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HANSEN RAISING THE BAR HOME

New Canada‘s LargeBrunswick, Family Living with First Net-Zero ICF Home Decreased Energy Footprint

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INSIDE: WORLD OFMONTHLY CONCRETE SHOW INSIDESupplement: THIS ISSUE: INDUSTRY TRENDS: 2018 & Beyond Special

FEATURED PROJECT: QUISPAMSIS HOME FEATURED News from thePROJECT: cement andHANSEN concrete industries LOW-RISELOW-RISE CONSTRUCTION: HOUSE VS. HURRICANE CONSTRUCTION: BRIDGE SAFETY PLUS •concretemonthly.com PRODUCT NEWS PLUSINDUSTRY INDUSTRYNEWS NEWS•PRODUCT


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contents

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14 6 RAISING THE BAR - NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA’S FIRST NET ZERO HOME

14 HOUSE VS. HURRICANE 17 BAUTEX CONCRETE WALL SYSTEMS STAND UP TO HURRICANE HARVEY

20 EXPECTATION BUILDS FOR WORLD OF CONCRETE 2018

Cover photo courtesy of Teri-Anne Cormier 2

Concrete Homes • November/December 2017

20 departments 5 Event News 10 Industry News 12 Product News Roundup 14 Low-Rise Construction 24 Builder + Business Directory


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from the editor Vol. 20, No. 6 President/Editor In Chief Gary L. Pittman, Sr. Executive Vice President of Operations Gary Pittman, Jr. 512-637-0373 garypjr@pcinews.com Managing Editor Vanessa Salvia vanessa@pcinews.com

Hurricane Aftermath With the lead time involved with selling advertising, writing, editing, printing and mailing of a magazine, we’re always working on our issues several months ahead of when you actually receive them. With this particular issue, our staff was preparing material for November/December while the southern and Eastern seaboard states and US territories like the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were recovering from hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma. Covering some of the issues related to building in coastal areas along with a look at some of the numbers, including recent research on insurance costs, seemed like an important area to focus on at this time. With the hurricanes and other extreme weather events in the news, attention is increasingly focused on how building codes affect the price tag of recovery. We know that concrete structures fair better when faced with storms as large as these, and now the country does too. We heard stories about British billionaire Richard Branson riding out Hurricane Irma in his concrete wine cellar on his privately owned island in the British Virgin Islands. We heard stories of the Miami Zoo evacuating its fragile animals such as pelicans and pink flamingoes to concrete bunkers. We read that Hurricane Irma would be the test for Florida’s stricter building codes, which it put into effect after the devastating Hurricane Andrew swept over the area in 1992. Since 2001, Florida has mandated the most stringent building codes in the country. In the Miami area, structures must withstand hurricane winds of at least 130 mph while critical infrastructure buildings must withstand winds of 156 mph and up. We know that there are going to be more storms like this, and unless building codes everywhere start requiring more stringent standards, the losses are going to continue. We also know that ICFs can help achieve the goals of less loss in the future.

Vanessa Salvia Managing Editor

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Concrete Homes • November/December 2017

Contributing Writer Paul Brown Contributing Photographers Paul Brown Teri-Anne Cormier Leigh Overland Art Director Lisa Gouveia lisag@pcinews.com Advertising Executive Gary Pittman, Jr. (512) 637-0373 garypjr@pcinews.com Circulation/Accounting Manager Beth Chorba (512) 637-0344 bethc@pcinews.com Web and Network Manager Joel Nosal joeln@pcinews.com

PUBLISHED BY Publications and Communications, Inc. 13552 Highway 183 N, Suite A Austin, TX 78750 phone (512) 250-9023 fax: (512) 331-3950 Concrete Homes + Low-Rise Construction (ISSN 152-5547) is published bimonthly by Publications & Communications, LP., Gary L. Pittman, President. Subscriptions are available for $22 per year, single copy price $4.95. Foreign subscriptions are available for $45 per year. Payment must accompany orders. Copyright 2017 by Publications & Communications, LP. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without written consent from the publisher is strictly prohibited. The technical content and opinions in this publication are those of the relevant contributors or advertisers and are not attributable to the publisher, staff, writers, sponsors, sales department or other advertisers. Postmaster: Send change of address to Circulation Dept., 13552 Highway 183 N, Suite A, Austin, TX 78750 (512) 250-9023.


events NOVEMBER 28-30

American Concrete Pavement Association Annual Meeting San Diego, California acpa.org

NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 1 Decorative Concrete Training Class Super-Krete Products by Arizona Polymer Flooring Inc. Buda, Texas super-krete.com

NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 1 Decorative Concrete Training Seminar Increte Systems, the Decorative Brand of Euclid Chemical Odessa, Florida euclidchemical.com

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HANSEN HANSEN HOME

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Check our website for latebreaking updates! Send your event information to Vanessa Salvia vanessa@pcinews.com

Call 1-512-637-0344 or visit our website: concretehomesmagazine.com November/December 2017 • Concrete Homes

5


RAISING THE BAR NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA’S FIRST NET ZERO ICF HOME Text by Vanessa Salvia • Photography courtesy of Teri-Anne Cormier

A

S A HOMEOWNER, WOULD YOU RATHER PAY $80 PER MONTH FOR HEATING AND COOLING COSTS OR $500? BRAD MCLAUGHLIN, GENERAL MANAGER OF MCL CONSTRUCTION LTD. IN THE QUISPAMSIS AREA OF NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA, BETS THAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD CHOOSE TO PAY $25 IF THEY COULD.

