Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hurricane, Tornado and Wild Fire Resistant Homes

Insulated Concrete Form Construction (ICF) homes are made using high density Styrofoam to form a cavity of six, eight, ten or twelve inches wide in which concrete is pumped or poured. The cavity also has steel reinforcing bars placed so that the resulting structure is similar to concrete bridges and over-passes in its ability to resist otherwise disastrous winds of tornado and hurricane strength.

The images in the slide show feature examples of Insulated Concrete Form homes that have remained standing after a tornado, hurricane, tidal wave, or wild fire.

Since the poured concrete completely fills the space between the Styrofoam forms, there is no place for water to enter and remain. The incidence of mold is greatly reduced in above and below grade ICF walls.

In addition, the Insulated Concrete Forms are highly insulating and along with the thermal mass of the concrete provide up to three times the energy performance of standard insulated wood stud walls. Less heat loss and more efficient cooling means greatly reduced energy bills.

The use of exterior Insulated Concrete Form walls also significantly reduces the amount of noise entering the home from the outside world. Loud lawn mowers, sirens, truck traffic and other sources of noise are greatly muffled, often to the point of being totally unrecognizable inside the home.

Natural Disasters : 

Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes

TF Insulated Concrete Form walls stand where other building system walls may not. 
TF Forming Systems partnered with Convoy of Hope to not only help rebuild Joplin, but rebuild Joplin better. We have built homes for displaced residents who lost everything in the EF5 tornado in 2011 using our ThermoForm - Insulated Concrete Form. The concrete walls are built to withstand 250 mph winds and protect from flying debris while the rigid foam insulation can lower utility bills throughout the year.

TF is currently working to rebuild in Moore, OK, a city destroyed by a tornado.

To learn more about what the concrete industry and government officials are doing to instill better building practices that will keep people safe, read this article about Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013

Benefits of Concrete Wall Construction
Concrete is resistant to hurricanes, tornadoes, and high winds. Following Hurricane Katrina, a house still in the building phase using insulating concrete forms was the sole house left standing in a Pass Christian, MS, neighborhood (photo to the right).  
Disaster Investigators have learned from previous hurricanes that:

  • Wood frame walls performed poorly unless well designed and constructed
  • Loads on building components and connections are significantly increased when the envelope is breached by high wind or flying debris. Concrete wall systems appeared to resist breaching as well, if not better, than other wall systems.
Debris driven by high winds presents the greatest hazard to homeowners and their homes during hurricanes and tornados. Tests show that concrete wall systems suffer no structural damage when impacted by debris carried by hurricane and tornado-force winds.

As a means to prove just how robust concrete walls are to wind-blown debris, the Portland Cement Association, in conjunction with Texas Tech University, tested concrete wall systems by shooting 2x4s out of a wind cannon at speeds in excess of 100mph. In all instances, the insulating concrete form wall shattered the wood studs, while the 2x4s easily passed through the frame wall with little resistance.

The TransForm and ThermoForm concrete forming systems are the best solutions to protect your family from hurricanes, tornadoes and high winds. Choose the TransForm or ThermoForm Concrete Forming System as the only solution to extreme weather and natural disasters.


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