Frequently Asked Questions

The con­crete mix is a high slump 5″- 6.5″ (125 mm – 165 mm) with a small­er aggre­gate size so the con­crete flows eas­i­ly. The per­son in charge of plac­ing the con­crete should watch the con­crete flow through­out the whole wall to ensure there are no void pock­ets. Inter­nal vibrat­ing pro­vides good con­sol­i­da­tion, elim­i­nat­ing voids.

Fox Blocks walls are designed as rein­forced con­crete walls, with steel rein­force­ment bars spec­i­fied to be installed ver­ti­cal­ly and hor­i­zon­tal­ly, as the walls are built. Typ­i­cal rein­force­ment bar sizes used are #4 or #5 (10 m or 15 m).

The EPS in an Fox Blocks has a flame retar­dant that allows the forms to be flame resis­tant. The EPS will melt when exposed to sus­tained tem­per­a­tures over 300°F (149°C). The igni­tion point of the melt­ed styrene is 600°F (315°C) (wood is approx­i­mate­ly 500°F (260°C). Fox Blocks have been test­ed to meet the build­ing code require­ments for flame spread and smoke devel­op­ment, plus Fox Blocks may be used as fire resis­tant rat­ed wall assem­blies in schools and hos­pi­tals.
Test reports con­duct­ed by the Nation­al Research Coun­cil state: The max­i­mum tox­i­c­i­ty index obtained from the com­bus­tion of poly­styrene was of the same order as that of wood.” Fox Blocks ICFs have been test­ed to meet build­ing code require­ments for flame spread rat­ings, smoke devel­op­ment and tox­i­c­i­ty
Fox Blocks con­tain a min­i­mum of 40% recy­cled con­tent by weight.
  • Fox Blocks do not off-gas and are not man­u­fac­tured using any gas­es that deplete the ozone or are harm­ful to the envi­ron­ment.
  • Fox Blocks require low embod­ied ener­gy to man­u­fac­ture.
  • Fox Blocks do not con­tain any mate­ri­als, that pro­mote mold or mildew growth.
  • Fox Blocks are an effi­cient con­struc­tion method there­by reduc­ing the amount of con­struc­tion waste, dust and air pol­lu­tion in the build­ing process.
  • Build­ing with Fox Blocks will save on heat­ing and cool­ing costs because less air is exchanged between the out­side and inside of your home. This also means a small­er more effi­cient HVAC unit is required for the home.
  • Fox Blocks are sus­tain­able. They will not rot or dete­ri­o­rate for the life of your home.
  • Fox Blocks pro­vide a secure, durable, com­fort­able, long last­ing build­ing
Prod­ucts are not rat­ed or cer­ti­fied under the LEED pro­gram. The over­all build­ing is eval­u­at­ed and assigned a LEED rat­ing. In the selec­tion of build­ing mate­ri­als for a LEED design, Fox Blocks have many ben­e­fits that can enable, enhance or direct­ly con­tribute toward LEED points for the project.
Ener­gy Star does not eval­u­ate or rate insu­la­tion prod­ucts. Every Fox Blocks home when test­ed by an Ener­gy Rater, can meet and exceed the Ener­gy Star home stan­dards and achieve a 5 Star rat­ing and a HERS’ score well below the min­i­mum Ener­gy Star require­ment of 85, or in Cana­da, high­er than an Ener­Guide rat­ing of 80.
EPS does not off-gas. Fox Blocks forms do not and nev­er have con­tained any CFC or HCFC prod­ucts. The forms are made by a steam process that uti­lizes pen­tene gas’ as a blow­ing agent. The blow­ing agent dis­si­pates from the prod­uct with­in 48 hours of man­u­fac­tur­ing. Fox Blocks forms are odor­less, do not dete­ri­o­rate, and do not off gas.
EPS is an inert, organ­ic mate­r­i­al. It pro­vides no nutri­tive val­ue to plants, ani­mals or micro-organ­isms. It will not rot and is high­ly resis­tant to mold and mildew.
EPS pro­vides no nutri­ent val­ue and is not a food source for ter­mites. If left exposed, ter­mites may tun­nel into the foam in search of fibrous food. When build­ing, in a heavy ter­mite infes­ta­tion area, care is required in the detail­ing and con­struc­tion of the walls that will be in con­tact with ground, to pre­vent access to the foam for ter­mites.
Absolute­ly. The exte­ri­or walls are two lay­ers of con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion, the den­si­ty of sol­id con­crete and a lay­er of ½” gyp­sum board on the inside all con­tribute to supe­ri­or sound sup­pres­sion of STC 50 for the whole build­ing enve­lope. Note: A wood frame sys­tem of equiv­a­lent STC rat­ing would be 2 x 4 studs spaced 16˝ o/​c, with 3½˝ absorp­tive mate­r­i­al, 1 lay­er of 5 /8˝ Type X gyp­sum board on resilient chan­nels spaced 16˝ o/​c, and 2 lay­ers of 5 /8˝ Type X gyp­sum board on the oth­er side. (Cour­tesy of 1995 NBCC Sec­tion A9.10.3.1 Wall #W5a)
The plas­tic webs in Fox Blocks forms are 100% recy­cled postin­dus­tri­al polypropy­lene. The EPS insu­la­tion is vir­gin mate­r­i­al. Recy­cled con­tent for an ICF block is mea­sured by weight. The recy­cled con­tent by weight of a stan­dard 6″ Fox Blocks form — 48%.
Yes, every com­po­nent of the Fox Blocks form itself plus the con­crete and rein­force­ment bars are recy­clable.