McLaughlin estimates that the three-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-story home he built would cost about $500 to heat and cool if it were built to minimum housing code standards rather than the Amvic ICF it’s made with. Eighty dollars may even be too high of an estimate, McLaughlin says. The house was designed to be net zero. That means the home will produce as much energy as it would consume in a year. Energy saving assets include the use of triple-glazed windows, a low-flow velocity heat pump system, a heat pump hot-water tank and a battery that charges from the extra electricity and kicks in when there is a power outage. Forty-four solar panels provide what little energy the home does use. Usually, the home is selling power back to the grid. 6

Concrete Homes • November/December 2017

The ICF home is the first of its kind in New Brunswick. But McLaughlin believes it won’t be the last. “This is obviously the direction that houses will go in the future,” he says. “If we’re going to reduce our carbon footprint this is the way we’re going to have to go.” MCL Construction was started in 1978 and McLaughlin is the second generation to operate it. He left the family business and then returned to it six years ago, after his father had started using ICFs for basements and additions. MCL Construction had already been building R-2000 homes, a best-in-class energy rating system developed by Natural Resources Canada. An R-2000 home is 50 percent better in efficiencies than a code home.


The Quispamsis house is the province’s first net zero home to be certified by both the federal government and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. After the Quispamsis home was built, it was on the real estate market with an asking price of $695,750. That may be a higher asking price than other homes in the neighborhood, but if the homeowner pays $25 per month (for a hookup fee they have no choice but to pay) rather than $500, that’s a savings of nearly $6,000 per year over the (long) life of the home. “We’d been using ICFs for 10 years before building this home, putting ICFs in for either a frost wall, or the foundation or basement,” McLaughlin says. “Even though the existing home may not be as energy efficient, just by making that addition or that renovation more sustainable to return on the investment can pay off for your client pretty quick.” McLaughlin has used other ICF systems but he uses a Canadian system called Amvic because he finds it to be a sturdy

block that is also fully reversible. “If you mess up on a cut you can use that block somewhere else,” he says. Four years ago, he built his own family home out of ICFs, “to the rafters,” he says, and decided to build this model home to help educate the community about the benefits. “We were already building homes with tighter building envelopes, higher insulation values, smaller mechanical systems and so on,” McLaughlin says. “And because we did all our foundations out of ICFs we saw a real advantage to it. It’s really about the same size of frame for an ICF wall as it is to frame a wood wall. Your product might cost a little more but you get better insulation value.” MCL Construction brings their customers and the general public to tour the model home. “Just to make them aware, that, you know, if you’re investing in a home invest in a home that you’re going to get a return on continuously,” he says. “This home is net zero, so it produces as much energy as it consumes November/December 2017 • Concrete Homes

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in a year. By using this ICF wall that allowed me to reduce the energy consumption in that home. That’s really what it’s about …trying to get your building envelopes as tight as you can, massage your mechanicals appropriately, figure out based on four people how many kilowatt hours that house will consume and them you offset that.” McLaughlin also appreciates that the use of ICF walls covers him in different ways. According to Canadian code, if you build a foundation it must be insulated to roughly R-20. By installing an R-22 ICF block that has no real thermal loss, McLaughlin can build his foundation wall and he doesn’t have to go back later and insulate it. “It’s done,” he says. “So I basically have taken some time off my job, and labor tends to be one of the more expensive parts of a building.” The Quispamsis home is a first step to educating New Brunswick people about the real values of ICF homes. It’s an unfamiliar technology to other builders and potential homebuyers in the area, but seeing how well the home performs is helping. “Some are scared of it because it’s unfamiliar and maybe they don’t have the equipment to stage it,” McLaughlin explains. “And some builders are just code minimal.” Mclaughlin says “code minimal” builders are building to a code established 10 years ago, so that means a new home is already not very efficient for today’s world. But when he 8

Concrete Homes • November/December 2017

has the chance to explain all of the ICF’s benefits, potential homebuyers are into it. Amvic has an R-30 block, and when the little bit of thermal loss is taken into account, it comes down to roughly R-29.4. “There’s hardly any thermal loss at all,” McLaughlin explains. “If I were to construct a wood frame wall that size and get the same effective value my walls would have to be extremely thick and then you need get a vapor barrier and you’re doubling the amount of lumber you use, which costs more. It’s a whole education process but you can show them the payback and that makes sense to them.” Plus, the other less tangible benefits such as ICFs being quiet and strong. All that adds up to make ICF highly desirable at the end of the day. McLaughlin installed a dashboard on the home, so that it is easy to see how much energy is being produced by the home’s solar panels and how much is being consumed. If there’s a bright sunny day and the home is producing a lot of electricity, McLaughlin says, the homeowners might understand that they can do an extra load of laundry that day. But on a low-power day, they might choose to conserve. In years past, a home’s primary energy use was through appliances. Now, it’s the occupants. “It allows the occupants of the home to be smart because now they can decide how much energy they want to use or not,” he says. “Now appliances are so efficient that we’ve had to make the occupants smarter.”


