Vertical ICF
Last Post 04 May 2010 09:50 PM by TF System. 49 Replies.
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coolgreenhogUser is Offline
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30 Oct 2009 10:07 PM
Who makes the best Vertical ICF out there? Tell me why you feel the one you use is the best, I need to get plans drawn and have to decide which way I'm going.
RsipgeoUser is Offline
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30 Oct 2009 11:54 PM
There is the Hobbs ICF system and the TF ICF system. I just did a basement with the Hobbs system and it was really easy. Since I have not used the TF system I can not say which one is better though it does seem like vertical systems are better than horizontal systems. Though I have not used horizontal block systems.

What I like about the Hobbs system is the metal corners and that it is an engineered system that uses 40% less concrete than other systems. If you are in a high paperwork area it's always good to have extra engineering stamps. Bracing it was very quick and once it was braced the whole thing was surprisingly strong.

Good luck!
coolgreenhogUser is Offline
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31 Oct 2009 08:36 AM
Thanks for your response, I have been very impressed with Hobbs from what i have read about them on the internet. Will they make the panels in custom lengths (or heights)? I want a 9 ft plate height, but I also need to come up 2 to 3 ft from the footing for tne slab. Can I just build my ICF walls to say 12 ft and then fill in and pour my slab inside, using the ICF as a form basically?
tdbuilderUser is Offline
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31 Oct 2009 06:13 PM
I use TF and last year looked into Hobbs. The area I was going to use it had a lot of ordinances so I showed the web site to the building inspector and he replied that there was a ban on waffle grid systems which is what Hobbs is. I showed him the quote that I had with a section saying that it would be engineered and he explained the reason for the ban is not the system, it was because there was too much of a chance of voids and honey combing mostly from human error. They had a waffle grid system in the area before and had problems.
I for the life of me can not figure out why TF does not shut them down. I was in TF for a training seminar a couple of years ago and see the plaques with the patents and Hobbs in clear violation of TF's patients. Which is probably why they have been patent pending for so many years.
I will say this vertical is the best way to build ICF's and yes I also use blocks on jobs customer request them on. The job that I had Hobbs quote for me last year I ended up using TF on and when said and done the TF came in $3000.00 cheaper installed and poured. The thing to remember is concrete per cubic yard is cheaper that poly. I know this because I need to figure it on a job a while back. I am in no way bashing Hobbs, like I said I would have tried them if that township would have allowed them. And I know that if push came to shove I probably could have fought it but that takes time and money and I could not pass that along to the customer and I was not willing to fight that fight.
ICFconstructionUser is Offline
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02 Nov 2009 05:46 AM
I don't see how a municipality can "ban" a building method.
Brad Kvanbek - ICFconstruction.net
pdkUser is Offline
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02 Nov 2009 05:32 PM
coolgreenhog
I have been home designer since 1972 and as far as I can see the Hobbs Building System works the best. It does go up very fast, does save you 40% concrete, uses less bracing, less man hours, etc. I just installed one in Michigan. I was the designer on the project as well, it was designed with Hobbs on the foundation, R-control sips on the upper walls and raised heel trusses on the roof. It was also barrier free with no steps into the home. Vicfs were 10'4" and 13'4" tall so that the floor system hung inside and between the vicfs.Panels can be made to any height but typically its more economical to go with standard sizes such as: 4', 9'4", 10'4" etc. If you need help in your design let me know. Where are you building? paul@greenwaybuildingservices.com
tdbuilderUser is Offline
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02 Nov 2009 06:43 PM
They can ban it by creating ordinances against them. Just like a little town in Door County WI that only allows the use of red, green, or white roofing materials. There are allot of materials that stricter towns will not allow be it for aesthetics or for structural reasons. One town that we worked in made us put sleepers for the roof rafters to land on in roof on roof applications, and the next town over we did not have to use them. Go figure.
The SipperUser is Offline
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02 Nov 2009 08:05 PM
Again, (Since pdk is also strongly plugging the Hobbs system on another thread on this forum)
is "saving 40% concrete" really a selling point for an ICF system?
The Sipper
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02 Nov 2009 08:53 PM
I normally wouldn't submit 2 posts in a row, but I'd like to clarify the intent of my previous comment in connection with "Saving 40% concrete" I didn't intend to criticize pdk for supporting a product that he believes in, or pointing out a perceived benefit of that product. I'm just thinking that, in most instances, one of the primary incentives to build an ICF wall is the resulting strength of this approach.

