Using concrete blocks to build houses takes away tons of sand and gravel from the environment. Plus, it would cost thousands of dollars just to purchase enough blocks for your house. Is it really worth it to invest in these old fashioned cement blocks?
Cement blocks are not environmentally friendly and budget-wise. Thanks to today’s modernization, engineers made ways to build your house with recycled materials. Before investing in these green materials, you should know the advantages and disadvantages of using them.
What are Faswall® Blocks?
Faswall® Blocks are a type of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF). Traditional wood-frame construction is being phased out in favor of these building materials. Instead of using studs to frame the walls, styrofoam blocks are used to construct the walls, and concrete is poured into those structures.
Faswall® blocks are a natural version of ICFs on the market, that’s why green builders are investing in their features to build more sustainable eco-friendly infrastructures.
Benefits of Using Faswall® Blocks
- Made out of recycled materials. Faswall® blocks are made out of 85% mineralized wood and 15% cement, making them the most environmentally-friendly and non-toxic eco-building materials available on the market.
- Long-lasting building blocks. Faswall® blocks are made of composite and natural materials designed to last for hundreds of years.
- Mold-free. Faswall® has cement wood-fiber content that helps in regulating the moisture of your room.
- All around applications. Faswall® can be used in any building construction.
- Suitable for Do-It-Yourself projects. Faswall® makes it easier to build something even if you want to do it on your own.
- Unlikely to rot or be damaged by insects. Faswall® blocks are impact-resistant that can withstand hurricanes and mild to moderate earthquakes.
- Insulative qualities. These structural forms remain stable after the concrete is poured and help insulate the house once cured.
Why Architects, Engineers, And Green Builders Likes the Faswall® Blocks
- The blocks are constructed in 24′′-long modular pieces. They’re engineered to be lightweight to make the construction process easier for the workers.
- Easier to stack the wall forms on top of each other without the use of mortar. The wall forms are kept in position by the interconnecting tongue-and-groove end design.
- Constructed walls are relatively sturdy. This is because the rebar is placed vertically and horizontally inside the stacked forms before pouring concrete mix into the cores.
- Thermal and fire protection. An experiment revealed that Faswall® blocks have outstanding heat and fire resistance and may be used in a wide range of applications such as above-grade, below-grade, industrial, and residential construction. These features are proven by holding a flame thrower through the blocks for a couple of minutes. Although the block emits smoke, it does not catch fire.
- Durability. Faswall® blocks are made of reinforced concrete and will last for centuries.
- Cost-effective and budget-friendly. Because of Faswall®’s insulation capabilities, the cost of heating or cooling your house is significantly reduced. The expenses for maintenance and concrete infill are also reduced.
- Sustainability. Faswall® blocks are built from natural, recycled building materials. For environmental advocates, Faswall® is the preferred material.
- Workability. Rotary and oscillating cutting tools can easily penetrate and cut ICFs.
Applications of Faswall® Blocks
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) such as the Faswall® blocks are great to use for such places as:
- Long-lasting facilities. An infrastructure built with Faswall® blocks can last more than 200 years without suffering major fatigue or structural damage.
- Schools, Hospitals, health-related facilities, chemical laboratories, and storage areas. Faswall® blocks are made out of recycled materials, but it takes a long time to penetrate them by fire. These blocks also prevent mold from forming that could harm stored objects.
- Recommended for agricultural projects. Faswall® blocks can hold the hotness or coldness of a room for a long-time and can retain the room’s humidity which is suitable for plant life.
Other structural uses of Faswall® blocks includes:
- Luxury homes
- Garden bed kits
- Basement on Slab Construction
- As stem walls or full wall foundations
Problems Associated with Faswall® Blocks
These eco-friendly insulated concrete forms have their drawbacks behind their superior ICF features.
- Requires extensive planning, especially for a one-man project. Extra tools and equipment are needed for people who do D-I-Y projects for their convenience due to the size and weight of these blocks. In general, designers need to make sure that every material that goes through the wall has enough space to accommodate all the materials in place, considering the gas line, water line, electric line, internet cords, etc. This is because it is relatively harder to penetrate the ICF blocks accurately due to their thickness if ever they want to change something inside the walls.
- The thickness of the blocks takes up more space. Because ICFs are made up of several inches of stiff insulating foam and concrete blocks, they take up more space than standard wood frames. ICFs offer limited runs within the walls because of their thickness which negatively affects the construction of plumbing-related materials.
- Might need to redesign the construction plan. Most architects have the walls planned based on the average thickness of a cement block. Therefore, it would take time for the architect to make the measurements of each wall based on the thickness of the Faswall® forms.
- Need extra space for the storage of ICFs during construction. For homeowner builders, this problem is usually concerned with the availability of the blocks and if you’ll be getting the blocks via delivery.
- Waterproofing problems. Several manufacturers assume that only the underground component of the wall needs to be waterproofed. Most construction companies are concerned about water infiltration at the lining between the blocks and near window and door openings, so they use an extra peel and stick protective layer over the existing structure, which is complex and expensive.
How much do Faswall® Blocks Cost?
The overall costs of a building made out of Faswall® blocks depend on many factors such as the location of the building, specific design, contractors, time frame of the construction, etc. Faswall® blocks in the USA typically cost $12.5 to $15.4 per ft2.
For reference, here’s a table made by Faswall® to get an idea of the possible construction cost.
|Building Size||Estimated number of Faswall® blocks needed||Estimated overall price|
|1,500 ft2 (single-story house)||1,375 ft2 of blocks||$17, 000 – $21,000|
|2,000 ft2||1,890 ft2 of blocks||$22, 100 – $26,100|
|4,000 ft2||3,325 ft2 of blocks||$40, 700 – $48,700|
What makes Faswall® Blocks Cheaper than Other ICFs?
Faswall® blocks can reduce your overall expenses in many ways including:
- Reduces labor intensity by 10% if compared with traditional ICFs.
- Keeps the energy usage minimal. Faswall® keeps the temperature and humidity of your house for a long time. It lowers your energy bills by reducing the required electrical energy to increase or decrease the room’s temperature because of Faswall®’s high thermal mass property.
- Low maintenance.
This ends the review about the advantages, disadvantages, and estimated cost of Faswall® blocks. Use this guideline before buying structural blocks to know what type of forms is suitable for your infrastructure.