SMARTBLOCK – INTRODUCTION FOR BUILDERS
Q. What is SmartBlock?
A. SmartBlock is a lightweight and insulated stay-in-place concrete form. SmartBlock replaces conventional concrete formwork or masonry block in residential and light commercial applications.
Q. What is SmartBlock made of?
A. Expanded polystyrene.
Q. What is expanded polystyrene?
A. Expanded polystyrene is foamed polystyrene, a common plastic. Expanded polystyrene is widely used in the building industry as insulating material and is noted for its safe properties for installers and consumers and the durability of its high insulating quality.
Q. Does the SmartBlock system work?
A. Yes. The thousands of successful projects and satisfied customers are testament to the fact that not only does SmartBlock perform, but keeps performing in application after application.
Q. Is building with SmartBlock as easy as it looks?
A. We are often told we don't emphasize enough how easy it is to work with the system. Furthermore, your local SmartBlock account manager will be happy to help you with any questions you might have about your SmartBlock project.
Q. What are the block's physical dimensions?
A. The standard form is 40" long, 10" high, and 10" wide; it creates a 6.5", 87% solid concrete wall. The variable form is 40" long, 12" high, and comes in 8", 10", and 12" widths, which create solid concrete walls with nominal widths of 4", 6" and 8", respectively. Each SmartBlock weighs approximately 2 pounds.
Q. Why do you make two different forms and which one do I use?
A. We make two different configurations of SmartBlock to allow for different applications. In many cases, the standard form with its column-and-beam concrete structure will meet structural demands. Where a solid wall is desirable, we offer the variable form.
Q. What is the history of SmartBlock's performance in the field?
A. Outstanding. The success of the SmartBlock system relies on strength of design, quality of manufacture, ease of use and the backing of a full line of support for the builder. This includes Company sales professionals versed in application problem solving who work with builders in the field, local distribution, a national marketing program directed at creating preference with homebuyers and technical assistance available at almost any time through our 800 number.
Q. How do walls built with SmartBlock compare structurally to walls built conventionally?
A. With comparable design, SmartBlock walls are typically stronger. Concrete placed using the SmartBlock system will normally achieve compressive strength 50% greater than conventionally placed concrete because of SmartBlock's temperature-controlled and moisture-retaining environment. Use of the Company's recommended concrete mix also reduces the likelihood of voids and provides optimum placing consistency.
Q. Where is SmartBlock made?
A. SmartBlock is made in the U.S. The Company's principal manufacturing facilities are located in Salt Lake City, UT.
Q. Who is ConForm Global?
A. ConForm Global is an American, service disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB, VOSB, and HUBzone applied) engaged in the manufacture and marketing of products for the building industry. The Company's principal product is SmartBlock. The Company is committed to unequalled quality in its products and employees for the benefit of its customers, and is the world leader in its major product lines.
Q. How many projects have been done?
A. Thousands of projects have been successfully completed throughout the U.S. These include basements, stem walls, retaining walls, decorative walls, fences, bridge abutments, entrance ways, acoustic walls, swimming pools, landscaping applications, pier and grade beams, complete homes, churches, schools and other institutional structures and commercial buildings, as well as many other project-specific applications that relied on SmartBlock's unique versatility and job effectiveness.
Q. Can I see a job in progress?
A. Yes. Contact your local ConForm account manager. He or she will be able to direct you to jobs covering a range of applications in various stages of completion. If the Company has not yet identified an account manager for your area, we'll be happy to discuss your project at 1-800-CONFORM.
Q. What kind of guarantee is there on SmartBlock?
A. SmartBlock is 100% guaranteed against defects in manufacture and to perform in accordance with its technical specifications when following Company recommended practices.
Q. Are you a public company?
A. Conform Global is privately held. A majority of the ownership is in the hands of its employees.
Q. What can you tell me about my local ConForm account manager?
A. Your local ConForm account manager is carefully selected and trained as a SmartBlock specialist. Each account manager has in-depth experience with concrete and SmartBlock installation. Account managers do not act as contractors - they are there to help customers in the field. Satisfying our builder customers is the account manager's first priority. If you have a problem that is unusually difficult, your account manager has access to expert assistance from the Company's technical staff, who are unsurpassed in the industry.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. The price of SmartBlock varies depending on type of block, job location and size of order. Your local building materials dealer will be happy to provide you a quote for your job.
