Tech Blocks have been an integral component of energy efficient projects for over a decade now. Through the years our block has been tested and continually improved to make it the preeminent green ICF on the market.
Tech Blocks are stay in place forms that provide superior performance in insulating, sound absorption, and fire and mold resistance qualities. The structure of your project is provided by the concrete and steel that will fill the grout channels created by stacking Tech Blocks. The compressive and shear strengths provided by the 6" nominal diameter steel reinforced concrete cores are by far superior to wood frame construction. Comprehensive structural analysis of previous Tech Block configurations has illustrated its excellent performance to different loading conditions specified in UBC 1997. Our new block configuration will provide even more structural integrity with additional volume in the grout channels in accordance to ICC-AC 15. The combination of versatile design and ease of construction in the field allows nearly any structural code requirement to be satisfied. Altering concrete mix designs, adding grout channels and additional steel reinforcements offers the ability to augment the compressive and shear strengths of Tech Block for use in seismic zones and multi story projects. Tech Blocks are designed to withstand the toughest of conditions from design loads to severe climates.
Given the high public visibility of numerous severe weather disasters in recent years, including Hurricane Katrina, building developers are paying much closer attention to the strength characteristics of ICF construction technology.
Tech Block has received a passing rating when tested per UBC Standard No. 26-3, Room Fire Test Standard for Interior of Foam Plastic Systems. After a fifteen-minute exposure reaching a peak temperature of 559°F Tech Block wall system showed little to no damage to the wall assembly. The block did not produce excessive levels of smoke during the test; peak smoke production was 0.18m²/s. Tech Block will soon be in the test lab seeking and ASTM tested three hour fire rating.
Composite ICFs are several times more fire-resistant than stick frame buildings because concrete does not burn. Tests have shown that, while the EPS insulation can melt away in a fire, the building frame will remain intact in ICF buildings when subjected to fire temperatures that will completely destroy a stick frame building.
Tech Block has been tested per ASTM C1363 Standard Test Method for Thermal Performance of Building Materials and Envelope Assemblies by Means of a Hot Box Apparatus / ASTM C518 - 04 Standard Test Method for Steady-State Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Heat Flow Meter Apparatus. Our block performed well when measured by its thermal resistance and conductivity. These tests yielded an overall R-value of 47.5
Comfort & Quiet
ICF constructed buildings tend to be more comfortable than stick frame buildings because the thermal mass properties of the wall tend to even out the temperature fluctuations experienced by conventional dwellings as the HVAC system cycles on and off. Moreover, the greater consistency of the Tech Block walls mitigates the hot and cold spots typical in stick frame buildings associated with air infiltration and variations in the thickness of the insulation in the walls. Tech Block also reduces the audibility of sound traveling through the walls by about 85%, which is particularly important in multi-family dwellings, hotels, and any other sound wall application.
Termite and Pest Resistance
ICF-constructed buildings are generally more resistant to invasion by termites and other pests than conventional stick frame buildings.