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Why Nexcem ICF Construction?

Construction Overview for Building with Nexcem Insulated Concrete Forms

Click here to access our training videos.

Using our green building construction materials in your construction project is a relatively straightforward process. We have laid out the steps that we follow during each insulated concrete form construction project. While we do not provide formal training, we do have experienced contractors that you can visit during Nexcem project installations. You are more than welcome to watch them work on their own insulated concrete form construction projects and ask them any questions you may have about the installation process.

You can also contact our partner Nexcem specialist of on-site collaboration here

 

Ready to get started? Read about the concrete form construction process in more detail below for a complete understanding. If you have any other questions regarding our green building construction materials or the construction process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to assisting you with your upcoming project!

 

The Construction Process

Start - Layout and the first course

  • Blocks are laid directly on the footing.
  • Footing sizes are the same as with conventional construction
  • Get the first course level using a bed of mortar, construction adhesives or standard shims.
  • This is important to ensure ease of construction with the later levels

Place horizontal rebar as you stack.

  • Horizontal rebar is usually every 2nd course or 24″
  • Place the rebar directly on the Nexcem webs
  • Alternate the positioning of the rebar. First to the inside face and then next to the outside face
  • Hold the rebar in position with a small finishing nail (nailed into the web)
  • This will create a vertical space in the middle of the concrete core so that you can slide the vertical rebar down between the alternating horizontal rebar which keeps the vertical bar in the middle position. 

Cut Blocks to fit dimensions

  • Use a carbide blade. Diamond blades aren’t as good.
  • Don’t try to design the overall building dimensions to the block dimension. The blocks aren’t perfect and there will always be cutting.
  • You can try to minimize cutting by spacing openings on a 12″ module. There will still be cutting required. It is just part of the process.
  • Whenever the Nexcem unit is cut, it is important to brace both sides with boards that are screwed to the other Nexcem units.
  • Be sure that the boards and cut unit are braced to the ground. This will eliminate the potential for blowouts when pouring the concrete.

Install bracing

  • After 4 or 5 ft, install braces to keep the wall plumb. Braces are not required for strength. Typical spacing for braces is 8ft – 10ft.
  • Don’t try to design the overall building dimensions to the block dimension. The blocks aren’t perfect and there will always be cutting.
  • You can try to minimize cutting by spacing openings on a 12″ module. There will still be cutting required. It is just part of the process.
  • Whenever the Nexcem unit is cut, it is important to brace both sides with boards that are screwed to the other Nexcem units.
  • Be sure that the boards and cut unit are braced to the ground. This will eliminate the potential for blowouts when pouring the concrete.
  • If you can’t get ICF braces, standard lumber bracing works too.

Vertical Rebar

  • Once you have stacked the wall to pour height (10ft – 12ft), install the vertical rebar
  • The vertical rebar should slide down in between the alternating horizontal rebar so that it is in the middle of the concrete core and can’t shift out of place.
  • The vertical rebar is installed prior to pouring the concrete.

Pour the concrete

  • Pour concrete with a minimum 8″ slump.
  • Vibrate only in areas where steel is congested (around openings usually)

Exterior finishes below grade

  • Waterproofing (blue skin, aquabloc, or similar)
  • Protection board over waterproofing (dimple sheet)
  • Flexible acrylic modified leveling coat for exposed portion of basement/foundation (use mesh)

Exterior finishes above grade

  • Always need a weather/air barrier first (tyvek, typar, trowel on, or similar)
  • Then any finish desred
    • Siding (with strapping)
    • Stucco (with mesh)
    • Brick veneer (air space)
    • thin veneer (direct apply)

Services

  • Surface grooves and outlet holes may be cut or drilled with a router
  • Can also run conduit in the block prior to pouring (more expensive)
  • use clips to keep wires 2″ from interior surface as per code

Interior finishes

  • Drywall (directly applied with screws and adhesive)
  • Plaster
  • Can be left exposed

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