PolySteel, Arxx & EcoBlock = Defunct
Last Post 23 Feb 2014 07:07 PM by BrucePolycrete. 30 Replies.
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LbearUser is Offline
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27 Jan 2014 05:53 PM
Looks like PolySteel could not survive in the ICF world and went bankrupt but supposedly has been bought out by another company which has combined PolySteel and Arxx (who also went under). EcoBlock is supposedly another company that filed for bankruptcy.

I bet the housing market shakeup of 2007/2008 and the slow recovery has finally caught up with some of these ICF companies. There were too many out there and they are being thinned out by the market.


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27 Jan 2014 10:29 PM
I have used eco-block on a couple of jobs. Other than assembly of the blocks I have no complaints. However, on the last two that I bid out, Eco-block was considerably higher than the block I used (Logix). A lack of local dealers has probably sealed their fate.
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28 Jan 2014 12:23 AM
No date on this but has to be quite recent.
http://mmvf.com/NEWS/Archives/tabid/87/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/162/default.aspx
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28 Jan 2014 02:10 AM
Posted By FBBP on 28 Jan 2014 12:23 AM
No date on this but has to be quite recent.
http://mmvf.com/NEWS/Archives/tabid/87/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/162/default.aspx
Recent? You mean like September 2008??

Next to last entry. http://mmvf.com/NEWS/Archives/tabid/87/articleType/ArchiveView/year/2008/Default.aspx

Looks like Arxx is being bought up by Fox Blocks.

http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20140108/NEWS/140109937/airlite-plastics-poised-to-purchase-arxx

But then again maybe not. Both Arxx and Eco Block filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in Delaware District on Dec 27, 2013.

http://www.deb.uscourts.gov/recently-filed-chapter-1115s

Arxx is a Canadian company. Eco Block must be also, or at least other foreign owned. Chapter 15 is the provision for a foreign company bankrupted in its home country to deal with assets in the US.

Arxx bought Polysteel back in 2008.


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28 Jan 2014 04:20 AM
Fox now controls Reward or rather, bought them out. And a few others. I git this first hand at the WOC show last week.
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28 Jan 2014 10:59 AM
A few years back (maybe 4-5 yrs?) Arxx bought up Eco-block and PolySteel. Fox has recently purchased Reward, and Arxx (after they filed for bankruptcy). This would include PolySteel and Eco-block. Feel free to correct me on the details if I have any of this wrong.
dmaceldUser is Offline
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28 Jan 2014 11:36 AM
I missed seeing Arxx having bought up Eco Block. I didn't find anything that made it clear the Fox had yet bought Arxx, but they were being treated as the "stalking horse" in the receiver's efforts to sell Arxx. The US bankruptcy filing is probably a necessary step to clear the way for the sale.

A press release on the Eco Block site says Arxx bought them in Sep 2008.
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28 Jan 2014 11:46 AM
Posted By dmaceld on 28 Jan 2014 02:10 AM
Posted By FBBP on 28 Jan 2014 12:23 AM
No date on this but has to be quite recent.
http://mmvf.com/NEWS/Archives/tabid/87/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/162/default.aspx
Recent? You mean like September 2008??

Next to last entry. http://mmvf.com/NEWS/Archives/tabid/87/articleType/ArchiveView/year/2008/Default.aspx

Looks like Arxx is being bought up by Fox Blocks.

http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20140108/NEWS/140109937/airlite-plastics-poised-to-purchase-arxx

But then again maybe not. Both Arxx and Eco Block filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in Delaware District on Dec 27, 2013.

http://www.deb.uscourts.gov/recently-filed-chapter-1115s

Arxx is a Canadian company. Eco Block must be also, or at least other foreign owned. Chapter 15 is the provision for a foreign company bankrupted in its home country to deal with assets in the US.

Arxx bought Polysteel back in 2008.




Thanks dmaceld

Arxx's own block never caught on partly because their exposed web didn't go well with stucco.

Poly steel has thermal issues with their steel webs.
Eco block - some assembly required.

All three are the short block design. I'm not sure why Fox would buy them up. If they failed two or three times why not just let them die? Maybe customer lists and access?

I suspect we will hear in the not so distant future that most of the short block and all the block that incorporate steel will go this way. It will also be interesting to see if any of the vertical ones can survive.
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28 Jan 2014 01:04 PM
The Arxx and Reward products will be gone in the not too distant future and only Fox will be left.
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28 Jan 2014 01:46 PM
I doubt Polycrete who are a steel web design will be going anywhere, we use a few different forms for residential but NONE of them come close to speed and strength of Polycrete Big Block (2'x8').
It was about time some of the others just went bye bye, funny always likes ARXX website with all the brochures.
Never liked the PolySteel product tend to cut yourself a lot during install.
Good luck to all
Contact us at 631-725-2404 info@HamptonsICF.com
LbearUser is Offline
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28 Jan 2014 05:54 PM
Posted By smartwall on 28 Jan 2014 01:04 PM
The Arxx and Reward products will be gone in the not too distant future and only Fox will be left.

Nudura is still going strong and I believe it is one of the best blocks out there and it has the best support. Fox is starting to take over the southwest with talks of opening a plant in Arizona.