PROJECT STATISTICS LOCATION: SAINT JOHN, QUISPAMSIS, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA SIZE: 3,600 TOTAL SQUARE FEET, WITH 2,300 SQUARE FEET OF LIVING SPACE

The heat pump hot water tank is another brilliant energyconserving choice. The Power Pipes drain water heat recovery unit recovers heat from the warm shower water as it flows down the drain. It works by using outgoing warm drain water to pre-heat incoming cold fresh water so the water heater has less work to do. This reduces the amount of energy used to heat water because this already-warmed water is returned to the hot water tank. McLaughlin believes that homebuyers should invest a little extra more up front to get a home that returns savings over its lifetime. He recommends doing an energy analysis by looking at a code home you want to build and then seeing how the numbers change if you add more insulation on walls or increase the air tightness. “That’s a really good process that a new home buyer should get into, and then just find the builders that do it,” he says. “At the end of the day your home is one of your biggest investments, and if it’s going to cost you a lot you’re not going to get your return out of it quick enough I don’t think. So if you invest a little bit more today in efficiencies you’re going to get a return a lot quicker and you’re way better off.”

ICF SYSTEM: AMVIC AMVICSYSTEM.COM DEVELOPER/OWNER: BRAD MCLAUGHLIN, MCL CONSTRUCTION LTD., MCLCONSTRUCTION.CA DRAFTER: BRICKBUILDER DESIGNS, GRAHAM MOORE GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MCL CONSTRUCTION LTD. ICF INSTALLER: MCL CONSTRUCTION LTD. CONSTRUCTION TIME: 5 MONTHS, COMPLETED IN MAY 2017

November/December 2017 • Concrete Homes

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industrynews GLOBAL ICF MARKET EXPECTED TO CONTINUE SHARPLY GROWING The global insulated concrete forms (ICF) market is expected to attain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.5 percent. Currently, North America dominates the market for insulated concrete forms, followed by Europe and APAC. The developing regions of South America and the Asia-Pacific are expected to increase its market share in the future, owing to the growing construction activity in the developing countries. Insulated concrete form or insulating concrete form (ICF) is a system of formwork for reinforced concrete which is made with a rigid thermal insulation that stays in place as a permanent interior and exterior substrate for walls, floors and roofs. The forms can be characterized into three main categories: block, panel and plank, each having their own advantages. ICFs are revolutionizing the global residential, commercial, institutional and industrial building industries. ICF construction has been growing at 25-30 percent per year for quite some time. Building with ICFs is gaining momentum over other building methods because with comparable costs, ICFs offer unparalleled comfort, energy efficiency and safety ratings. The emerging regions such as Asia, South America and the Middle-East have been witnessing sizeable growth in construction activities have excellent prospects for insulated concrete forms. Drivers: • Demand for better thermal performance • Growing construction activity in developing countries • Compliance with energy regulations • Adoption of disaster resistant building researchamdmarkets.com

ASSOCIATION OF EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS SUPPORTS HURRICANE RELIEF The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has donated $5,000 to the American Red Cross to assist with Hurricane Irma relief efforts. This is in addition to the association’s previous $5,000 donation in response to Hurricane Harvey. “These natural disasters have affected, and will continue to impact, hundreds of thousands of people, and we are glad to be able to support the humanitarian effort alongside our members who are providing equipment like generators and utility and construction equipment to help restore quality of life,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. AEM has also set up a link through its ICUEE, The Demo Expo trade show website to offer attendees the opportunity to donate to the Red Cross. Visit www.icuee.com/visit/register to contribute directly to the Red Cross or via a show registration. “Many of our show attendees are also the frontline workers in the cleanup in Texas and Florida. Utility industry professionals know first-hand the challenges involved and have always demonstrated their willingness to help those in need through the work they do in recovery efforts,” said Slater. AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 950 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related sectors worldwide. aem.org icuee.com

CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS ASSOCIATION WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS Tri-State Ready Mix Concrete in Olive Branch, Mississippi; Poured Foundations of Ohio in Bear, Delaware; and Starlite Leasing, Inc. in Zionsville, Indiana, have joined the Concrete Foundations Association. Tri-State Ready Mix Concrete (901) 396-8900 tri-statereadymix.com Poured Foundations of Ohio (302) 832-2139 Starlite Leasing, Inc. (317) 201-8229 starliteleasing.net CFA members receive education and technology resources, answers to technical questions, networking, awards and more. cfawalls.org/join 10

Concrete Homes • November/December 2017

Jamie Williamson of Topcon with (clockwise from lower left) Tigue Howe, Jeff Peterson, Joan Peterson and Jean Howe of PPI Group during the signing event.

