Building a Disaster-Resistant School With Insulated Concrete Forms

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The Fox Block insulating concrete form (ICF) is an excellent wall system for a disaster-resistant school. Schools built with Fox blocks ICFs maintain their integrity during winds of over 200 mph and resist flying debris moving over 100 mph. Fox Blocks are also fire-resistant. A smart material choice for a disaster-resistant school is Fox Blocks ICFs.

The Importance of Disaster-Resistant Schools


Disaster-resistant schools are designed to protect the building and its occupants from intense wind events and fires. Importantly, many schools are required to have a safe room big enough to hold all the students, teachers, and administrators learning and working in the building.

Protecting Schools from Tornados and Hurricanes

Disaster-resistant schools are crucial for protecting our children and teachers from severe wind events. In 2013, the need for wind-resistant schools became tragically clear. A tornado, with winds of 210 mph, hit and destroyed two elementary schools in Moore, Oklahoma, killing seven children when a wall collapsed. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina significantly damaged 110 of the 126 public schools in New Orleans. Disaster-resistant schools must protect the structure and occupants during tornadoes, hurricanes and other strong wind events.

Protecting Schools from Fires

Fire-resistant design protects the building and its occupants from fires that occur inside and outside of the school. The importance of fire-resistant construction has escalated in recent years, due in large part to the increase in massive wildfires. Protecting the students, teachers, and building during an outside or inside fire event requires a school designed with passive fire protection and fire-resistant materials.

Building a Wind-Resistant School with ICF


The design of a storm-resistant school protects against strong winds and flying debris. Critical to wind-resistant school design is a continuous load path with the strength to resist penetrations from airborne sticks, falling trees, and other debris.

Protect a School Against Strong Winds with a Continuous Load Path

ICF wall construction creates a strong continuous path that ensures the structure will maintain its integrity against winds over 200 mph. In fact, a report published by the Portland Cement Association (PCA) compared the structural load resistance of conventionally framed walls to ICF walls. The report concluded that concrete walls have greater structural capacity and stiffness to resist the in-plane shear forces of severe winds than steel- or wood-framed walls. A school built with ICF has the strength and integrity to withstand winds over 200 mph.

Protect Against Wind-Driven Debris

ICF wall construction is a school’s best protection against wind-driven debris. Worth noting, a study by Texas Tech University found that ICF walls will resist damage debris flying over 100 mph and provides better protection to the building and its occupants during a severe wind event compared to wood-framed walls.

Building a Fire-Resistant School with ICF


Crucial elements for a fire-resistant school include passive fire protection with the use of fire-resistant exterior walls, roofs, doors, windows, and vents. Passive fire protection contains the spread of fire throughout a school building, which reduces dangers to students, teachers, visitors, and property. Passive fire protection also protects critical structural components and stops the collapse of a building. Accomplishing passive fire protection is through the use of fire-resistant walls, windows, doors, roofs, and vents.

Fox Block ICFs Create Disaster-Resistant Schools


Fox Blocks Build Wind-Resistant Schools

Schools constructed with Fox Block insulating concrete forms (ICF) maintain their integrity during intense winds of over 200 mph. Fox Blocks also resist projectile debris traveling over 100 mph. Building a school or a safe room with Fox Blocks ICF can ensure the safety of students and teachers during a dangerous wind event.

Fox Blocks Create Fire-Resistant Structures

An excellent option for a fire-resistant building is Fox Blocks ICF. Fox Blocks have a fire-resistance rating (ASTM E119) of 2 hours for the 4-inch blocks and 4 hours for the 6-inch blocks. In addition, Fox Blocks have ASTM E84 reported value for smoke development of less than 450 and flame speed of less than 25. Fox Blocks protect students and teachers from the threat of fire inside and outside of the school.

Build a Disaster-Resistant School with Fox Block ICF


The Fox Block is a superb product for building a disaster-resistant school. Fox Block construction protects a school and its occupants from severe wind events and fire. Please visit Fox Block for more information on building a disaster-resistant school.