New ICF Works Great For Landscaping Application
Napa, California based H-Forms has released a new, patent-pending insulated concrete form (ICF) for applications that do not require the insulating quality of normal ICFs. This new form can compete economically with concrete masonry unit (CMU) concrete blocks.
Owner, David D. Horobin, said “H-Forms have a nominal 4-inch wide cavity with an inch of foam on either side, making an overall thickness of 6 inches, creating a free-standing concrete wall that is a quality alternative for 6-inch and 8-inch concrete block. The flexible concrete shear-wall design has made H-Forms useful for the foundations of many mobile, manufactured, and modular homes; for small retaining walls, patio walls, and sound walls; for fences and planters; and even for lap pools.”
“In the ’90s when the ICF industry started to make real headway, it made sense that ICF companies heavily marketed the thermal value of their products: we certainly did,” Horobin said. “However, as the thermal ICF market expanded, we all overlooked a huge market which, ironically, does not need the thermal values, but needs the speed of construction and most other benefits that ICFs can offer. It’s ironic that we call them ICFs in this situation as we ignore the “insulation” benefits when we build sound walls and retaining walls.”
He said he designed this product because customers were using his company’s ICFs for these non-energy applications, complaining bitterly that the insulation value was wasted and they liked the speed of construction but not the material cost.
“They were right and so we set about designing a form that would satisfy their needs. Our goal: to compete with CMU in every way possible. We succeeded. It’s not just about the foam block itself, it’s about the cost-effectiveness of the building system the blocks create. In most conditions, we can drill piers instead of expensive flat footings as the wall itself becomes the beam that connects the piers together, saving time and about 60 percent of the foundation cost. We have devised streamlining methods for erecting the forms and pouring concrete that also save time and money. Applying finishes is easy with polymer technology and every phase of wall construction can be streamlined when attention is paid to building the right way. We are always available to our customers with our extensive experience as co-founders of the entire industry back in the early ’80s.”
Stan Queen, project manager for California based Shea Homes said, “We have worked with H-Form to build sound walls, monuments, retaining walls and patio walls in several large developments in the San Jose area. The product has proven itself time and time again with speed of construction, ease-of-use and cost-effectiveness. It provides a complete package.”
Rick Alves, President of Alves Construction said, “When you look at the list of NAHB builders this company has done work for, it speaks volumes about the benefits of the H-Form System.” Other California builders using H-Forms include Citation Homes of Northern California, Davidon Homes, American Homes, Standard Pacific Homes, Shapell Homes of Northern California, Paragon Homes and Landmark Development.
Alves said the reasons include ease of use and performance. Each H-Form weighs 1¼ pounds and is the equivalent of four concrete blocks in area that would weigh up to 125 pounds. It is 10 inches in height and 10-inch cell, and there are five 10-inch cells per 50-inch long H-Form. It bends and cuts easily to form perfect curves.
Horobin said H-Forms eliminate the need for concrete footings; are easy to transport and lift; lock together in assembly like Legos; can create perfect 90-degree corners; can bend and cut easily to form perfect curves; use 23 percent less concrete than any other ICF (115 square feet of wall area per yard of concrete); installs in 10 to 20 percent of the time of concrete blocks; and meets all structural code requirements for 4 inches of reinforced concrete.
According to Horobin, H-Forms are the only ICF in the market that competes economically with concrete blocks. Distributors have less shipping costs because there are no extra parts to contend with – it has built-in pieces and corners.
The company is setting up a distributor network now. For more information, call 707-337-4144 or e-mail [email protected].
Dale Bishop, a General Contractor in California, explained why he is so happy with H-Forms. “This product makes me money!” Bishop said. “I can charge less and be highly competitive, build for less and still make a very good profit. My big developer customers continue to be thrilled with H-Forms’ performance.”
CONCRETE MONTHLY MAGAZINE
This article appeared in the January, 2011 issue of Concrete Monthly Magazine
by The Portland Cement Association