Concrete walls come in two types; ICF’s and Poured Concrete. ICF’s (insulated concrete forms): are basically large hollow lightweight block of Styrofoam, similar in appearance to oversized concrete blocks. The blocks are stacked on the building foundation in the shape of walls, reinforcing is installed, and concrete is pumped in the hollow cavity. The resulting walls consist of the Styrofoam exterior and interior faces and solid reinforced concrete core. ICF’s provide a strong wall system and good insulation via the interior and exterior Styrofoam faces.
Solid Poured-in-Place Concrete walls: (we recommend over ICF’s) are just that; solid (typically) 6 inch thick reinforced concrete walls. They are constructed by erecting reinforcing rods at the wall locations, setting removable forms, pouring concrete in the forms, then removing the forms to leave a solid concrete wall. The advantages of this type of wall over all others are:
1. Concrete walled homes are Stronger and substantially more resistant to high winds than any other wall system. The use of concrete walls in home construction has been popular for years in States like Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma where a constant threat of tornadoes exists. With the recent rash of hurricanes in Florida, the substantial advantages of concrete walls for home construction have become obvious; Studies performed at the Wind Engineering Research Center, Texas Tech University, tested the impact resistance of residential concrete wall construction to hurricane damage. Solid concrete wall resistance was compared to that of conventionally framed walls. To simulate flying debris in a hurricane, a wooden 2″x 4″ stud was shot from a cannon into wood-framed, steel-framed and solid concrete walls, built to residential standards. Test results showed that only the solid concrete wall completely prevented any penetration from the stud, which traveled at 109 MPH. It would take a hurricane with a wind speed of 250 MPH, (far in excess of any recorded hurricane to hit the U.S.) to cause a 9 pound stud to travel at that speed. On the other hand, the 2″X4″ “missile”, completely penetrated the walls which were framed with wood and steel, at much lower speeds. Solid Concrete Walls are also significantly stronger and more wind resistant than hollow Concrete Block homes ( Solid Concrete Walls Vs. Hollow Concrete Block). Your family’s safety is reason alone to build your home with solid Concrete walls. Don’t be fooled by other types of concrete construction, such as: hollow concrete block, pre-formed and pre-cast concrete panels… these are NOT the same as our two preferred wall construction methods; Poured-in-Place, Steel & Fiber-Mesh Reinforced, 6″ thick Solid Concrete Walls or 8″ thick Concrete-Filled Steel & Fiber-Mesh Reinforced Block. (Wall construction method will be determined based on availability of sub-contractors in region)
2. Concrete walls are substantially more energy efficient than other wall systems: Solid concrete has a natural “Thermal Mass” quality. This allows the wall to absorb the heat of the sun during the day and release that heat during the night. This allows your air conditioning equipment to work less, and operate more consistently by balancing you home’s heat load more evenly during a 24 hour period.
3. Concrete is Fire Resistant: Solid concrete resists fires better than wood, or steel, and provides a more durable fire barrier than concrete block. Recent “fire-wall” tests have shown concrete walls to withstand a continuous constant temperature of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours without structural failure. During the test, flames never passed through the walls of the concrete structure to the “cool” side of the wall. In contrast, walls constructed of wood typically collapsed in less than 1 hour. Concrete walls provide added safety and protection for your family and your possessions in the event of a fire.
4. Concrete Provides Better Protection Against Termites and other pests that are prone to infesting wood-framed houses. Termites thrive in hot, humid climates – the very climate found in Florida.
5. Solid Concrete Keep The Noise Out: Given their greater mass, concrete walls help reduce external noise pollution. With less outside distractions, you’ll get a better night sleep as well as enjoy more peace and quiet during the day.
6. Concrete is a “Green” product: made of natural & recycled ingredients, thus conserving our natural resources (i.e. trees). In addition, there isn’t any scrap wood, wasted byproducts, or debris left at the construction site and the concrete forms are re-used thousands of times during their life span.
7. Solid Concrete Walls Add Value To Your Home: If and when you decide to sell, solid concrete construction increases your home’s re-sale value. It will be as appealing to the new owner as it was to you. Greater selling appeal means a quicker closing and more money in your pocket.
8. Peace of Mind: You can’t put a price on having “Peace of Mind”. For the reasons above, your solid concrete home will give you just that for many years. At Cogdill Builders of Florida, you get that and more, for NO EXTRA CHARGE!