Insulating concrete form (ICF) construction has established a beachhead in the marketing war for the lucrative above-grade residential market. At the Insulating Concrete Form Association's midyear meeting, members learned that their promotion efforts have resulted in a dramatic increase in ICF housing starts in the single-family detached home market. However, a second 1998 PCA survey of homeowners across the country indicates that public awareness of above-grade concrete building systems has slipped since 1995. The awareness dip may not be very significant. Interest in all types of concrete home construction is snowballing. The ready-mixed concrete industry is becoming more involved.Marketing directors at national organizations coordinating the industries that promote concrete home building are gearing up for another exciting year in 1999. According to Jim Niehoff, PCA's residential promotion manager, his organization plans to enhance its promotional activities, starting with strong participation at two major trade shows in January, as well as a continued focus on consumer education. The ICFA plans to continue its market promotion by focusing on technical research and building codes, encouraging involvement of building professionals. Upcoming shows include:

  • The 1999 NAHB Show, Dallas
  • World of Concrete '99, Las Vegas
  • Construction Specifications Institute
  • Construct Canada, Canada's national building industry show
  • Consumer Co-Op Advertising Program

Two related Web sites have been established:

  • Concrete homes Web site
  • ICFA Web site

PCA will add two new media support tools to its popular Consumer Advertising Toolbox: a new PCA video and a Media Relations Kit.The PCA will continue to be a primary sponsor of Concrete Homes, a quarterly magazine that debuted in September 1998. Keywords: ICF, ICFA, PCA, promotion