Chattanooga builder Aaron Caldwell is touting his "hurricane strength construction" amid continuing incidents of severe storms and twisters.
Mr. Caldwell, a Covenant College graduate, builds using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) that he says provide disaster resilience, energy efficiency and added value.
He said, "As lumber pricing soars, an ICF home allows you to get more for your money and save on energy expenses for generations to come. The 'Ultimate Home' utilizes high density insulated foam blocks reinforced with rebar and filled with poured concrete. This combination of construction materials results in strength and efficiency that far surpasses standard building techniques.
"This method drastically reduces air infiltration and produces R-30 insulation values which are 37 percent higher than standard wall construction allowing a home owner to reduce energy consumption and monthly costs.
"The rebar-reinforced concrete of ICF homes is designed to withstand the strong winds associated with storms, and homes constructed with Amvic ICFs are able to withstand tornadoes up to EF5 with wind speeds of over 250 mph. FEMA recommends ICFs as an effective solution for disaster-resistant homes.
"On top of disaster resilience and energy efficiency we are also able to provide maximum fire safety. A finished ICF wall provides a solid concrete exterior with a 3-4 hour fire rating."
He notes recent reports that lumber prices have skyrocketed more than 180 percent since last spring. He said, "This price spike has caused the price of an average new single-family home to increase by more than $24,000 since April 17, 2020. At almost the same cost to build, the Ultimate Home actually uses that money to provide a superior product that provides safety and saves potentially thousands each year in reduced energy cost."
Mr. Caldwell said the ICF construction provides a sound barrier in the walls and also its foam and concrete "do not deteriorate, do not rot, do not weaken, do not mold, do not mildew. These materials do not provide a food source for termites or carpenter ants - therefore, resulting in a home that will withstand the trials of mother nature.” He said each ICF home can save 30 plus trees.
The native Chattanoogan, who has been in the building and remodeling industry for over 20 years, launched Caldwell Homes in 2019.
He said, “As I have watched the change in our local environment and repaired our neighborhoods and friends’ houses hit by many of the recent tornadoes, I have grown increasingly concerned with providing homes that give maximum protection as well as energy efficiency and there is no better product than an ICF home. I want the same protection for my customers families as I want for my own.”
Mr. Caldwell is a member of the Greater Chattanooga Home Builders Association, the National Home Builders Association and the National Home Builders Association - Building Systems Council.
He is currently using the ICF technology and materials in rebuilding the General Woods Inn on Deerhead Cove Road at Rising Fawn, Ga.