ICF Construction in Texas - Everything You Need to Know
Insulated concrete form (ICF) construction is one of many framing options for a Texas coastal home. Fox Blocks ICF construction creates energy-efficient and disaster-resistant homes and commercial buildings, particularly essential in hot and humid Texas, as it battles climate change with increasing temperatures and more frequent and stronger storms and wildfires.
In addition, durable and non-toxic ICFs reduce long-term repair and maintenance costs and create a healthy indoor environment. Quick and easy-to-install ICFs require less labor and hasten project delivery time, which is vital for today’s contractors as they struggle with labor and material shortages.
Five Benefits of ICF Construction in Texas
Building with Fox Blocks ICFs in Texas will ensure energy-efficient, long-lasting, disaster-resistant, and healthy structures that assemble quickly with less labor than other building methods.
1. Energy-Efficient ICF Construction in Texas
By 2036, the average annual surface temperature in Texas will rise by 3.0° F, nearly doubling the days over 100°F compared to 2001-2020, making it essential to construct energy-efficient structures. Fortunately, high-thermal mass ICFs create tight building envelopes, lessening energy use and saving money.
Energy-efficient ICF homes and buildings protect occupants' health and financial stability by creating comfortable, safe structures with manageable energy bills. ICF wall systems provide continuous insulation (CI), to create a tight building envelope that minimizes air infiltration and heat gains, keeping a cool and dry house or building.
Fox Blocks enables Net Zero Ready evaluations for the building envelope. Adding high performance windows, doors, roof insulation, and solar panels will meet Net Zero standards.
Designing an energy-efficient structure with a tight building envelope should include exterior walls with high effective R-values, like those made with Fox Blocks ICFs.
Fox Blocks ICF high thermal mass walls (R-value of 23) provide CI with no thermal bridges for an energy-efficient, moisture-resistant and healthy structure.
Fox Blocks produces ICFs with two 2 ⅝” thick, Type II expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation panels. EPS insulation ensures a wall system with long-term thermal resistance, compared to XPS and Polyiso insulations(both proven to lose R-value over time). As a result, Fox Blocks exceeds all climate zones' ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code mandates.
The high thermal mass of the ICF continually moderates the temperature change through the wall system, lessening the air conditioning load for the interior space. Tests have shown that the effective R-value of ICF wall systems improves in hot climates like Texas.
A Fox Blocks ICF foundation contributes to a tight building envelope by providing a continuous air barrier, thermal barrier, and a high R-value. Fox Blocks ICF foundation walls also include a vapor retarder which more effectively stops moisture infiltration and the possibility of structurally damaging and unhealthy mold.
Fox Blocks ICF wall systems protect homes and businesses from ever-increasing and fierce hurricanes, tropical storms, and flooding. Texas ranks second for states that are most hurricane-prone.
ICF also resists fires, which is vital because the state’s ever-changing climate, population, and land use threaten to expand wildfires, resulting in 14,500 communities at risk of wildfire in Texas.
Wind- and Flood-Resistant
Quick and straightforward to install, Fox Blocks ICFs are a superior exterior wall framing option for combating increasingly severe winds and storms in Texas.
They can withstand winds exceeding 200 mph and projectile debris flying over 100 mph, to provide more protection against extreme wind events and moving debris than wood and steel framing.
Flood-resistant Fox Blocks solid continuous monolithic concrete walls provide permeability (perm rating below 1.0), to ensure that moisture within a wall framing system will dry out and not travel to nearby building components, preventing the growth of unhealthy and damaging mold. In addition, Fox Blocks reinforced concrete construction won't degrade when wet, and will maintain its initial shape and integrity during and after a flood.
The increasing threat of wildfires in Texas calls for fire-resistant products, like ICFs, in all new construction. Crucial elements of fire-resistant construction include passive fire protection with fireproof roofs, doors, windows, vents, and exterior walls built with Fox Blocks ICF wall systems. Passive fire protection guards the occupants of a structure and protects the home or building by controlling the spread of fire and smoke.
The 6-inch Fox Blocks achieve an ASTM E119 fire rating of four hours (twice the two-hour requirement), and ASTM E84 reported values for flame speed below 25 and smoke development of less than 450.
ICF construction creates long-lasting structures that minimize costly repairs and maintenance due to moisture intrusion and termites. Texas ranks 6th for the most humid state; therefore, moisture-resistant construction is needed to prevent the growth of structurally damaging mold. Furthermore, Texas ranks 7th in the country for termite damage; so, buildings in Texas must also take measures to prevent termite infestation.
Building Durable Structures with Fox Blocks ICF
Fox Blocks are a solid continuous monolithic concrete wall with a perm rating of less than 1.0, that controls moisture infiltration and stops the growth of structurally damaging mold, mildew, and rot.
ICF provides a superior termite-resistant wall system for termite-prone Texas. Fox Blocks lack the organic material that termites eat, making ICF less susceptible to termites than wood. However, Fox Blocks recommends Polyguard Products, Inc. 650 XTM or 650 XTP waterproofing membranes for termite protection.
4. Promotes IEQ
ICFs create healthy buildings and homes with excellent indoor environmental quality (IEQ), including good air quality and acoustics, essential to protecting a structure's occupants' health, comfort, and productivity. A Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) report found that nearly half of American homeowners want some level of healthy-home features. 83 percent of homebuilders and remodelers believe consumers will pay more for a healthier home.
The IEQ of a home or building significantly impacts its occupants' health, comfort, and productivity. IEQ attributes include controlling moisture, optimizing acoustic performance, avoiding using materials with VOCs, maximizing daylighting, and proper ventilation.
Fox Blocks Create Superior IEQ
Fox Blocks offer a solid continuous monolithic concrete wall with a perm rating of less than 1.0, which controls moisture intrusion and prohibits the growth of unhealthy mold.
They also control noise between interior rooms and the exterior of structures. Sound transmission tests indicate that less than a third of sound passes through ICF walls than fiber insulation-filled wood-frame walls. Fox Blocks achieve a Sound Transmission Classification (ASTM E90) of 4-inch=STC 46, 6- and 8-inch = STC 50+.
Fox Blocks contain little to no VOCs.
5. Quick and Easy ICF Construction
Of concern, in 2021, 93 percent of contractors report that the problems in recruiting skilled labor will continue or worsen over the next six months. Fortunately, ICF construction provides quick construction timelines that lessen labor needs over other construction methods.
Fast and Straightforward
Fox Blocks ICF construction lessens building costs because ICF requires less labor and takes less time to build than other building methods. The fast and easy Fox Blocks ICF wall system installs as an all-in-one wall system, integrating five steps into one, including structure/concrete form, air barrier, insulation, vapor retarder, and furring for finish attachment. The all-in-one feature expedites building project delivery by eliminating the coordination of multiple trades while achieving the wall assembly’s goals.
Why Choose Fox Blocks ICF Construction in Texas?
Fox Blocks ICF construction offers a far superior framing option in Texas than other building methods, like wood and steel. Fox Blocks ICFs create energy-efficient, wind- and fire-resistant homes and commercial buildings, particularly vital in hot and humid Texas. Long-lasting and non-toxic ICFs reduce repair and maintenance costs and create a healthy indoor environment. ICFs require less labor and quicken project delivery time, essential for today’s contractors who struggle with labor and material shortages.
For everything you need to know about ICF construction in Texas, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Fox Blocks today.