TOPCON POSITIONING GROUP ANNOUNCES ADDITION TO TOPCON SOLUTIONS STORE DISTRIBUTION NETWORK PPI Group, now known as PPI Group, a Topcon Solutions Store, is the latest positioning distributor to join the network


industry news with two locations in Portland, Oregon, and Kent, Washington, bringing the total to 13 locations in North America. “The addition of PPI Group to the network comes with longstanding, well-regarded customer support and business growth in the Pacific Northwest, and offers more than 90 years of experience in meeting industry professionals’ needs,” said Jamie Williamson, executive VP and general manager of the Topcon Construction and Retail Groups. “Now, joined under the Topcon Solutions Store business model, its strengths will be combined and leveraged with the capabilities and resources of the other locations as well.” Tigue Howe, president of PPI Group, a Topcon Solutions Store, said, “PPI Group has been offering expertise to our customers since 1927 — providing comprehensive field-to-finish solutions for the industry. As technology has advanced, PPI Group has always been at the forefront with emerging products, workflows and solutions to guide our clients to the highest productivity possible. Now, as part of the Topcon Solutions Store network, we look forward to enhancing those abilities with its comprehensive approach with even more resources over a much larger geographic area.” topconsolutions.com

AEM’S MEGAN TANEL EARNS EXHIBITIONS INDUSTRY ‘DISTINGUISHED SERVICE’ AWARD The International Association of Exhibitions and Events has announced that Megan Tanel, senior vice president exhibitions and events of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, is the 2017 recipient of the IAEE Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes IAEE members’ extraordinary service and contributions that have furthered the growth and development of IAEE and the exhibitions industry. “On behalf of AEM, we congratulate Megan on receiving this well-deserved Megan Tanel award,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “Her leadership, hard work and dedication have been instrumental in AEM’s continued success to deliver world-class exhibitions that provide real value to our members, exhibitors and attendees.” Tanel’s 20-plus-year career with AEM includes show director of the association’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG, ICUEE-The Demo Expo and World of Asphalt exhibitions. She is also a member of AEM’s senior leadership team. Tanel is a past IAEE chair and has served on its Board of Directors since 2010. She received the IAEE Woman of Achievement Award in 2017. aem.org

ACI117 BECOMES JOINT COMMITTEE WITH ASCC Tolerances has become a joint committee of the American Concrete Institute and the American Society of Concrete Contractors of St. Louis, Missouri, according to Bruce Suprenant, technical director, ASCC. Suprenant is vice chair of this ACI technical committee, Eric Peterson, Webcor, San Francisco, California, chairs 117. The mission of ACI 117 is to collect, develop, coordinate and specify tolerances and related information for concrete construction and materials through liaison with other ACI committees and related industry organizations. ACI is the major sponsor of the joint committee and ASCC is the minor sponsor. “In addition to providing committee assistance,” Suprenant explained, “ASCC will provide technical input during document review and will be instrumental in selecting committee leadership.” The organizations have informally worked together on this subject for the past several years. Being a joint committee will provide formal recognition to the efforts of both organizations with respect to their interests in tolerances. The American Society of Concrete Contractors is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of those who build with concrete, and to providing them a unified voice in the construction industry. Members include concrete contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers and others interested in the concrete industry such as architects, specifiers and distributors. There are approximately 725 member companies in the United States and 12 foreign countries. ascconline.org concrete.org

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concretehomesmagazine.com November/December 2017 • Concrete Homes

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productnewsroundup will enjoy the low profile of this backpack because it will allow them to fit into tight spaces, such as caged ladders.” Part of a growing line of storage solutions from Milwaukee, the new Ultimate Jobsite Backpack and Low-Profile Backpack will be available in October of 2017. Dedicated to delivering enhanced solutions to increase productivity, Milwaukee’s storage category will continue to grow and offer user-driven innovative solutions for the trades. milwaukeetool.com

Milwaukee Introduces Ultimate and Low-Profile Backpacks Milwaukee Tool continues to expand their Storage Solutions with the introduction of the Ultimate Jobsite Backpack and Low-Profile Backpack. Designed from the ground-up to address the needs of professionals who need a durable, mobile solution to transport tools, accessories, and other materials to and from the jobsite, the new Backpacks are up to 5x more durable than other backpacks on the market. “These new offerings build upon the popularity of our flagship backpack solution, the Milwaukee Jobsite Backpack, by providing users with even more options to better suit their specific storage and transportation needs,” said Matt Vargo, Product Manager for Milwaukee Tool. “The Ultimate Jobsite Backpack is designed for tradesmen who often carry a wide variety of hand tools, power tools and accessories with them, while the Low-Profile Backpack provides the functionality necessary for users who perform diagnostic or service work and need to carry a tablet or laptop as well as a variety of tools. These users

Concrete Fastening Systems Introduces ConFast Split Drive Anchors Split drive anchors are ideal for use in solid concrete. They are made with either a round head or a flat countersunk head. The flat head split drive anchors are used in applications in which wood is fastened to concrete. The round head split drive anchors are best suited for applications in which the anchor head will sit above the surface of the item being attached. The ConFast split drive anchor is tamperproof, zinc plated and for concrete only. No special tools are needed. The anchors come in one diameter for an uncomplicated choice. A wide range of available lengths means the most effective fastener can be chosen for each specific application. confast.com (216) 357-7431

Werner Introduces New Leansafe Step Ladder Werner introduced the Leansafe Ladder, a step ladder that can safely be leaned against walls, corners, studs or a pole. Per OSHA regulations, traditional step ladders should never be leaned directly against a vertical surface because they are designed to be exclusively self-supporting. However, Werner’s new Leansafe Ladder introduces new innovative features allowing it to be leaned against a variety of surfaces while retaining its functionality as a traditional step ladder. “Werner is incredibly committed to safety, and that means we are willing to find solutions through product design to ensure users are protected,” said Chris Filardi, Vice President 12

