ICF Homes in Austin are the Solution to Natural Disasters

Austin homes built with the Bautex Wall System insu­lat­ing concrete blocks (ICB) can protect a family and house from the ever-present threat of flooding and wildfires in Central Texas. ICF homes made from Bautex Blocks will maintain their integrity before and after a severe flood or fire event. The Auto Haus in Austin, built with the Bautex Wall System, showcases how ICF homes can protect a family and their treasured belong­ings from these types of threats.

ICF Homes in Austin are Needed to Protect Against Flooding and Wildfires

New home con­struc­tion in Austin (located in Travis County, Texas) must take into account the occupants safety and the struc­ture’s integrity during natural and man-made hazards. Impor­tant­ly, the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Man­age­ment (HSEM), deter­mined the top two threats to Austin are flooding and wildfires. The assess­ment was made based on potential damage in terms of lives lost, dollar losses, and other community factors. To best protect them­selves from this threat, families should look to new ICF homes in Austin for the best flood and natural disaster protection.

Flooding — the Number One Natural Disaster Threat to Austin

Flooding is the most dangerous hazard in the Austin area and is a threat across the entire city year-round. Sadly, in October 2018, flooding dev­as­tat­ed parts of Travis County. As of late October, the county iden­ti­fied around 400 struc­tures impacted by the floods.

Flood-resistant con­struc­tion is vital in Austin where ten percent of the land is located in the 100-year flood­plain and in danger of flash flooding. The 100-year flood­plain is areas where there is a one percent chance of flooding in a given year. Impor­tant­ly, projects proposed in the 25-year and 100-year flood­plains of Austin have the potential of putting people and property at risk of flooding. For these projects, both the City of Austin and National Flood Insurance Program reg­u­la­tions apply.

Changes to Austin’s Flood­plain Map Add more Prop­er­ties to 100-year Floodplain

According to a National Weather Service rainfall Atlas 14 study, in the future, Central Texas is likely to expe­ri­ence more extreme rain­storms than in the past. Biggers storms mean more rain, and possibly wider, more expansive flooding. In response, Austin re-drafted its flood­plain maps to reflect the like­li­hood of more severe flooding. These changes added about 3,200 prop­er­ties to the 100-year flood­plain. Presently, the total number of Austin prop­er­ties in the 100-year flood­plain is 7,200.

Best Practice for Flood-Resistant Walls for Austin Homes

The Bautex Wall System, composite insu­lat­ing concrete blocks (ICB), is a superb choice for a flood-resistant wall for an Austin home. The Bautex Wall System is moisture resistant, durable, and mold resistant.

The Bautex Wall System includes the Bautex Blocks and the Bautex AMB 20 Air and Moisture Barrier. The Bautex Blocks are a moisture resistant composite product of EPS foam beads and cement. Placing the Bautex AMB 20 Air and Moisture Barrier over the Bautex Blocks keeps water from entering the wall system. Also, Bautex Blocks are inorganic; therefore, not a food source for mold.

Impor­tant­ly, the Bautex Block rein­forced concrete con­struc­tion does not degrade when wet and maintains its shape and dura­bil­i­ty during and after a flood. The Bautex Wall System has all the vital elements of a flood-resistant wall for an Austin home: the strength and dura­bil­i­ty to withstand water intrusion before and after a flood, and resis­tance to water and mold. Bautex Wall System is also easy to clean after a flood.

Increasing Threat of Wildfires Also Calls for ICF Homes in Austin

Wildfires are a sig­nif­i­cant threat to Austin due to its high tem­per­a­tures, severe drought, and low humidity con­di­tions. Of concern, according to the Forest Service, climate change has increased the wildfire season by an average of 78 days annually since 1970.

Austin Tem­per­a­tures on the Rise

In 2018, Austin had 51 days when temper­a­tures hit 100 degrees or higher, making 2018 Austin’s third-warmest on record. Notably, in Austin, of the top 10 years with the most 100-degree days, eight were in the past 18 years. Fur­ther­more, a study by the ATMOS Research & Con­sult­ing reports that by 2040, the summer average high tem­per­a­tures will increase from 93.8 to 96.9 and the days with tem­per­a­tures above 100 will increase from 11.7 to 31.4.

Increas­ing Drought Con­di­tions in Austin

According to the States at Risk, Texas currently faces the worst threat from wide­spread summer drought among the lower 48 states. By 2050, Texas is projected to see an increase in drought severity of about 75 percent. In addition, a study by the ATMOS Research & Con­sult­ing reports the annual pre­cip­i­ta­tion (inches) will decrease from 33.7 to 31.8.

ICF Homes in Austin Are Built to be Fire-Resistant

Due to an increase in wildfires and longer wildfire seasons, building fire-resistant homes in Austin is a priority for today’s home­own­ers and builders. Several vital com­po­nents for building a fireproof home include passive fire pro­tec­tion shields, and fireproof exterior, roofs, window, door, and walls. An ideal product for con­struc­tion fire-resistant walls is the Bautex Wall System.

A crucial component of passive fire pro­tec­tion of a fire-resistant Austin home is the wall assem­blies. An excellent choice for passive firewall pro­tec­tion is the Bautex Wall System. The Bautex™ Wall System is a light­weight composite block that meets and surpasses indus­try’s standard for fire-resis­tance. The Blocks have an ASTM E119 fire rating of four hours, and an ASTM E84 reported values for flame speed of zero and smoke devel­op­ment of twenty. Because the Bautex Wall System meets the E84 and NFPA 286 testing require­ments, they meet all of the require­ments of the NFPA 101 life safety code. A best practice for building a fire-resistant Austin home includes a fire-resistant wall assembly like the Bautex Wall System.

The Auto Haus — Bautex Wall System Protects the Homeowners and their Valuable Belongings

The Auto Haus, in Austin, Texas, built with the Bautex Wall System, protects this Austin home from the threat of fire. The Bautex Wall System also creates a moisture- and wind-resistant home that is and energy-efficient home with tem­per­a­ture and humidity controls. The home also needed a high level of security. These features were vital to the Auto Haus homeowner who wanted to construct a house that inte­grat­ed a 15-car garage to store their valuable auto col­lec­tion adjacent to their living space.