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   Issue #5

September 2007  

The Million Pound Concrete Home

Million Pound Concrete Home

The award-winning 'House at Empyrean Ridge' in Fort Collins, CO continues to gain accolades for its green building design. The Colorado Built Green Program awarded this home 252 points (the average is 70) and a 5-Star Energy Star rating.

The home features a Quad-Lock R-38 configuration and one-million pounds of concrete was used in the walls, the floors and the roof.

Click here to read more.


Of late, the ICF industry has been abuzz with all kinds of news - Steve Heller has accepted the position of Executive Director for the ICFA, effective in August. Steve has a storied background in leading many association and advocacy groups. His talents will be fully utilized to structure the association and its members to effectively promote and communicate the advantages of building with insulating concrete forms across North America.

ICFA Conference & Expo
The ICFA's annual Conference and Expo is coming up. This year's event is taking place in St. Louis, MO from September 24th to 26th. A contractor track has been added that will highlight sessions hosted by some of the industry's most notable contractors. Influential keynote addresses will be made that you won't want to miss. For more information see the ICFA website: www.forms.org/ICFA_Annual_Meeting.html

Call for Entries
The 2007 ICF Builder Awards, sponsored by ICF Builder Magazine is accepting applications until October 26, 2007. This year, there are new categories and improved judging criteria. Winners will be announced at World of Concrete in February 2008. For more information, or to learn how you can enter, go to: www.builderawards.com.

Hot Topics / Events

Value & Service Prevent Dump & Run

Customer Service should begin with the first contact and continue through to the project's completion. This includes timely, accurate estimates; engineering assistance; pre-construction meetings; on-time, complete shipments; technical support and local inventory, representation and training. When choosing an ICF system, like most other building materials, price alone should not be the deciding factor.

For all residential builders, this has been an especially trying year. For ICF builders, who realize the importance of value-add service and support, choosing the right ICF company to work with is paramount. Why is Quad-Lock seen as the industry leader for product, service and support? Read 'Value and Service' Prevents 'Dump and Run'.

Technical and Training

Controlling Concrete Pressure at First Row

We all know that the highest concrete pressure during a pour is at the bottom of the wall, which sometimes can cause deflection in the first row of panels. This can be especially troublesome when working off a slab-on-grade structure, where no backfill will be added.

In order to combat this issue, Quad-Lock has introduced a new technique in our Product Manual and our new installation video (both due to be released before the end of the year), as follows:

  1. Before panels are placed into the metal track on the first row (of any floor elevation), a bead of spray-foam adhesive is placed in the outside corner of both tracks for a distance of about 8 to 12 feet ahead. (Apply only as much foam as you can cover in 2 to 3 minutes, as spray foam should not be allowed to "skin over")
  2. Panels are then pushed down into the track, forcing the foam up into the tie slots, adhering the panel to the track.
  3. Continue to place foam and first row panels, applying only as much foam as you can cover in 2 to 3 minutes, depending on ambient temperature conditions.

The application of spray foam into the track will help the bottom panels resist concrete pressure.

In addition to the above technique, you can further reduce pressure on the bottom panels by keeping the slump to 5" (127mm) or less and vibrating the steel only. Limit the first lift height to 2 rows of panels and limit the drop of the concrete to reduce the force of impact. A "tremmi hose" is recommended in tall-wall applications, or pouring from the side, as recommended in the Product Manual.

Take a tip from some of us "graybeards"; controlling concrete slump is critical and excessively high slump will cause problems with ICFs, especially in cold weather. Order concrete at a 3" (maximum) slump. When the concrete truck arrives, climb up and look down into the drum while it is turning at idle speed (NOT mixing speed). If the concrete breaks over the fins in "chunks" or exhibits cracking as it spills over the fins, it is too dry. Add plasticizer (not water) SPARINGLY and have the driver go to mixing speed for 30 to 40 revolutions. Now check again, repeating the process if necessary. At the point where the concrete just begins to "flow" over the fins without cracking, it is ready to pour your ICF job. Depending on the plasticizing agent, you now have about 45 minutes to offload the concrete; PLENTY of time (if you have installed the forms right).

Remember: It's your job, your concrete and your money. The mix should perform the way you want it to.

Projects on the Go

Old Dog, New Tricks

When Jerry Trottier, a master carpenter for years, was involved in a serious car accident, he thought he would have to look for a new line of work. Not so, when Jerry researched ICF and found out how easy they were to move around the job-site, he resurrected his custom home building business.

Jerry's second hurdle was to find a crew to work with - his all-woman team ramped up very quickly. For the full story, click here.

Sustainable Update

Green Homeowners More Satisfied

A new home buyer survey finds a high rate of customer satisfaction among those who have purchased green homes - and that 63% of buyers are motivated by the lower operating and maintenance costs that come with energy- and resource-efficient homes.

These homeowners say they are extremely happy with their investments, with 85% saying they are more satisfied with their new green homes than with their previous, more traditionally built homes.

The research found that:

  • The new green homeowner is affluent and well educated, in his/her mid-forties and married, and also more likely to be from the Southern or Western states. Women are also more likely to be green homeowners.
  • 63% report lower operating and maintenance costs as the key motivation behind buying a green home. Additionally, nearly 50% said they are motivated by environmental concerns and their family's health.
  • More than 60% of those surveyed say that consumer awareness, additional costs and the limited availability of homes are obstacles to green homes gaining a bigger market share.

Full survey results are published in McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report series.

Hope you enjoyed reading your Quad-Lock E-Connection. Remember that you need to tell us, if you'd like to receive future issues. It's as easy as entering your email below.

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Quad-Lock Building Systems

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