Benchmark Foam Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) Aid Construction of Nebraska Flood Prevention Wall

Insulated Concrete Forms for Flood Prevention Wall

Concrete being poured into ICF flood prevention wall. To the right: Large capacity raw material bags filled with sand.

In response to the needs of its neighbors, Benchmark Foam, in partnership with Lite Form Technologies, has been manufacturing expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulated concrete forms (ICF) for use in the construction of flood prevention walls in the South Sioux City, Nebraska area.

Benchmark Foam manufactures ICFs for use in creating 4″, 6″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ concrete walls for building construction applications.  The ICFs are assembled by snapping the forms together using interlocking castellations built into the product. Once desired wall height is attained, concrete is poured into the forms. The ICFs stay in place, allowing the concrete to set slower to develop greater strength. Over the long run, ICFs provide airtight insulation that significantly lowers heating and cooling costs.

Although ICFs are not designed to hold back flood water either alone or in partnership with concrete (and are never recommended for that purpose), several features make them a viable option for South Sioux City. Benchmark Foam ICFs are manufactured with living hinge tie technology (patented by Lite Form Technologies), allowing them to fold during shipment, cutting shipping costs by up to 60 percent. Their light weight allows workers to quickly transport and place the forms as needed. Because the EPS may be cut or trimmed with a knife or saw, alterations are quick and easy.

Placing pick points in ICF flood wall

Pick points are placed in wet concrete to allow later removal of wall sections.

Because of ICF features, workers are able to quickly and efficiently build a wall to help protect the community from rising flood waters. Once all danger is past, the temporary walls will be removed using pick points that are being built into the concrete walls. The walls will then be stored so they can stand ready and able to fend off future flood threats.

Community-minded and always ready to help, Benchmark Foam also supplied the flood prevention team with approximately 400 empty, 2200-pound capacity raw material bags to be filled with sand.  To extend their efforts, Benchmark Foam personnel contacted local farmers who supplied a large collection of empty seed bags that were sent to the flood prevention front lines for use as sand bags.

Benchmark Foam Inc.
401 Pheasant Ridge Drive, Watertown S.D. 57201
605-886-8084; 800-658-3444


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