Camp Davis, the military air field in Kandahar, is an inhospitable place. It’s hot, it’s dusty, it’s windy and the screech of jet engines and mortar fire are its sound track. When a new administrative building was commissioned at the airfield, there was little debate about the construction method of choice. Said 1Lt. Carlos Nixon: “The blast protection, near R40 insulation, and sound proofing furnished by ICFs made them an excellent choice for our mission requirements and their ‘green’ attributes a wise choice for our environmental goals.”
Aside from the environmental, sound proofing and cost benefits that ICFs provide, the military had to ensure their safety in the event of an attack. To this end they decided to conduct a little test of their own at Quantico Marine Corps base in 2003. They constructed a three walled structure of 8-by-8 foot walls with 6 inch concrete slabs for the foundation and roof. The walls were left unprotected by wood, stucco or brick so that they would have to withstand the full force of the blast. The blasts themselves would consist of 50 pound TNT equivalent explosions at distances ranging from 6 – 40 meters. Despite the thorough going-over, none of the walls failed. They provided a sturdy barrier against the onslaught.
Not only do the ICF wall systems provide security, they also provide a welcome respite from the noise. With a transmission class rating of over 50, ICFs provide a barrier that keeps the jet noise out and the cool air in. HVAC costs decrease between 30-50% thanks to the insulation ICFs provide – a big consideration for a place as hot as Kandahar.
Cost saving, safe and environmentally responsible, ICFs are the perfect choice for building in difficult circumstances.