Building a Year-Round, Energy-Efficient and Durable Cabin with Fox Blocks ICF

Crop Durable Cabin Cottage with Fox Blocks Header

Fox Blocks ICF Cabins and Cottages are Safe, Comfortable, and Energy-Efficient.

Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms (ICFs) create cozy cabins and cottages that are energy-efficient, wind and fire-resistant, durable, healthy and quiet. Other notable benefits of an ICF cabin are low maintenance and low utility costs. These benefits are vital to cabin and cottage owners who want a low-stress escape from their hectic lives; not a place that creates more work and financial concerns.

In addition, ICF construction ensures year-round use of the cabin. Cabins and cottages often start as a second home or weekend retreat. However, a report by the National Association of Realtors found that four out of 10 second-home owners intend to convert their second home into a year-round primary residence in retirement. Therefore, designing a cabin or a cottage for year-round use is a wise choice. For an energy-efficient, moisture-, and disaster-resistant cabin or cottage, Fox Blocks ICF is an excellent material choice.

ICF Cabins and Cottages are Energy-Efficient, and Moisture- and Disaster-Resistant


ICF Cabins are Energy-Efficient

An energy-efficient ICF cabin minimizes air intrusion which lowers energy use and saves the cabin owner money. An essential design element of an energy-efficient, year-round cabin is a tight building envelope. Critical to a tight building envelope is continuous insulation, with a product such as Fox Blocks wall system. The tight building envelope must also include energy-efficient windows, skylights, and doors suitable to the cabin’s climate zone and roof system. ICFs wall assemblies and energy-efficient glazings and roof systems create a year-round cabin with a tight building envelope that reduces energy use and provides year round financial savings.

ICF Cabins are Moisture-Resistant

A moisture-resistant cabin that limits, if not prevents, moisture accumulation in the wall system, is vital to stopping the growth of mold, which degrades the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of a cabin. Mold diminishes the IEQ of a cabin because people that inhale or touch mold may experience allergic and asthmatic reactions. Moisture-resistant design is vital to building a healthy cabin.

ICF Cabins are Wind-Resistant

ICF cabin wall construction creates a strong continuous path that ensures the cabin will retain its integrity against winds over 200 mph. A report by the Portland Cement Association (PCA), compared the structural load resistance of ICF walls to conventionally framed walls. The study found that ICF walls have more structural capacity and stiffness to withstand the in-plane shear forces of severe winds than steel- or wood-framed walls. A cabin built with ICF has the strength and integrity to resist winds over 200 mph. Also, ICF wall construction is a cabin’s best protection against wind-driven debris.


ICF Cabins are Fire-Resistant

ICF fire-resistant design protects a cabin and its occupants from fires. The need of fire-resistant construction has escalated in recent years, due in part to an increase in massive wildfires.

Fox Blocks ICF Cabins are Energy-Efficient and Moisture- and Disaster-Resistant

  • Fox Blocks, with an R-value of 23+, provide continuous insulation and exceed ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code requirements. Cabins constructed with ICF exterior walls typically use 32 percent less energy to cool and 44 percent less energy to warm than comparable wood-framed cabins.
  • Fox Blocks' high thermal mass contributes to an energy-efficient and cozy cabin. High thermal mass materials absorb and store heat energy and stabilize temperature changes within the cabin by slowing the rate of heat transfer.
  • Fox Blocks is a solid continuous monolithic concrete wall with a perm rating of less than 1.0, which controls moisture accumulation and prevents the growth of mold, mildew, and rot in a cabins wall system.
  • Fox Blocks are disaster-resistant: Fox Blocks (with steel reinforced concrete) can endure tornado and hurricane winds exceeding 200 MPH and projectile debris traveling over 100 MPH.
  • Fox Blocks are fire-resistant. Fox Blocks’ fire-resistance rating (ASTM E119) is 4-hours for the 6-inch blocks and 2-hours for the 4-inch blocks.

Foundation Requirements of An ICF Cabin


An ICF cabin must have a strong and durable foundation that will transfer the weight and load of the cabin safely to the ground during earthquakes and high winds. The best foundation system for the cabin considers the type and bearing capacity of the soil at the building site, settling, frost, and water.

A foundation must provide strength and stability and protect the cabin from subsidence and settlement. Subsidence is when soil moves away from the cabin. The settlement is when the weight of the cabin forces soil to move away, causing the cabin to sink into the ground. An additional critical element to below grade ICF foundations is a waterproofing membrane and a reliable drainage system. For long-term durability, an ICF cabin must have a strong foundation.

Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms create comfortable, year-round cabins that are energy-efficient, healthy, durable, and disaster-resistant. These elements are vital to providing cabin owners with a retreat for leisure and rest, that is low-maintenance and doesn't drain their pocketbooks but puts money back into it. Fox Blocks are an ideal material choice for a year-round cabin that is energy-efficient and moisture-, and disaster-resistant.