Concrete Homes • November/December 2017

of Marketing for WernerCo. “We’ve seen too many times that a user will over-reach and put themselves in dangerous situations to get the job done. The new Leansafe Ladder is a practical and innovative way to curb common bad behaviors like leaning traditional step ladders against walls.” The new Werner Leansafe Ladder is both OSHA and ANSI compliant and is available in a variety of sizes ranging from 4 feet to 12 feet in height. These ladders are now available online and in stores. wernerco.com/leansafe


product newsroundup

Makita Expands 18v Lxt Sub-Compact Class With New 11/16” Rotary Hammer Bosch BlueGranite Turbo Carbide Hammer Drill Bits Offer Premium Performance When it comes to hammer drill bit life and speed, it’s hard to beat Bosch BlueGranite Turbo Carbide hammer drill bits that deliver 5x life and 2x speed versus standard masonry bits. The bit features an upgraded four-grind head, as well as a multi-grind centering tip or precise starts in masonry and other materials. The impact-rated bits have been redesigned with a hex shank for use in hammer drills and impact drivers. BlueGranite Turbo bits are engineered for long life using Bosch premium carbide and a redesigned tip. The bits provide 2x faster drilling thanks to milled flutes that allow rapid dust removal. Bosch BlueGranite Turbo bits feature an innovative fourgrind head, which offers more cutting angles and a faster bore than a two-grind bit. In addition, the head delivers better speed over the life of the bit. A multi-grind centering tip provides precision drilling and prevents skating in materials that range from concrete and brick to masonry.

Makita expanded the new class in cordless tools with the 18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless 11/16-inch Rotary Hammer (accepts SDS-PLUS bits). The new XRH06RB gives contractors a compact rotary hammer with the size and handling of a 12-volt tool, but with the run time and compatibility of 18 volt. It is ideal for working in tight spaces and overhead applications. It’s part of Makita’s expanding 18V LXT system. With over 150 solutions, LXT is the world’s largest cordless tool system powered by 18-volt lithium-ion slide-style batteries. The new 18V LXT Sub-Compact Rotary Hammer is a welcome solution to contractors managing both 12-volt and 18-volt battery platforms, or for anyone seeking less bulk and weight for concrete drilling. “18V LXT Sub-Compact Brushless tools give contractors the compact size of a 12-volt tool while remaining in the 18-volt battery platform, and they deliver the performance to cover most applications on the job site,” said Carlos Quintana, senior product manager, cordless, Makita U.S.A. “The expansive breadth-of-line of the LXT System means an 18-volt battery from any LXT tool will power 18-volt Sub-Compact tools including the new 11/16-inch Rotary Hammer.” makitatools.com (714) 522-8088

boschtools.com (877) 267-2499

November/December 2017 • Concrete Homes

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low-riseconstruction

HOUSE VS. HURRICANE Text by Leigh Overland and Gene Braunstein • Photography by Leigh Overland

I

N THE 1967 OSCAR-WINNING MOVIE “THE GRADUATE,” BENJAMIN BRADDOCK, PLAYED BY A VERY YOUNG DUSTIN HOFFMAN, RELUCTANTLY ATTENDS THE BIG COLLEGE GRADUATION PARTY HIS PARENTS THROW FOR HIM. A FAMILY FRIEND TAKES BEN ASIDE AND OFFERS HIM SOME SAGE FINANCIAL ADVICE. “ONE WORD,” THE MAN POINTEDLY TELLS HIM, “PLASTICS.”

If that conversation were to take place today, Ben might very likely be told “Plastics…and concrete.” While it doesn’t sound like the kind of investment that would rocket anyone to the top 1 percent, it is the blueprint for constructing new housing that is many more times hurricane resistant than the default method of just using wood. It’s called ICF, or Insulated Concrete Forms. How much better than traditional wood framing is an ICF house? When super storm Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, the beachfront houses in Union Beach, New Jersey, as in countless other communities, were irretrievably destroyed—ripped apart, flattened by rising tides and the nearly 80 mph winds. Where nice houses once stood, condemned property and foundations remained. Only one building was left intact—an ICF home with the owners and their family safely inside. Their home withstood the rising tide and would have been able to weather more than twice the wind speed that caused so much destruction around them. Although some damage was done to the exterior of the 14

Concrete Homes • November/December 2017

house, it was minor and easily repaired.1 While the degree with which we have been able to predict and track storms has given us more than ample prep and/or evacuation time, there has been very little talk about minimizing or even preventing the catastrophic aftermath. There’s not only the physical toll. There’s the emotional, psychological and financial ones as well. Other than nailing 4x8 foot plywood sheets over our windows and doors, the only options at this point are still pretty much fight or flight. IT’S TIME TO TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT INSULATED CONCRETE FORMS Hope is not a strategy, but unfortunately, that’s all that many victims have left to cling to. They want to rebuild, but the specter of more super storms will linger. Clearly, it’s time to rethink our castle-making and take a serious look at Insulated Concrete Forms.


