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Author: Subject: Concrete insulated foam blocks being made baja SUR
Mexitron
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[*] posted on 7-8-2013 at 02:37 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by CortezBlue
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob and Susan
a home is a permanent structure...

I would look at a 2 to 3 year old unit made with this stuff to see if its actually worth the added cost before I used it

if it is...then go for it

talk about strength... is just that talk...
no one has ever showed me any facts about strength....but...
those triumph plastic boats ARE tough


This product and products like it have been around for at least 13 years. When I built my home in Phoenix in 1999 I looked serious at Rastra, the exact same type of product.

Don't forget that this product is tied vertically and horizontally with rebar and is grouted solid every 12 to 16 inches.

My neighbor in San Felipe used Rastra about 8 years ago and it has no noticeable cracking or flaking or falling of stucco.


If memory serves, I recall that the RASTRA system also has diagonal rebar---the insides of the block are curved to allow this extra support bar.
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[*] posted on 7-8-2013 at 03:02 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Bob and Susan
Quote:
When I built my home in Phoenix in 1999 I looked serious at Rastra, the exact same type of product.

My neighbor in San Felipe used Rastra about 8 years ago and it has no noticeable cracking or flaking or falling of stucco.


but you choose NOT to use it...

it does an excellent job of insulating...
the way its installed will see if the walls stand up over time
but the stucco may crack from "flexing"
(wind...earth movement)
it's flexible

people need to look at structures that are made of this stuff for the added cost

if its good for their lifestyle then use it:light::light:
out of curiosity, even been to vegas to see how they make homes, townhomes and condos? I would bet most in the desert SW are made this way. They use stick frames with insulation with chicken wire and stucco, other than the upper end this is what I have seen exclusively. Are you inferring stick frames are more ridged than concrete rebar with egg crating?

Regarding cost... In my very small town there are 3 finished here and 4 or more going up right now, so the cost appears to be as proposed or they would not be building with it. The size range in my town are 1200 sq ft to one 5000 sq foot mansion.

And again I bet the resale of any of these will significantly beat a comparable one.

also I built a foam stand alone bedroom I talked about 8 years ago with the W-panel foam. I do not have a core material it is foam with wire. The wire is stuccoes from both sides. I have about R12 on my walls. and my ceiling I used w-panel and put foam blocks in the egg crating way for about an R30 effect. I also used vegas lowes windows that are vinyl double panel e glass that reflect infrared and UV A and B. These are about 1/3 to half the price of the windows down here that are not reflective or insulated. It is about 300sq feet. I have several other bedrooms that are stand alone, built with just block.

For my insulated with R12 which is half of the EF block insulating factor I can tell you to cool that room, I put in a 7000 BTU mini split and it takes me 10kWh a night to cool it. I wake up in the morning and my lips are chapped.

Another room where just the roof is insulated I have a 8000 BTU window unit and it takes about 20kWh a night and when I wake up there is still humidity and it never gets real cool. I have now added a shade covering to the west wall to see if this will help. (the one with full insulation is in direct sunlight from sunup to sun down.)

And I have another where it is just block and no roof insulation, and the 8000 BTU window can not do the job of cooling well and will use about 30kWh per night.

Those are real close numbers, probably good to do cost saving analysis.

So according to your flexing concept the w-panel would be the least ridged because it is just foam with stucco. Well I have yet to have any cracks in my stucco walls in 8 or more years.

Now it is not the same product as EF block and I do believe W-panel is stronger than concrete blocks. These two have been tested to cat 2 hurricane winds with no damage.
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laventana
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[*] posted on 7-8-2013 at 03:06 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Bob and Susan
Quote:
When I built my home in Phoenix in 1999 I looked serious at Rastra, the exact same type of product.

My neighbor in San Felipe used Rastra about 8 years ago and it has no noticeable cracking or flaking or falling of stucco.


but you choose NOT to use it...

it does an excellent job of insulating...
the way its installed will see if the walls stand up over time
but the stucco may crack from "flexing"
(wind...earth movement)
it's flexible

people need to look at structures that are made of this stuff for the added cost

if its good for their lifestyle then use it:light::light:
out of curiosity, even been to vegas to see how they make homes, townhomes and condos? I would bet most in the desert SW are made this way. They use stick frames with insulation with chicken wire and stucco, other than the upper end this is what I have seen exclusively. Are you inferring stick frames are more ridged than concrete rebar with egg crating?

