‘Green’ Means Rock Solid Energy Efficiency
The partners responsible for the Pine Avenue Restoration Project have advanced the quality and sustainability of the overall project by choosing to build with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF’s) provided by Greenblock (www.greenblock.com) of Stuart, Florida.
Micheal Coleman, project manager, had this to say: “ICF construction is the first step in constructing environmentally responsible, energy efficient buildings, built to withstand the tests of time and nature. These buildings conserve energy while providing peace of mind with their extreme wind load capability. It is costing us a bit more, but is ultimately the right thing to do.
An insulated concrete form (ICF) wall begins with the forms themselves, which consist of a web system tying together 2.5” Styrofoam panels, forming blocks, which are set, like lego’s, onto the foundation. Inside these forms is a 2’x2’ reinforced steel grid which covers the entire wall system. This web and grid system is then poured solid with 6” of solid concrete. The result: a fortress-like structure able to withstand the most extreme storm conditions.
Click here to read about the benefits of ICF ( The ICF Effect by Insulating Concrete Form Association )
It’s also hard to imagine a wall system that is more energy efficient, since the normal escape routes for cool or warm air are sealed with a nominal 11.25” “thermos bottle” type enclosure.
Now, a state of the art system like this forms the basis for everything that follows it.
To begin with, regular glass, even regular hurricane glass, won’t do. In order to stay consistent we have chosen full solar heat gain, 3/16”, vinyl, hurricane windows. These windows provide the maximum in impact resistance, energy efficiency and light retention.
Next, a regular hot water heater, using energy whether or not hot water is needed, is replaced by tankless, “on demand” systems that only use energy when the hot water tap is on. Better still, these systems don’t run out of hot water!
Of course, in a state of the art building like this, regular bat ceiling insulation must be upgraded to a spray foam process, such as “Icynene”, or other such system. This results in a sealed attic space with temperature variations of 3-5 degrees from the habitable space. A great bonus is that, being sealed, no venting is required thereby eliminating wind or rain penetration in the event of a severe storm event.
Beginning to get the picture ? These are the “foundation blocks” for a total building system that is kind to your energy bills, quiet and pollutant free to live and work in, with rock solid peace of mind regarding severe storms and hurricanes.
All things being equal, this is better.