Residential

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.

  • Bautex Blocks have zero percent VOC content.
  • Appli­ca­tion of the Bautex AMB 20 air and moisture barrier over the Bautex block wall prevents air and moisture infil­tra­tion to the interior of a home. Pre­vent­ing moisture areas in a home is key to pre­vent­ing the growth of mold.
  • Bautex Blocks do not sustain mold growth (link to the G21 test report).

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.