ECO-Block brings in production housing on-time and on-budget

22 October 2004

Dallas, TX. – Production is well under way on this 270 home gated community, with over 160 of those units constructed from ECO-Block insulating concrete forms. Though the official open house is still a few weeks away, more than 700 excited home buyers have already toured the models in the first ten days they were open.

ECO-Block worked closely with the construction crew to develop the process of integrating insulating concrete forms into a production schedule. Joe Morreale, project manager for the Villages at RDS sums it up: “What we have developed is the template that we can take to the end user. ECO-Block has supported our efforts every step of the way, from the planning stage right through the meetings with the site inspectors.”

Mike Gandee, the Regional Sales Manager who worked on the project from the beginning was pleased to see the code officials endorsement of the construction: “Building inspectors were delighted with our clean and safe jobsite.” This attention to safety paid off in lower insurance premiums.

Despite daytime temperatures so scorching that the soles of boots would melt on the hot asphalt pavement, the ECO-Block crews built three of these 2300 sq ft houses per week – from slab to concrete placement. ECO-Block brought in the team leaders and trained local crews to learn the trade. Workers came from all backgrounds, framers, concrete workers and even an HVAC tradesman.

ECO-Block has one of the most advanced training programs in the industry, with programs throughout North America sponsored by the network of ECO-Block distributors. Mike Brannon, National Training Manager, has also offered trainings at the Carpenter’s Training Center in Las Vegas and for professionals in the masonry union. To date, over 1300 people have completed the classroom training.

At Rio del Sol, ECO-Block demonstrated the benefits of an on-site training program. Says Brannon: “We have experienced installers who are available to get your project built right – the first time. We can help with the pre-construction meetings, organizing the workforce, creating an efficient work schedule and interfacing with the other trades.”

Energy savings was the prime motivation for choosing ECO-Block. The concrete wall mass is insulated between two thick layers of foam, forming a thermal heat sink. The heat from extreme day-time temperatures is slowed down by the foam, and then absorbed by the concrete. Very little of the heat transfers to the inside of the building. In fact, there was a noticeable temperature drop in the houses even when they were under construction, before the AC was running. Actual energy savings can run as high as 50%.

An added benefit of building with concrete was the large size of the windows. All construction in California must meet the very stringent code requirements of this high seismic zone. In wood framing, that generally translates to smaller window openings. Not so with the concrete. Large spans can be reinforced with additional rebar and still meet code.

Continues Morreale, “ECO-Block’s benefit of added noise reduction also suits this community well. With the cost of property in California, this area is designed for maximum space utilization. While houses may be positioned closer together, our residents will still enjoy privacy and a noise-free environment.”

ECO-Block LLC is one of the world’s most innovative and experienced providers of insulating concrete form (ICF) systems. The Texas-based company has developed the strongest, most versatile and technologically advanced ICF systems available for both commercial and residential construction. With manufacturing strategically located throughout North America and overseas locations, ECO-Block has a true coast-to-coast presence. ECO-Block offers unparalleled support in training, code compliance and technical assistance.

ICFs offer a cost-effective building solution that is mold-free, durable and fire-resistant. These buildings have withstood tornadoes, fires and driving rain. Use of ECO-Block’s ICF technology creates super-insulated, monolithic concrete walls that save energy, keep noise out and improve air quality. For the contractor, ECO-Block’s unique panel system offers ease of construction and design adaptability. With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why ICF technology is rapidly integrating into mainstream commercial and residential developments. Visit our website to learn more.

Mike Gandee
ECO-Block, LLC
Regional Manager, California, Nevada