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Better than ICF - Omnicrete


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By Paul in Jacksonville, FL on 8/8/2008


I used a traditional ICF system to build my 5,100 sq' house a little over two years ago. I really like it so far... great decision. About 6 months ago, I became aware of an ICF-type system that's patented, called Omnicrete (owner Len Terry). It's a more-advanced concrete wall in terms of wind resistance, energy savings, and having green properties. I am developing a small subdivision in Jacksonville, FL called the Mangrove and will seriously consider using Omnicrete throughout. In fact, they are the leader for our wall system. 

First-time poster... apologize for any redundancy, etc.


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By Grant in Blacksburg, VA on 8/8/2008


Paul,

Thanks for the info. It is new to me. I'm going to add this to my list of possible wall technologies. Currently I'm looking at All Wall and ICF (for ICF, so far, I like BuildBlock).

I have a couple of questions:

For DIY builders, the ICF systems are relatively easy to keep the walls square, as they are stacked. It would seem that AAC would perhaps require a skilled mason to keep the walls square so as to make finish work less labor intensive... Does Omnicrete have a solution to this? If they made AAC blocks with grooves like BuildBlock has for stacking, I'd be getting really excited about this new technology.

Am I missing something? Is there an easy way to stack these blocks level and square, or does it take roughly the same skill as concrete blocks?

Regards,

Grant


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By Paul in Jacksonville, FL on 8/8/2008


Grant, I believe you would need a mason. Probably better to send that question to Len Terry, the patent-holder: lterry@omnicrete.com.

I've watched a couple ICF systems go up and one Omnicrete. The latter walls are more square... I couldn't believe my eyes. ICF uses braces and angle irons, which I guess worked fine as well for my own house. All things considered, if I were building my home over again, I would choose Omnicrete for a host of reasons.

Good luck with your investigation. The new systems beat the heck out of stick frame.  I would NEVER build again with sticks.

Paul


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By Grant in Blacksburg, VA on 8/8/2008


Thanks, Paul:

I dug into the Omnicrete website a bit. According to their website, they don't appear to let O-B's or just any old local contractor do the work. You hire "their crews" to install and finish all of your interior and exterior walls. I'm not sure what it takes for a local contractor to become an Omnicrete installation crew. The website doesn't clarify that. My calls were dumped to voice mail three times today...

After learning about how Omnicrete uses AAC blocks for interior walls, that got me thinking. If I end up going with ICF for my envelope, I could still use AAC for my interior walls and the AAC will help provide additional "usable" thermal mass inside the home while also eliminating the need for wood framing inside the house. I had completely disregarded plain-old AAC for exterior walls and didn't even consider their potential as excellent interior walls. 4" AAC walls instead of stick frame seems like a smart way to go!

Regards,

Grant


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By Len in Terry, FL on 10/13/2008


Grant,

Yes we can get AAC blocks with grooves. I don't use them because of the cost. I have developed a way building with ungrooved blocks that is part of my patented system. No masons! Thanks for the question...

Len

 


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By Mark in APO, AE on 1/23/2010


Are you saying that there are DIY'ers doing their own ICF installation? I've thought about it, but was concerned I would miss something.
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By mark in Lake Mary, FL on 4/27/2010


I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Terry a few years ago when his offices were in Heathrow/Lake Mary, Fl. It turned out he was just blocks from my office, so I wandered over there one afternoon and inadvertently came in the back way, knocked on a window, and ended up right in Mr. Terry's office. He was kind enough to allow me to introduce myself and then spent a couple hours with me answering questions and explaining his system.

I had previously built my house after taking over from the contractor, and soon became a construction buff. The more I looked into materials, CMU, AAC, etc., the more I looked at Omnicrete as the best way to go. I have not built a new home yet, but when I do, I hope Omnicrete is around. Mr Terry is very passionate about his product and I hope to have an Omnicrete home some day. And I will go with some seriously laminated windows for our Florida hurricanes. :)

Mark

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By Jack in Jacksonville, FL on 6/9/2010


My house was built using the Omnicrete process, and I can tell you it is not as simple as you would be led to believe. I did not do it myself, I actually contracted with Omnicrete to get the walls built. I am not going to go into details, this is not the forum for that, but I would not use Omnicrete again.  

Jack


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