The Benefits of Fox Blocks ICF Over Batt Insulation


Fox Blocks ICFs offer an improved method to insulate a home or commercial building over wood construction with fiberglass batt insulation. Fox Blocks furnish superior insulation, structure, attachment, and air and vapor control in a single product - a feature that saves time and money over applying batt insulation during wood-frame construction. Fox Blocks also provide a safer and healthier environment compared to batt insulation for both the workers and residents of the future building or home.

What is Batt Insulation?

Pre-cut batt fiberglass insulation comes in flat pieces, with or without paper or foil facing. Batt insulates the walls, attics, and ceilings of a structure and often fits between the framing. Batt insulation comes in several R-values and may require more than one layer or thicker framing to achieve the mandated amount of insulation according to the structures’ climate zone.

The R-value represents the insulation's ability to stop the transfer of heat. The mandated R-value provides the maximum thermal performance needed to keep a house or building cool in the summer and warm in winter. The greater the R-value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation, which reduces energy loss and saves money.

The Pros of Batt Insulation

  • It is readily available to builders to install in ceilings, unfinished floors, attic spaces, and crawl spaces.
  • May have a paper or foil vapor barrier applied.
  • Some batt insulations come with a flame-resistant facing - important if left exposed in a basement or attic.

The Cons of Batt Insulation

  • The R-value ranges from R-2.9 to R 3.8 per inch of thickness. To achieve the required R-Value in some climate zones, the builder may need to increase the batt insulation thickness wider than the wood stud.
  • It allows airflow, which can increase the energy bill and create drafty homes and buildings. The airflow can also cause the batt insulation material to break down over time, so it requires the application of an air barrier.
  • Without vapor barrier tape, moisture can become trapped in fiberglass insulation. Moisture can lead to mold and significantly lessen the insulation R-value. Building and homeowners must immediately replace wet batt insulation since it does not dry out.
  • It can serve as a bedding material for pests. The pests may damage the fiberglass which can lead to uneven insulation coverage and airflow.
  • Fiberglass insulation traps dust, allergens, and mold (caused by moisture). People that suffer from allergies should avoid fiberglass insulation.
  • Batt insulation in a cavity wall does not meet the building code as continuous insulation. Additional insulation must be added to combat thermal bridging.
  • Workers that come in contact with fiberglass can experience eye, skin, and respiratory irritations. They must wear pants, long sleeve shirts, gloves, goggles, and a face mask
  • Batt insulation placed in a wood frame wall allows thermal bridging at each stud which substantially decreases the overall thermal efficiency of the wall assembly
  • Commonly, poor installation of batt insulation, may leave small gaps reduce the effective R-Value by 30% and air tightness.

A Better Insulating Solution - Fox Blocks ICF Construction

For insulating a residential or commercial building, Fox Blocks ICF provides a better insulation product over wood construction with batt insulation.

In one quick and simple step, Fox Blocks all-in-one wall assembly provides structure, attachment, vapor and air control, and continuous insulation with an R-value of 23. The all in one feature saves contractors money by eliminating the need to coordinate multiple trades. Fox Blocks also manufactures a safer and healthier building product compared to batt insulation.

What is Fox Blocks ICF Construction?

Trained professionals can quickly and easily construct a high-performing, energy-efficient Fox Blocks ICF wall.

  • First, workers dry-stack the hollow inter­lock­ing units made of expanded polystyrene (EPS), that are sep­a­rat­ed by four to twelve inch­es of rein­forced rebar. After the workers complete stacking, they pour concrete into the hollow panels.
  • Once the concrete cures, the inner and outer polystyrene ICF pan­els create a per­ma­nent exte­ri­or frame­work. Later in the construction process, these pan­els easily allow for the instal­la­tion of plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal con­duits.

The Many Benefits of Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Form Construction

  • Energy-efficient Fox Blocks ICFs, with high thermal mass and no thermal bridging, achieves an R-23 rating for CI that creates an airtight building envelope. Fox Blocks ICF construction meets, if not surpasses, the codes and standards of the 2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1.
  • Fox Blocks creates a high-performance building envelope and with an integrated design for openings, rood and HVAC equipment enables Zero Energy Ready construction.
  • In the long run, durable Fox Blocks save money with reduced maintenance and repair costs over wood insulation with batt insulation:
    • Stops moisture accumulation in the interiors of the walls with a solid continuous monolithic concrete wall and perm rating of 1.0.
    • Lacks organic material, will not degrade or rot and is not a food source for termites. (Fox Blocks recommends the application of termite protection like the Polyguard Products, Inc. 650 XTM or 650 XTP membranes.)
  • Fox Blocks create structures with good indoor environmental quality:
    • Moisture-resistant; prevents the growth of unhealthy mold
    • Contains little to no VOC.
    • Exceeds energy codes for airtighness for better control of Indoor air quality (IAQ)
    • Furnishes excellent acoustics by reducing sound transfer between the outside and inside of a structure, which improves the comfort and productivity of the occupants.
  • Disaster-resistant Fox Blocks protects both the structure and its occupants during a fire, severe wind event, and earthquake:
    • Provides excellent passive firewall protection. The 6-inch Fox Blocks achieve an ASTM E119 fire rating of four hours (twice the two-hour requirement), a smoke development of less than 450, and an ASTM E84 value for flame speed of less than 25.
    • Resists hurricane and tornado winds of over 200 MPH, along with projectile debris traveling over 100 MPH.
    • Provides shear walls that extend the entire height and all sides of the building or home. During an earthquake, Fox Blocks effectively resists sideways (lateral) in-plane forces that push the top of the wall in one direction. At the same time, the bottom stays stationary or moves in the other direction (racking the wall).

Fox Blocks ICFs offers a double layer of superior continuous insulation for a home or commercial building. They save builders time and money over installing batt insulation, and also provide a safer and healthier environment for both the workers during construction and occupants of the completed building or home.

Please contact Fox Blocks professionals for more information on why insulation concrete forms will provide a better insulation solution over wood-frame construction with batt insulation.