Regarding cost... In my very small town there are 3 finished here and 4 or more going up right now, so the cost appears to be as proposed or they would not be building with it. The size range in my town are 1200 sq ft to one 5000 sq foot mansion.

And again I bet the resale of any of these will significantly beat a comparable one.

I built a foam stand alone bedroom I talked about 8 years ago with the W-panel foam. I do not have a core material it is foam with wire. The wire is stuccoed from both sides. I have about R12 on my walls. and my ceiling I used w-panel and put foam blocks in the egg crating way for about an R30 effect. I also used vegas lowes windows that are vinyl double panel e glass that reflect infrared and UV A and B. These are about 1/3 to half the price of the windows down here that are not reflective or insulated. It is about 300sq feet. I have several other bedrooms that are stand alone, built with just block.

For my insulated with R12 which is half of the EF block insulating factor I can tell you to cool that room, I put in a 7000 BTU mini split and it takes me 10kWh a night to cool it. I wake up in the morning and my lips are chapped.

Another room where just the roof is insulated I have a 8000 BTU window unit and it takes about 20kWh a night and when I wake up there is still humidity and it never gets real cool. I have now added a shade covering to the west wall to see if this will help. (the one with full insulation is in direct sunlight from sunup to sun down.)

And I have another where it is just block and no roof insulation, and the 8000 BTU window can not do the job of cooling well and will use about 30kWh per night.

Those are real close numbers, probably good to do cost saving analysis.

So according to your flexing concept the w-panel would be the least ridged because it is just foam with stucco. Well I have yet to have any cracks in my stucco walls in 8 or more years.

Now it is not the same product as EF block and I do believe W-panel is stronger than concrete blocks. These two have been tested to cat 2 hurricane winds with no damage.
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[*] posted on 7-8-2013 at 03:35 PM


the substrate the stucco is being attached to is like a scratch surface coat of stucco to begin with, looks like adherance should'nt be an issue. a good seal coat and painting should allow the stucco to hold up well by sealing out elements.
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 08:14 AM


Just wanted everyone to know EF block can be bought in Lowes in the Arizona now. That speaks volumes for the product, and the same block can be bought in Baja Sur.


also note that during hurricane Odile no EFBlock home had structural damage.




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[*] posted on 5-11-2020 at 07:22 PM


As a follow up on this product,
We decided to build a 1000 sq/ft, square house with this product after having really good results from a Rasta block home we did in the states that was great.
Here, we are completely disappointed.

After one year the exterior is falling off, cracks everywhere (as compared to a typical block house we had built 20 years ago that has no cracking); it is less energy efficient (we need to sleep in our old house as the inside temp is 10 degrees hotter after running the A/C all day than our old block home), and we can not get any response from either of the partners of the product other than " it must have been your architect" and its not our problem and " I did not say I guaranteed anything". Funny, we had doubled the rebar requirements; 1/2 " over 3/8" and added extra structural support after the consultation with the company before we started building as we wanted to make sure we were solid.

Probably our fault for not completely checking other projects that were made from the block locally, as we felt comfortable from past experiences with a similar product. Possibly due to a different climate or substandard production here locally.
Now after asking questions locally from others that have used the block, we are having the exact same problem as others. Structural cracking ( when it does rain, it is completely soaked inside from the cracking), hotter inside than outside in most months, need for total use of A/C to be able to be comfortable at all hours of the day.

The cost to build was way more than anticipated. Probably 20% more than the 5% percent quoted.

Now we are peeling off huge failed sections of the pulito in order to fix the cracking of the block itself in order to stop the leaking of water when it rains.
IMHO this block is a disaster and would recommend good old Mexican block for energy savings, cost of building and pain in the burro for dealing with the problems.

Just do your research first! That was or mistake and are sorry we didn't
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[*] posted on 5-12-2020 at 08:35 AM


We have an addition built with metal studs and modern insulation. I know Mexico is still learning to use it but we are very happy with the product and the cost. Foam does degrade if exposed. CM's experience would make me stop and think.



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[*] posted on 5-12-2020 at 09:08 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Bob and Susan  
anyone interested in this foam block should look at a house built two or three years ago...

it does insulate but also cracks because it "flexes"

it is great for insulation the block does not transfer heat


i was under the impression that all materials transfer heat...some more quickly than others. something about thermal dynamics?

