Phoenix Files For Bankruptcy

ICF manufacturer Phoenix Systems and Components, Inc., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a process which protects it from its creditors while it tries to restructure. 

The company, based near Omaha, Neb., insists that it has not lost any substantial customers, and that it has lined up financing to keep it going through the restructuring. 

But the firm is currently facing lawsuits from its bank and former distributors, and those familiar with company operations say it’s doubtful it will survive. A hearing is scheduled in mid-February to reclassify the bankruptcy as Chapter 7, which would dissolve the business.

Molding equipment for the Phoenix ICF block has been acquired by two independent manufacturers, ICF Systems USA and ICF Systems of Wisconsin, so despite dire predictions about the corporation, “the Phoenix block lives on,” says Ken Sieradski, with ICF Systems USA.

 They continue to produce block daily at their plants in Indiana and Wisconsin and can ship anywhere in the U.S. “The product is in stock for immediate shipment,” says Sieradski. 

To place an order, call 877-262-2775 or 800-934-2304.


New Executives at ICF Companies

Within the last three months, several major ICF companies have added to or restructured their management teams.

Quad-Lock Building Systems has hired Michael Kane as regional sales manager for the Southeast United States. “We are very pleased to have Michael join our team,” states Rhyno Stinchfield, director of sales for Quad-Lock, “he has a proven track record in building sales territories and, from our business perspective, has unique viewpoints and experiences within the construction industry.”

Reinis Pukinskis has also joined the Quad-Lock management team as key accounts manager. “Reinis has been affiliated with Quad-Lock for more than a year now; we feel very fortunate to have him dedicated to our team,” reports Stinchfield. 

BuildBlock Building Systems has a new North American Sales Director. Prior to his current position, Zester Hatfield was a commercial contractor in Mexico for twelve years specializing in concrete and tied steel structures, decorative concrete block, and Terrazzo floors. His construction field knowledge is complemented by several years of successful sales and management experience

Arxx has brought on Robert Coveney on as Vice-President of Sales. Coveney has extensive experience in the construction industry, most recently overseeing sales for a large hardwood flooring company.

Georgia Leads the Way in Green Construction

ICFs are gaining popularity in the Southeast not only because of their durability, but also because they work well with the growing “green building movement.

Georgia was recently recognized as a leader in constructing LEED-certified buildings, with 31 projects across the state. The first platinum LEED-certified building in the Southeast is in Lithia Springs, a suburb of Atlanta. 

The Southface Eco Office, also in Atlanta, is nearing completion, and is on track to also qualify for LEED’s Platinum-level rating for new construction. 

The Eco Office is built with American Polysteel ICFs to maximize energy efficiency, and will be finished with an acrylic stucco from Sto Corp.

The three-story structure, approximately 10,000 sq. ft, will serve as headquarters for Southface Energy Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable homes, workplaces and communities.


Residential Slowdown May Soon End

Although the current housing slowdown is expected to persist into the middle of next year, economists with the Federal Reserve claim builders may have seen the worst of the downturn.

“Although residential construction continues to sag, some indications suggest that the rate of home purchases may be stabilizing, perhaps in response to modest declines in mortgage interest rates over the past few months and lower prices in some markets,” said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Bernanke also noted that the index of mortgage applications for home purchases has been trending up since July.

“Although these developments are encouraging, we should keep in mind that even if demand stabilizes in its current range, reducing the inventory of unsold homes to more normal levels will likely involve further adjustments in production,” he added.

At today’s sales pace, it would take seven months to clear out the backlog of unsold homes. 


Quad-Lock Gets Miami-Dade Approval

Quad-Lock Building Systems Ltd. announced that its insulating concrete forming (ICF) system is now an approved product for use within Miami-Dade County.

The Miami-Dade County Building Code is one of the toughest in the nation, and is a model for codes in other hurricane areas. “This approval has far-reaching influence as many other jurisdictions, some as far away as the South Pacific, rely on Miami-Dade County’s product approval process,” says Douglas Bennion, Senior Training Consultant at Quad-Lock. “Basically, if we are approved by Miami-Dade County, we can now streamline permitting and building processes for our dealers and their customers in many, many markets.”

ICF Construction is ideally suited to coastal areas. “Where damage was extensive after Hurricane Katrina, we saw that most of the structures that were left standing were made of concrete” says Rhyno Stinchfield, director of sales. “With this approval, we expect to strengthen our market position in the Southeast United States and the Caribbean. We are now able to pull the trigger on a number of large, pending projects”.

For more information on Quad-Lock and its products visit, email or call 1-888-711-5625.


New CHBC Manager

The Concrete Home Building Council (CHBC) has hired Catherine “Kate” Driscoll as the new CHBC Senior Program Manager. Kate has been a Washington D.C. “insider” for over six years, “with leadership experience to compliment the CHBC and our industry.”

“I continue to be amazed by the wealth of resources available for this developing industry,” says Driscoll. “The highlight of my first weeks has been the conversations with the members of the council. The excitement around the role of the CHBC within the industry is contagious. 

“2007 promises to be an exciting year. Between building upon the existing momentum of the CHBC, reaching new audiences, and continuing to be an information source for current industry professionals, I plan to be very busy.”

Concrete Homes More Popular

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that in 2005, concrete homes accounted for 17.9% of all new single-family detached homes. That’s up 1.6% from 2004. The study, conducted together with the PCA, confirms that concrete homes are rapidly gaining
in popularity. 

“More than one out of every six new houses built last year utilized an above-grade concrete building system,” says Craig Schulz, market research director for PCA.

The percentage of new homes built with above-grade ICFs is not yet available for 2005. However, in 2004 ICFs accounted for 4.7% of the market. Even more telling, ICFs are gaining market share more quickly than any other concrete construction method. In 2004, ICFs gained 0.7%, while precast and removable forms gained only 0.2% and masonry’s share declined.

Fox Blocks Passes Florida Code

Fox Blocks, a division of Airlite Plastics Company has announced that it has been approved as a building product by the Florida Building Code. 

Dave Jackson, a sales representative at Fox Blocks, says this “marks the first of several national and local building code approvals that Fox Blocks expects to receive in the next few months.” The Florida state approval is for the entire state excluding Miami-Dade County.

Fox Blocks’ Florida Certificate of Product Approval # is FL7497. The application can be viewed online at

If you would like more information about Fox Blocks, contact Dave Jackson at 1-877-FoxBlocks or or visit