Disasters Don’t Have to be Devastating

In the past six months there have been devastating natural disasters here in America and abroad. We accept the tragedies that natural disasters bring as unavoidable and inevitable, but we don’t have to. We don’t have to lose our schools, hospitals, businesses, and homes, that much is preventable. Consumers have to demand more from the construction industry. They have to speak up and say, “Stop building me a house that keeps falling down, burning, molding, getting termites, etc. Build me something better. Build me something with Insulated Concrete Forms.”

The picture above shows ICF homes in a San Diego Suburb still standing after a wildfire swept through the area1.

We have to think critically and ask ourselves, why haven’t we learned from our mistakes? Why do we keep building with wood? A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reports, “The Wine Country wildfires destroyed at least 8,400 structures”2. If any other industry made products that continually failed, consumers would demand innovation, especially if that product was essential to your everyday life. ICF is that innovation in the building industry, and Forming Solutions is here to supply it.

The Time to Educate is Now

Forming Solutions is here to help contractors, architects, homeowners, business owners, and investors, take initiative and educate themselves on a better way to build. If people don’t, a considerable amount of the reconstruction in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Spain, Portugal, and The Wine Country will be rebuilt using conventional stick frame methods, perpetuating the cycle of destruction whenever disaster strikes. With all of the unthinkable misfortune that came with these disasters, societies now have the opportunity to rebuild in a way that can prevent an incident like this in the future.

ICF Disaster Facts

Insulated Concrete Forms perform excellent in fire rating tests. In these tests ICF walls were subject to continuous gas flames and temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours. None of the ICF walls ever failed structurally3. Unlike wood, concrete doesn’t burn. Therefore, an ICF structure is less likely to spread fires as well. In addition, ICF structures can withstand winds over 200 mph and projectile debris traveling over 100mph4. ICF is also a great option for structures in areas prone to flooding. ICF is water resistant due to the non-absorbent nature of the expanded polystyrene (EPS) that is used in the insulated concrete formwork5. Hurricanes, tornados, floods, and fires will continue to happen, but we can make them less devastating. Forming Solutions wants people to keep their homes, businesses, and livelihoods after trying times, such as natural disasters. Meet us halfway and choose ICF for your next building project.

This ICF home is still standing even though Hurricane Katrina caught it mid-construction6.

1 “Survivor Stories.” Floridagreenconstruction.us. Accessed October 25, 2017.
2 Vives, Ruben, and Richard Winton. “Fire loss total surges to 8,400 structures in Northern California.” Latimes.com. October 23, 2017. Accessed October 24, 2017.
3 “Fire Resistance of Concrete Homes.” Forms.org. Accessed October 24, 2017.
“ICFs and Severe Weather.” Foxblocks.com. Accessed October 24, 2017.
“Flood Resistant Design.” Nuduraicfs.co.uk. Accessed October 24, 2017.
“Katrina_web.” Icfdirect.net. Accessed November 7, 2017.


Written by Allison Devlin


Built to Last Over a Century

Sustainable. A cliché we hear too often, yet never enough in a meaningful way.

Wood is considered by many to be a sustainable building material. However, wood is deemed sustainable almost solely because it’s renewable. In reality, it’s not an ideal building material and certainly not meant to “sustain” itself for very long. Wood is susceptible to mold, rot, termites, fires and natural disasters. It almost never lives up to its true longevity due to its incapacity to cope with environmental factors. As a result, more natural resources are used to re-build, adding to the fifteen billion trees cut down annually.¹ On the other hand, ICF structures will last at least two hundred years with minimal maintenance.² In addition, ICF has a four-hour fire rating and is termite and pest resistant.³ If everyone in America chose to build with ICF, U.S. property owners would save over five billion dollars alone from avoiding termite damage.4

Additional Factors of Sustainability

Here at Forming Solutions, we understand that sustainability isn’t just about making things that last. There are several factors to consider when determining the sustainability of a product. For example, one should speculate energy efficiency, manufacturing process, installation, and the disposal of byproduct waste.

Energy Efficiency– ICF structures are inherently energy efficient due to their Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) core, which gives ICFs an R Value of 30-60 depending on the thickness of the core.5 This translates to property owners using 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool the interior of a structure verses a traditional stick-frame building.6

Manufacturing ProcessEPS it is made from styrene, a by-product of crude oil extraction. No oil is extracted solely for EPS production. See the graph below for a breakdown.7

Installation– We use ICF base, a company that connects the best concrete specialists, general contractors, architects, dealers, engineers, and installers, all specializing in ICF. Essentially, they make ICF dream teams specifically for your area, to make an ICF project an easy success. Keeping everything local reduces the need for transportation and limits carbon emissions, but it also helps build a trusted network with people in your own community.

Waste– Since ICF is made from high grade EPS, it is one hundred percent recyclable. We take the scrap foam and number six plastic webs from sites we have worked with and deliver it to Marko Foam in Irvine. Marko Foam then recycles our EPS into surfboard blanks.8 In short, we are recycling a waste product of crude oil.

¹ Worland, Justin. “Here’s How Many Trees Humans Cut Down Each Year.” Time. September 02, 2015. http://time.com/4019277/trees-humans-deforestation/.
² “Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF’s).” Builderswebsource.com. June 30, 2012. http://www.builderswebsource.com/techbriefs/about_icfs.htm.
³ “ICF Construction on Fire Resistant Homes.” Foxblocks.com. June 23, 2014. http://www.foxblocks.com/news/.
“The Real Facts about Termite Damage.” American Pests. January 21, 2015. https://www.americanpest.net/blog/post/the-real-facts-about-termite-damage.
“ICF Energy Efficiency .” ICF Base. https://www.icfbase.com/learn/icf-energy-efficiency/.
“ICF Facts.” ICF Homes. http://www.icfhomes.com/DYKpages/dykFACTS.htm.
“How Expanded Polystyrene is Manufactured.” http://www.rmax.com.au/manufacture.html.
“Marko Foam x Forming Solutions.” Forming Solutions. https://formingsolutionsicf.com/building-green/marko-foam-x-forming-solutions/.


Written by Allison Devlin