Pictures, like this image from FEMA after Hurricane Katrina, truly show the need for constructing STRONG homes. After a terrible disaster, this resident who used ICF construction still had a home. Imagine being one of his unlucky neighbors. Losing your home, your possessions, and being totally dependent on community or government assistance for basic needs. Don’t let that happen.
Build with E-Z Blocks, and let your home be something you can count on.
E-Z Blocks Resist Earthquake and Hurricane Damage
Research was conducted (by the Portland Cement Association) to compare the ability of insulating concrete form (ICF) walls, and conventionally framed walls, to resist structural stresses that can occur during earthquakes… The test setup and procedure followed general guidelines of ASTM E564-95, Standard Practice for Static Load Test for Shear Resistance of Framed Walls for Buildings. A hydraulic ram was used to transfer lateral load to the beam at the top of each wall a calibrated instrument measured the increasing magnitude of this load. The amount of load was gradually increased while any major distress, cracking, or damage was observed and recorded.
The frame walls showed initial damage at relatively light loading and had a much lower maximum lateral resistance. The ICF walls resisted a maximum lateral load 6 to 8 times the maximum loads resisted by the frame wall panels. Under lateral loads of about twice as much as the maximum resistance of the frame walls, the ICF panels were still very stiff, with extremely small deformation, and showed no damage.
These results suggest that when subjected to lateral in-plane loading from sources such as wind or earthquake, the ICF wall panels are not only considerably stronger but also much stiffer than the framed wall panels. The higher strength of ICF walls enable concrete homes to resist winds and earthquakes of much higher magnitudes. The higher stiffness demonstrated by the ICF wall panels at the loading limits of the frame wall systems would result in smaller lateral deformation and prevention of potential damage to non-structural elements of a home such as finishes and trim. In the case of moderate earthquakes, the repair cost of the damaged non-structural components is usually the major, and sometimes the only part of the restorations costs. ICF’s offer greater potential for reduced property loss from strong wind and earthquakes.
Flame Spread, Smoke Development: Zero
The ASTM E84 test measures the surface burning characteristics of building materials. When E-Z Block underwent this test it received the safest rating possible: a flame spread index of 0, and a smoke development index of 0. Stated simply, E-Z Blocks do not burn, or produce smoke when exposed to flame. Below is a copy of the test sheet.
For more on E-Z Blocks fire resistance, see our Unique Features tab.
Eliminate Termites, Vermin, and Dry Rot
All wood houses suffer from the same weakness. They are not made to withstand the assault of nature. Owners of framed homes must go to great lengths to prevent their walls from becoming the homes of vermin and insects, being overrun by mold or fungi, or even warping from moisture. Yet despite these precautions it is a loosing war. E-Z Blocks provide peace of mind for these worries.
Termites: Often when selling a home a termite inspection/infestation report is a condition of sale. Termites can severely weaken the very walls that hold up your roof when you build a traditional wood frame house. E-Z Block walls are inorganic with no nutrients to attract termites and other insects.
Vermin: Unlike framing, E-Z Block walls are a solid structure and provide no viable nesting areas for vermin.
Dry Rot: Dry rot is actually a disease, common to timber and caused by fungi. Dry rot does not affect concrete and is therefore not a worry for the owners of an E-Z Block home.