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Issue 18

November 2008  

R-ETRO System Wins Best New Product Award!

Worship Facilities Conference & Expo (WFX) New Product Award WinnerThe winners of the 2008 WFX New Product Awards were announced in early November and the R-ETRO System has been given top honors in the category of:

Best Building Material and Building System Products - Wall Covering

These awards were designed to recognize the newest and most innovative building, management and technology products marketing to churches within the past year. The winners are touted as 'the best of the best' so naturally, we are very proud of our newest product line!

  Free Passes to World of Concrete

You can receive free World of Concrete Exhibit Hall passes by registering on the PCA Website. Come see what's new for 2009 and drop by Quad-Lock's booths to say hello.

Our Indoor Booth is located in the North Hall - N1271 and we'll be doing ICF demonstrations in the outdoor area - O31213.

Get your free pass to the Exhibit Hall.

Quad-Lock will be presenting two training sessions during World of Concrete - please register for them.


Most of our video material is now up on YouTube's website. View Quad-Lock's YouTube collection.

 Rebar Replacement With Helix

Save Money on Rebar...

An engineering letter is available to anyone interested in using Helix in place of rebar designs derived from the NAHB Prescriptive Method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential Construction.

The letter includes dosage tables for 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch thick ICF walls in NAHB format along with sample calculations. Download a copy of the Helix engineering letter.

 SIPs Roofs to Concrete Wall Systems

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with support from the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) and the Portland Cement Association (PCA) have released a prescriptive method detailing connection systems between SIP roofs to concrete wall systems, including insulated concrete formed walls.

The connection details and engineering provided in the study give builders a reliable and consistent method for connecting the two systems in one- and two-family dwellings.

In most cases, the new prescriptive guidelines will reduce the need for additional engineering during the design phase for projects using the two systems. This can often translate to lower costs for both builders and owners.

Download the Study.

Green Cement Plants?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) have recognized cement plants operated by CEMEX USA, Ash Grove Cement Company and GCC of America as being outstanding leaders in energy management. The ENERGY STAR recognition is based on each facility's energy efficiency rating.

Expanded Polystyrene and the Environment

Factual, well-documented information about the environmental credentials of EPS...

The EPS Packaging Group has released a position paper aimed at providing balanced information based on the manufacture, use and recovery from waste of EPS in the packaging and construction sectors.

The impact on the environment of everyday materials is increasingly important if we are to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our natural heritage for future generations.

Read a copy of Expanded Polystyrene and the Environment.

Federal Energy Efficient Relief Laws Extended

The original Federal Energy Policy Act (H.R.6), which was signed into law in 2005 had been extended once, but was due to expire at the end of 2008. The Insulating Concrete Form Association (ICFA) joined forces with lobbying groups to seek an additional extension. There are two measures of interest that were added to the bailout bill and signed into law on October 3, 2008.

The energy efficient new home tax credit has been extended through 2009 and the energy efficient buildings deduction is extended through 2013. The procedures and benchmarks outlined in the original 2005 law remain the same. Read more.

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Bi-Annual Corporate Sales Meeting

Quad-Lock recently held their Fall Sales Meeting November 13th and 14th, in Langley, BC. Sales Managers from North America and Europe were present for this bi-annual event and it was two days well-spent to improve our knowledge-base and plan for 2009.

There were many topics discussed, but one major theme was declining building permits and the mortgage crisis. The mainstream media has spent a lot of time dedicated to these topics and the building industry has definitely faced its challenges in 2008. However, the tone expressed by the sales team was of a much brighter outlook for 2009. We know the building market is shrinking and mortgages / building loans will be more difficult to attain, but there still will be thousands and thousands of new structures built around the world. Here are some of the things we discussed and considered during our 2009 planning:

  • Non-value added suppliers will exit from this more competitive market space
  • Building material suppliers who provide sustainable solutions will see their markets expand
  • The commercial construction market will offset residential market losses
  • The buying public will be more discerning in spending their dollars, especially when choosing sustainable products and technologies
  • Exemplary customer service will be paramount in this shrinking market

Obviously, these are only a few things we discussed at the meeting, but I was encouraged by future opportunities that were communicated, as well as the positive attitudes portrayed by the Quad-Lock sales team.

Quad-Lock is well positioned for 2009 and beyond, we have specifically addressed every one of the key points indicated above. We are the premier sustainable solution, providing tremendous value over our competitors. The insulating concrete form (ICF) market continues to grow and is becoming a sought-after, mainstream building technology. I wish you all a strong finish to your year and a positive outlook for 2009.

Good Selling,

DJ Ketelhut
Director of Sales, Eastern North America

2009 Training Schedule

Training & Technical Services has announced the 2009 training schedule - the most ambitious schedule yet. Regional trainings will be held across the USA and Canada from January through December. Builders and building designers will spend an information-packed day in an introduction to three advanced systems for poured-in-place walls, suspended slabs and roof construction, as well as the latest R-ETRO insulation system for new and existing buildings. Tools for green roof design and construction will also be shared.

