An ICF Blog Worth Bookmarking
    When it comes to the ICF market, RASTRA has a longer history than anyone else: 35 years. So they're probably entitled to publish a blog with a snappy attitude. "Doing a blog is different than writing a technical paper or a piece of literature," says Mike Warren, RASTRA's Director of Marketing. "I had to make a few passes before it actually read like it was coming out of my own mouth." Mission accomplished. Visitors to the blog will likely feel like they're sharing coffee with a friend who knows his way around building materials rather than just reading a pushy sales pitch.
    For instance, in talking about the energy savings from ICFs, Warren made this point online: "If we assume your $250,000 project costs 2% more with RASTRA, the new purchase price becomes $255,000. This difference in price represents $31 per month pre-tax on a 6.5% fixed 30-year mortgage... Let's assume that building with RASTRA lowers your utility bill by only $65 per month. Right away your $65 savings per month more than offsets the $31 increase in mortgage expense... Saving $65 a month means it's going to take roughly 61D2 years to save enough to offset the $5000 increase in price for the upgraded wall."
    Technically, RASTRA doesn't make ICFs; their forms are more accurately referred to as Compound ICFs. Their honeycombed panels are made from recycled styrofoam mixed with concrete rather than the virgin styrofoam found in most conventional ICFs. "But I don't really sell against standard ICFs," says Warren. "Our challenge is the 95 percent of the market that still uses wood frame. You'd think that wouldn't be a challenge if you look at the two products side by side."

    That's an argument Warren explores at much greater length on his blog, which you can access at
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