Castleblock

Frequently Asked Questions

AN INTRODUCTION FOR HOMEOWNERS

THE COMPANY

USING Castleblock™ from Castle Group

IN THE FIELD

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL

GETTING STARTED


AN INTRODUCTION FOR HOMEOWNERS

What is Castleblock™ ?
Castleblock™ is a lightweight and insulated stay-in-place concrete form. Castleblock™ replaces conventional concrete formwork or masonry block in residential and commercial applications.
What is Castleblock™ made of ?
Expanded polystyrene.
What is expanded polystyrene ?
Expanded polystyrene is foamed polystyrene, a common plastic. Expanded polystyrene is widely used in the building industry as insulating material and is noted for its safe properties for installers and consumers and the durability of its high insulating quality.
What are the block's physical dimensions?
The standard form is 40" long, 10" high, and 10" wide; it creates a 6.5", 87% solid concrete wall. The variable form is 40"long, 12" high, and comes in 8", 10", 12", 14" and 16" widths up to our largest. This creates solid concrete walls with nominal widths of 4", 6", 8", 10", 12" through 24",respectively. Each Castleblock™ weighs approximately 2 pounds.
Why do you make two different forms and which one do I use?
A, We make two different configurations of Castleblock™ to allow for different applications. In many cases, the standard form with its column-and-beam concrete structure will meet structural demands. Where a solid wall is desirable, we offer the variable form.
Where is Castleblock™ made?
Castleblock™ is made in the U.S. The Company's principal manufacturing facilities are located in Utah and Missouri.
Does the Castleblock™ system work?
Yes. The thousands of successful projects and satisfied customers are testament to the fact that not only does Castleblock™ perform, but keeps performing in application after application.
What is the history of Castleblock™ performance in the field?
Outstanding. The success of the Castleblock™ system relies on strength of design, quality of manufacture, ease of use and the backing of a full line of support for the builder. This includes Company sales professionals versed in application< problem solving who work with builders in the field, local distribution, a national marketing program directed at creating preference with home buyers, and engineering and technical assistance available at almost any time.
Is building with Castleblock™ as easy as it looks ?
We are often told we don't emphasize enough how easy working with the system really is.
Why is Castleblock™ off-white?
Expanded polystyrene in its natural state is bright white and produces noticeable glare in sunlight. Castleblock™ is dyed off-white to eliminate this glare.
How do walls built with Castleblock™ compare structurally to walls built conventionally?
With comparable design, Castleblock™ walls are typically stronger. Concrete placed using the Castleblock™ system will normally achieve compressive strength 50% greater than conventionally placed concrete because of Castleblock™'s temperature-controlled and moisture-retaining environment. Use of the Company's recommended concrete mix also reduces the likelihood of voids and provides optimum placing consistency.

THE COMPANY

Who is Castle Group?
Castle Group is a subsidiary Castle & Company U.S. corporation engaged in the distribution and marketing of products for the building industry. The Company's principal product is Castleblock™. The Company is committed to unequaled quality in its products and employees for the benefit of its customers, and is the Southeastern leader in its major product lines.
How many projects have been done?
Thousands of projects have been successfully completed throughout the U.S. These include basements, stem walls, retaining walls, decorative walls, fences, bridge abutments, entrance ways, acoustic walls, swimming pools, landscaping applications, pier and grade beams, complete homes, churches, schools and other institutional structures and commercial buildings, as well as many other project-specific applications that relied on Castleblock™'s unique versatility and job effectiveness.
Can I see a job in progress?
Yes. Contact your regional Castleblock™ account manager. He or she will be able to direct you to jobs covering a range of applications in various stages of completion. If the Company has not yet identified an account manager for your area, we'll be happy to discuss your project at (850) 969-9500.
What kind of guarantee is there on Castleblock™?
Castleblock™ is 100% guaranteed against defects in manufacture and to perform in accordance with its technical specifications when following Castle Group recommended practices.
Is Castle Group a public company?
Castle Group is privately held and subsidiary of Castle & Company Inc. A majority of the ownership is in the hands of its employees.
What can you tell me about Castle Group account manager?
Your local Castle Group account manager is a Company employee carefully selected and trained as a Castle Group specialist. Each account manager has in-depth experience with concrete and Castleblock™ installation. Account managers do not act as contractors - they are there to help builders in the field. Satisfying our builder customers is the account manager's first priority. If you have a problem that is unusually difficult, your account manager has access to expert assistance from the Company's engineering and technical staff, who are unsurpassed in the industry