There are some Made in Mexico blocks popping up and there has been some serious failures when pouring/placing, webs blowing out and they manufactured it with Type 1 EPS.

The vertical ICF's are supposedly trying to make their move now with the ICF shake-up.

I can see Fox and Nudura being the two main hitters in the ICF world.


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05 Feb 2014 08:41 PM
As I recall the investors that started Apex (composite ICF) bought Arxx, eco block and Polysteel a while back. I heard Fox will not be making the Reward block.

We used a lot of Polysteel up until 2008, but it was too expensive when the going got tough. I was never interested in Arxx.
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BrucePolycreteUser is Offline
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06 Feb 2014 08:55 AM
Polycrete is currently the only mainstream ICF with steel ties.
BrucePolycreteUser is Offline
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06 Feb 2014 04:42 PM
TF (the vertical ICF) Does not have ICC-ES code approvals. Nor will any ICFs made from Type I EPS.
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06 Feb 2014 11:10 PM
Posted By BrucePolycrete on 06 Feb 2014 08:55 AM
Polycrete is currently the only mainstream ICF with steel ties.

So is the company in receivership?


BrucePolycreteUser is Offline
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07 Feb 2014 07:25 AM
Lbear, despite the slight similarity in name, Polycrete and Polysteel are not related. Polycrete is an international manufacturer and distributor of a commercial grade ICF called Big Block. It is designed for large scale commercial and industrial projects -- though some swear by it for residential. Big Block has steel cross ties and a steel reinforcing mesh inside the EPS panels.

Polysteel was a company acquired by ARXX some years ago and the name of the product line was changed to ARXX Steel -- the ICF had steel cross ties. ARXX filed bankruptcy recently and Airlite, the manufacturer of Fox Blocks bought ARXX's assets and has reportedly discontinued the product line. I hope that clears it up.
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07 Feb 2014 07:54 PM
Seems like there is some miss-information about TF Systems vertical ICF. Directly from their FAQ on their website:

Q2. Are ICFs code approved?

Answer: Yes. Every major code body in North America, including ICC and CCMC, has approved the use of ThermoForm and TransForm as an accepted method of forming walls. Also, ICFs are listed as a prescriptive method of building in the International Residential Code and can be built to commercial design specification using the International Building Code.

I also know that TF Systems will provide whatever type and thickness of EPS that you desire. Some folks like to consider both economics and heat transfer when they design with ICF.

I am not personally a fan of any ICF that uses steel ties because of the increased heat transfer. Steel ties don't provide any benefit after the concrete sets. Plastic ties work well and are more economical. So I would not at all be surprised to see ICF that uses steel ties go the way of the dinosaurs.

I would like to see vertical ICF become more mainstream and more available on the west coast. Vertical ICF has some pros that passive solar building designers can take good advantage. However, TF Systems shipping costs to the west coast is still prohibitive. Some of our customers are willing to pay the additional cost for the additional benefits, but most are not.
Borst Engineering & Construction LLC - Competence, Integrity and Professionalism are integral to all that we do!
BrucePolycreteUser is Offline
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07 Feb 2014 08:55 PM
Sailawayrb, I hate to get into a technical argument, but the TF system does not have ICC-ES approval. The EPS boards are approved as perimeter insulation, that's all. They have very carefully crafted the words in that statement...

With regard to steel ties, you are forgetting that the finishes are attached to the ties, as is anything you attach to the wall. This is the reason for the screw withdrawal and shear tests that ICC and ASTM E2634 require. Finally, as long as the metal fastening system is recessed beneath the surface of the EPS, thermal bridging is insignificant or non-existent. Polycrete's metal fastening system is 1.5" below the surface of the EPS. Thermal bridging is a non-issue. I encourage you to visit our website and familiarize yourself with the actual physical characteristics of the system -- there's a lot of incorrect information flying around this forum. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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07 Feb 2014 11:04 PM
If there is actually a building authority that will not allow constructing residential or commercial buildings using TF System products, that would be a serious issue indeed…especially if this building authority is located where we want to accomplish ICF construction. However, I am not aware any building authority in Oregon or Washington where this would be an issue. Both these states have strong construction regulations as compared to some states that I won’t name that don’t even require rebar in residential concrete buildings. If you know of a specific place where constructing residential or commercial buildings using TF System products would not be approved, I would love to put TF Systems on the spot and see how they respond.

I guess if I didn’t use metal fasteners for attaching exterior/interior siding to ICF, I would be less concerned about the increased heat transfer from metal ties. However, the thought of having several thousand metal paths between the exterior and interior surfaces of my otherwise highly insulated and well sealed building envelope would personally keep me up at night. Do you use something other than metal fasteners or perhaps have another innovative approach for addressing this? I always try to keep an open mind and I would very much love to be pleasantly surprised.
Borst Engineering & Construction LLC - Competence, Integrity and Professionalism are integral to all that we do!
BrucePolycreteUser is Offline
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08 Feb 2014 07:26 AM
All federal government including military require ICC-ES certification for ICF systems, as do most state and local government projects. That includes K-12 and higher-ed projects. Commercial development in most major cities and metropolitan areas needs ICF systems to carry ICC-ES certification also. Building codes are changing all over America as a result of tornado disasters in the mid-west, Katrina and Sandy.
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