ICF Manufacturer Makes Hurricane Resistant and Energy Efficient Dream Home a Reality for a South Alabama Family

Fort Deposit, AL (PRWEB) April 12, 2006

When a consumer reporter for Alabama Public Television decided to build a new home, she did what any reporter would do…research. Lori Cummings producer and host of the statewide program Alabama @ Work began searching for the best way to build both a wind resistant and energy efficient home. Cummings says three letters kept popping up in her research; ICF, which stands for insulated concrete forms. I decided to do a story for our television program on building with ICFs and became intrigued by the concept, says Cummings, it just made so much sense and I wondered why everyone wasn’t building with insulated concrete forms.

But when Cummings tried to find her own contractor to build her dream home she could not find an ICF builder. I was discouraged, but decided to do more research. I went to the Portland Cement Association web site and started emailing block manufacturers, Tritex ICF Products responded quickly. Cummings replies.

A few months later, General Sales Manager Thad Tobaben came with a Tritex team from North Alabama including Barry Camper, Mark Cobb and Tim Liptak along with Greenville, Alabama contractor Randall Nicholas was at the Cummings home site breaking ground on her new concrete home.

Tritex believes in their products and the simplicity of building with our Insulated Concrete Forms, Alabama builder Randall Nicholas caught on quickly and is already planning two more concrete homes, says Tobaben. Tritex stayed on the Cummings project until the ICF portion was complete walking Nicholas and his crew through the entire process.

Nicholas told Tritex, I have to admit I didn’t know if I was going to like building with ICFs, but we just finished the last concrete pour on the Cummings’ house and I am extremely pleased with the product and how easy it is to use. I will definitely be building with Tritex blocks again.

Cummings knows her dream home would not be a reality without Tritex ICF Products and is looking forward to living in her new home this summer. According to the Portland Concrete Association, her new home built with insulated concrete forms requires 44 percent less energy to heat and 32 percent less energy to cool than comparable frame homes. ICF constructed homes can withstand up to 225 mile and hour winds which is an F5 tornado or Category 5 hurricane.

Tritex went above and beyond the call of duty and I will never forget what they have done for me and my family. I won’t have to worry this hurricane season and I will be able to afford my energy bills even when I retire. Thank you Tritex! Cummings says with a smile.

About Tritex:

Founded in 2003, Tritex is a new name in insulated concrete forms. Manufacturing plants are located in Conyers, GA, Pardeeville, WI, and Colorado Springs, CO.

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Explore the Worthwhile Investment of Building Energy Efficient Concrete Homes with this Free Catalog

Yucaipa, CA (PRWEB) September 14, 2006 –

The Concrete Network, the largest and most comprehensive source for concrete information on the web, offers a free downloadable catalog for homeowners, designers, and builders wanting to know more about concrete homes and all they have to offer. The catalog Concrete Homes provides an educational overview of what can be expected when building with concrete including how concrete homes are built, choosing materials, designs options, costs and overall benefits.

The popularity of concrete homes continues to grow more and more as builders and homeowners begin to understand the many advantages these structures have to offer. Ten years ago concrete homes made up just three percent of the market. Today their popularity is exploding, making up over 15 percent of the new homes that are built. View The Concrete Networks photo gallery of concrete homes for a deeper look into the options available for concrete homes.

Buying a home is typically the biggest investment people ever make. If that home is constructed with concrete walls, their investment is naturally protected from the structural damage that can be caused by the effects of nature. They are the buyers who can benefit the most from savings on energy bills and insurance premiums and they are the ones who can least afford the cost of damage from natural disasters. So concrete makes a lot of sense in that market, explains Jon Rufty of Rufty Homes in North Carolina.

Concrete homes are credited with their long-lasting durability, energy efficiency, limitless design possibilities, and their ability to offer shelter through Mother Natures often devastating disasters. Within the catalog, readers will also find specifications about the costs of building a concrete home compared to a standard wood-framed home, and the materials from which these homes are built, including Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs). Find additional detailed information about all aspects of concrete homes on The Concrete Network Web site.

Established in 1999, The Concrete Networks purpose is to educate consumers, builders, and contractors on popular decorative techniques and applications including stamped concrete, stained concrete floors, concrete countertops, polished concrete, and much more. Over 872,000 visitors researched The Concrete Network Web site in June, 2006.

The site excels at connecting buyers with local contractors in their area through its Find-A-Contractor service. The service provides visitors with a list of decorative concrete contractors throughout the U.S. and Canada, and is fully searchable by 22 types of decorative concrete work and 199 metropolitan areas throughout North America.

Attached photos courtesy of Reward Wall Systems.


