Frequently asked questions about Tech Block
1) Why is Tech Block's patented fastening system so important?
Tech Block's patented fastening system is the only Composite ICF that can be nailed or screwed directly to. This means that the builder can nail studs directly to the walls for interior framing, screw drywall into the block directly, hang cabinetry directly to the wall and attach siding directly to the block.
- Siding: No other Composite ICF has the ability to attach siding to their block composition. The nails or screws simply do not hold - you can pull them out with your hand. Since siding is used in most of the United States, Tech Block has the unique building advantage of building in all areas of the United States, quickly, easily and cost effectively.
- Interior Framing: Due to our patented fastening system to one-side or both sides of our block, framers can drive studs directly into the wall. Again, Tech Block has this unique, patented ability. What framers and builders are up against when using other Composite ICFs is that they can't frame directly into the block - the nails don't hold! Instead, the framer has to dig in and channel out the block everywhere a stud is needed for interior framing. This is a slow, cumbersome and expensive mess.
- Drywall: Tech Block is the only Composite ICF that can take the direct attachment of drywall. Again, you can't screw directly into other Composite ICFs - therefore, the drywaller is relegated to gluing the drywall on. This is slow, expensive and messy and a job no drywaller would prefer.
- Residential and Commercial Cabinet Hanging and Art Hanging: : with Tech Block, it is as though you have a stud in every square inch of wall to nail to. Hanging cabinets is easy and fast and anywhere you want to hang art or curtain holders, etc. you have the ability to do so.
Time and time again Tech Block has gained the following of builders that have built with other Composite ICFs and we have won their business because with Tech Block the builder can build fast and easily, cleanly and efficiently and cost effectively.
2) Is Tech Block environmentally sustainable?
Yes! Tech Block is one of the most environmentally sustainable exterior wall systems available. Not only do Tech Block walls reduce the energy needed to heat and cool buildings, but the EPS used in Tech Block is 100% recycled. The use of EPS in Tech Block saves massive amounts of landfill space that would be needed to contain this long lasting material.
OSB is made from wood left over from the making of framing lumber. When a mill uses the scrap wood left over from the milling of trees for framing lumber to make OSB, it can double the yield from those trees. This is not only a more efficient use of wood, but because of the superior strength of OSB compared to standard plywood and dimensional lumber, this can actually reduce the amount of material needed to build a given structure.
Our best scientists have been telling us that the damage we are doing to our environment has the potential of becoming a catastrophe on a scale that can only be exceeded by a nuclear winter. In the final analysis it is the responsibility of each individual to help avert such an outcome. Building with Tech Block will have positive impacts on the environment, and we hope this will be a factor when you choose an exterior wall system for your project.
- Due to our patented system, we can manufacture Tech Block in a localized manner anywhere in the world. Tech Block, therefore, has the ability to decrease the transportation costs and environmental costs significantly. Using Tech Block can help reduce a structure's energy consumption by up to 50%.
- Building with Tech Block significantly reduces landfill space.
- Using Tech Block vs. wood framing can save hundreds of thousands of trees!
- With over three (3) times less grout requirements than most other foam building products, choosing Tech Block will reduce the overall CO2 footprint associated when manufacturing cement AND help save on our natural resources.
3)How are Tech Blocks manufactured and why is this important?
Tech Block is manufactured in state of the art manufacturing facilities. By partnering with exclusively licensed, professional manufacturers to produce Tech Block, we have access to manufacturing expertise that no other ICF has.
Due to our patented system, we can manufacture Tech Block in a localized manner anywhere in the world. Tech Block, therefore, has the ability to decrease the transportation costs and environmental costs significantly.
Tech Block's patent process enables us to manufacture in a manner no other block can. This enables us to provide the highest tolerance to each and every block we manufacture.
4) How many LEED® credits does Tech Block help contribute towards to achieve a LEED® certified level?
By incorporating Tech Block into your new construction commercial building projects, Tech Block can help you achieve up to 20 or more points of the required 26 points for a LEED® certified project.
5) What is expanded polystyrene (EPS)?
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a generic term for polystyrene and polymers that have been expanded with air through the use of heat and usually steam. EPS is comprised of 90% air.
EPS is an inert material that does not rot and is not susceptible to attack by pests such as rats or termites. Its strength and durability makes it a versatile building product.
6) Why does Tech Block use recycled EPS?
For over ten years Tech Block has maintained a true environmentally conscious and we have always used recycled content in our block.
Tech Block uses only 100% recycled EPS to make our blocks. This translates into over 80% of our block being made from recycled content.
We have committed our business model to utilize the local waste stream recycle loop wherever we manufacture. Over time this will save millions of tons of waste EPS from entering the landfills.
7) What are the dimensions and weight of Tech Block?
