Insulated concrete forms and plumbing,electrical


Hello all, I am new to this group,and would like to introduce myself. My name is Tim,and I live in the Houston Tx area.Been here 28 yr. now,and have to say we have some of the friendliest folks in the world here,so will probably stay awhile. I am a divorced father of 3 kids, 2 of which live with me. I built my last home in '93;actually I was the general contractor and subbed out most of the work.The house turned out pretty well,but I also learned a lot during the process( you cannot have too much closet and storage space,for instance). Materials and techniques,not to mention necessity, have come a long way since'93. Anyway, I managed to lose that house in the divorce,but it was an energy hog,so good riddance (electric bills in the range of 6-700/mo.) Gonna build a new one this year,and will probably use ICF for the outer walls.I have been looking at the Nudura ICF product line for the last year or so,but that could change based on several factors. There are more than a few players now in the ICF game. Do any of you folks have any experience with ICF const., and in particular plumbing and electrical issues? I would appreciate any feedback,and will try to participate as much as possible with the group. Thanks in advance, Tim
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Depends on exactly what you think are issues. In exterior wall you generally cut a trench with a hot knife or fit the wires between the strapping. Plumbing is put in interior wall when possible.
A couple of things to consider when choosing the ICF you want to use.
It does not matter much where the company is headquartered. Most all use molders around the country to make the product for them. Ndura says they do their own molding and that may or may not be a good thing. You can save a lot of money on freight if there is a molder (not the distributor) close to you rather than truck them 1000 miles.
Most every ICF is 2.5 inches thick so the insulating value is the same. Some come molded with the webs in place. This saves labor but adds to freight cost. Others some in flat panels and are assembled on site. Saves fright, adds labor cost.
Most every block is 48" long, but they can be 12", 16" or 24" high. Larger saves joints, smaller allows for versatility, especially if you want a 9' basement. Be sure they have all the specialty items you need for your design. 45 degrees, taper tops, brick ledge, headers, etc. saves trying to make something on-site. The most common are 6 and 8 inch wall thickness, but you can find them from 4 to 12 inches or assemble that size on-site.
Check out Wind Lock for accessories and tools used in construction. http://www.wind-lock.com/public/main/default.asp
Others ICS to consider www.integraspec.com www.greenblock.com www.polysteel.com
There are about 50 others. If you want to find a local distributor or contractor, go here http://www.forms.org/
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Edwin, Thanks for the info,and the links.You have given me a lot to think about,but I really appreciate the link to the tools dist.;should come in very handy when I do the rough in electrical. You are right about the shipping costs,and I have heard that Nudura has but one manuf. facility.I will be making comparisons,as I am not set on any one product at this point. Tim
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I have a customer who built most of his house out of insulated concrete forms. One dormer and the roofs are made from insulated panels. He said he would never do it again except for the foundation. The house is very well insulated and his heating and cooling bills are low. However because of plumbing and electrical requirements he needed to build walls inside of the concrete walls. He said he wound up paying for two walls where he only needed one. I can tell you that it is a pain to try and add electrical receptacles, lights, and switches in a house like this. I've had to use a lot of Wiremold to add things after the fact. Maybe with better planning you can figure a way to do it because electrical switches and receptacles can certainly be recessed into the concrete. You would just use conduit and concrete boxes. I don't know about the plumbing, heating and A/C though.
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Sounds like more of a case of poor design and planning. Thousands of houses are build with ICFs every year with no problem. Different materials call for different methods.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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wrote in message

I was thinking the same thing when I first saw the place and knowing this guy. Unfortunately at the time he was not able to find a lot of contractors, designers, architects, and engineers who had experience with this type of construction.
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John Grabowski wrote:

IMHO, there is no advantages to using 'ICFs' over 'sips' above grade unless you live in hurricane country or maybe tornado alley. I'm in Wisconsin
Sips structures are cheaper and faster to construct......7-9 a sq ft v 10-15 for ICFS and offer much better insulation value.
My idea is to build a full ICF basement with 10' walls and chase all the mechanicals above a suspended ceiling into a sips construction main floor walls and roof.
YMMV
Curly
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