7 Characteristics of a Progressive Builder in 2020


In today’s competitive building market, progressive contractors must set themselves apart by providing clients with building products and methods, like Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms (ICF) wall systems, that go above and beyond current building codes and standards, building for the future.

Fox Blocks easy-to-install ICF wall system produces structures that exceed current energy code requirements in all climate zones with a HERS index rating below 55. They create disaster-resistant and durable homes and high-performance buildings with excellent indoor environmental quality (IEQ).

Why Become a Progressive Builder?

In 2020 and moving forward, the success of a construction company will greatly depend on the builder’s willingness to embrace progressive ideas. Progressive builders take the time to educate themselves on building science and the array of new, innovative building products and methods. They pay detailed attention to the quality of their work, including installation procedures, air and moisture management, thermal efficiency, and product resilience. Ultimately a progressive builder, using high-quality construction and energy-efficient products, strives to construct code-compliant, high-performance homes with a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index of 55 or less.

Stubborn builders that cling to outdated methods and materials risk producing lower quality structures, compared to their progressive counterparts, which may eventually lead to reduced business.

As codes advance, with more inspections, testing, evaluations to be compliant, the old school construction methods have to change. This progression has homeowners, appraisers, and realtors, all recognizing certified energy efficiency as quality construction.

Seven Characteristics of a Successful and Progressive Builder in 2020

1. Through ongoing education, they advocate for positive change and improvements in building methods and materials.

Progressive builders commit to continuing education to keep up with the endless introduction of new methods, materials, and codes all aimed to improve the energy-efficiency, durability, and IEQ of new buildings and homes. To maneuver through the growing number of complex and complicated building products and methods, progressive builders rely on a variety of disciplines - building science, architecture, engineering, management, and law.

2. They pay strict attention to installation details and overall construction quality.

Many new innovative building products come with detailed and specific installation directions that builders must follow precisely for the product to perform optimally.

Successful builders must carefully follow the installation instructions. Unfortunately, the lack of skilled construction labor challenges many contractors to staff a qualified work crew. A lack of skilled labor not only slows a project down but can compromise the overall quality of the finished building or home.

3. They strive to exceed current codes and standards for air and moisture management.

Progressive builders construct high-performance buildings and homes by surpassing the current green regulations and codes:

  • The 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) gives the building industry a mod­el for reg­u­la­tions and codes to construct high-performance buildings and homes.
  • The (IgCC) also complies with the Inter­na­tion­al Code Coun­cil Fam­i­ly of Codes.
  • The ASHRAE 90.1 and 2018 IECC requires continuous insulation (CI). CI creates a tight building envelope by wrapping all structural members of the structure with a layer of insulation to increase the effective R-value and stop thermal bridges and condensation.

4. They construct high-performance homes with a HERS index of 55 or less - a score lower than the 2018 IECC recommendations.

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS), created by the Residential Energy Services

Network (RESNET), furnishes an Energy Rating Index (ERI) as a numerical score that provides an industry standard to measure a home’s energy efficiency. The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) incorporated the HERS ERI as an optional compliance path, with ERI target scores according to the climate zone. The ERI target scores for the 2018 IECC range from 57 to 62.

A HERS ERI score of 100 equates to the efficiency levels advised in the 2006 IECC. A net-zero-energy home achieves a score of zero. Therefore, a low HERS score means a more comfortable and energy-efficient home than one with a high HERS score. Moreover, many mortgage companies, appraisers, and realtors monitor HERS ratings; therefore, achieving a low HERS rating can improve the sales and marketability of your home.

5. They aim to construct disaster-resistant buildings and homes.

Progressive builders aim to construct homes and buildings that resist the impact of increasingly more severe weather and wildfire events. High performing homes and buildings must protect both the structure and its occupants during a natural disaster. Disaster-resistant design also reduces the ecological impact and financial expenses of repairing and rebuilding.

Features of a disaster-resistant-high-performance building include wind-, fire-, flood-, and earthquake resistance.

6. They construct durable buildings and homes.

Progressive builders consider durability vital for the structure, its occupants, and the environment. Durable building products reduce maintenance, repairs, and replacement costs of the building or home, which saves money and reduces impact on the environment.

Two critical features of durable building products include moisture and pest-resistance.

7. They create homes with excellent indoor environmental quality.

Progressive builders provide safe structures with excellent indoor environment quality (IEQ). Vital IEQ features of a high-performance building include moisture-resistance, low-toxicity, and excellent acoustics.

8 Benefits of Fox Blocks ICF Wall System for Progressive Builders

Fox Blocks ICFs offer progressive builders a simple to install wall system that exceeds ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code requirements in all climate zones and produces high-performance homes with HERS index ratings well below 55. Fox Blocks also create disaster-resistant and durable structures with excellent IEQ.

  1. In one fast and easy installation step, the all-in-one wall assembly provides structure, continuous insulation, attachment, air barriers, and vapor control. It also helps combat labor shortages in the building industry.
  2. ICFs exceed ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code requirements in all climate zones and produce homes and buildings with HERS index ratings well below 55.
  3. Disaster-resistant ICFswith steel-reinforced concrete can withstand tornado and hurricane winds of over 200 MPH, and projectile debris moving over 100 MPH.
  4. They furnish a fire-resistance rating (ASTM E119) of 4 hours for the 6-inch blocks and 2 hours for the 4-inch blocks.
  5. The solid monolithic concrete wall, with a perm rating below 1.0, manages moisture infiltration in the wall system, which stops the growth of unhealthy and damaging mold.
  6. ICFs lack organic products (the food of choice for termites), which makes them less prone to termite problems. However, for termite and waterproofing protection, Fox Blocks suggests Polyguard Products, Inc. 650 XTM, or 650 XTP membranes.
  7. They have a Sound Transmission Classification (ASTM E90) of 4-inch=STC 46, 6- and 8-inch = STC 50+.
  8. Fox Blocks creates an air-tight building envelope which achieves ACH rates less than code minimum.

Progressive builders can set themselves apart as promoting sustainability and energy efficiency by selecting the Fox Blocks ICF wall system - a product that exceeds current building codes and standards. Easy-to-install ICFs create disaster-resistant and durable homes and buildings with a HERS index rating below 55, excellent IEQ and with energy efficient windows, door, HVAC and roof insulation a Zero Energy Ready home or building.

Progressive builders - Please contact Fox Blocks for help with your building material needs.