lowrise construction

The key to the effectiveness and strength inherent in an ICF-built home is its simple, ingenious technology, which has been used in Europe since shortly after WWII. The insulated concrete forms start out as two rectangular pieces of 2.5-inch thick, high-density Styrofoam. The two pieces are connected side-by-side by plastic spacers leaving a 6- to 8-inch gap, depending on their placement in the structure. These hollow blocks lock together, end to end, forming the foundation and exterior walls, creating a “shell” of the house or building. Once all the blocks are locked in place, the entire gap is filled with concrete. Think of ICF as a concrete sandwich consisting of two slabs of Styrofoam “bread” with concrete in the middle. And hold the mayo. It’s no wonder that there’s always such widespread, heartwrenching devastation after an extreme weather assault. Woodbased structures simply can’t hold up under such extreme conditions, which, scientists tell us, are going to increase in frequency and intensity. One can only imagine a more positive outcome if Houston, Florida and its Keys, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and other devastated areas had more ICF homes. Pain and suffering on many levels could have been avoided. Lives could have been

spared. Hopefully, those who are going to rebuild will opt for the more durable, hurricane-tested ICF system for their new homes and buildings. At least then we’d know what the aftermath of the next super storms won’t look like. There are other advantages to using Insulated Concrete Forms. Since the beginning of 2017, the number of civilian home fire deaths topped 1,500, with the remainder of the year still to go.2 Wood not only burns, it also sags, cracks, absorbs moisture, rots, grows mold, and is a highly sought-after menu item for termites and other insects. Wood and insulation are also delicacies for rodents as they chew their way into our attics, basements and walls where it’s warm and safe from predators. ICF has none of those deficits. An ICF home or office building can be made into any shape or design for the same price or less than conventional 2x6 exterior wood framing. Plus, any style of finish can be used—brick, stucco, siding and so on. Yes, even wood. Fiberglass and other types of insulation are not required. The dense Styrofoam-concrete combination insulates so efficiently that savings of 50-70 percent on heating and cooling bills are the norm. You’ll be warmer longer in the winter and cooler November/December 2017 • Concrete Homes

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longer in summer for less money. ICF also means using smaller, less expensive HVAC units to maintain the desired environment in your home or office building. Normally, indoor air is less healthy than we’d like to believe. With ICF, air is cleaner and healthier due to the controlled and filtered outside air infiltration. Structures are quieter, too. In fact, ICF is five times quieter than wood- or metal-framed housing. Insulated Concrete Forms also provide an environmental advantage. For every house that’s built with ICF, approximately 10 trees are saved. Additional benefits include higher property value; meeting and/or exceeding building codes; lower insurance rates due to a more resistant, less vulnerable structure with fewer likely replacement costs. The one sacrifice you may have to accept with Insulated Concrete Forms, at least for now, is that your home is limited to a height of 30 stories. No structure is guaranteed to go unscathed after exposure to the fury of Mother Nature. But the ability to ward off total 16

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or even partial destruction can be drastically reduced, and very possibly eliminated when you build with ICF. Should you ever attend a college student’s graduation party and want to give the grad some sage investment advice, just say, “Three letters. ICF.” http://www.sustainableconcrete.org/project/new-jersey-icf-home/

1

U.S. Fire Administration, https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/civilianfatalities/incident/reportMap

2

Leigh Overland is an architect in Danbury, Connecticut. ICFdesigned homes and buildings have been a major part of Overland’s projects for the past five years. He believes the next 20 years will include an increasing and eventually an unprecedented use of insulated concrete form construction. Learn more at ldoverland.com.


low-rise construction

BAUTEX CONCRETE WALL SYSTEMS STAND UP TO HURRICANE HARVEY Text and photos by Paul Brown

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HAT CAN ARCHITECTS, CONTRACTORS AND BUILDING OWNERS LEARN FROM HURRICANE HARVEY? ARE THE CURRENT BUILDING CODES SUFFICIENT TO PROTECT BUILDINGS AND OCCUPANTS FROM THE HIGH WINDS AND SURGING WATERS OF A MASSIVE STORM LIKE HARVEY? WHAT ARE THE BEST PRACTICES FOR HURRICANERESISTANT DESIGN ALONG COASTAL REGIONS? THESE ARE QUESTIONS THE ENGINEERS AND CONSULTANTS AT BAUTEX SYSTEMS ARE STRIVING TO ANSWER, AS THEY, ALONG WITH SO MANY OTHERS, PICK UP THE PIECES AND BEGIN REBUILDING AFTER THE CATASTROPHIC DESTRUCTION CAUSED BY HURRICANE HARVEY.

HURRICANE HARVEY On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, crashed onto the shore near Rockport, Texas, with maximum sustained winds greater than 130 miles per hour. On August 26, Harvey’s center of circulation stalled over south Texas before moving slowly east into the Gulf of Mexico. On August 30, Harvey made a final landfall near Cameron, Louisiana. Harvey remained a named storm for 117 hours after landfall, remaining the longest named storm after landfall on record in Texas. It was this slow movement between August 26 and 30 that led to the catastrophic flooding and widespread destruction of homes and buildings in southeast Texas. As of mid-September, Harvey killed at least 82 people and caused an estimated $180 billion in damage, including 203,000 homes (destroying 12,700).