Sessions will focus on individual products and their proper installation, as well as the sustainable aspects of each system and the structures they create. The popular hands-on building session will still be a major feature of each day. Both builders and designers will take away concepts and reference materials to help build a sustainability strategy for their businesses.

The coming year's sessions combine elements of both beginning and advanced ICF training to give attendees a wider scope of each Quad-Lock product's capabilities. And, when it comes time to install, our improved course materials will remind participants of the details discussed in these sessions. Building design professionals who attend will receive continuing education credit(s) for their professional development requirements (USA and Canada).

See the full training schedule in the 'Events and Training' section on our website. A downloadable registration form for each event is available for you on the website.

Douglas Bennion
Manager, Training & Technical Services

R-ETRO System Drainage Layer

A few questions have come in since the launch of the (now, award-winning) R-ETRO System about the effect of the small air gap left between the EPS panels and the existing building as a result of the thickness of the R-ETRO Tie backing plate (about 1/4 inch). The concern is about air movement behind the panels affecting the insulating capacity of the system. The answer lies in the physics of heating and cooling (HVAC).

The volume of air that circulates in the 1/4 inch air space is very small and is not a significant factor in exchanging conditioned air. A system would have to be put in place to force air through the space to really make any difference, natural convection is not that force. For instance, if you take a wall that is 10 feet high and 100 feet long, the volume of air behind the Plus Panels is only 20 cu. ft. As HVAC experts will tell you, air can only transport a finite amount of heat. Either the number of air changes or the total volume of air moving has to change dramatically to make a noticeable impact.

One suggestion is to seal the top edge of the installation with spray foam and leave the bottom open. This interrupts flow of air via convection (stack effect) yet leaves the bottom open to promote drainage, if necessary. The resulting layer of static air is widely recognized as adding to the insulating value of the entire assembly.

Conclusion: The contribution of the 1/4 inch space to the drying capacity of the system far outweighs any potential for heating or cooling loss. Many jurisdictions in damp climates are now making this drainage layer (called a rain screen) mandatory in building envelope designs.

Douglas Bennion
Manager, Training & Technical Services

Occupational Safety

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 industry.

Jobsite Visits...

Recently, a future ICF purchaser who wanted to observe the installation of ICF products visited a large commercial jobsite. The individual showed up in sandals and without a hardhat, ignoring signs and warnings about jobsite safety requirements. The general contractor's site supervisor was extremely upset and reminded all parties of the OSHA regulations concerning jobsite safety. Let's look at some issues regarding site visitors:

1] Never send a visitor to a site unless you, as the ICF professional, are present with proper safety equipment to protect the visitor and yourself; obviously you should secure permission to visit in advance.

2] All site visitors along with construction personnel are required to have a hard hat on their head at all times when inside the wire fence surrounding a jobsite - no exceptions. Hard hats should be less than five years old as the plastic decays during normal wear and tear.

3] All site visitors and construction personnel are required to wear steel toe equipped footwear to protect their feet from being crushed in the event items are dropped from a height (obviously, not the foam!). Although steel toe footwear is cumbersome and uncomfortable, it is a must as contractors are subject to fines if employees or visitors are found to be without this protective gear.

4] Bright colored safety vests or jackets are required for all construction employees as well as site visitors. The bright colors and reflective materials make people more visible amongst the myriad equipment and materials on a jobsite. Safety vests or jackets are especially important if there is a crane or motorized equipment working on the site swinging or moving materials into place.

5] When accessing areas that require the use of a ladder, there are several important rules to remember.

  • The ladder should project above the walk surface being accessed by four feet to provide for correct transfer between the ladder and walking surface.
  • OSHA requires that one should be able to step off the ladder onto the walk surface without crossing over the top of the ladder.
  • If access onto a floor level, the edge of the open floor must have a barrier installed to prevent falls off the edge, or a fall protection harness should be provided and connected before stepping off the ladder. This can be difficult if a platform is not erected adjacent to the ICF bracing system.

We'll discuss ladders in more detail in a future article.

6] At no time should a visitor be allowed on an ICF support system without a safety harness that will provide adequate fall protection.

7) It is typical for liability insurance providers to require an insurance waiver that excludes coverage of all site visitors, invited or not, including building/property owners, even if they have been properly equipped for jobsite safety. Workmen's Compensation insurance probably does not cover these visitors either; it is intended to cover the contactor and its employees, only.

Future ideas on tool safety, ladders and scaffold placement, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and concrete placement will follow in upcoming months. If you have any topics that you would like to see covered, please contact us.

We Need Your Help...

 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 troubles.

Contact us for more information.

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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Best regards,
Quad-Lock Building Systems

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