LUBBOCK, TX—David and Lewrie Close are rebuilding their home using the exact same material that is used to make Styrofoam cups.
The Close family lost their house to a fire two years ago Monday. They wanted a home that would not be at risk of the same disaster so they hired Stewart Townsen, a local contractor, who builds houses using foam.
Townsen brought this method to Lubbock 20 years ago, and has seen a recent increase in its popularity. For example, earlier this year, Texas Tech built one of their dorms using the same foam-cement combination as Townsen.
The method is called “insulated concrete forms” or ICF. Townsen described it as “hollow, interlocking polystyrene blocks that stack like masonry.”
While the method can be a little bit more pricy, Townsen ensures that the benefits outweigh the cost.
“Not only do they provide unparalleled strength and safety, but concrete homes build with ICFs can cost 30 to 80 percent less to heat and cool,” Townsen said.