BAUTEX TEAM TOURS THE DEVASTATION LEFT BEHIND FROM HARVEY Soon after Hurricane Harvey subsided, members of the Bautex technical team toured Rockport, Texas, to evaluate how Bautex projects fared under the storm, including several that were as close as eleven miles from the eyewall of Hurricane Harvey, where winds ranged from 75 to115 miles per hour during the peak of the storm. They found that the Bautex projects sustained no significant damage, except the loss of a few roof shingles. However, many of the buildings in the area sustained major damage if not complete destruction. Additionally, proper elevation of the Bautex structures ensured none were affected by the flood surge. According to Chris Leonard, director of technical services with Bautex, the post-Harvey visit to the coast allowed them to see what construction methods worked November/December 2017 • Concrete Homes

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low-riseconstruction designed correctly with a continuous load path. However, metal or wood framed buildings are particularly susceptible to design failure when heavy winds dislodge wood or metal panels from the structure. The paneling provides the rigidity of the structure and transfers the lateral loads towards the foundation (diaphragm action). When a building loses its diaphragm action, it disrupts the continuous load path. Without a continuous load path, a structure will fail against the forces of a hurricane.” Urias added, “Changes in building codes1 have improved the resilience of buildings against wind storms, along with innovations like metal ties connecting the roof rafters to the stud plates, the seal connections to the foundation and anchor bolts. But it is the strength and durability of the continuous load path that is essential for protecting a structure and the occupants from the wind and surge of a hurricane.”

and what didn’t against the high winds and surging floods of Harvey. “Specifically we found that pre-engineered metal buildings did not hold up as well against hurricane forces as concrete structures,” stated Leonard. “We also found that wood-framed homes and businesses, new and old, suffered a lot of damage. However, wood and metal framed buildings built in the last few years fared better than older wood and metal framed buildings. It is debatable, however, if this was due to improved building codes or other factors, such as age and long-term exposure to moisture and heat.” Leonard continued, “Overall, what we learned from Harvey is the importance of a holistic design when constructing a hurricane-resilient building. A single feature, like hurricane windows, will not achieve a robust, resilient building. The design must include all the components of the building: the foundation, the walls, all the openings and into the roof.” DESIGNING BUILDINGS FOR THE COASTAL AREAS Windstorm design of buildings for the coastal areas protects against storm surge, high winds, waves and the gravity weight of the structure. The structure must be resilient against uplift and overturn due to high wind forces and wind pressures. According to Stephen Urias, Professional Engineer of 13th LV Structural Engineers, a building can withstand the most intense windstorm if designed properly. “A continuous load path is essential to windstorm design,” Urias explained. “The continuous load path ensures that when a load, including lateral (horizontal) and uplift loads, attacks a building, the load will move from the roof, wall and other components toward the foundation and into the ground. A strong continuous load path is crucial to holding the roof, walls, floors and foundation together during a hurricane event. All methods of construction can perform during a windstorm if 18

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THE BENEFITS OF CONCRETE DESIGN IN COASTAL AREAS Hurricanes Harvey and Irma both provided evidence that concrete design is a best practice for hurricane-resistant construction in coastal areas. Along with the Bautex concrete projects that survived Hurricane Harvey, there are examples of concrete structures surviving Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma slammed directly into the lower Florida Keys on September 11, 2017, hammering oceanfront homes and businesses with 7-foot surges of water and 130 mile per hour winds. An elevated, oceanfront concrete home, with hurricane-resistant windows and a ground-floor garage designed to give way to the surge sustained essentially no damage. And, the upper floor, where people live, was untouched. This is another example of how a well-designed concrete home can withstand even the strongest hurricane event. According to Urias, there are a number of reasons that the concrete wall system is a best practice for hurricane-resistant design. Urias explained, “A concrete wall system is a good windstorm design because a concrete wall holds its weight along with the roof’s weight and resists missile debris impact. Also, concrete provides a rigid wall system that resists the lateral load from the wind, which creates less movement of the structure during the storm event. In addition, the design adheres to the codes for the loads, wind forces and storm surge associated with the coastal areas.” Urias added, “An advantage of concrete walls over metal and wood framing, is that concrete walls do not have sheathing. The sheathing is the main lateral force resisting system of most wood and metal framed structures. If that sheathing is removed by the wind forces of a hurricane, structural failure typically follows.” HURRICANE-RESISTANT BUILDING DESIGN USING BAUTEX WALL SYSTEM The Bautex Wall System has the strength to resist the heavy winds and flying debris of even the strongest hurricanes like Harvey and Irma. Both hurricanes had peak wind speeds at


