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Gulf Daily News
Article: Latest Technology is a top energy-saver!

A new building technology which offers enormous savings in terms of energy and construction costs was introduced for the first time in Bahrain at gulf BID yesterday. BulidBlock MidEast, a subsidiary of Bahrain’s Hayat Group formed in collaboration with us-based BuildBlock, is promoting its range of insulating concrete forms (ICF) at its stand. The products are being introduced for the first time in the region and have been well received by the various ministries, both in Bahrain and the UAE, said company chairman Hadi Al Alawi. “There is much scope for the technology in the region as it offers enormous savings in terms of energy and construction cost,” he told the GDN.

“The concept has been well received by the various ministries of Bahrain who have asked us to explain the benefits of the system better. Buoyed by the response from the ministries, we are now setting up a manufacturing facility in the kingdom. The facility should be up and running in a couple of months from now. The facility will include a 10,000 sq.ft storage area and a couple of thousand square feet of area to house the presses. Initially, it will be equipped to manufacture 400,000 to 500,000 forms annually, but it could be scaled to produce eight to 10 million forms or more as when the demand arises, said company vice-chairman Mike Garrett. He added that the company’s ICF solutions could help save cost in terms of labour, energy savings and also time. The company’s ICF wall system is comprises hollow foam blocks which are stacked into the shape of the exterior walls of a building. They are a combination of one of the finest, insulating materials, expanded polystyrene (EPS), with one of the strongest structural building materials, steel reinforced concrete. The result is a protective wall of unmatched comfort, energy efficiency, strength and noise reduction,” said Mr. Garrett, who is also the chief executive officer and president of us-based BuildBlock Building Systems.

“ICF requires less of shoring and bracing than conventional wall systems, which allows builders to cut the erection of walls by about 50per cent,” he said.

“Concrete placed using the ICF system will normally achieve compressive strength 50 pc greater than conventionally placed concrete because of the temperature-controlled and moisture-retaining environment of ICF systems.”

One of the outstanding features of a BuildBlock form is its completely symmetrical web design, said Mr. Garrett. “This means two identical half-height forms are produced when the form is cut in half horizontally,” he revealed. “In addition, owing to the thickness of the forms, much of the electrical and plumbing connections can also be wired into the walls using just a hot knife.”

ICF’s are ideal for all kinds of construction that include: homes, schools, healthcare facilities, municipal buildings and multi-family dwellings among other projects, said Mr. Garrett.