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This project shows that any forms are possible to create and build with Fox Blocks ICF. We do not have to be limited to conventional building. Building green and creating new unique designs were the most important factors in this project. This could not have otherwise been done if it were not for ICF Construction.
Custom building anywhere in the U.S.A. is challenging but here in California we have the additional constraints of a relatively high cost of construction and the toughest of strength requirements to withstand the occasional earthquake. This often adds up to a certain conventionality in the designs we get to build.
Due to the building's location surrounded by trees and its use as a gallery and music recording studio, it was very important to build with a material that is fire resistant. Sound attenuation and insulation were also factors to consider in the design criteria so it was important to use ICF throughout the whole structure to maintain the 12" wall thickness. Radiant hydronic heating was added to each room as well for energy efficiency. There has been no noticeable increase to the energy cost as a whole after this building was added to the property with existing structures on same utility bill.
This building was specifically intended to reflect the contours of the surrounding topography. Completing this design using custom shaped laminated wood or steel beams would have more than doubled its cost and in this seismic zone been almost impossible using any other system. In fact, we were able to show a substantial savings by eliminating all headers and beams over the doors and windows.
The sound and insulation values are off the charts and the energy efficiency is already apparent. The privacy this structure inhabits is just what the client was aiming for pertaining to its use. While the client records in the studio or plays piano in the gallery, the sound that resonates from the building as a whole is incredible and you can not hear anything from the outside. The construction was prolonged by weather related incidents throughout the year, but overall, everyone that worked on the project is very happy with the final results.
Industrial Strength Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)