Greenblock ICF Wall Systems… Building Green in the Pacific Northwest

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Insulated Concrete Form wall systems ideal for energy efficient residential and commercial construction.

Greenblock Worldwide Corporation (http://www.greenblock.com), a leader and pioneer in the insulated concrete form (ICF) industry, has announced that they have begun marketing their ICF products and installation services in the Pacific Northwest. With their roots in Europe, the company has been promoting the use of their ICFs as an energy saving alternative to stick frame and concrete block construction for the last forty years.

"Insulated Concrete Forms are a natural building system for this area," says Dan Smith, Portland OR-based Territory Manager for Greenblock. "Folks up here are extremely concerned about the environment and their impact on it. Homes and buildings built with our ICF wall systems are super energy efficient, clean, quiet and comfortable. I'm looking forward to introducing Greenblock as a sustainable alternative to stick frame and concrete block construction."

Insulated concrete forms are a 'stay-in-place' insulated wall forming system made of three primary components; high R-value expanded polystyrene foam, rigid plastic ties and steel-reinforced poured concrete. The use of ICF's began more than a half century ago and is continuing to gain popularity throughout the construction industry - especially now because of its energy efficient, sustainable attributes.

The bulk of a commercial building's environmental footprint is caused by the energy consumed in the heating and cooling of the structure over its lifetime. The high performance thermal envelope provided by Greenblock ICF construction can offer significant contribution towards reducing the energy consumption needed to control the interior climate of the building. Additionally, the lack of air infiltration and the resistance to moisture through the exterior walls eliminates the growth of mold and pests penetration thus creating a healthy indoor environment that promotes increased employee productivity due to the reduction of sick days.

Projects seeking a green certification from the United States Green Building Council, NAHB or Green Building Initiative, benefit from involving Greenblock ICFs with their project. Greenblock insulated concrete forms are:

  • Energy Efficient: The expandable polystyrene foam in a Greenblock wall provides a consistent R-24 Thermal Resistance over the life of the product. Coupled with the thermal mass characteristics of concrete, as well as the lack of air infiltration in an ICF wall, the Greenblock system provides a wall comparable to that of an R-50 wood-framed or CMU wall. ICF structures are up to 70% cheaper to heat and 50% cheaper to cool than traditional wood frame or concrete block construction.
  • Sound Resistant: Structures using Greenblock achieve documented levels of STC (Sound Transmission Classifications) 50 (inaudible) or higher. Wood frame and CMU structures are typically rated an average STC 25, meaning people inside of the structure can hear and understand voices outside the structure. Outside noise such as traffic, airplanes, construction and even lawnmowers and leaf blowers are greatly reduced, making the structure a quiet, peaceful sanctuary.
  • Strong and Safe: Greenblock structures are much stronger than traditional building methods and materials. They provide exceptional protection from severe forces of nature, such as hurricanes and tornados. Greenblock foundation walls resist cracking and buckling up to five times better than concrete block walls. Greenblock walls are built with steel-reinforced concrete and fire-resisting expanded polystyrene foam, and they have a 2 to 4 hour fire rating depending on which product is used. ICF structures also improve indoor air quality by eliminating the holes and crevices that can trap moisture and foster mold and mildew growth.
  • Environmentally Friendly: The decision to construct with Greenblock ICFs is an environmentally responsible choice. Buildings constructed with ICFs significantly reduce the negative impact on the environment through sustainable site-planning, energy-efficiency, lower HVAC requirements and improved indoor air quality.(Builders can earn up to 20 LEED points). Greenblock ICFs are non-toxic; using no CFCs, HCFCs or formaldehydes, the absence of "off-gassing" eliminates the possibility of air pollution or ozone depletion.

Greenblock is dedicated to providing green building solutions to builders and developers throughout the Pacific Northwest. On a national level, Greenblock is a member the USGBC and NAHB. On a local/regional level, Greenblock Territory Manager Dan Smith is a member of several Home Builder Associations including Portland, Seattle, Eugene and Bend as well as the Clark County/Vancouver Building Industry Association. He also sits on Green Building Committees in Seattle, Portland and Bend. Greenblock will be exhibiting at the Seattle Builders Show, October 1 and 2, held at the Seattle Convention Center. They will also be featured at the Clark County Parade of Homes in Vancouver running August 22nd through September 7.

About Greenblock, Inc.:
Greenblock's (http://www.greenblock.com) roots originated in Europe over 30 years ago and moved to the United States and Canada in the late 1980's. With several integral modifications from the time of its inception, today's Greenblock continues to be the superior choice for high efficiency wall systems, noted for outstanding design and ease of use. Over the years, a significant number of structures have been built with Greenblock. Projects that range from stem walls, basements, single and multi-story residences, apartments, condominiums, schools, hospitals, towers and even swimming pools. Government agencies and utility companies are now recognizing the superior features of insulated form-built structures and are beginning to recommend its use for environmental and energy conservation benefits.

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