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A Big Step in a Small Town: ZEH Technologies Inc. Announces the Construction of the ‘Neo Zero Energy Home’ in Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

Toronto, ON (PRWEB) September 7, 2007

Toronto’s ZEH Technologies Inc. announces a plan to build one of Canada’s most innovative and leading edge Net-Zero Energy Homes in the small town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON.

Located 25 kilometers north of Toronto with a population of only 25,000, Whitchurch-Stouffville is a small community in a unique country setting consisting of farmland, ravines, lakes, forests and conservation areas. This quaint little town that combines both urban conveniences with rural and agricultural lifestyles proclaims to offer a “Country lifestyle, close to the city”.

Ironically, this charmingly ‘normal’ Canadian town is the perfect companion for the exciting Neo Zero Energy Home, which will contain the most innovative, modern and environmentally friendly construction technologies, in what looks and feels like a ‘normal’ home. The concept behind the Neo Zero Energy Home, is to illustrate that leading-edge, green and environmentally friendly construction technologies can be used realistically in today’s custom homes.

Like most Zero Energy Homes, the Neo Zero Energy Home will make use of the standard principles used to reduce energy consumption including: design and orientation, quality windows and doors, high insulation R-value, airtight construction, tankless water heaters, radiant floor heating and energy efficient appliances. The key difference between the Neo Zero Energy Home and other Zero Energy Homes is that the Neo Zero Energy Home will go one step further and use new technologies which will make the home even more energy efficient and green!

To set the bar even higher, ZEH Technologies Inc. will make use of concrete thermal mass by using Insulated Concrete Forms from Amvic Building System (http://www.amvicsystem.com) as well as a brand new type of geothermal equipment from REHAU (http://www.rehau.com), which is scheduled be released to the market in February 2008.

The Neo Zero Energy Home is expected break ground in April 2008 and to be completed in September 2008. Press and V.I.P. tours will be scheduled in October during the Construct Canada 2008 tradeshow.

About Zero Energy Homes: A Zero Energy Home combines state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction techniques and equipment with renewable energy systems to return as much energy as it uses on an annual basis. When renewable resources cannot provide the entire home’s power (at night or on a cloudy winter day) the homeowner purchases energy from the utility provider. When renewable resources produce more than the house is using (during sunny days when no one is home) power is sent back into the utility grid. In some cases, the utility provider will operate the home’s electric meter in reverse, essentially providing the homeowner with full retail value for their energy. Typically, a ZEH produces enough energy to offset the amount purchased from the utility provider, resulting in net-zero annual energy bills.

To learn more about Zero Energy Homes, and the technologies that will be used in the Neo Zero Energy Home, please visit http://www.zeh.ca.


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Windrush School Saves Energy and Money by Using Bay Breezes and Sunshine for a New Sustainable Classroom Addition

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (PRWEB) September 12, 2007

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Greenblock ICF Wall Systems Tornado Resistant and Energy Efficient

Norman, OK (PRWEB) August 14, 2008

Greenblock Worldwide Corporation (http://www.greenblock.com), a leader and pioneer in the insulated concrete form (ICF) industry, has announced that they have begun marketing their ICF products and installation services in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. With operations throughout the U.S. and Canada, Greenblock has been promoting the use of their ICFs as a disaster resistant, energy saving replacement for traditional building materials for the last forty years.

“The benefits of ICF construction are enormous for this region,” said Oklahoma-based Greenblock territory manager Eric Williams. “With our temperature extremes and severe weather we need homes, schools and workplaces that are energy efficient and disaster resistant. Our ICF wall systems are safe, strong and super energy efficient. I’m looking forward to introducing Greenblock as a sustainable alternative to stick frame and concrete block construction in this area.” continued Williams.

“We’re extremely pleased to have Eric Williams join our Greenblock team”, said Jeff Alexander, Greenblock CEO. “Eric is a certified instructor for several ICF building courses and he is actively involved in the building community in this region. He’ll be a

great asset for anyone looking to build with ICFs”, continued Alexander.

Insulated concrete forms are a ‘stay-in-place’ insulated wall forming system made of three primary components; high R-value expanded polystyrene foam, rigid plastic ties and steel-reinforced poured concrete. The use of ICF’s began more than a half century ago and is continuing to gain popularity throughout the construction industry – especially now because of its energy efficient, sustainable attributes.

Steel reinforced, poured concrete walls are the strongest, safest building materials currently available. ICF walls have been tested and can withstand tornado force winds. And they resist cracking and buckling up to five times better than concrete block walls.

The bulk of a building’s environmental footprint is caused by the energy consumed in the heating and cooling of the structure over its lifetime. The high performance thermal envelope provided by Greenblock ICF construction can offer significant contribution towards reducing the energy consumption needed to control the interior climate of the building. Additionally, the lack of air infiltration and the resistance to moisture through the exterior walls eliminates the growth of mold and pests penetration thus creating a healthy indoor environment that promotes increased employee productivity due to the reduction of sick days.

