January 26, 2018

Best Alternative to Wood Frame Construction for Houses

For energy, health, and safety conscience homeowners, the best alternative to wood-frame home construction is insulated concrete block (ICB) or forms (ICF). Wood-frame construction is not resistant to fire, disaster, insect, and moisture intrusion. Alternative wall materials, like ICF and ICB, are more resistant to fire, disaster, and insects than wood-frame construction. ICF and ICB homes are also more resistant to moisture and therefore a healthier choice over wood-frame homes. Additionally, insulated concrete blocks or forms create an efficient building envelope that reduces energy use and protects the occupants from summer heat and winter cold. Today’s homeowners demand energy efficient and healthy homes. Their homes must also protect their families from increasing natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. An excellent alternative to wood-frame construction is ICF or ICB, like the Bautex Block System.

Building a Fire-Resistant Home with ICF and ICB

A fire-resistant alternative to wood-frame construction is ICF and ICB. Wood is combustible, which makes fire prevention challenging for wood-frame construction. Also, in the event of a fire, reducing the spread of flames is difficult with wood-frame construction. A more fire-resistant-alternative to wood-frame construction is ICF or ICB.  Insulated concrete walls are fire-resistant and limit the spread of flames compared to wood walls. ICB do not burn and achieve a fire ratings of up to four hours before applying a finish. For a fire resistant home, ICF and ICB construction, like the Bautex™ Block System, is a superb choice.

Building a Disaster-Resistant Home with ICF and ICB

ICF and ICB homes are more disaster-resilient than wood-frame homes. ICF and ICB homes are resilient against storms with winds of 250 mile-per-hour winds and can endure wind-borne debris with little to no structural damage. The strength and durability of ICF and ICB construction protects both the home and the occupants from extreme weather and natural disasters. Building a disaster-resilient wood-framed home is possible, but is labor and cost intensive. A disaster-resistant, wood-frame home must achieve a continuous load path to the ground and be missile resistant. Constructing a disaster-resistant wood-framed building can cost 25–30 percent more than standard construction. For building a disaster-resistant home, a less labor intensive, alternative framing method to wood is ICF or ICB, like the Bautex Block Wall Assembly.

  • Bautex Block Wall Assembly meets the FEMA 320 and FEMA 361 guidelines in storm zones with possible wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour. The Bautex Blocks also meet or exceed  ICC-500 and FEMA standards for debris impact. Worth noting, Bautex projects on the Texas coast sustained no significant damage, except the loss of a few roof shingles, from Hurricane Harvey. At the peak of the storm, winds ranged from 75 to 115 miles per hour.

Building a Termite-Resistant Home with ICF and ICB

A termite-resistant framing alternative to pest-prone wood-frame construction is ICF and ICB. Wood-frame construction is vulnerable to termite problems, which can damage a home’s durability and cost thousands of dollars in repair. ICF and ICB homes are nearly pest-resistant because they lack organic material, which pests eat. For creating a termite-proof home, ICF and ICB, like the Bautex Block Wall Assembly, are excellent alternatives to wood-frame constitution.

Building a Healthy Home with ICF and ICB

A healthier alternative to wood-frame construction is ICF or ICB. Wood-frame homes are vulnerable to moisture in their wall cavities, which can lead to the growth of mold. Mold is a problem because it produces irritants and allergens. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic and asthmatic reactions in some people. Wood-frame homes may also contain chemicals, adhesives, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) that compromise indoor air quality. Emissions of VOCs can cause nose, eye and throat irritations, headaches, nausea and damage to the kidney, liver and central nervous system. Framing a home with ICF and ICB are healthier choices because they are not susceptible to rot and mold. ICF and ICB are also non-toxic and won’t compromise indoor air quality. For a healthy home, the best alternative to wood-frame construction is ICF or ICB, like the Bautex Block System.

The best alternative to wood-frame home construction is insulated concrete form or blocks. ICF and ICB are more resistant to fire, disaster, and insect resistant than wood-frame construction. ICF and ICB are also a healthier choice over wood-frame construction. For more information on the best alternative to wood-frame home construction, visit Bautex Block Wall Assembly.   


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