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Home Sweet Concrete

EDMOND, OKLAHOMA — This is not your fathers building site.

Daniel Keeslar and crew are building a house in Edmond.

They’ve got the walls up.

So where is the hammering?

Where are the 2 by 4’s, the humming saw, and the saw dust?

“It makes an almost airtight structure,” says Keeslar of his building.

“It’s a little strange to see styrofoam walls in here,” remarks a visitor.

“We do,” he smiles. “But eventually those styrofoam walls will be filled with high strength concrete and steel re-bar.”

Kesslar is trying to change the way houses are built in Oklahoma.

His solution to traditional wood frame is concrete.

The styrofoam sections in bundles on the lot fit together like Lego pieces.

Keeslar calls them forms.

As they’re hooked together, the walls of the house go up.

Once complete, a cement truck pulls up and pours everything together.

It’s not exactly an instant house but it does come together pretty fast.

Daniel agrees, “We should finish stacking and bracing this job within a day or a day and a half.”

One day pretty soon Mark Williams is hoping to move into this house with his wife and baby.

He’s been living in Germany, where he tells us, insulated concrete form houses are much more common.

He thought, why not here?

“So that gave my the idea,” he says.

“Since I’m moving back to Oklahoma, maybe that’s the safer way to do it since we have extreme weather here.”

Thick walls, surrounded by styrofoam.

The combination makes for a well insulated structure.

The concrete walls give it a lot of strength too, which is what makes for a good selling point after an active storm season.

Keeslar says, “the walls are strong enough to take the blunt force of an EF-5 tornado.”

Construction costs are higher but the utility costs are lower.

The walls are thicker but stronger.

Every house has its tradeoffs.

Keeslar argues this house and other ICF houses will stand up strong against competition and Mother Nature.

Keeslar is a representative for Paragon Homes in OKC.

For more information on ICF go to http://www.paragonfinehomes.net