Written by Ian Giesler
Pictures by Kevin Germann
In a joint venture with Insulating Concrete Homes store of Oklahoma City, ICF Builders LLC was selected to construct the Central Avenue Villas condo project in downtown Oklahoma City. The project consists of a single four story building with a footprint of 200X200 or 40,000 square feet. The building is designed with one level for parking and four levels of condominium style apartments. The construction consists of 8” concrete core Build Block ICF’s for the exterior walls and all main interior partition walls with 8” precast hollow-core slabs and 2” concrete cap for the floor systems. The building stands 50’ above the street level. The brick façade was designed to maintain the “Bricktown” theme that the revitalized downtown area has become known for.
The building design provides 30 condo units with two units being two stories that offer great views of the downtown. The general contractor originally scheduled the ICF installation work at 30 days per floor level. ICF Builders determined that the optimum crew size for this project would consist of 5 experienced members and would cut the scheduled timeframe in half. The 14,440 sf of ICF wall on the first floor and parking garage level stairwell and elevator shaft was completed in 17 days. The second floor walls were completed in just 14 days. The time savings generated by the ICF Builders crew performance resulted in a tremendous and precious benefit to the owners and general contractor. The project that was originally scheduled to start in early 2007 for completion in early 2008 has been hampered by several weather events, first, heavy rains in early and mid 2007 kept the project at a standstill during sub-grade operations, then, in late 2007, winter ice storms further delayed work. A great benefit attributable to the ICF walls is the fact that the walls have progressed regardless of weather conditions. The ICF walls consist of more than 6500 Build Block 8” core ICF units and over 866 cubic yards of concrete. The benefits to the occupants of the building are simply stated by Kevin Germann of Insulating Concrete Homes “High winds and drastic temperature changes as well as the chance for tornados in Oklahoma make using ICF the logical choice.” Other Construction issues that make this project noteworthy are the fact that the building is on a very tight site, as viewed in the photographs. The building located to the east is just 1” away. The north and west sides are only a few feet from the roadway. The Central Avenue side road closure was a necessity in order to provide space for staging and concrete pumping. “We essentially have access from one side” states Germann. Not only is this project a testimonial for how ICF can perform on the construction side with a project, the General Contractor, Vanhoose Construction, owned by Jeff Vanhoose has more to add: “….energy consumption of these projects was astonishing” and has convinced him to build his own house using the ICF building system.
After seeing the success of the Central Avenue Villas project and another with 6000 sf of ICF wall, Vanhoose says he is now offering ICF’s as an option to all clients.
The Central Avenue Villas project is scheduled for occupancy in the third quarter of 2008