Polycrete® Big Block™ is so different from other ICFs that our marketing people said we shouldn't even call it an ICF. That’s silly. We've counted over thirty differences. Here's a few.
Size of the block. Big Block™ measures 2’ x 8’, so it’s three times larger than other ICFs.
Height of the block. Three heights available and we can mix and match them on each block.
Width of the block. Four core widths are standard and we can make you any width from 5-5/8” up to 24”. Need 6-1/2”? We can give it to you. 9-1/4”? We can give you that, too. Any width you want. No other ICF offers this option.
Safety. Metal is stronger than plastic. Independent testing labs prove Polycrete’s steel fastening system is up to 50% stronger than the plastic ones. This means your jobsite is safer and accessories like cabinetry attached to the finished wall will be more secure.
Steel cross ties. Stop blow outs! Can we prevent blow outs altogether? No, we can’t. An incompetent installer can screw up anything. But Big Block 1600™ is held together with STEEL. Steel connectors tie the panels together, and a web of .16” welded steel wire is embedded in the EPS foam so it can withstand 1,600 lbs. of lateral pressure per square foot. No other ICF comes close! We know. We tested them.
No bulging. Polycrete's great strength comes from the welded steel wire mesh embedded within the EPS panel. It eliminates scalloping and prevents wall movement. A Polycrete wall is straight and FLAT. The other guys can get to straight and flat, but it takes a whole lot more work and a really good installer.
No molded corners. Big Block’s™ structural integrity and proprietary corner guides ensure perfectly plumb corners every time, effortlessly. This also means fewer items to order. And what happens if you don’t order enough of the other guys’ molded corners? Or if you get too many “lefts” and not enough “rights”? Forget about it.
Ship-lapped edge profiles simplify stacking – no need to fit those little Lego-like nubs into little holes.
Hinged cross ties. Big Block™ folds flat and is delivered ready to install. No on-site assembly is required – Over 5,600 square feet of wall per truckload.
Horizontal fastening strip. No need to line up vertical plastic studs like all the others. Big Block’s™ 22 gauge steel fastening strips are horizontal, not vertical. This simplifies the attachment of partition walls and interior and exterior finishes. Faster installation, lower labor costs, less waste.
Less waste saves money. Steel ties and steel mesh allow cut-offs to be used elsewhere.
No pea gravel. Those big plastic cross ties that the other guys use require expensive pea gravel and concrete additives to help the concrete flow around the ties. Big Block’s™ .16” steel cross ties won't impede the flow of concrete, so you use less costly 5/8” aggregate and no additives are required.
Vibrate as usual. A concrete wall must be vibrated to eliminate voids and honeycombing. Use a normal concrete wall vibrator on a Polycrete® wall. It will not break the form or the cross ties. The other guys’ plastic ties and unreinforced foam blocks can blow out if you hit them with a vibrator.
No glue. Big Block’s™ ship-lap design, great strength, and steel cross ties use the weight of the concrete to lock successive courses together. And braces are screwed into the steel fastening strip every 12 inches up the wall anyway. This means that two braces fasten at four points on each Big Block™. Gluing is not only unnecessary, it's a bad idea.
Recycled Raw Material. Big Block™ contains 66% recycled raw materials. It's the steel. Others are no more than 40% and it's their plastic ties.
The money is in the labor. An experienced installer knows that ALL traditional ICFs install 7 to 11 sqft per man hour. That is the industry standard. An average trained crew can install Big Block™ at the rate of 20 sqft per man hour – two to three times faster. The more experienced the crew, the faster they go. A recent Polycrete® project was completed in 30 sqft per man hour. That included installation, bracing, corners, door & window bucks, placing concrete and even clean-up – all in winter conditions.