We appreciate the opportunity to expound on the merits of our ICF product. With few exceptions, after a building is occupied most ICF systems behave with similar benefits. One notable exception is that some block forms are too thin for standard electrical boxes. Nonetheless, the benefits of ICF are numerous, and the purpose of this outline is to discuss how NUDURA differs from other ICFs in the costs associated with purchasing and implementation.
Reversibility: NUDURA is the next generation ICF and reversibility is a big advantage and cannot be argued otherwise. All ICF blocks are working to get there today but very few have succeeded. NUDURA reversibility is patented. A non-reversible product will create more waste and require the purchase of additional product to build the same structure. Lack of reversibility also means left and right corners and left and right forty fives and consequently a somewhat more complicated take-off/estimation process. Also, with non-reversible block, whenever you cut the block to reach a specific wall height or to create a gable, etc. you will generally be throwing the other half away. Obviously, with NUDURA when you cut the block in half you can use both parts. For example, if you needed 9” added to your wall to reach final height, having cut the block in half you will place both pieces in the wall and this will take you all the way around the wall using exactly half the block If your block is non-reversible, you will use twice the block and discard half of all pieces. One solution to the non-reversible problem is to adjust your wall heights to a specific block but generally this is frowned upon. Also, there are ways to cut the first course and save some of the pieces for later and there’s nothing wrong with this approach but it takes time and increases the cost of the job.
Build Time: NUDURA patented locking eliminates gluing and reduces bracing requirements and thus accelerates build time. Almost all other ICFs require glue and/or additional bracing to prevent floating and separation during the concrete pour. The fact that each NUDURA block is 12 sq. ft. (18” x 96”) rather than industry average of 5.33 sq. ft. (16” x 48”) accelerates build time. Each NUDURA block equates to 2 and one third 5.33 sq. ft. blocks. Some competitors say that these large blocks are cumbersome but in fact they are not, and the longer length makes is easier to keep walls straight. An unbiased installer will tell you it takes the same amount of time to place either the 5.33 sq. ft. block or the 12 sq. ft. block. Additionally, some blocks require tracks for block placement. NUDURA does not require tracks. Tracks require additional labor and add to the overall cost per sq. ft.
Product Cost: NUDURA’s patented folding for shipping not only reduces your job staging area (foot print) but is also creates a (pre-Katrina) landed cost of approximately 20 cents less per sq. ft. than other blocks. Your typical truck load of non folding block will hold 3200 sq. ft. while NUDURA will ship 6200 sq. ft. per truck load. Thus when you compare pricing you will need to take this into consideration. If a product ships unassembled then it will have shipping costs that are similar to NUDURA, however assembling each block on site adds labor dollars. In fact, assembling block for hours on end is so painful, that should you not choose NUDURA, I would recommend you pay the extra shipping and select a competitor that shipped assembled.
T-Walls: NUDURA is the only ICF with a factory T-wall. If you need T’s this is a big deal. On a recent hotel we evaluated they will need to make approximately 1488 T-wall pieces by hand and brace them appropriately. An experienced crew should be able to do this in 5-10 minutes per T-wall piece or 1488 x 5 or approximately 120 man-hours not including additional bracing. If you need T-walls the NUDURA factory formed T is a huge advantage.
Factory Custom Radius Walls: NUDURA is the only ICF that offers custom radius walls at approximately one dollar more per sq. ft. The competition will tell you that carving up the block on site and creating the radius is not that difficult. Generally, this is true, however, it takes significant experience to do it well and add significantly to your man-hours.
Having read this you might be thinking that we’ve exaggerated and that perhaps NUDURA might be too good to be true. Not true. NUDURA was created by two veterans of the ICF industry. They drew their lessons from building and distributing ICFs for many years. If you talk to an installer who’s been around awhile and has worked with many brands of block, they’ll tell you that NUDURA answers many questions and solves many problems that have been out there for years.
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