What's Your IAQ IQ?
Indoor Air Quality
We all know that building with ICF
provides a superior, high performance building envelope. In
today's market energy efficiencies are the main criteria; not
only for sustainability, but from an ongoing building operating
What may get lost in all the energy
talk is how ICF and concrete provide a perfect structure to
control indoor air quality.
Read the Environmental Council of
bulletin on indoor air quality.
Net Zero Energy Home
Barry Oberpriller had a dream to build a
prototype home. He wanted it to be unique - like an Earthship.
Read about his discovery of ICF
and the realization of his dream.
As ICF becomes a
more prevalent building system, North American dealers and
installers of Quad-Lock ICF need to extend their knowledge of
building techniques to comply with the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA). In order to prepare for the
upcoming inspection and enforcement by OSHA, this and future
articles will discuss various compliance issues facing the ICF
The initial inspection by a Safety
Agency is the first experience many ICF installers have with the
various forms of OSHA (or other governing safety bodies).
Normally, the inspection starts with a simple question: "Can we
see your safety plan?" Throughout the construction industry,
small contractor 'safety plans' have typically not been
developed. This is especially true in the ICF industry. Rules
are vague in many areas. When creating a safety plan, there are
many easy points of compliance. The first part of the plan
should provide direction and a process for worker injury.
Worker's compensation insurance
programs that reduce costs should be part of the installing
company's policies and procedures. If you as a contractor, are
enrolled in a premium reduction plan you already have an action
plan for the initial and extended treatment of an injured
employee. However, do you have a complete first aid kit? A first
aid responder trained in CPR? If your crew is working out of
town, has the contact sheet been updated for that work site?
These are essential plan elements. Calling 911 is only the start
for an injury serious enough to contact a hospital. What you do
immediately following a serious injury can save a finger, a hand
or maybe someone's life. A comprehensive injury plan is the
first essential piece in the Safety Plan Kit.
Future ideas on electrical safety, tool
safety, ladders and scaffold placement, Material Safety Data
Sheets (MSDS) and concrete placement will follow in the upcoming
months. If you have any topics that you would like to see
please email us.
Another Interesting Project
This shrine is the only one of its kind in
the United States and is an exact replica of a temple in
Bangkok, Thailand. The Mongkotlepmunee Buddhist Temple located
in Bensalem, PA was constructed by Ken's Konstruction, Ken
Branyan Sr. and Jr.
Quad-Lock FS Panels and Quad-Deck pan forms were used to form
the 1,200 sqft temple resting upon a 4,600 sqft concourse of
ornate white columns and curving staircases.
To see the outstanding chronology of this interesting
visit the Photo Gallery on our website.
2009 ICFA Annual Conference & EXPO Forming
Portland Oregon will host this year's ICFA
Conference. This 3-day event has premiere speakers and
educational content. To register or find more information,
to the ICFA Website.
In a recent meeting being attended by about 40 people, I asked "how
many of you are in sales?" By a show of hands, eight indicated they were
indeed, in sales. Actually, everyone in the room should have put their
hand up. The real answer to this question is, we are all in sales. We
may not all be selling products or services, but everyone is in sales.
To prove it to you, here are a few examples:
- A politician has to campaign to sell his or her ideals
- A husband convinces a spouse about a big purchase
- An office worker sells his ideas for change
- A neighbor talks to you about a recent, positive buying
In our personal lives and our jobs, we influence decisions and the
buying behavior of others. We can be passionate, like when you've found
the best new computer and you speak about it as if it were the only
choice. In discussing ICF construction, we may change someone's opinion
on stick building. "Why would I build with ICF? Well, let me tell you
why..." The point I want to make is, how YOU can impact what other
Let me share a recent buying experience with you that proves my
theory. I live in a neighborhood where the homes are approximately 20
years old. To my disappointment, the original builder used cheap
shingles. I, along with most of my neighbors, needed to replace our
existing roofs. I called three roofers from the local Yellow Pages and
was dismayed by their lack of response. How many of you have called a
contractor and never got a call back? How frustrating. Are contractors
really that busy and profitable that they don't need to call prospects
back? Several days later, I noticed that some of my neighbors had a
small family-owned roofer replace their existing roofs. The job was
completed quickly and looked good so I inquired about their experience.
