Pat Pavloski, Hidden Bay LLC.
When I built my first recreational center it had a 6,300 square foot pool, fitness, and recreational lounge center, was a focal point of our Waterstone subdivision development area. Our developments are planned around a total and complete well-being environment. The recreational centers are designed to complement and enhance those amenities. Safety, health and energy efficiency were paramount concerns in the design of the functional centers. We looked at insulated concrete form construction to fit all our parameters. We chose CELBLOX out of Reedsburg, Wisconsin as our primary ICF.
The recreational centers in our developments can also function as a safety shelter during extreme weather conditions. A solid concrete ICF wall has been tested to withstand flying debris from winds up to 250 miles per hour. To have a secure place for our residents to go is important to us.
Our pool area and fitness center must be maintained at constant temperature and humidity levels. The CELBLOX ICF walls provided a superior thermal envelope which helps maintain the necessary comfort levels at a very efficient cost, a savings greater than I had anticipated. With any public facility one must be vigilant of health concerns. The properties of insulating concrete form construction inhibit any mold growth and further helped to convince us to use them.
I have been very pleased with the outcome of the building, its energy efficiencies and comfort. I have received many favorable comments from our guests. I have since built a larger recreational facility and look forward to its many pleasing attributes that our local residents can enjoy for years to come.
Dawn Kiesling, Larson Eye Center Ltd.
One of the great benefits we come to appreciate in building recently with CELBLOX ICF’s is the superior sound barrier they provide. We own two facilities, one constructed out of CMU and the other out of CELBLOX. Both locations are adjacent to high traffic railroad tracks. With the CELBLOX clinic, we barely notice the trains passing whereas with the CMU clinic, noise from the train tracks is a constant frustration.
David J. Jenkins, State of Wisconsin Director of Commercialization and Market Development
I experienced the effectiveness of CELBLOX first-hand when I visited the new Sauk County Healthcare Center located in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. This roughly 60,000 square foot assisted living center, which was in the final stages of construction, has its external walls built out of CELBLOX. Even though it was 80 degrees outside, the HVAC system was turned off and several doors were open, it had to be only 65° inside. I can testify without hesitation that CELBLOX has extremely impressive insulating characteristics. Moreover, the qualities of poured concrete provide CELBLOX with the strength to better withstand high winds, tornadoes and fires. We look for more opportunities to deploy this building construction technology.
Frederick J. Poehler, AIA, ASIA, LEED AP Habitat Studio, Incorporated
I can easily testify to the value CELBLOX ICF construction brings to green sustainable building design and construction. As the project architect overseeing the Sauk County Health Care Center project, I watched the project team weigh the benefits of ICF versus stick frame construction. In the end, the design team embraced the advantages ICF brought the project and took advantage of the technical/construction expertise CELBLOX was able to provide.
What triggered our team’s initial interest was the facility engineer’s desire for storm protection. This led to additional discussions on longevity and maintenance, mold and allergens and energy savings.
ICF construction is superior to stick frame construction in its ability to withstand storm events. No system can guarantee absolute protection form all storm events, but ICF’s mass and rigidity allow it to better resist wind and minimize vibration, greatly enhancing a structure’s ability to withstand a major storm event.
Where longevity is critical and there is a desire for minimal maintenance, ICF brings big advantages. Many facilities (especially public) run on minimal budgets and staffing. This often leads to maintenance and upkeep being delayed longer than desired. This in turn allows small maintenance problems to become large before they are discovered. Many maintenance issues revolve around water invading the building structure. Stick frame will rot, mold, break down, etc. when exposed to water requiring repair or replacement. ICF structure stands up to water (by not absorbing it) thereby maintaining its integrity and minimizing water damage repair costs.
Mold and allergens are a growing concern across the design/construction world in general. For medical and senior facilities these concerns gain additional importance. The wood and batt insulation of typical stick frame can support (by being a food source) mold and allergen growth (especially when wet). In contrast, ICF is not a food source, therefore minimizing mold and allergen issues.
Last, ICF generates energy savings. ICF walls provide thermal mass and air tight construction minimizing heating and cooling needs. One needs to remember the exterior shell is made up of walls, doors/windows, roof and mechanical equipment. All parts of the exterior shell must be constructed for energy efficiency to maximize dollar savings. ICF walls provide a critical energy saving s advantage to the exterior shell.
Beyond the ICF product’s physical advantages, the design team took advantage of CELBLOX’s technical expertise and construction knowledge. CELBLOX provided timely answers to technical questions, arranged for energy modelling, made presentations to design team and to the client and supplied practical construction experience and support. The greater public and much of the design/construction world is still getting to know ICF. CELBLOX easily communicates all of its advantages and is closing the knowledge gap.
Nancy L. Karas, Prinicpal, East Grand Middle School, Granby, Colorado
I am writing this letter in support of school construction projects being considered or being built with insulated concrete form products. I am the principal of East grand Middle School in Granby, Colorado, an area that receives months of snow and freezing temperatures.
