The Benefits of Building Multi-story Residential Buildings with ICF Blocks
Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms (ICFs) create multi-story residential buildings that are disaster-resistant, energy-efficient, healthy, quiet, and environmentally friendly. Fox Blocks are also fast and simple to install and durable; all features that save multi-story residential building contractors and owners time and money.
The Increasing Popularity of Multi-Story Residential Buildings
Many people today, from millennials to retirees, are drawn to multi-story residential buildings because they are typically more affordable and lower-maintenance than single-family homes, which saves money and increases free time. Consequently, multi-story residential building starts, completions, and permits have risen steadily since 2011, after diminishing significantly as a result of the 2008 recession.
Today’s residents of multi-story residential buildings are also looking for housing that is energy-efficient, healthy, quiet, and safe. In addition, the owners of multi-story residential buildings want a structure that is durable and minimizes long-term maintenance costs.
In response to the demands of occupants and owners of multi-story residential buildings, contractors and architects are challenged to build and design high-performing multi-story residential buildings that are durable, energy-efficient, comfortable, low maintenance and have good indoor air quality (IAQ). An ideal wall system for achieving all these features is insulated concrete forms (ICFs).
Modern multi-story residential housing built with ICFs are safe, energy-efficient, healthy, quiet and sustainable. ICF construction also saves contractors time and money because it is easy and quick to install and durable.
What are ICFs?
ICFs are hollow blocks or panels made with expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS) or other insulating foam. The ICFs are stacked to form the shape of the multi-story residential building walls. Steel rebar reinforces the hollow centers. Placing concrete into the hollow centers of the blocks or panels creates interior and exterior layers of continuous insulation (CI) and lessen thermal bridging throughout the wall.
Ten Benefits to Utilizing ICFs to Construct Multi-Story Residential Buildings
Constructing a residential building with ICFs provides ten primary advantages to the building owners, contractors, and residents.
- ICF walls of a multi-story residential building can stand up to tornados and hurricanes, which protects the occupants and saves building owners on costly repairs after a severe wind event.
- ICF walls for a multi-story residential buildings are fire-resistant and provide up to a four hour fire rating.
- ICF creates earthquake resistant multi-story residential buildings.
- ICF walls for multi-story residential buildings are energy-efficient with whole wall R-values of 20+, which saves building owners and residents money on their monthly bills.
- ICF walls are moisture-resistant, which prevents the growth of mold. Mold is unhealthy to the occupants and can also damage the integrity of the building, which may lead to costly repairs.
- ICFs are a healthy choice for multi-story residential buildings because they do not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- ICF multi-story residential buildings are quiet with high STC ratings.
- ICF is environmentally friendly with up to 40 percent recycled content.
- ICF construction provides flexibility in design for a multi-story residential building.
- ICF walls are fast and easy to construct, which saves building owners and contractors money and time.
Building a Multi-Story Residential Building with Fox Block ICFs
Fox Blocks ICFs multi-story residential buildings are disaster-resistant, energy-efficient, healthy, quiet, and environmentally friendly. Fox Blocks are also quick and easy to install and durable.
Fox Block ICF Multi-Story Residential Buildings are Disaster-Resistant
Fox Block ICFs create disaster-resistant multi-story residential buildings that protect the structure and its occupants against natural disasters like fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
- Fox Blocks are wind-resistant: Fox Blocks, with steel braced concrete, will withstand severe hurricane and tornado winds surpassing 200 MPH and projectile debris flying over 100 MPH.
- Fox Blocks have a fire-resistance ASTM E119 rating of 2-hours for the 4-inch blocks and 4-hours for the 6-inch and 8-inch blocks.
- Fox Blocks are earthquake-resistant because they create shear walls that extend the entire height and all sides of the building. Steel reinforcing bars anchor the Fox Blocks ICF shear walls to the foundation. When an earthquake happens, this design effectively withstands intense sideways (lateral) in-plane forces that push the top of the wall in one direction while the bottom stays either stationary or is forced in the other direction (racking the wall).
Fox Block ICF Multi-Story Residential Buildings are Energy-Efficient
Fox Block ICF construction controls air and moisture infiltration and ensures an energy-efficient multi-story residential building. Fox Blocks provide interior and exterior CI which stops air leakage (thermal bridging) and moisture accumulation within the wall system.
- Energy-efficient Fox Blocks have an R-value of 23+ and exceed ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code requirements
- The high thermal mass of Fox Blocks produces a high-performing, energy-efficient multi-story residential building. High thermal mass walls absorb and store heat energy, which stabilizes temperature shifts within a structure by slowing the heat transfer rate.
Fox Block ICF Multi-Story Residential Buildings are Durable and Healthy
Fox Block ICF construction controls moisture accumulation within the wall system, which is vital to preventing the growth of mold. Mold can degrade the structural integrity and diminishes the indoor environmental quality of a multi-story residential building. Fox Block ICFs create durable and healthy multi-story residential buildings.
- Fox Blocks control moisture intrusion because the blocks provide a solid continuous monolithic concrete wall with a perm rating of below 1.0
- Fox Blocks are also healthy because they do not contain VOC.
Fox Block ICFs Create Quiet Multi-Story Residential Buildings
Soundproofing the walls of a multi-story residential building is vital for the comfort and well being of the residents. The goal of soundproofing is to limit unwanted sounds and noise pollution.
- The Fox Block ICF wall system reduces the transfer of sound between interior walls and from the outside to the inside of the of a multi-story residential building. Fox Blocks have a Sound Transmission Class rating of STC 45-50+.
- Fox Blocks Contribute to a Sustainable Multi-Story Residential Building
- Fox Blocks are green and environmentally friendly because they contain a minimum of up to 40 percent recycled content by weight.
Fox Block ICF Multi-Story Residential Buildings Save Owners Money
Building with Fox Block ICF saves multi-story residential building owners money during and after the building process.
- Installation of Fox Blocks is fast and easy, which saves money and time. The Fox Block wall assembly combines five building steps into one: the structure, insulation, air barrier, vapor retarder, and attachment. This feature significantly quickens project delivery time by eliminating the need to coordinate multiple trades
- Fox Blocks minimize the need for repairs and maintenance because they resist rot and degradation, which saves the building owner money.
- Fox Blocks multi-story residential building are disaster-resistant against wind, fire, and earthquakes, which lessens the need for costly repairs after a disaster.
- Fox Blocks multi-story residential buildings are energy-efficient which saves building owners on the long-term expenses of heating and cooling.
Fox Block ICF multi-story residential buildings provide the building owners and its occupants a safe, and healthy, and quiet environment. Fox Block ICF multi-story residential buildings also lower short-term and long-term expenses because they are disaster-resistant, energy-efficient, durable, low-maintenance, and quick to install.