ICF Construction in Arizona
Building and designing affordable, safe, and durable new homes or commercial buildings in Arizona requires careful consideration of several significant environmental factors for the region: excessive heat, the dangerous impact of monsoons, increasing wildfires, and termites.
Fortunately, Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms (ICF) provides builders with a fast and straightforward method for creating energy-efficient, wind, rain, fire, and termite-resistant homes and commercial buildings in Arizona.
Building for Energy-Efficiency in Arizona
New construction must maximize energy-efficiency features to combat increasing and record-high temperatures. The National Weather Service reported a historically high average Phoenix temperature in June of 2021 of 94.8℉. In 2020, Phoenix broke another temperature record with 53 days above 110 degrees. Low-income households in Phoenix spend 7 percent of their income on energy costs, making safe, affordable access to air-conditioning challenging to many Arizona residents.
ICFs Create Energy-Efficient Structures
Fox Blocks ICFs are an affordable building solution to manage energy bills. ICF construction provides the thermal mass and a double layer of continuous insulation (CI), which stops thermal bridging and creates a tight building envelope.
Fox Blocks ICFs achieve an R-value of 23, providing a CI that surpasses the requirements of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE 90.1) and the International Energy Conservation Code (2021 IECC).
Protecting Against Arizona
The monsoon in Arizona runs from June 15 to September 30, and brings dangerous winds, hail, heavy rains, and flash flooding to the desert region. Monsoons occur when the high pressure, cool air over the ocean flows towards the low-pressure, warm air over the land, bringing heavy winds and rains to the region.
Severe Winds and Hail
In 2021, the monsoon brought severe 80 mph winds, damaging hail, and dust storms that significantly damaged and destroyed property. In addition, strong winds and flying debris from the increasing occurrence of tornadoes in Arizona further threaten the communities.
Wind, Hail, and Debris-Resistant Fox Blocks
During the monsoon or a tornado, Fox Blocks, with steel-reinforced concrete, protects against severe winds of over 200 mph. In addition, ICFs stand up to hail and projectile debris traveling over 100 mph.
Monsoons Bring Deadly Floods
During the monsoon, heavy rains on dry soil create sudden and frequent flash floods in
Arizona. The 2021 monsoon was the seventh-wettest season in Arizona since 1901. Some regions received two to four times their average seasonal precipitation, resulting in dangerous flooding. In 2021, the floods caused significant damage, shutting down power lines and killing at least five people.
Tucson soaked up nearly 12.5 inches of rain, making this year’s monsoon the third wettest on record since the late 1800s.
Flagstaff issued 132 flash flood warnings.
Southwest and central Arizona received 229 flash flood warnings.
Phoenix issued 247 flash flood warnings, well above the average for a single season.
Flood-Resistant Fox Blocks ICFs
In flood-prone Arizona, Fox Blocks ICFs construction will significantly help protect your home or building and its contents from devastating floods.
Fox Blocks’ solid, monolithic concrete walls provide moisture resistance and permeability (perm rating below 1.0), ensuring that moisture that enters the wall system dries out before traveling to adjacent materials. The reinforced concrete construction won't degrade when wet, and will maintain its original integrity and shape during and after a flood.
Fox Blocks ICFs meet the ASCE 24 guidance for a flood-resistant building product: durable, moisture- and mold-resistant.
Wildfires in Arizona
In 2020, 2,520 wildfires burned nearly 980,000 acres of Arizona’s federal, state, and tribal lands. Drier summers, fueled by overzealous fire suppression and increasing temperatures and droughts, have sparked more severe and widespread wildfires across Arizona.
In 2020, more than 17,000 structures burned due to wildfires in the United States. Almost 2.9 million of Arizona’s residents, or 45 percent of the state's population, are at elevated risk of wildfire. By 2050, experts predict Arizona will see 115 days of high wildfire potential, second to California.
Protecting Buildings from Wildfires with ICF Construction
Protecting Arizona homes and buildings from wildfires requires passive fire-resistant construction with fireproof windows, doors, vents, roofs, and exterior walls built with Fox Blocks ICF wall systems. Fox Blocks, with a fire-resistance rating (ASTM E119) of 4 hours for the 6-inch blocks and 2 hours for the 4-inch blocks, control the spread of fire and smoke.
Termite Problems in Arizona
In the U.S., termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage annually. Termites live in all 50 states; however, they affect homes in Arizona particularly hard because Arizona contains one of the most active underground termite belts in North America.
Fox Blocks ICF creates an ideal termite-resistant wall system in termite-prone Arizona. Fox Blocks lack the organic material termites eat, making ICF less prone to termites than wood. However, Fox Blocks suggests the application of Polyguard Products 650 XTM or 650 XTP membranes for waterproofing and termite protection.
Fox Blocks ICF Construction in Arizona
Many builders and architects recognize the advantages of ICF construction in Arizona. Fox Blocks ICF creates energy-efficient structures that can keep homes comfortable while in the extreme heat while controlling the energy bills. In addition, ICF structures can help protect against increasing wildfires and stand up to the most severe monsoon conditions of heavy wind and rain. Non-organic ICFs also resist termites.
Contact one of our Fox Blocks professionals today for more on why you should use ICF construction in Arizona.