Tech Blocks can be stacked horizontally and/or vertically and measure 32"l X 16"h X 10"w and weigh 44lbs each.
Tech Block is the lightest composite ICF on the market and the easiest to build with.
Tech Block, due to our patented fastening system, is also the only block you can nail studs directly to, screw drywall directly too, hang cabinets and artwork directly to and nail siding directly to. This enables builders to build quicker, cleaner, faster and more cost effectively than any other composite ICF.
Please visit our Product page to learn more about our block characteristics.
8) What is the difference between Tech Block and typical ICFs?
Tech Block is a lightweight insulated concrete block made from 100% recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS) and cement. Our blocks incorporate a "screen-grid/post and beam" design with 6 inch reinforced horizontal and vertical grout channels. Tech Blocks are similar in structural concept and building methods to that of a concrete block/(CMU), however, you do not mortar between blocks and Tech Block walls require over 60% LESS grout than CMU's and up to three (3) times LESS cement than ICFs. The cement used in our materials mix gives our block its' gray color.
9) What is the difference between Tech Block and other composite ICFs?
- Tech Block's patented process enables it to be manufactured anywhere in the world by exclusively licensing our patented system to large, professional manufacturing companies. In doing so we have the ability to manufacture locally all over the world and greatly reduce our transportation costs and emissions.
- Our patented fastening system, as described in point 1 of the FAQs, allows for faster, easier, cleaner and better wall building.
- Tech Block is, by far, the most cost effective Composite ICF on the market.
10) How much does Tech Block cost?
Tech Block is, by far, the most cost effective Composite ICF on the market. Our average block price is $14 per block.
Actual pricing will vary depending on shipment location.
11) How are electrical wiring and plumbing run in Tech Block?
Tech Blocks are very easy to cut using standard wood cutting tools. Typically, for electrical wiring a horizontal channel is cut into the interior wall surface (OSB side) an inch or two above or below a horizontal block seam. This way the block seam acts as the other cut. The cut is usually made using a circular saw with the blade set to penetrate about an inch, and after making the cut a claw hammer can be used to pop the piece of OSB off the block. Electrical wiring can then be placed in the resulting channel. The channel should be covered with a strip of 18 gauge steel to prevent drywall screw penetration of the wiring.
Plumbing chases can be run similarly to electrical wiring. Since plumbing pipe will usually require a larger channel to be cut into the blocks, the circular saw blade should be set to penetrate deeper. The block material behind the OSB can be easily removed using a router or claw hammer etc. Between each 6" nominal vertical grout channel there is an 18" space that is 3-5/8" deep that can be removed to accommodate vertical pipe runs. It is also easy to run pipe from exterior to interior directly through the blocks and in between the grout channels.
Please review our Tech specs and building manual for a more detailed description.
12) Is Tech Block approved for my local building code jurisdictions?
Tech Block corresponds to the International Code Council (ICC) for certification under their ICC AC-15 testing criteria. ICC's AC-15 criterion is the universal code acceptance for over 15,000 local jurisdictions through out the U.S.
13) Can Tech Block help builders become eligible for federal tax credits and/or additional state and/or Local tax credits?
Yes. By using Tech Block in your residential home projects, you may be eligible for tax credits under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. By helping you achieve at least a 50% energy savings for heating and cooling, you can qualify to receive $2,000 in Federal tax credits. There is also a $1,000 tax credit to the builder of a new manufactured home achieving 30 percent energy savings for heating and cooling over the 2004 IECC and supplements.
Additionally, a tax deduction of $1.80 per square foot is available to owners or designers of new or existing commercial buildings that save at least 50% of the heating and cooling energy of a building that meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001.
Please click on the link below to view specific builder questions and answers regarding these programs and the Energy Star program for building new homes:
Additionally, certain states and local municipalities may offer additional tax credits, rebates and/or special low-interest loans by reducing energy costs. We have provided the link below to help you research the available programs in your area.
14) How are Tech Blocks delivered to my job site?
Tech Blocks are stretch-wrapped on oversized wood pallets to provide for easier loading and unloading and to insure proper stability during transportation. The pallets can be easily unloaded using a standard loader or fork lift. Each pallet holds 24 to 28 blocks.
15) Do you provide any product training and/or support for builders?
Our professional team of manufacturers, builders and support staff are committed to providing you and your crews with the education, training and support that you will need to be a knowledgeable and proficient Tech Block builder.
16) Who do I contact to find out about block availability, price quotes and/or if I have more questions about Tech Block?
To learn about block availability for your specific project and/or to receive a price quote, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our Sales Representatives will be happy to help you.
Our professional sales representatives are knowledgeable people that can help answer any additional questions you may have and will be happy to provide you with additional documents you may need to help you communicate the advantages of our building block system to other decision makers in your company.