Remodelers: Robert Myers and Vali Mahak
Company: Icon Remodeling, Salt Lake City
Product: Eco Block Insulated Concrete Forms,

Robert Myers of Icon Remodeling in Salt Lake City likes to stay on the cutting edge when it comes to new products. He thinks that Eco Block Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) might be the next big thing. The forms consist of expanded polystyrene (EPS) panels onto which a contractor adds reinforcing steel and concrete. After the concrete hardens, the forms remain as insulation for the walls.

“They have an integrated web system that goes between the blocks,” Myers says. “You run your screws for drywall through it. You can route electrical wiring through the foam.” The foam panels are also shapeable, allowing architectural detailing like quoins to be formed.

Myers and his partner, Vali Mahak, had to be certified through Eco Block to install the ICFs. “It's not real complicated, but it does take a little bit of planning, because when you're working with concrete you have to get it right.” Although building with ICFs is more expensive than traditional construction, Myers says clients respond to the fact that they'll reap energy savings. “You have this concrete mass inside the insulated walls, so the temperature changes very slowly, and it stays comfortable.”

The ICF's sound-barrier qualities are another plus. And because the EPS panels stay in place, the concrete doesn't have to be kept warm while it's drying, which makes sense for remodelers working in cold climates. Eco Block ICFs meet international building codes.

For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog,