Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. If Forming Solutions is trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible, why aren’t we distributing a block made with bio foam as opposed to the expanded polystyrene foam that is in the Insulated Concrete Forms. Is there such a product that exists for building?
The short answer is, no. There are no soy, algae, or mushroom based Insulated Concrete Forms available on the market. Just as consumers should demand innovation in the building industry, the building industry itself should seek to revolutionize. Right now, Forming Solutions does not have the capability to research and develop the kind of building materials we wish to distribute. However, we can be a part of perpetuating change in the building industry by sharing our practices and beliefs.
In our opinion, the quintessential building material does not exist yet. Our ideal building form would be a natural product that is sustainably attained, non biodegradable, free of chemicals, and can be 100% reused or recycled. It would also need to exhibit all of the same attributes of the current Insulated Concrete Forms, such as:
- Hydrophobic preventing mold, mildew, and termites
- Above a four-hour fire rating
- A STC rating of 52 essentially making the structure soundproof
- R Value of 23.5 before the concrete is poured resulting in great insulation
- Will last a minimum of 100 years with minimal maintenance
- The structure can withstand catastrophic natural disasters.
The only difference between current ICFs and these “quintessential” standards is the fact that EPS is not inherently a sustainable product, meaning it could be used in ways that abuse the natural resource such as single use plastic and foam products. Nevertheless, the building form we use is made with EPS foam with no added chemicals. In addition, to ensure the excess foam from job sites is properly recycled, Forming Solutions collects the waste and delivers it to Marko Foam Inc. in Irvine, so none of our waste needs to end up in landfills.
The building industry needs to find more efficient ways to do things using fewer natural resources. We need companies in this industry that are forward thinking, innovative, environmentally conscious, and that manufacture products here in America. Forming Solutions looks to companies like Ecovative, a progressive biomaterials company, to lead the way for the building industry. Ecovative has developed a number of mushroom foam products to replace petroleum products over the past ten years.
Written by Allison Devlin