Residential

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions About Building With Insulated Concrete Blocks

You may have heard about the many ben­e­fits that insu­lat­ed con­crete blocks offer to res­i­den­tial design, but if you’ve nev­er installed a wall sys­tem that uses the com­pos­ite blocks, you’ll like­ly have a few ques­tions.

Build­ing with an inte­grat­ed wall sys­tem like Bau­tex offers solu­tions for home­own­ers look­ing for flood-resis­tant, sus­tain­able and resilient design. But there are oth­er ben­e­fits to build­ing with the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem, includ­ing cost sav­ings and reduced time of con­struc­tion.

We’ve put togeth­er some of our most fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions about using insu­lat­ed con­crete blocks so that you’re bet­ter able to deter­mine if work­ing with this kind of mate­r­i­al is right for you.

What Makes Up the Bautex Wall System?

The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem is made up of Bau­tex Blocks, which are a com­pos­ite of cement and expand­ed poly­styrene (EPS).

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The blocks are stacked and installed with hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal rein­force­ment bars in the ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal cores” with­in the block. Con­crete is then poured into all the cores to cre­ate a con­tin­u­ous grid of steel rein­forced con­crete.

The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem doesn’t move dur­ing the pour like oth­er insu­lat­ed con­crete forms (ICF) might. The weight of the Bau­tex Block keeps it in place, so you won’t need an expen­sive adjustable brac­ing sys­tem like you would with reg­u­lar foam-plas­tic ICF.

See how easy it is to pour con­crete with the Bau­tex sys­tem by check­ing out this video.

Because of its inte­grat­ed con­struc­tion and EPS-con­crete com­pos­ite mate­r­i­al, the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem pro­vides a solu­tion for con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion that elim­i­nates ther­mal bridg­ing. Plus, using the Bau­tex wall sys­tem means you will exceed build­ing code require­ments in the hot and humid state of Texas.

What Can I Build With the Bautex Wall System?

The wall sys­tem pro­vides struc­tur­al sta­bil­i­ty and load-bear­ing capa­bil­i­ty, per­fect for homes, mul­ti-fam­i­ly res­i­dences, office and retail build­ings, gov­ern­ments build­ings and schools.

The Bau­tex Block is designed for the con­struc­tion of a one- to a three-sto­ry build­ing and even offers solu­tions for com­plex designs that fea­ture arch­es and curved walls. If need­ed, Bau­tex Blocks can be hol­lowed out to form con­crete columns or beams with­in the wall or steel ele­ments can be inte­grat­ed when nec­es­sary.

If you’re con­struct­ing your home in a storm or hur­ri­cane-prone area, Bau­tex is also design­ing a solu­tion to rais­ing the fin­ished floor ele­va­tion of homes on wood or con­crete pil­ings.

What Kinds of Finishes Can I Use in a Design With Bautex?

Most types of exte­ri­or pan­el­ing, stuc­co or mason­ry can be installed on top of the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem, but they will first require the appli­ca­tion of an air and mois­ture bar­ri­er to the poured Bau­tex wall. (Check out our rec­om­men­da­tions for air and mois­ture bar­ri­ers here.)

Many air and mois­ture bar­ri­ers and most fin­ish­es are applied to the wall sur­faces using tra­di­tion­al con­struc­tion meth­ods and mate­ri­als.

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On the inte­ri­or of the wall, gyp­sum dry­wall can be direct­ly adhered to the wall or attached to fur­ring chan­nels on the wall. In occu­pied spaces, the wall should always be fin­ished with a hard sur­face mate­r­i­al or plas­ter fin­ish. You can check out more of our tips on fin­ish­es here.

How is Plumbing and Electrical Work Installed?

Most plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal com­po­nents are installed in the 2‑inch sur­face insu­la­tion of the Bau­tex Block. You can also make through-wall pen­e­tra­tions for mechan­i­cal and plumb­ing lines in the 10-inch square areas of the block that are all insu­la­tion, even after the con­crete is poured in the wall.

Check out our video with tips for installing plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal work.

How Does the Cost Compare to Traditional Methods of Construction?

The inte­grat­ed Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem sim­pli­fies res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion and is high­ly com­pet­i­tive when it comes to price. We break down how you can save on cost (and future main­te­nance) com­pared to more tra­di­tion­al meth­ods of con­struc­tion, like wood fram­ing.

Homes con­struct­ed with Bau­tex Blocks also offer the fol­low­ing sav­ings:

  • Resilient to flood­ing, storms and oth­er nat­ur­al dis­as­ters.
  • Low­er ener­gy costs.
  • Bet­ter resale val­ues.
  • Low­er insur­ance pre­mi­ums.

Using the com­pos­ite block gives res­i­den­tial archi­tects and builders an easy-to-install wall sys­tem that’s not just durable, flood-resis­tant and noise-reduc­ing: It also speeds up the time of con­struc­tion.

Who Installs the Bautex Wall System?

The wall sys­tem is installed by local trades that are select­ed by the builder as the best match for a project. Com­mon­ly, these are fram­ing, mason­ry or con­crete con­trac­tors that are already work­ing with the builders.

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Bau­tex trains builders and con­trac­tors through­out the South Cen­tral region on how to install the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem. All of our projects have the Bau­tex Con­struc­tion Sup­port Team behind them dur­ing con­struc­tion. Our Con­struc­tion Sup­port Team pro­vides both remote and on-the-job sup­port to help con­trac­tors through each and every step of a project.

Support for Your Next Residential Design Project

Installing the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem means you’ll be able to guar­an­tee a cost-effec­tive, code-com­pli­ant, durable home design. But we’re also com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing the archi­tects, builders and home­own­ers who want to use our prod­uct.

In addi­tion to the Bau­tex Con­struc­tion Sup­port Team, we also work with pro­fes­sion­als in the South Cen­tral Region to edu­cate them on the insu­lat­ed con­crete alter­na­tive. You can attend one of our webi­na­rs or events to get all of your ques­tions answered about Bau­tex. We’ll even sit down with you to review your con­struc­tion plans and project specifics.

For more infor­ma­tion on how build­ing with Bau­tex can sim­pli­fy your next project, con­tact us here for a free con­sul­ta­tion.