Projects seeking a green certification from the United States Green Building Council, NAHB or Green Building Initiative, benefit from involving Greenblock ICFs with their project. Greenblock insulated concrete forms are:

Energy Efficient
The expandable polystyrene foam in a Greenblock wall provides a consistent R-24 Thermal Resistance over the life of the product. Coupled with the thermal mass characteristics of concrete, as well as the lack of air infiltration in an ICF wall, the Greenblock system provides a wall comparable to that of an R-50 wood-framed or CMU wall. ICF structures are up to 70% cheaper to heat and 50% cheaper to cool than traditional wood frame or concrete block construction.

Sound Resistant
Structures using Greenblock achieve documented levels of STC (Sound Transmission Classifications) 50 (inaudible) or higher. Wood frame and CMU structures are typically rated an average STC 25, meaning people inside of the structure can hear and understand voices outside the structure. Outside noise such as traffic, airplanes, construction and even lawnmowers and leaf blowers are greatly reduced, making the structure a quiet, peaceful sanctuary.

Strong and Safe
Greenblock structures are much stronger than traditional building methods and materials. Greenblock walls are built with steel-reinforced concrete and fire-resisting expanded polystyrene foam, and they have a 2 to 4 hour fire rating depending on which product is used. ICF structures also improve indoor air quality by eliminating the holes and crevices that can trap moisture and foster mold and mildew growth.

Environmentally Friendly
The decision to construct with Greenblock ICFs is an environmentally responsible choice. Buildings constructed with ICFs significantly reduce the negative impact on the environment through sustainable site-planning, energy-efficiency, lower HVAC requirements and improved indoor air quality.(Builders can earn up to 20 LEED points). Greenblock ICFs are non-toxic; using no CFCs, HCFCs or formaldehydes, the absence of “off-gassing” eliminates the possibility of air pollution or ozone depletion.

Greenblock will be exhibiting at the Sunbelt Builders Show, November 6-8, at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine TX.

About Greenblock, Inc.

Greenblock’s (http://www.greenblock.com) roots originated in Europe over 30 years ago and moved to the United States and Canada in the late 1980’s. With several integral modifications from the time of its inception, today’s Greenblock continues to be the superior choice for high efficiency wall systems, noted for outstanding design and ease of use. Over the years, a significant number of structures have been built with Greenblock. Projects that range from stem walls, basements, single and multi-story residences, apartments, condominiums, schools, hospitals, towers and even swimming pools. Government agencies and utility companies are now recognizing the superior features of insulated form-built structures and are beginning to recommend its use for environmental and energy conservation benefits.


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Goodwill Vermont Opens New Energy Efficient Retail Space Using Amvic ICF

South Burlington, VT (PRWEB) January 7, 2010

Vermont ICF are delighted to announce the grand opening of a new 16,500 sq ft retail/warehouse space that will be home to Goodwill Industries. This one storey structure employed energy saving insulating concrete forms (ICF) for its exterior envelope to ensure the occupants will enjoy a comfortable environment as well as ongoing reduced operating costs.

Using ICF wasn’t automatically the owner’s first choice. Green Dolphin LLC, the builder on the project, provided a detailed cost comparison between conventional steel construction and ICFs (http://www.amvicsystem.com) to facilitate the decision.

“Although the property owner was open to new ideas, the end result had to be cost effective,” says Jim Cameron, project manager from Green Dolphin. “In reviewing the comparison between ICF and conventional steel construction, on paper the ICF appeared more costly. Looking beyond the surface at multiple savings in construction steps and time, as well as the ongoing reduced energy costs, the two options would have cost about the same. The result is a building that exceeds energy usage standards with a reduced carbon footprint and a very air-tight structure.”

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The House Designers and ENERGY STAR

Monroe, CT (PRWEB) March 24, 2010

The House Designers (THD) and ENERGY STAR

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Calling All Green Residential Manufacturers – Have Your Products Specified on Award-Winning Blueprints from ENERGY STAR

Monroe, CT (PRWEB) April 8, 2010

The House Designers and ENERGY STAR

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Valley Business Center Earns EPAs ENERGY STAR Certification For Energy Efficiency

(PRWEB) July 11, 2011

The Valley Business Center, owned/managed by Nu-Tech Systems, has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys (EPAs) ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.

The Valley Business Center was the only recipient in the Warehouse (Unrefrigerated) category in Colorado Springs and is 1 of only 3 to earn the certification in Colorado.