And, I have a hard time believing that a wall with various thicknesses of concrete would be as strong as one with a consistent concrete thickness, and rebar schedule, whether it be a "vertical", or a "horizontal" ICF system.

At this point I don't want to start rattling off the features and benefits of the TF "Vertical" ICF system, all of this is on their website.

Also, when commenting on these forums, I usually just refer interested parties to the TF corporate office, for info, and referral to distributors and/or installation services in their areas. I know that if there's a possible project in my area, I'll be notified.

In any event, coolgreenhog, good luck with your project, whatever building systems or products that you decide to use.
The Sipper
RsipgeoUser is Offline
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03 Nov 2009 06:20 AM
As for strength, the system is engineered and tested. The Hobbs system is as strong or stronger than other systems. Here is a question: Does a solid steel rod resist bending more or less than a hollow tube? I know it depends on the thickness of the tube but the fact is a tube can be stronger than a rod. A round tube can be stronger than a square tube. The shape of the concrete along with the rebar placement can make the system stronger.

This is the benefit of engineering. Engineers can make stronger structures with less material. (Plus stamped drawings are insurance.) First floor walls used to be a couple of feet thick. Now they are much thinner and resist earthquakes, hurricanes, fires etc. Also, this is the "green" building talk forum. Concrete production is a huge CO2 producer. Less concrete and more insulation is greener.

Let's not get into scare tactics about basic structural strength of similar technology. If you go to the SIPs forum and read the competitive posts it makes you not want to use SIPs at all. Every product is bad and will fall apart. I still think the determining factors are total price including rebar concrete and labor. And availability. Obviously, an ICF structure is probably the best in terms of strength and insulation. I think vertical systems are faster but I would not knock the finished product in a block system.

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03 Nov 2009 10:02 AM
Posted By Rsipgeo on 11/03/2009 6:20 AM
 but the fact is a tube can be stronger than a rod. A round tube can be stronger than a square tube. The shape of the concrete along with the rebar placement can make the system stronger.


Be careful with these kinds of statements. The bending strength of a rod, tube, column, etc., depends on the moment of inertia of the cross section. This is a measure that couples the mass of the material in the column with its distance from the center. You can take a small solid rod and convert it into a tube and it'll be much stronger because the mass is farther away from the center.

But, and here is the big BUT, the resistance to bending that a column or beam has, depends on its tensile strength, more so than on compressive strength. Concrete has no tensile strength. The tensile strength comes solely from the reinforcement in it, be it rebar or cable. The size, and the distance of the reinforcement from the centerline, of a concrete column determines its bending strength. Shape will have very little to do with it except as to how it determines the pattern of the reinforcement around the centerline.

A long skinny column of concrete with rebar only in the center will not resist bending any more than the same cross section of concrete with no rebar.

The only strength we really need to be concerned with in an ICF wall is its capacity to support the compressive load of all the concrete and dead load above the bottom few inches. The rebar is in there only to provide resistance to wind loads, and keep the concrete together as it cracks.
Even a retired engineer can build a house successfully w/ GBT help!
tdbuilderUser is Offline
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03 Nov 2009 10:40 AM
The thing to remember is that if both walls are engineered I would have to believe that the solid wall would be stronger if you are running the same re bar etc. It is funny how hard you guys are pushing the strength of waffle grids but I don't recall any of those type of systems at quantico for the military blast test. That tells me something, when all the block companies and TF Systems were there.
Full ICF HomesUser is Offline
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03 Nov 2009 10:59 AM
I have been researching the vertical ICF system as the (arguably) best system to use. These last few quantitative and technical comments are what I appreciate most. Some appear to be from engineers, and that makes them more valuable. I had an engineer tell me that "I don't care if you hold it up there with wax paper ... we design the concrete and rebar". You can strip the foam off any of the systems and the strength remains.

I am looking for technical info and installer comments on Hercuwall.


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04 Nov 2009 06:49 AM
I don't think many people design and engineer houses for military blasts. WHy would you? Plus, maybe some companies did not feel the need to go to quantico. I am just saying that engineers know what they are talking about. It is better to evaluate systems on factors that mean something, not on meaningless military blast tests, not on "it just seems...". Trust the engineers. Remember that any ICF house is going to be way way stronger than a stick built house. How many stick built houses are out there?

