2021 Unlimited Residential
2nd Runner-Up
(People’s Choice Winner)

This stunning home unsurprisingly won the People’s Choice Award in our inaugural 2021 award ceremony in the Unlimited Residential category. The home of Dr. Marek and Ewa G., in Franklin, Tennessee, is nearly 7,000 square feet. And even though it’s large, the attics only experience a 5 to 6 degree difference in temperature.

This home is 6,873 square feet and 100% of the exterior walls were built with Fox Blocks ICF. Approximately 4,000 square feet of ICF was also used in a retaining wall, garage, and gables. A total of 6,460 square feet of ICF was used. Fox Blocks representative Mike Kennaw said that despite the plethora of wall heights and number of corners, unusual angles, and roof connections, among other challenges, the crew saved two to three weeks by using ICFs. Installation time was only 65 days out of an 84-week construction schedule. 

Challenges Involved
The project features complex tall radius curved walls built with ICF, which the contractor installed expertly. There are some challenging gabled ends on the project as well, which Fox Blocks was used to complete. “The contractor has perfected the art of making a gable cut high up in the air, which can be difficult to a newcomer in the field,” said Kennaw. “This method of creating gables by stacking them in the field and forming them high in the air is an advanced and creative technique.”

The lot is located outside of Nashville on a site of clay. Working on clay is a tedious process that requires an above average amount of concrete piers to anchor the home. Extra care was displayed by the contractor to ensure a solid foundation base for a home that will last for generations, said Kennaw. 

The owner was so impressed by the speed of the ICF build he ended up specifying the product outside of the additional scope of the work to include a large retaining wall around the pool deck at a wall height of 12 feet from the footer and 30 feet in length with straight and angled ICF. Although such a large house was built quickly, there was expert craftsmanship demonstrated throughout the project. “The finishes went on beautifully and impressed the owner so much that he began specifying more of the product throughout his home build,” said Kennaw. “Without expert installation of ICF, the finishes would not have come out so well perfected.”

Gorgeous Details
The homeowners are European, and they desired a European-inspired architecture for this home. They achieved that through warm and textural stucco walls and a contrasting roof. The beautiful porch awning, detailed built-ins, and gorgeous tall radius curves make for a truly luxurious home.

Even though the house is large by any standard, it was built with sustainability in mind. The high efficiency HVAC is tied directly into the geothermal system. “The combination of ICF’s superior insulative properties paired with a geothermal setup is a dream come true for the owner and is performing beautifully in terms of energy usage and expenses,” explains Kennaw. “The roofing panels also help create a tight envelope for maximum efficiency.”

The most efficient low-e glass windows all help to minimize heat gain and transfer from the sun. All lighting is LED. As you might expect, this is a home worthy of showing off. The contractor regularly brings potential clients to view the home as a demonstration of the benefits of ICF building. “The community is very attracted to the build style and properties,”
says Kennaw. 

Satisfied Homeowner
The owner and contractor are completely satisfied making this project a great success. “The owner loves how strong, comfortable, and quiet the home is compared to a traditional wood frame,” says Kennaw. “Thanks to the geothermal system combined with Fox Blocks ICF there is no dust in the home — a major benefit for the health minded owners.”

The owner made the decision to use ICF, having already been familiar with it. Since they were from Europe, they were already familiar with and wanted to use concrete construction. ICF installer Ryan Gunn of MidSouth ICF Builders ensured that using Fox Blocks ICFs on their home would meet and exceed their needs and wants. “Ryan built relationships with the owner and architect to help answer questions and concerns about using ICFs,” says Kennaw. “Fox Blocks supported Ryan and the project came together successfully.”

Not only is the Nashville area a hot growing housing market, an increasing number of Europeans are moving to the area. This home has helped open up a new market to ICF, and Fox Blocks ICFs will be able to market European-style estate architecture across North America using this home as a showcase home. 

Project Statistics

Location: Franklin, Tennessee
Type: Family Home
Size: 6,873 sq. ft. 
ICF Use: 6,460 sq. ft. 
Cost: $1.4 million
Total Construction: 84 weeks
ICF Installation Time: 65 days

Construction Team

Owner: Marek Family
ICF Installer: Ryan Gunn, Mid-South ICF Builders
Form Distributor: Ryan Gunn, Mid-South ICFs
Architect: Dale Gabardi Residential Design
ICF System: Fox Blocks

Fast Facts

Super insulated Raycor roof panels 
ICF utilized on vertical walls
Attics only experience a 5- to 6-degree difference
Sealed closed cell foam under roof deck
Geothermal heating and cooling


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