The concrete industry has some work to do in promoting concrete homes built with insulating concrete forms (ICFs). However, producers in the Northwest are building a brand for ICF concrete homes as they begin to reap the rewards of a savvy 18-month professional marketing campaign for this construction method that is generating good industry and public response. The Washington Aggregate and Concrete Association (WACA) and Oregon Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association (OCAPA) promotion committees have driven the groups' combined effort to market ICFs through the 18-month-old Northwest Quality Construction Alliance (NWQCA).
NWQCA is a nonprofit, self-funding trade organization consisting of hundreds of concrete producers and other industry people, plus dozens of companies that sell pumps, cement, admixtures, fibers, fly ash, and ICFs. Producers who otherwise are regional competitors are working with other industry colleagues through NWQCA to increase ICF awareness.
In Washington, ICF distributors have increased from two to eight since the organization was founded. Scott Erickson, OCAPA promotional chairman and president of Keizer, Ore.'s Viesko Concrete, reports, "If somebody wanted to buy ICFs when this program started, they could have gone to only six people in the Northwest who had any experience building with them. Now there are 42 ICF contractors listed on NWQCA's Web site, and that list is growing."