These are some of their responses: "He is detail-oriented and does not
cut corners"; "His bid was the exact same as my invoice with no add-on
charges"; "He completed on time and picked up everything before he
left"; "You are not going to find a better contractor to do business
WOW. Sounds like I found the guy that needs to replace my roof. So, I
asked James while he was working in the neighborhood about my roof and
he said he would come down that evening do an evaluation and send me a
quote within two days. He sent the quote within two days and within a
week had dropped off literature on the brand of shingles as well as
color swatches of roofing material. The quote price was fair, not
the lowest. I signed a contract with him that week and I am happy to say
he did an excellent job just as my neighbors indicated. James and his
company have done approximately 90% of the new roofs in my neighborhood
and one of his employees told me jokingly, they had a monopoly on the
neighborhood. Wait, there is more to the story...
While I was waiting for James to come and get started replacing my
roof, I noticed a large roofing contractor completing several roofs.
Seeing that my roof needed some attention, I was approached by the
salesman and asked if he could give me a quote. You see, this was one of
the roofing contractors I had called with no response. I asked, "Is your
company that busy that you do not call prospective customers back?" "Of
course not", he said. He went on and on about exemplary customer service
and the best prices and the speed of his guys and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. I
told him I signed a contract with James and he would be showing up
within a week. The salesman being persistent, asked "Why did you go with
him?" I replied, "BECAUSE YOU AND YOUR COMPANY DID NOT RETURN MY CALL.
And by the way, James has built a great reputation in the neighborhood."
I wished him well on his sales efforts. Needless to say, the salesman
stormed off in a huff.
I have two points in recap. Make sure you call your prospects back,
regardless of some of their questions. Their positive buying experience
could turn into a situation like James faced in my neighborhood; lots
and lots of sales with minimal effort. And, I am sure many of you share
similar experiences as to how far word-of-mouth advertising can take
you. It is the oldest and continues to be the most effective way to make
and increase your sales.
DJ Ketelhut Director of Sales, Eastern North America
Finding the Silver Lining
In a challenging environment, sometimes finding the 'silver lining'
just takes a bit of thought. For example: How many builders have
considered that the very forces that make new home construction
unattractive to buyers makes the upgrade of their existing home that
much more attractive? This has been true in every housing down-turn in
history. Consequently, there are additions to build, jack-ups with new
basements to install and with the high cost of energy, lots of
insulation upgrades to sell. In fact, the NAHB reports that 65% of
remodelers are currently selling insulation upgrades to their customers.
Quad-Lock can open doors for you in the remodeling/renovation market.
Let's look at some of the ways we can help you capture this business.
The new R-ETRO System is designed to add an R-18
insulation layer to the interior or exterior of an existing building, as
part of a planned upgrade of the finishes. This easy-to-use system
features special ties that attach to an existing building and hold Plus
Panels in place. It provides a high R-value insulation along with a
substrate for finishes, like drywall, siding, or stucco. When your
customers receive their first utility bill and see that their heating
or cooling costs have plummeted, the payback is immediate.
Quad-Lock ICF for Foundations and Basements
One of the trickiest
parts of remodel work is getting a new foundation connected to an
existing foundation, or built under an existing, moved or raised
building. Training and Technical Services can offer detailed drawings as
to how this connection is made.
One of the least expensive ways to add square footage to a building
is to add a basement. The lightweight nature of Quad-Lock ICF makes it
the only way to add a story below a raised building. Ask us about the
house-moving firm that rehabilitates older homes and moves them to new
sites, with a new Quad-Lock ICF basement or foundation under every one.
A new insulated roof structure can add safety, efficiency
and durability to a building that is subject to temperature extremes and
high winds. Quad-Deck has been used in many instances where trussed
roofs have been replaced by insulated concrete roofs. New decks and
garages over living space are commonly done with Quad-Deck pan forms.
When you do business with Quad-Lock, you have tapped into many years
of problem-solving experience by building professionals who have
survived many building cycles. We have built 'em from scratch, moved 'em,
raised 'em, fixed 'em and added-on to 'em. Don't be afraid to ask us how
Quad-Lock products can help with your remodel business.
Manager, Training and Technical Services
Proven Energy Efficiencies
As part of our on-going development of materials to assist in the
sale of Quad-Lock, we want to create a library of statistics about
structures built with Quad-Lock Insulating Concrete Forms. You can help
us by submitting your energy bills, along with the bills from a
comparable house in your neighborhood for us to add to our library. When
you do this Quad-Lock will pay your highest month's energy bill for your
Contact us for more information.