Price, availability, features. simple.
tdbuilderUser is Offline
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04 Nov 2009 06:59 PM
I agree with you about the engineering of a building. My point is that if both a flat wall and a waffle grid wall are engineered the flat wall will be stronger every time. The fact is because the block and TF are flat they do not need to be engineered. There is a reason why Hobbs has every system engineered is because they have too.
I would not say that the blast test are meaningless because if the military was looking into ICF's for barracks and other fortified structures here and abroad that would be compelling evidence in the strength of these systems. Engineered or not.
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04 Nov 2009 07:37 PM
In terms of strength any ICF system is going to exceed residential building standards by a lot. Reinforced concrete structures will go through hurricanes and earthquakes better than all other residential housing types. That's enough for me. I'm not going to start worrying about bomb blasts. My point is that the Hobbs system is plenty strong enough. Also, other systems are good too! It's counter productive for everyone in the ICF business to get into a lot of infighting.

A lot of other factors go into making a good ICF. Like how does one account for an un level footing? How easy is it to cut in windows? How does it account for blowouts? Can you get it with reasonable shipping in Montana? Maybe it all depends on your local concrete prices. or if your climate is mild.
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08 Nov 2009 07:03 PM
Well apparently I have ruffled a bunch of feathers with some of my comments. Once again please remember the ban was not on Hobbs but on waffle grid systems. If a guy would present the engineering to the building inspectors and fight it, I am sure that it would get through. My point was I was not going to fight it because around here when we over-ride the inspectors the rest of the project becomes not so fun. (once again not Hobbs just waffle grid systems)
Second my comments about the patent infringement were peer speculation. It is just kind of funny how TF has the patents showcased on the walls at their facility and Hobbs has been patent pending for 5 plus years. (once again just speculation, I have no evidence of these claims)
Finally Joe, I will gladly pass the email that you sent me to TF and let one of there guys respond to you. I do not want to respond on behalf of a manufacturer whom product I occasionally use. I do have one problem. I don't have an email to respond to you. If you can PM your email to me, I will send you the quote that one of your distributors sent, along with the price that it would have cost me to install the project with both TF and one of the blocks I use. Once again I use a couple of different systems including blocks. On the project that I mentioned it just was not cost effective this time.
I do applaud Hobbs (from a marketing view) for having very aggressive sales people. This is one thing that I think TF and other ICF systems should look at. I look at how a Hobbs distributor is on almost every topic on this site plugging their product.
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09 Nov 2009 05:49 AM
I have been following these comments and would like to make a couple of points. First to the engineering, while all systems may have orininally engineered The Hobbs Vertical Wall System is the only one engineered for each specific job. Decisions on design, size, etc are not left to a unlicensed individual using generic tables. The liability for those people is enormous wether they know it or not. If you don't believe me talk to your insurance carrier or lawyer. Secondly, for all the debaters arguing strength I pose this question. If you are spanning 20' with no intertiment support would you use dimensional lumber or a TJI. The question of using engineered products in framing was settled a long tine ago and we should use that experiecne in the ICF world. I have used Hobbs on a number of jobs and there is no better, hands down. Besides it made my insurance company and lawyer happy.
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09 Nov 2009 06:18 PM
"Generic" engineering would cause no more liability exposure than job specific engineering. The liability is in the implementation of whatever the engineering is.

The generic engineering is lacking when you have an application that is outside of the scope of the engineering.

Job specific engineering has draw-backs too, cost is one. And when things change, they usually do, it has to be re-engineered. I can't remember a job where openings have not changed during construction.
Brad Kvanbek - ICFconstruction.net
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09 Nov 2009 07:37 PM
Wow, that is kind of a grasp. Comparing engineered lumber (TJI) to regular lumber; I think your missing the point. A TGI has as much glue as lumber in it. IT would be like me using just concrete with no re-bar and you getting to use re-bar and helix.
If you use your wall and I would install Nudra and we had both walls engineered I could have the Nudra wall made stronger. As far as the argument "it stronger than it needs to be" let me know if your home is hit by a tornado where you stand. Please keep in mind that I have never had a home hit by a tornado but if I did I would want as much concrete surrounding me.
Brad hit the nail on the head with his statements.
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