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.