[Edited on 5-12-2020 by pacificobob]
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[*] posted on 5-12-2020 at 09:43 PM


Quote: Originally posted by charliemanson  
As a follow up on this product,
We decided to build a 1000 sq/ft, square house with this product after having really good results from a Rasta block home we did in the states that was great.
Here, we are completely disappointed.

After one year the exterior is falling off, cracks everywhere (as compared to a typical block house we had built 20 years ago that has no cracking); it is less energy efficient (we need to sleep in our old house as the inside temp is 10 degrees hotter after running the A/C all day than our old block home), and we can not get any response from either of the partners of the product other than " it must have been your architect" and its not our problem and " I did not say I guaranteed anything". Funny, we had doubled the rebar requirements; 1/2 " over 3/8" and added extra structural support after the consultation with the company before we started building as we wanted to make sure we were solid.

Probably our fault for not completely checking other projects that were made from the block locally, as we felt comfortable from past experiences with a similar product. Possibly due to a different climate or substandard production here locally.
Now after asking questions locally from others that have used the block, we are having the exact same problem as others. Structural cracking ( when it does rain, it is completely soaked inside from the cracking), hotter inside than outside in most months, need for total use of A/C to be able to be comfortable at all hours of the day.

The cost to build was way more than anticipated. Probably 20% more than the 5% percent quoted.

Now we are peeling off huge failed sections of the pulito in order to fix the cracking of the block itself in order to stop the leaking of water when it rains.
IMHO this block is a disaster and would recommend good old Mexican block for energy savings, cost of building and pain in the burro for dealing with the problems.

Just do your research first! That was or mistake and are sorry we didn't


what town did you build in, if nearby i would like to see. The manufacturer of the block is building like crazy in my town. The word generally gets around fast, but have not heard any complaints. Maybe he is the only one who can build with it properly. I have not seen him in a year or so even in a small town.

I built a room with panel-w 15 or so years ago. I used the roof elastomeric paint on the outside walls of it to be another vapor barrier as a precaution. Not that they recommended it to me. Panel-W is about in the end about 15-20% more to build with when everything is said and done too.




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[*] posted on 5-13-2020 at 08:36 AM


Quote: Originally posted by weebray  
We have an addition built with metal studs and modern insulation. I know Mexico is still learning to use it but we are very happy with the product and the cost. Foam does degrade if exposed. CM's experience would make me stop and think.


That is correct, metal stud/joist framing is very advanced, but you find that type of construction almost only in commercial buildings. I have use that type in the US extensively, last project was my bodega roof with metal joists here in Centenario.
My main casa was build with double concrete block walls, and a 2" foam insulation in between. Just a tiny learning curve for the local contractor......just perfect for our climate here.
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[*] posted on 5-13-2020 at 08:58 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Fernweh  
Quote: Originally posted by weebray  
We have an addition built with metal studs and modern insulation. I know Mexico is still learning to use it but we are very happy with the product and the cost. Foam does degrade if exposed. CM's experience would make me stop and think.


That is correct, metal stud/joist framing is very advanced, but you find that type of construction almost only in commercial buildings. I have use that type in the US extensively, last project was my bodega roof with metal joists here in Centenario.
My main casa was build with double concrete block walls, and a 2" foam insulation in between. Just a tiny learning curve for the local contractor......just perfect for our climate here.
what was the upcost to your sturdy as a rock approach?

also the major benefit is your thermal mass on the inside of the foam to keep a very stable/uniform temperature i would assume.

knowing how thenight winds come in and cool of LaPaz in the summer (I ride a motorcycle and when entering lapaz in the summer morning have to wear a jacket) very curious, do you use it with ac or the cool night winds to cool it from the daytime heat in the summer.

