Building Commercial Retail Developments with ICF Construction

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Building commercial retail developments with insulated concrete form (ICF) construction, like Fox Blocks, creates structures that are disaster-resistant, energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly, quiet, and durable. Fox Blocks are also quick and easy to install, which saves retail developers and contractors time and money.

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(Fox Blocks Cabela’s retail store. Over­all, the build­ing has 1,100 lin­ear feet of 29’ above grade walls and frost walls up to 12’.)

Retail construction, particularly in urban areas like Houston and Long Island, thrived in 2018, with over 58.9 million square feet added throughout the United States. Retail buildings include shopping centers, supermarkets, warehouse distribution centers, mixed-use retail, and commercial and residential buildings in which the retail units typically occupy the ground floor.

Because the retail sector is very competitive, developers and contractors need a method of construction that is quick, easy, flexible, and attractive. Owners of commercial retail developments also want structures that are energy-efficient, healthy, quiet, durable, and minimize long-term maintenance costs.

Why Build Commercial Retail Developments with ICF Construction?

Architects and contractors are challenged to meet the demands of developers of commercial retail buildings to build and design high-performing retail buildings that are durable, energy-efficient, comfortable, low-maintenance, and have good indoor air quality (IAQ). An ideal wall system that includes all these components is insulated concrete forms (ICFs).

Commercial retail developments built with ICFs are safe, energy-efficient, healthy, quiet, and sustainable. ICF construction also saves builders time and money because it is installed quickly, allowing buildings to be closed in faster, expediting overall completion timeframes by weeks or months over conventional construction.

What are ICFs?

ICFs are hollow blocks or panels often made with expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS) and plastic cross-ties . The ICFs, which are designed as a concrete forming system[TP2] , are stacked to form the design of the commercial retail building walls. Steel reinforcing bars are set inside the forms. Concrete is then placed into the hollow centers of the blocks or assembled panels, producing a reinforced concrete wall with a double[TP6] layer of continuous insulation (CI), that eliminates thermal bridging throughout the wall.

Benefits of Utilizing ICFs to Construct Commercial Retail Buildings

Constructing a retail building with ICFs provides numerous benefits to developers and contractors.

  • ICFs are available with concrete core sizes from 4” to 12”, for use on below and above grade walls, demising walls, plus tall walls and multi-story buildings.
  • ICF walls for retail developments are energy-efficient with whole wall R-values of 23+, which saves money on monthly utility[TP3] bills for the life of the building.
  • ICF walls of retail developments are disaster-resistant.
    • ICF walls of a retail development can stand up to hurricanes and tornadoes, which protects the occupants and contents of the building and , saving on costly repairs after a severe wind event.
    • ICF walls for retail development are fire-resistant and can withstand constant exposure to intense flames, which further saves business owners money on expensive repairs after a fire.
    • ICF retail developments are earthquake-resistant.
  • ICF retail developments are quiet.
  • ICF walls are moisture-resistant, which stops the growth of mold. Mold is unhealthy and can also damage the integrity of the retail building, which may lead to expensive repairs.
  • ICFs are a healthy choice for retail developments because they do not contain volatile organic compounds.
  • ICF is sustainable, with 40 percent recycled content.
  • The design flexibility of ICF construction allows for many options for retail architecture - tall walls, large openings, multi-story.
  • ICF walls are quick and easy to build, which saves developers and contractors money and time with faster completion dates for occupancy.

Building a Commercial Retail Development with Fox Block ICFs

Fox Block ICF Commercial Retail Developments are Energy-Efficient

Fox Blocks ICF commercial retail developments are energy-efficient, disaster-resistant, healthy, environmentally-friendly, durable, and quiet. Fox Blocks are also quick and easy to install.

  • Fox Block ICFs controls air and moisture infiltration and ensures an energy-efficient commercial retail development. Fox Blocks provide monolithic concrete walls with CI, which prevents air leakage and moisture accumulation within the wall system.
  • High thermal mass Fox Blocks are energy-efficient with an effective[TP1] R-value of 23+[TP2] , eliminating thermal bridging surpassing[TP3] the requirements of the ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code.

Fox Blocks ICF Commercial Retail Developments are Disaster-Resistant

Fox Blocks ICFs create disaster-resistant commercial retail developments that protect the structure and its occupants and contents against natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, fire, and earthquakes.

  • Fox Blocks are wind-resistant: Fox Blocks will withstand severe hurricane and tornado winds surpassing 200 MPH and projectile debris flying at over 100 MPH.
  • Fox Blocks fire-resistance rating is 4-hours for the 6-inch blocks and 2-hours for the 4-inch blocks (ASTM E119).

Fox Blocks are earthquake-resistant because they produce shear walls that extend the total height and all sides of the structure. Steel reinforcing bars anchor the ICF shear walls to the foundation. When an earthquake occurs, this design effectively resists strong sideways (lateral) in-plane loads that push the top of the wall one way while the bottom stays either stationary or is forced in the other direction (racking the wall).

Fox Blocks ICF Commercial Retail Developments are Healthy and Durable

Fox Blocks ICF construction stops moisture accumulation within the wall assembly, which is vital to preventing the growth of mold. Mold degrades the structural integrity and diminishes the indoor environmental quality of a commercial retail development. Fox Blocks ICF create durable and healthy commercial retail developments.

  • Fox Blocks control moisture infiltration because the ICF wall assembly provides a solid continuous monolithic concrete wall with a perm rating of below 1.0.
  • Also, Fox Blocks are healthy because they do not contain VOC.
  • Fox Blocks ICFs do not rot or promote the growth of mold or mildew.

Fox Blocks ICF Create Quiet Commercial Retail Developments

  • Soundproofing the walls of commercial retail developments is crucial for the comfort and well being of the occupants.
  • The Fox Blocks ICF wall system lessens the sound between interior walls and from the outside to the inside of the commercial retail development. The Sound Transmission Class rating of Fox Blocks is STC 45-50+.

Fox Blocks Contribute to a Sustainable Commercial Retail Developments

  • Fox Blocks are environmentally friendly because they contain a minimum of 40 percent recycled content by weight.
  • In comparison, Fox Blocks reduces additional materials required to create a high-performance conventional wall assembly.

Fox Blocks ICF Commercial Retail Developments Save Owners Money

Building with Fox Blocks ICF saves commercial retail developments owners money during and after the building process.

  • Installation of Fox Blocks is quick and easy, which saves time and money. The Fox Blocks wall system includes five building steps in one: the insulation, structure, vapor retarder, air barrier, and attachment. Combining five steps into one speeds up project installation and completion time by eliminating the need to coordinate multiple trades.
  • Fox Blocks minimize the need for maintenance and repairs because they resist rot and degradation, which saves the building owner money.
  • Fox Blocks commercial retail developments are resistant against wind, fire, and earthquakes, which lessens the need for costly repairs after a disaster.
  • Fox Blocks commercial retail developments are energy-efficient, which saves building owners on the long-term expenses of heating and cooling.

Fox Blocks ICF commercial retail developments provide the building owners and their occupants a safe, healthy, and quiet environment. Fox Blocks ICF commercial retail developments also lower short-term and long-term expenses because they are disaster-resistant, energy-efficient, durable, low-maintenance, and quick to install.