low-rise construction landfall of more than 130 miles per hour. The Bautex Blocks meet the FEMA 320 and 361 guidelines in storm zones with wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour. Bautex Block also has the strength and mass to resist the impact of wind-driven debris at speeds greater than 100 miles per hour. In addition to severe weather resistance, Bautex Blocks have the thermal performance required by the IRC and IBC and are fire-rated, noise-reducing, and easy to install. The survival of the Bautex Wall System against the high winds and surging floods of Harvey make it a best practice for designing a hurricane-resistant structure. Architects, contractors and building owners can learn much about hurricane-resistant building design by evaluating the structures that stood up best against the strong wind, flying debris, surging water levels and pounding rains of Hurricane Harvey. The outcome of Harvey showed that the Bautex Wall System has the durability and strength to maintain its functionality when faced with even the most significant weather event or natural disaster. Visit the Bautex Wall Systems website (bautexsystems.com) for more information on hurricane-resistant construction. The International Code Council (ICC) Family of Companies recommends utilizing current International Codes (I-Codes)a to create a cost effective, disaster resilient building. Structures built in flood hazard zones must also be according to the American Society of Civil Engineers 24 (ASCE 24). The ASCE 24 is the referenced standard in the in the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) and tells designers, architects and builders the minimum requirements and expected performance for the design and construction of buildings and structures in flood hazard areas. a The I-Codes cover all aspects of construction, including, but not limited to: • The International Building Code (IBC) for existing and new buildings • The International Residential Code (IRC) for new and existing one- and two-family homes and townhouses no more than three stories in height • The International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) addresses maintenance issues for continued safe use of existing buildings • The International Existing Building Code (IEBC) addresses alteration, repair, addition or change in occupancy of existing structures.

http://www.superformicf.ca http://www.superformocf.ca

1

Paul Brown received his Bachelor of Arts from the Plan II Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin and his MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He now leads the team at Bautex Systems (bautexsystems.com) overseeing operations and strategic growth.

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EXPECTATION BUILDS FOR

WORLD OF CONCRETE 2018

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he most important annual international event of the year for concrete and masonry professionals is World of Concrete. WOC 2018 expects to attract 60,000 professional registrants and 1,500 leading suppliers from around the world. WOC 2018 is also expected to be the largest World of Concrete in nine years. This world-renowned industry event will continue to bring international buyers together with U.S. exhibitors to expand business domestically and overseas. For the 13th consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Commerce has selected World of Concrete as a participant in the International Buyer Program (IBP). WOC draws significant attendance at each event, working 20

Concrete Homes • November/December 2017

with U.S. Commercial Services posts from around the world. World of Concrete welcomes international exhibitors to sell their concrete- and masonry-related products and services, as well as international attendee delegations from across the globe to network, test drive equipment and discover new products and services and benefit from a world-class education program. The 2018 World of Concrete Education Program will include everything from interactive workshops and specialized seminars to hands-on, skill-building sessions. World of Concrete’s worldclass education program equips field personnel, project leaders, supervisors and owners with the latest knowledge in every facet of concrete and masonry.


DECORATIVE CONCRETE LIVE! RETURNS After making its debut at World of Concrete 2017, Decorative Concrete LIVE! returns to WOC 2018. This year it’s even bigger and even better. The ICF “Mall of Concrete” will consist of four individual buildings encompassing a plaza complete with a fountain. The display measures 78 feet long by 55 feet wide. That’s nearly 4,300 square feet of space, and more than double last year’s display, that will include decorative concrete in many forms inside and out. Portions of the installments will be left unfinished to provide a canvas for concrete professionals to demonstrate various application and finishing techniques. The buildings will feature walls constructed with insulated concrete forms building blocks provided by Fox Blocks (foxblocks.com). Treatments such as trowel-applied coatings, stenciled or embossed patterns and carved toppings will grace the walls while the floors will feature an array of stamped and stained concrete including textured surfaces that have been saw cut, carved, imprinted or broomed. Underlying products that contribute to concrete’s sustainability and durability such as vapor barriers and rebar will have a focus. The exhibit will include features that will make walkways compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. November/December 2017 • Concrete Homes

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Decorative Concrete LIVE! is sponsored by Concrete Decor magazine (concretedecor.net) and the Concrete Decor Roadshow (roadshow.concretedecor.net). Find it beside the main entrance to the Las Vegas Convention Center and directly across from the entry to the South Hall in Silver Lot 3. NEW FOR 2018 World of Concrete competitions and exhibits will be located in the Bronze Lot, next to South Hall. In addition to the exhibitors in this new area, returning WOC event favorites include the John Deere Operator Challenge, the Western Star Trucks Get Tough Challenge, and the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 World Championship. Featured areas on the trade show floor in 2018 will include: The Producer Center: a marketplace of materials, equipment and demos for concrete producers. Material Handling: offering trucks, excavators and more for material delivery, distribution, concrete placement and earth moving.

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Concrete Homes • November/December 2017


Concrete Repair & Demolition: housing a display of surface preparation equipment, scarifying, sawing equipment, concrete repair, and other demolition products. World of Masonry: showcasing products, tools, information and technology for masonry professionals. Technology for Construction: featuring the newest products and tools for the commercial construction industry from top information technology and systems providers. Concrete Surfaces & Decorative: showcasing the popularity of decorative concrete for both commercial and residential applications including concrete coatings, waterproofing products and technologies and more.

Concrete Masonry and Concrete Reinforcement: Concrete Masonry will showcase everything for the producers of concrete masonry, including block, segmental retaining wall units, veneer, pavers and roof tiles. Concrete Reinforcement: featuring the leaders in concrete reinforcement showcasing reinforcement bending, cutting, straightening and fabricating machinery. There will be plenty of action outside. World of Concrete 2018 January 23-26 • Seminars 22-26 Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, Nevada worldofconcrete.com

Precast: focusing on precast products, technologies and equipment including coring machines, pipe unloaders, precast forms, above/below ground precast, concrete pipe, manhole and septic tank equipment, and more.

November/December 2017 • Concrete Homes

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November/December 2017