[Edited on 5-13-2020 by laventana]

[Edited on 5-13-2020 by laventana]




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[*] posted on 5-14-2020 at 10:07 AM


Realistically, I did not look at the cost at all. My local workers had no problems building the casa with basically dual walls. I must admit, the concrete posts and beams, did not received the 2" foam insulation, but they connect both walls nicely together.
At today's high temps, the house stays wonderfully cool inside, without fans or A/C, and the sliding doors are open all day. My bathroom was built with just single walls, and you can tell the difference easily, even the bath room floor is warmer than the floors in the rest of the house.
Eventually, in the mid summer heat the inside of the house will get warmer, and I have to use the A/C to keep my bedroom at 27C, for me to sleep well.
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[*] posted on 5-14-2020 at 10:28 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Fernweh  
Realistically, I did not look at the cost at all. My local workers had no problems building the casa with basically dual walls. I must admit, the concrete posts and beams, did not received the 2" foam insulation, but they connect both walls nicely together.
At today's high temps, the house stays wonderfully cool inside, without fans or A/C, and the sliding doors are open all day. My bathroom was built with just single walls, and you can tell the difference easily, even the bath room floor is warmer than the floors in the rest of the house.
Eventually, in the mid summer heat the inside of the house will get warmer, and I have to use the A/C to keep my bedroom at 27C, for me to sleep well.


I've always thought of building a house with double walls as you have! I think it is a great idea... How thick did your walls come out? 14"-16"?




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[*] posted on 5-14-2020 at 11:14 AM


Where it is possible, careful consideration should be given to subsurface excavation. The simple choice of buying a lot on a slope could go a long way toward providing lifelong protection from heat. Ideally, a slope facing south. Ten feet down the earth is cool.



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[*] posted on 5-14-2020 at 12:06 PM


Quote: Originally posted by weebray  
Where it is possible, careful consideration should be given to subsurface excavation. The simple choice of buying a lot on a slope could go a long way toward providing lifelong protection from heat. Ideally, a slope facing south. Ten feet down the earth is cool.


How did you determine the 10 feet? Did you actually do this?

not sure it is good for my town as we have geothermal water in our area, several hot pools that you can dig out at the sea edge if you catch it at the right tide level. I could be far enough away from that area but would not risk it without testing. Certainly would be great for the cold winter nights no matter what.




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[*] posted on 7-21-2020 at 06:54 PM


The climbing gym I used to manage in Palm Springs the entire building was made with these , amazing product.. the owner made these on site while building the gym ,in the picture you can see said “cinder blocks “

EFF0BA05-1A06-4311-94D8-CD52FCABF86A.jpeg - 91kB560BB28F-154B-4E28-853B-EE2FBA2436C6.jpeg - 92kB
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[*] posted on 7-22-2020 at 11:11 AM


I built my 4200 sq ft home out of ICF blocks and SIPS panels for the roof. stucco finish on the outside. We did all of the work , with the exception of shingling the roof, stuccoing, and sheetrocking, ourselves. blocks were 2.5 inches of foam on each side, with 8" void filled with rebar and concrete, so walls are just over 1 foot thick. each block was 4ft X 2 ft, and it interlocked with the blocks below and above it. The block had H shaped plastic webbing inserts molded into the block, to hold the rebar , and also provide "anchoring for screwing into the block.

You just laid down a row of block along the perimeter, laid in rebar into the webbing, then stacked the next layer and repeat. once the full structure was built, we brought in a cement pumper and pumped the walls full from the top down - pretty straightforward!

BTW pretty fire resistant as well, I get a significant insurance break on homeowners insurance because of that.

If i remember right, i used 1.75 MILES of rebar in the house 2 track of rebar through every block - so every 2 feet high is 2 rows of rebar running continuously horizontally parallel around the house, plus vertical rebar as well. , and i think somewhere around 75 sq yds of concrete, - foundation, footings, slab & walls. i heat it with a standard 50 gallon water heater and radiant tubes, and cool it with ducted swamp coolers (NO AC) . With just the swamp coolers, on a typical 100 degree day here in central California, my inside temp stays 74-75 degrees, I have gotten a 28 degree difference from inside to outside if i aggressively manage the cooling through the day.

incredibly comfortable house to live in, no maintenance other than 1 paint job of wood trim, plus i had it redashed about 5 years ago, mostly because we wanted a lighter color on the exterior.

electric bill is about 1/4 of similar sized houses in thew area, quiet, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about ICF - The house is now 16 years old - no spider cracks. no window not square, no doors not fitting, etc.

I heard alot of ICF bashing from contractors, none with any experience or desire to do ICF, and i assume they saw it as a threat to their standard framing jobs, but so far, again 16 years into it, and no issues.



[Edited on 7-22-2020 by caj13]

[Edited on 7-22-2020 by caj13]

[Edited on 7-22-2020 by caj13]

[Edited on 7-22-2020 by caj13]

[Edited on 7-23-2020 by caj13]
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