000 square foot hotel, event and conference center, qualified for a Duke Energy rebate since it is performing 30% better than ASHRAE standards for hotels. Using Fox Blocks contributed to saving two months in construction, which was fully complete in 420 days.

Get Started With Fox Blocks Today

Want to utilize ICF on your next commercial project? Check out all the ICF products Fox Blocks has to offer, and when you are ready, contact them here.