How To Easily Build a Hurricane-Resistant Home with ICF Construction


Hurricane-resistant design protects a family and home against strong winds and flying debris. A hurricane-resistant design must also shield against flooding associated with storm surge and tide, particularly in flood hazard zones. Insulated concrete form (ICF) construction offers an easy way to achieve hurricane-resistant wall systems that protect against wind, flying debris, and flooding.

What is ICF Construction?

The construction of hurricane-resistant ICF walls involves placing concrete into the interlocking hollow foam ICF blocks, with an engineered design of horizontal and vertical reinforcement. The inner and outer polystyrene insulation panels provide permanent formwork for the concrete and also provide continuous insulation for the monolithic wall assembly. Later in the building process, these pan­els allow for the instal­la­tion of plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal con­duits

ICF Wall Systems Protect a Home During the Severe Winds of a Hurricane

Homes built with ICFs provide more protection than those made with either wood or steel framing materials. The Portland Cement Association (PCA), compared the structural load resistance of conventionally framed walls to ICF walls. They concluded that concrete walls have a higher structural capacity and stiffness to resist the in-plane shear forces of high wind than steel or wood-framed walls. Moreover, the concrete walls' strength reduces the lateral twists and damage to non-structural components of a home, such as the plumbing and electrical.

ICF walls also resist damage from debris flying over 100 mph. A study by Texas Tech University compared the impact resistance of wind-driven debris between conventionally framed walls and ICF walls. The study found that ICF walls resist the impact of wind-driven debris, while conventional framing didn't prevent the penetration of airborne debris into the walls.

ICF Walls Protect a Home From Flooding During and After a Hurricane

Hurricane-resistant home design must protect against flooding and excessive rain. The design of a home built in a flood hazard zone must be according to the American Society of Civil Engineers ASCE 24.14. Flood-resistant design in flood hazard zones should include elevated structures, products that can get wet, and design systems that quickly dry when exposed to moisture.

Why Choose Fox Blocks ICF When Building a Hurricane-Resistant Home?

Quick and Easy Construction

Building a hurricane-resistant home with Fox Blocks all-in-one wall assembly offers fast and low-risk construction. The wall assembly combines five-building steps into one, including structure, attachment, air barrier, insulation, and vapor retarder. The all-in-one wall assembly removes the need to coordinate multiple trades, which significantly quickens project delivery while achieving the goals of the wall system. ICF construction provides a quick and simple method of building a hurricane-resistant home.

Easily Create Wind-Resistant Homes

Fox Blocks ICF reinforced concrete walls provide a superior solution for creating a continuous load path with solid connections into and bearing on reinforced concrete that can withstand severe winds during hurricanes. Con­tin­u­ous load paths protect a home against uplift and lateral (hor­i­zon­tal) loads. The continuous load path permits loads to move from the roof, walls, and other components down to the foundation and ground. Fox Blocks also maintain their integrity during winds of over 200 mph and can withstand projectile debris traveling faster than 100 mph.

Create a Flood-Resistant Home

Fox Blocks solid continuous monolithic concrete walls have a moisture-resistance and permeability (perm rating below 1.0). They ensure that moisture that enters the wall system dries out and won't move on to nearby materials. The reinforced concrete construction won't degrade when wet and maintains its original integrity and shape during and after a flood.

ICF wall construction offers builders an easy solution to hurricane-resistant home design. Fox Blocks ICFs create wind- and flood-resistant homes that protect families and their property during and after a hurricane. The ICF wall system is quick and easy to install. Please contact Fox Blocks professionals for more information on easy ways to build hurricane-resistant homes.