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ICFs in Pima/Cochise counties


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By Francis in Vail, AZ on 4/27/2007


I'm a "green" (as possible) newbie exploring energy-efficient alternative building methods for a new home near St. David and the Dragoon Mountains.  I know that MC Squared builders will do Rastra ICFs, but was wondering if anyone knew of any other  builders (most likely restricted to Pima/Cochise counties due to travel expense) that might have ICF experience?  If anyone has O-B experience with ICFs locally it would be a huge bonus, but I am guessing that is a long shot.

I love rammed earth, but am neither young enough nor wealthy enough to go that route.  This site is a tremendous resource and I am grateful to have happened upon it.  Thanks for any assistance!

Francis

 


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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 4/30/2007


There are a few OB's in the area who have done ICFs as well as most of the other green materials locally available.

Are you building in the river valley or towards the Dragoons?

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By Francis in Vail, AZ on 4/30/2007


The parcel is as close to the Dragoon Mountains as I could muster. ;)  I have been all over the San Pedro valley, however and have not uneartheded much beyond rammed earth (too rich and/or labor intensive for me) and Rastra.  I am trying to get as much information as possible on alternatives and like an awful lot of what I see in ICFs.  I am still a year away from starting construction (have to retire first!), but one can never accumulate too much information.  I have a great deal of experience in concrete flat work and finishing, but not a heckuva lot with exterior walls (save lumber framing which I do not want).

Thank you so much for your reply.  I've been searching a decent bit, but this is the first site I've found that is tailored so beautifully to the O-B.

Francis


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By Annie in Tucson, AZ on 4/30/2007


Francis,

My husband and I have looked into other owner-builder type systems that are green as well and we found a company here in Tucson that builds all over the state.  They actually showed us some pictures of a home that was just put up with their product out in the Dragoons Mountain Ranch community.  I know it is gated but if you want to see the project you can either go to their website or we scheduled an appointment to go see the house and it was awesome.  The couple out there are doing a semi-owner-build because they are using a company called UBuildIt which helps the O-B through the process.  Here is a link to the slide show of the house:

energypanelsystems.com/link

We had looked into doing ICFs but their cost was more than double as far as the square footage goes of the Energy Panel System (about $5 a square foot compared to $11) and the owners said they had their walls up in less than a week and they had some huge walls, 14' in quite a few sections.  The house looks great and it is amazing how intricate the house was.  I know my husband and I are planning to do our O-B with this company.  UBuildIt introduced us to these guys and they are so nice and willing to answer any questions or help with most anything you will need. 

Annie


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By Charles in Layton, UT on 4/30/2007


Francis, Annie,

I have been highly considering this company for my home:  mikeyblock.com  They are local to Tuscon and seem to have the DIYer in mind.  Their block is a Screen Grid Form ICF.  The external dimensions need to be set up in even one-foot measurements and increments.  Not a show stopper, but just letting you know.  Also, the attachment strips run horizontally as opposed to the more common vertical strips.

Another product I am considering is the PS 3000 Waffle Grid Form from PolySteel polysteel.com/psform They aren't local to you but these are the two I am deciding between.

I am also attaching a PDF file of an ICF comparison chart I found on the web. 

Good luck!


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By Francis in Vail, AZ on 4/30/2007


Charles,

I can't thank you enough for the info on Mikey Block.  Right in my backyard, too.  Funny name, but a killer product from the looks of it and the price is right!  The house they describe in their example is what I envision to a "T".  Thanks for the heads up on the dimensional restriction as well.

That is a fantastic comparison chart - I've never seen one that complete anywhere else.  I am beginning to think I can pull this off and with the great info from this site and its members, it becomes easier all the time. 

It's still a dream-in-the-making, but I've attached a  pic of where my little ICF paradise will be located.  It's what keeps me moving toward that goal.  Thanks for the help in that direction!

Francis


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By Francis in Vail, AZ on 5/1/2007


Annie,

Hmmm, I replied once, but apparently it wafted into the ether of the internet.  If this gets posted twice, please forgive me.  Also my sincere apologies for the size of the image in my previous post.  It was supposed to be a 1/4 size reduction, but I fat-fingered the file name - DOH!

Thank you so much for the great info.  In the "It's a small, small world after all" category ... that EPS/steel home is about 3 miles SW of my lot in DMR and I cannot wait to see it.  I was actually in the Rastra house that you can see in some of the pictures, but never noticed the other house in the distance.  And an owner-build at that!  Mine will definitely be semi-owner build as well although not on anywhere near as grand a scale as that one.  The price is much more in line with what I'd like to do and it sounds like they have a very good owner support structure.  Thank you again!

Francis


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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 5/2/2007


Unless you are dead set on concrete walls, you may want to consider our local SIP company, KC Panel from Animas, NM.

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By Francis in Vail, AZ on 5/2/2007


Thanks for the recommend, Dale.  I am really not dead set on anything yet.  Since construction is still a good ways off, I am just trying to accumulate as much information as possible before heading in a particular direction..  As a former concrete finisher I am just much more familiar with the medium and gravitated toward the concrete-based media.  SIPs are a newer concept for me and I will definitely check out the KC Panel products. 

I'd welcome opinions (yours and others) about the relative merits of ICF vs. SIP construction.  I realize that it can be a matter of opinion/preference, but there is so much hype that it is difficult for someone fairly new to the subject matter (well, for me at least) to sort out the "facts".

Thanks again.

Francis


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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 5/2/2007


To help with your research you may want to review some of the discussions in the green building section.

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By RogerC in Phoenix, AZ on 6/1/2008


Hi Francis,

It's been quite a while since your last post... I was wondering which type of construction you decided to go with?  I'm just doing research now and the Energy Panel System looks interesting to me.


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