USING Castleblock™ from Castle Group

How much does Castleblock™ cost?
The price of Castleblock™ varies depending on type of block, job location and size of order. Your local building materials dealer will be happy to provide you a quote for your job.
How much is it per linear foot?
Linear foot prices will vary substantially depending on application and job site. In general, the more difficult the job site and application, the greater the cost benefit from Castleblock™. Consult our Castleblock™ Estimation Procedures to estimate your job labor and materials. Or contact your local Castle Group representative, who will be happy to assist you.
How does the cost compare?
Depending on wall height and the difficulty of the job, comparative costs will range from competitive versus conventionally formed walls to 30% to 50% lower. In addition to any hard dollar savings, we find that jobs take from as little as a third to half the time. As you would expect, builders see tremendous increases in productivity. Contact your local Castle Group account manager, who is trained in making such comparisons.
How will the homeowner save?
Savings will come in lower energy costs and fewer call backs and repairs. In addition, Castleblock™ homes carry an improved fire rating, frequently reducing insurance costs, and are normally appraised at a higher value than traditional wood frame homes; Castleblock™ basements are distinctly superior to traditional basements, providing additional living space at a fraction of normal housing costs.
Will my lender approve the use of Castleblock™?
Yes. Castleblock™ is recognized as meeting or exceeding the requirements of all U.S. model and all state and local building codes.
How do I buy Castleblock™?
Contact your local Castle Group representative for a building materials dealer near you. If there is not a dealer near you and, if you would like the name of the Castle Group dealer closest to you, please call Castle Group at (850) 969-9500. Or E-mail us at Castleblock™@yahoo.com. Thank You.

IN THE FIELD

Can I build a whole house out of Castleblock™?
Absolutely. Not only does a Castleblock™ home offer insulating and construction advantages, it is very cost effective in the face of soaring lumber prices. Cost effectiveness will vary from area to area and you should consult with your local Castle Block account manager for comparisons. Other advantages include: a home of exceptional quality able to command a premium with your customer; lower maintenance, fire insurance and energy costs; unexcelled soundproofing and wall integrity; higher appraisal and resale value; and the backing of a national marketing campaign highlighting the outstanding design of a Castle Group home built with Castleblock™. A recent acknowledgment of these advantages was Castleblock™’s designation for the exterior walls of The New American Home, 1994, sponsored by the National Council of the Housing Industry, an industry advisory group within the National Association of Home Builders. Then in 1998 we developed the Hybrid Home recognized by FEMA as Hurricane and Tornado Resistant, and in 2000 we added Concrete Pylons to prevent Tidal damage to these homes.
Can we install Castleblock™ ourselves?
The Castleblock™ system is designed so that the walls can be built and the concrete placed by a framing contractor, a general contractor, or an owner/builder with a working knowledge of foundation construction.
Do you provide on-site service?
Castle Group provides on-site service from your local Construction Manager. The Construction Manager's job is to train your people and to share his or her knowledge to make your experience with Castleblock™ as productive as possible - whether it's your first job or a new or particularly complex application. In addition, a Construction Engineer is available for on-the-job problem solving and is supported by the Company's engineering and technical staff, should you require on-the-job assistance when your Construction Manager is not available. Construction managers act as advisors to either you or your subcontractor. They are not Engineer’s. As a result, they are experts at making you an expert, leaving control and learning where it should be - with you and your subcontractors.
Do the local building officials accept Castleblock™ from Castle Group ?
Most building departments defer to one of the national or regional evaluation services. Castleblock™ is recognized by the three major evaluation groups and by most states, cities and counties that are not covered by one of these national services. In addition, the Company's account managers visit each jurisdiction to answer any specific questions that building officials may have and to acquaint the inspectors with the Castleblock™ system. We would be happy to send your local building official any technical or general information he or she may request.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL

What is Castleblock™’s R-value?
The standard form has an R-45+ equivalent and the variable forms an R-50+ equivalent. Equivalent R-values are the measurements commonly used to convert to stud-and-batt construction standards.
Does Castleblock™ meet my energy code?
Castleblock™’s R-value exceeds every energy code requirement in the U.S.
Is Castleblock™ harmful to the environment?
Castleblock™ is highly beneficial to the environment. By incorporating both the means of construction and insulation, building with Castleblock™ eliminates most waste. And because all Castleblock™ structures are insulated, energy use in finished structures is reduced substantially. Finally, the manufacturing process is neither harmful to the environment nor to the people who make Castleblock™ - CFC's, HCFC's or other toxic substances are not used in its manufacture.

GETTING STARTED

I'm interested in trying Castleblock™. How do I proceed.
Let your building materials dealer know you'd like to get in touch with the local Castle Group account manager. Or call us at (850) 969-9500 or E-mail us we'll have the account manager in your area call you directly.