East Grand Middle School is a two story, 87,000 square foot building, constructed of ICF, with walls sanding as high as 44 feet. The entire exterior of the building, except the gymnasium, is constructed of ICF material. The exterior of the ICF is covered with stucco and brick. The interior of the ICF is covered with drywall. The durability of the construction material makes the walls of our building, both inside and out, virtually indestructible.
The upfront cost of construction materials for the exterior of the building were more than traditional school construction. However, the shorter construction time saved money on labor so the difference was not believed to be significant. The completion date and occupancy was four months earlier than planned.
Since entering the building four years ago we have had very few issues. The biggest issue we have dealt with regarding the settling of the building was expansion joint covers not staying on the wall. Easily resolved! A concern I had for the settling of the building was the amount of windows that were built into the concrete walls. I was concerned that as the concrete settled we could have windows or at least window seals break. We have not lost one window or seal to date. The building has no real visible signs of settling.
We do not have cracks, leaks, swelling, buckling, or any other visible signs of a concrete building of this size settling after four years.
Heating and cooling costs of a building are a major concern and expense to a district for the life of a building. This is a cost that can easily be compared to buildings of traditional construction to determine long range savings. The average cost to heat our building, constructed of ICF’s is $.19 per square foot for the year! Our heating bill for the year, even with our hard, cold winters, is approximately $16,500 per year. Traditional (wood) construction at other buildings in our district is $.23 per square foot and steel/metal construction at another of our district buildings is $.39 per square foot.
The building maintains temperature very well. The building is also extremely quiet. Even though the we built the internal walls with traditional steel studs and drywall, the building absorbs the noise inside and doesn’t allow the noise from outside to enter. We are located in the flight path of our local airport and we are directly above the railroad tracks. Noise from either of these is (not) an issue for our students.
Based on being part of the design team, construction team and living in the building on a daily basis, I would recommend any school district looking into building with ICF. The initial material costs may be more, but the construction time, temperature control , noise levels, potential life of the building and the overall feel and look of the facility for many years to come need to be taken into account.
Dave Zirbel, Hidden Valley Builders, Gays Mills, Wisconsin
Hidden Valley Builders (installed CELBLOX) for the Flaherty Primary Center, a 67,473 square foot school located in Ekron, Kentucky.
The project included 12” ICF gymnasium walls that were 38’ high. This portion of the project was poured in two separate lifts of approximately 20 feet. While generally HVB utilizes a ¾” or one inch diameter vibrator to consolidate the poured concrete within the ICF wall, for these walls we were required to us a 2” diameter vibrator. Considering the diameter and the vibratory force of this larger instrument, the CELBLOX ICF’s performed exceptionally well without any structural issues due to the pour or the vibratory compaction process. Typically the corners are the most vulnerable during an ICF pour. The CELBLOX corners experienced no problems whatsoever, without any extra strapping or bracing beyond what is recommended by the manufacturer.
CELBLOX ICF’s were very fast to work with. The tongue and groove design locked tightly together making the wall easy to straighten and plumb prior to the pour. It was also quick and easy to kep clean of any debris.
Compared to other ICF’s being used for commercial buildings, CELBLOX ICF;s used on this project have received favorable comments. Kenny Stanfield from project designer Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects commented that Flaherty was the best ICF school he’s seen yet when he came out to view the jobsite in September.
Josh Munson, Munson Drywall
I have been installing sheetrock for ten years now. It has only been in the last two years that we have had to hang sheetrock on ICF buildings. That being said, it is very surprising that there are so many different ICF blocks out on the market. I have worked with five different ICF forms now. As far as sheetrock goes, you would not think the block would make that much difference and at first it really did not seem that way. Then I used CELBLOX.
I never really looked forward to working with ICF’s until I worked with CELBLOX. We use a lot of screws in a house and when we used other blocks we had a high number of pull outs. I honestly don’t think we had a single one with CELBLOX.
I want to let your company know that from my perspective on the job site, your (CELBLOX) form is in a league of its own. I think it is unmatched in quality from every standpoint.
Brian Tourdot, Service Electric, Reedsburg, Wisconsin
Service Electric acted as the electrical contractor for a new 82 bed skilled nursing facility that was built with CELBLOX Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) As an installer, I found that running the electrical components throughout the ICF walls was easy and convenient. I used the following methods of installation:
Metal Clad Cable: I used Roto-Zip with a ½” dado bit, cutting a ½” deep channel. Cutting in the chases through the EPS foam was very fast and easy.
Electrical Metallic Tubing Conduit: I used the Roto-Zip with a round dovetail bit (3/4”” bit for ½” pipe and a 1” bit for ¾” pipe). The dovetail (tapered) channel allowed the conduit to be pressed into the channel, preventing it from popping back out. This eliminated the need to secure it to a stud or foam the chase.