The clear R‑Value of an Fox Blocks is R22, how­ev­er cur­rent Ener­gy codes rec­og­nize the lack of ther­mal bridg­ing in an ICF and the con­tri­bu­tion of the mass con­crete on the influ­ence of the ther­mal per­for­mance. Whole wall cal­cu­la­tions indi­cate a Fox blocks wall assem­bly pro­vides an R24 rat­ing.

The con­tin­u­ous dou­ble lay­er (inside and out­side) of insu­la­tion, the elim­i­na­tion of ther­mal bridg­ing and min­i­mal air infil­tra­tion through the mass con­crete wall assem­bly, allows Fox Blocks walls to per­for­mance in the high per­for­mance wall assem­bly cat­e­go­ry. Com­plet­ing the enve­lope with ener­gy effi­cient win­dows and doors and roof insu­la­tion, Fox Blocks homes can eas­i­ly meet and exceed ener­gy code require­ments and exceed the min­i­mum require­ments for Ener­gy Star and Ener­Guide. A Fox Blocks struc­ture requires 44% less ener­gy to heat and 32% less ener­gy to cool.

No. The char­ac­ter­is­tics of an ICF wall with the mass con­crete and the EPS insu­la­tion pro­vide the required vapor per­me­ance to meet build­ing code require­ments as a vapor bar­ri­er.
Fox Blocks are com­pat­i­ble with all exte­ri­or fin­ish mate­ri­als and sys­tems – sid­ing, stuc­co, mason­ry veneer, sim­u­lat­ed stone, etc. The attach­ment of cer­tain exte­ri­or fin­ish­ing sys­tems is rec­om­mend­ed with exte­ri­or grade screws fas­tened into the exposed or con­cealed webs.
Acrylic stuc­co is a thin coat fin­ish which can be direct­ly applied to the EPS insu­la­tion on the exte­ri­or face of the ICF. Fox Blocks pro­vides a con­tin­u­ous EPS sur­face con­ducive for the appli­ca­tion of acrylic stuc­co. All acrylic stuc­co man­u­fac­tures are famil­iar with ICFs as a sub­strate and each have their rec­om­men­da­tions for appli­ca­tion over ICFs. Note there is a dif­fer­ence in the instal­la­tion pro­ce­dures between acrylic stuc­co and tra­di­tion­al stuc­co.

Tra­di­tion­al stuc­co has a thick cemen­ti­tious base, typ­i­cal­ly installed over a met­al lath. The met­al lath is fas­tened direct­ly to the Fox Blocks webs with screw or sta­ples.

All build­ing codes in the USA and Cana­da spec­i­fy that plas­tic insu­la­tion (EPS) must be cov­ered by a ther­mal bar­ri­er equiv­a­lent to 15 min­utes of fire pro­tec­tion in hab­it­able spaces. This is achieved with ½” gyp­sum board or an equiv­a­lent mate­r­i­al. Fox Blocks has spe­cif­ic fire test­ing that proves reg­u­lar ½” gyp­sum board with reg­u­lar dry­wall screws fas­tened into the plas­tic webs remains on the wall for the required 15-minute time peri­od.

All build­ing codes in the USA and Cana­da spec­i­fy that plas­tic insu­la­tion (EPS) must be cov­ered by a ther­mal bar­ri­er equiv­a­lent to 15 min­utes of fire pro­tec­tion in hab­it­able spaces. If the base­ment is clas­si­fied as hab­it­able space, then gyp­sum board must be applied but does have to taped and filled. Check with your local build­ing offi­cial.
Yes, Fox Blocks has a brick ledge form and the xLer­a­tor ledge rein­force­ment that is designed to sup­port mason­ry. Fox blocks also has a tieKey acces­so­ry which is a specif­i­cal­ly made as a mason­ry tie, to be insert­ed through the form into the con­crete.
Fox Blocks are list­ed in the build­ing codes (IRC- Sec­tions R404, R611 or NBCC Part 9) with spe­cif­ic applic­a­bil­i­ty lim­its for res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion. If the project meets the applic­a­bil­i­ty lim­its with­in the build­ing code, a Pro­fes­sion­al Engi­neer may not be required (depen­dent on local build­ing depart­ment require­ments). A build­ing offi­cial has the right to request engi­neer­ing and in some regions all projects require a professional’s stamp. For any projects that exceed the applic­a­bil­i­ty lim­its, a Pro­fes­sion­al Engi­neer is required for the struc­tur­al design. Check with your local build­ing depart­ment.
Fox Blocks has a wide-rang­ing net­work of knowl­edge­able prod­uct dis­trib­u­tors and trained installers across North Amer­i­ca; con­tact Fox Blocks Cus­tomer Ser­vice to find the clos­est Fox Blocks prod­uct dis­trib­u­tor or trained installer in your area.
Fox Blocks forms have a reversible inter­lock sys­tem on all blocks. The robust inter­lock allows the blocks to fit togeth­er very tight­ly, elim­i­nat­ing any require­ment for adhe­sives. A reversible inter­lock speeds up the instal­la­tion.
EPS is list­ed basi­cal­ly under four prop­er­ty clas­si­fi­ca­tions – Type I, II, III and IV. The char­ac­ter­is­tics are based on the den­si­ty of the mold­ed foam which defines the prod­uct type. Fox Blocks ICFs are man­u­fac­tured as a Type II EPS with a den­si­ty of approx­i­mate­ly 1.5 pounds per cubic foot.