Q. How much is it per lineal foot?
A. Lineal foot prices will vary substantially depending on application and job site. In general, the more difficult the job site and application, the greater the cost benefit from SmartBlock. Consult our SmartBlock Estimation Procedures to estimate your job labor and materials, or contact your local ConForm account manager, who will be happy to assist.
Q. How does the cost compare?
A. Depending on wall height and the difficulty of the job, comparative costs will range from competitive versus conventionally formed walls to 30% to 50% lower. In addition to any hard dollar savings, we find that jobs take from as little as a third to half the time. As you would expect, builders see tremendous increases in productivity. Contact your local ConForm account manager, who is trained in making such comparisons.
Q. How will the homeowner save?
A. Savings will come in lower energy costs and fewer callbacks and repairs. In addition, SmartBlock buildings carry an improved fire rating, frequently reducing insurance costs, and are normally appraised at a higher value than traditional wood frame buildings; SmartBlock basements are distinctly superior to traditional basements, providing additional living space at a fraction of normal housing costs.
Q. Will my lender approve the use of SmartBlock?
A. Yes. SmartBlock is recognized as meeting or exceeding the requirements of all U.S. model and most state and local building codes.
Q. How do I buy SmartBlock?
A. Contact your local building materials dealer. If they are not already a SmartBlock distributor, please have them get in touch with us. Or, if you would like the name of the distributor closest to you, please call us at 1-800-CONFORM.
IN THE FIELD
Q. Can I build a whole house out of SmartBlock?
A. Absolutely. Not only does a SmartBlock building offer insulating and construction advantages, it is very cost effective in the face of soaring lumber prices. Cost effectiveness will vary from area to area and you should consult with your local ConForm account manager for comparisons. Other advantages include: a building of exceptional quality able to command a premium with your customer; lower maintenance, fire insurance and energy costs; unexcelled soundproofing and wall integrity; higher appraisal and resale value; and the backing of a national marketing campaign highlighting the outstanding design of a SmartBlock building. A recent acknowledgment of these advantages was SmartBlock's designation for the exterior walls of The New American Home, 1994, sponsored by the National Council of the Housing Industry, an industry advisory group within the National Association of Home Builders.
Q. Can we install SmartBlock ourselves?
A. The SmartBlock system is designed so that the walls can be built and the concrete placed by a framing contractor, a general contractor, or an owner/builder with a working knowledge of foundation construction.
Q. Do you provide on-site service?
A. ConForm provides on-site service from your local account manager. The account manager's job is to train your people and to share his or her knowledge to make your experience with SmartBlock as productive as possible - whether it's your first job or a new or particularly complex application. In addition, your account manager is available for on-the-job problem solving and is supported by the Company's technical staff, should you require on-the-job assistance when your account manager is not available. Account managers act as advisors to either you or your subcontractor. They are not contractors. As a result, they are experts at making you an expert, leaving control and learning where it should be - with you and your subcontractors.
Q. Do the local building officials accept SmartBlock?
A. Most building departments defer to one of the national or regional evaluation services. SmartBlock is recognized by the three major evaluation groups and by most states, cities and counties that are not covered by one of these national services. In addition, the Company's account managers visit each jurisdiction to answer any specific questions that building officials may have and to acquaint the inspectors with the SmartBlock system. We would be happy to send your local building official any technical or general information he or she may request.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL
Q. What is SmartBlock's R-value?
A. The standard form has an R-22 equivalent and the variable forms an R-24 equivalent. Equivalent R-values are the measurements commonly used to convert to stud-and-batt construction standards.
Q. Does SmartBlock meet my energy code?
A. SmartBlock's R-value exceeds every energy code requirement in the U.S.
Q. Is SmartBlock harmful to the environment?
A. SmartBlock is highly beneficial to the environment. By incorporating both the means of construction and insulation, building with SmartBlock eliminates most waste. And because all SmartBlock structures are insulated, energy use in finished structures is reduced substantially. Finally, the manufacturing process is neither harmful to the environment nor to the people who make SmartBlock - CFC's, HCFC's or other toxic substances are not used in its manufacture.
Q. I'm interested in trying SmartBlock. How do I proceed?
A. Let your building materials dealer know you'd like to get in touch with the local ConForm account manager. Or call us at 1-800-CONFORM and we'll have the account manager in your area call you directly. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org