2022 Unlimited Residential
2nd Runner-Up
(People’s Choice Winner)

Scottsdale, Arizona, is a part of the country with stunning mountain views, and this 8,500-square-foot custom home at the bottom of Pinnacle Peak takes full advantage of the scenery and site. Built using Fox Blocks ICF, this home was the second runner up and People’s Choice winner in the Unlimited Residential category for homes over 6,000 square feet. This was a very challenging hillside build with multiple levels and grade changes to cut into the mountain. Not only that, the customer changed all of the window sizes the day before the team was to pour the ICF walls.

The project used 10,925 square feet of ICF on exterior walls along with 120 square feet on interior walls. ICF installation time was only 45 days out of a total project construction time of 20 months. Mike Kennaw, the Fox Blocks representative, estimated that the crew saved a full month by building with ICFs. 

“This was an immensely complex hillside project including a swimming pool, retaining wall, and multi-height sliding window systems located in a relatively harsh desert environment prone to flash flooding,” says Kennaw. ” A 14-foot retaining wall was included to hold the hillside and contribute to the project’s water diversion and erosion prevention strategy, along with seven additional sets of retaining walls staggered up the hillside.”

Other complexities were that some of the originally specified materials had to be re-specified, due to the fact that the materials were not readily available in the desert Southwest. The hillside build demanded seven different tiers to be constructed, requiring a lot of coordination between team members. Most of the construction area was difficult to access, and work had to be done sequentially through the tiers in order to provide stability, security, and access up the slope, Kennaw explains. The water diversion and erosion prevention strategy has proven effective thanks to the high quality of the retaining walls. 

To blend with the natural environment, there are many features built into the house using stone and brick. Additionally, large windows by Pella are featured throughout the house to optimize the breathtaking views and abundant natural light. With a home this size, building with ICF makes all the difference for energy efficiency. Not only is the home one of the most beautiful homes in the private community of Estancia, but also the most energy efficient. “We were able to cut down on the mechanical design and number of tons of AC,” says Kennaw. “We also were able to eliminate a lot of dust and debris, including bugs, with the ICF.”

Kennaw says that interest from this project generated four more ICF builds. “Our clients and the public followed along via social media and many wanted this [sustainability and durability] to be a part of their new home,” Kennaw says. “We highly recommend ICF due to all the benefits.”

The owner is incredibly happy with their new ICF home, Kennaw says. “It was a great project for a great customer, completed on time and on budget without sacrificing the design intent. The home is a beautiful statement constructed in a challenging environment, and the client could not be more pleased.” 

Project Statistics 

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Type: Residence
Size: 8,500 sq. ft. 
ICF Use: 11,045 sq. ft. 
Cost: $3.2 million
Total Construction: 20 months
ICF Installation Time: 45 days


Construction Team 

Owner/Developer: Stuart Fred
General Contractor: A Finer Touch Construction LLC
ICF Installer: Modern Group AZ
Form Distributor: MG Building Systems LLC
Architect: Andy Gramling
ICF System: Fox Blocks

Fast Facts 

  • Challenging hillside build 
  • Multiple levels and grade changes to cut into the mountain
  • Customer changed all of the window sizes the day before the pour


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