Rebuilding in California Fire Zones; Fire Safe Walls
When one family in Grass Valley, California, lost their home to fire, they didn’t want to rebuild a typical wood-frame home that would be at risk for another fire. They chose composite ICF Faswall Block System.
“We wanted to build with an alternative material, because after losing everything to a house fire we realized that homes are built mostly out of wood and paper products and basically they are a match stick,” says the homeowner, who desires privacy.
The family considered building with cob, straw bale, Foam ICF blocks, etc., and were very motivated to find something that would hold up to fires. All of the family’s building material research led them to Faswall because it matched their goals of efficiency, durability, environmental safety, and gave them the opportunity to create something themselves.
Faswall is fire-rated for four hours with zero flame spread and no smoke development.
“We chose Faswall because it served our needs of what we wanted most: more fire-safe material, made from recycled materials which were better for the environment, reasonably priced, and they offered help and advice throughout the building process. Another bonus was that our insurance company would keep us insured with Faswall but not with some other alternative building materials. Each one of these were a huge factor to us.”
The family’s 2,653 square-foot home will be finished with lime plaster, because it’s a natural product that “breathes” on the blocks more effectively than a wood product or siding. The plaster will be added in the fall once temperatures cool off.
A structure that will last
Although the home is not 100 percent complete at this stage, the homeowner says their new home is wonderful.
“So far we are happy with everything,” she says. “Even at this stage it already seems more efficient in terms of sound and noise level, heat and cold, and durability. This house will be here in 300 years, unlike our old timber-framed house and most houses today.”
The family’s home is fire-safe, it’s green, and doesn’t take from the environment or contaminate harmful products back into the environment. It’s a house that’s built to last, that they can feel proud of and confidently plan to leave to their children. “We are very happy with the outcome of using the Faswall product,” she says. “We would recommend building with Faswall and foresee using the product again in the future.”