Stick vs ICF, Core NRG Systems Founder Jason Jean discusses

Since we build both stick built and ICF’s we often get questions on why? It’s simple, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel in the construction industry but giving our customers options is important. But there are pros and cons and architects and building owners must contend with several challenges with wood-frame construction: disaster-, fire- and termite-resistance, moisture intrusion, compromised indoor air quality (IAQ), noise control, low thermal mass, and rising timber costs.

Wood has low thermal mass. Therefore, wood-framed structures are not as innately energy-efficient as buildings constructed with high thermal mass products like stone, adobe, and LiteForm insulated concrete forms.

Building a disaster-resistant, wood-frame building must achieve a continuous load path to the ground and be missile resistant. For sure building a disaster-resilient wood-framed structure is doable, but it is expensive and labor intensive. The fact is, constructing a disaster-resistant wood-framed building can cost 25–30 percent more than standard wood-frame construction.

Building a wood-frame structure that is fire-resistant is challenging because wood is combustible, and it is difficult to reduce the spread of flames without a fire suppression apparatus. Wood-frame buildings are particularly vulnerable to fire damage during construction before placement of fire protection over the frame.

It’s a known problem, wood-frame construction is subject to termite problems. Termites can and will damage a building’s durability and cost thousands of dollars in repairs. In fact, the annual estimated expense for termite damage and control measures in the U.S. is $5 billion. Termite protection for wood-frame construction is challenging and requires a qualified professional and specialized equipment with continued service and cost to the homeowner!

Wood-frame structures are prone to moisture accumulation in their wall cavities. Until the project gets under roof and enclosed controlling moisture in the wall system of a wood-framed building is difficult because effective methods that stop moisture from entering a wall cavity may also stop the moisture from leaving the wall cavity and possible mold.

Wood-frame buildings are known or may contain adhesives, chemicals, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) that compromise IAQ. VOCs emissions may cause eye, nose, and throat irritations, headaches, nausea, and damage to the kidney, liver, and central nervous system. It’s difficult to understand all the compounds used.

Compared to ICF’s sound proofing is an issue. For wood-frame wall construction, soundproofing features are required to ensure a quiet and peaceful home. Reducing noise in a wood-frame building is accomplished by limiting sound vibrations with insulation, stud placement, or extra mass within the wall cavity.



Why ICF's, Core NRG Systems Founder Jason Jean discusses

Why ICF’s, Insulated Concrete Forms and why TF Systems? Jason Jean the founder of Core NRG Systems believes in doing it’s part and it was important to work with other companies who believe in our same CORE values. Here is a snippet of what TF Systems is doing to better their company, products and the environment!

Polystyrene, most commonly known as styrofoam, is often thrown away with garbage, trucked off to landfills, where it can accidentally be consumed by small animals. Being an environmentally conscious company, TF Systems decided to take action and began recycling foam donated by local businesses.

The TF vertical ICF system is such a great system to use!


Bobby & Melanie H.

Scared is an understatement to describe our first meeting, but even through the ups and downs of the construction process, we always got our questions answered and explained throughly, that helped so much!

John & Michelle S.

From the initial meeting on our lot to the final design of the home, our experience was an A+. They helped us lay the house out on the lot so we got the best sunlight and even gave us some ideas that we didn't think about for a walkout basement. Not sure we would build again since we love our home but if so, we would totally do it again with them.

Bill & Julie L.

This was our third house we built and we're totally sold on the concrete home. We did our own research and we knew we didn't want a paper home. Good job!

Scott & Beth R.

Friends warned us about their experience of building a new home but have to be honest, our experience wasn't anything like theirs and maybe since they were building with a custom only builder compared to a cookie cutter home builder. Communication from the site supervisor to the main office was great and when we wanted  changes, they sat us down and gave us the pros and cons of what we were asking for and allowed us to make the decision.

Bob & Teresa L.

We wanted to downsize but didn't want to give up the features we liked in our bigger home. They were able to give us the open floor plan so we could continue our big family get togethers.

Steve & Paul B.

They said bring us your ideas so Paul and I brought them all our ideas and they put them all together into our budget, which we love because it allowed us to move money were we wanted it to go.