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.