“Nu-Tech Systems is pleased to accept EPAs ENERGY STAR certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts, said Scott Crawford, President. “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs, Crawford said.

Commercial buildings that earn EPAs ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Nu-Tech Systems improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire organization and by making cost-effective improvements to its building.

There are six separate units in the building used for general warehousing and distribution. The two largest tenants are Empire Staple, a distributor of construction related materials and Atlantic Heating, a heating and air-conditioning contractor. The building has a total of 13,000 sq. ft.

Improving the energy efficiency of our nations buildings is critical to protecting our environment, said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPAs ENERGY STAR certification.

To earn the ENERGY STAR, Nu-Tech Systems emphasized energy conservation as a key first step in their planning. A critical decision when entering the construction phase was using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) in the perimeter walls. The ICFs when filled with concrete, provide a sustainable, green built, high-energy efficient structure that is strong and aids in noise reduction Crawford said.

Crawford recently completed a second-office-warehouse building on Town Center Drive using ICFs and plans to earn the Energy Star Award on that building.

Owners of sustainably managed buildings expect a four percent higher return on investment (ROI), five percent increases in building value and occupancy, eight percent lower operating costs, and a one percent rise in rental income, according to a 2010 report released at the Greenbuild Conference by McGraw-Hill Construction, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) and the University of San Diego’s (USD) Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

About 79 percent of owners surveyed believe that green helps them attract and retain tenants, which is a competitive advantage during a difficult economy, according to the report. Crawford agrees with the finding. The Valley Business Center and the new building on Town Center Drive are 100% leased and the energy efficiencies were a key reason, he said.

The report, “Business Benefits of Green Buildings SmartMarket Report,” is the second phase of an ongoing study initiated in 2009 by CBRE and USD. It looks at how commercial building owners, managers, tenant firms and occupants perceive benefits of green buildings as well as the benefits that are driving green building growth in the United States. According to the report, tenant satisfaction also increases after green upgrades, with 94 percent of managers seeing higher satisfaction levels. Eighty-three percent of tenants also believe they have a healthier indoor environment as a result of green efforts.

EPAs ENERGY STAR energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPAs 1-100 scale may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, data centers, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship, and warehouses.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved $ 18 billion on their energy bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 34 million vehicles.

For more information about ENERGY STAR Certification for Commercial Buildings: http://www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings

COMPANY INFORMATION: Nu-Tech Systems was founded in1992. If any developers, builders or tenants would like to visit and see the building call Nu-Tech Systems at 719.761.6831. Nu-Tech Systems, 4759 Town Center Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80916.

View video about the Valley Business Center: http://youtu.be/8vXp9mNTesA


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Alberta Timber Frame Home Receives one of the Most Efficient Energy Ratings Given by EnerGuide, Canadas Equivalent of EnergyStar

(PRWEB) August 25, 2011

The Lefebvre home was not designed primarily to achieve high energy ratings, but instead to be a reflection of the homeowners aesthetic style, while reducing energy costs at the same time.

“We were trying to bring old Quebec City to Calgary,” said Lefebvre. “We love the architecture of old Quebec City, so the house is designed with those kinds of elements in mind: lots of rock, timber frame, and large porches in the front and back.”

So how did they achieve a rating of 86? In addition to the traditional mortise and tenon joinery of the timber frame, the Lefebvre foundation was built with Advantage insulated concrete forms (ICFs) and enclosed with Insulspan structural insulated panels (SIPs). These super-insulating products are designed into all Riverbend homes to work seamlessly with the framing. Additional products used within the project include Plasti-Span insulation under the basement slab, a passive solar design and radiant heating.

The result is that the Lefebvres 6,100-square-foot home costs roughly $ 200 per month to heat in a cold climate. In addition to lower energy costs, the Lefebvres high rating qualifies them for an energy-efficiency rebate of $ 10, 000. Brent Cooper, Riverbends Western sales manager, worked with the Lefebvres on the project and said hes proud of the homes rating.

What I think is most exciting is that they were able to accomplish it primarily because of the insulating products Riverbend uses in their building system, he said. But at the same time, they didnt have to give up their original timber frame design concept.

Cooper said this level of energy efficiency is unique to Riverbend timber frame homes.

I know of no other timber frame company in North America with the ability to provide a building shell of this standard, he said. He added that the tight building shell allows Riverbend customers to enjoy the beauty of their open timber frame design, including vaulted spaces, without increasing their energy costs.

Homeowner Steven Lefebvre said that the flexibility of design and the use of a strong family of products were two of the reasons he chose Riverbend to create his custom timber frame home.

One of the reasons I picked Riverbend Timber Framing was that the ICFs, timber and SIPs had to fit together perfectly, Lefebvre said. It proved to be a very wise decision.


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