How to shape your own green future


People will always need places to live and work, so there will always be a market for construction materials. But as the nature of those materials changes with rising costs, scarcity of raw materials and increasing shipping fees, builders will need to find affordable alternatives; preferably options close at hand. Or they can now make their own!

Typically manufacturing facilities to produce building materials such as concrete blocks, ICB or ICF (insulated concrete block/form) can cost upwards of US$15 million. But EF Block has an affordable purchase plan that is ideal for developing markets.

For less than US$300,000 EF Block with provide its patented block molds and Admix to entrepreneurs interested in owning an exclusive local franchise (see purchase plan details below).

Economists around the world agree that the future belongs to those with the vision and daring to launch small businesses. Whether called micro businesses or entrepreneurs, they will shape the global economy by harnessing local resources to create jobs (new consumers) and stimulate new business opportunities in their communities. Some of these start ups may eventually grow into global enterprises, but all will play a part in fostering a vibrant environment where other businesses can take root.

Unique Franchise Opportunity

Builders who do not want to leave themselves at the mercy of the building product market, now have an opportunity to produce and market a building product with a strong future. An EF Block™ ( plant, which recycles EPS (expanded polystyrene) into eco-friendly Insulated Concrete Forms, could be the perfect vertical integration for a contractor. Currently there are local franchises in Arizona and Baja California, Mexico. Maybe now is the time to see if this is right for you.

The EF Block™ manufacturing model is to license small, regional facilities that use local recyclables, labor and resources. This “mini-plant model” reduces the carbon footprint from shipping raw materials in and finished products out over great distances. It also makes starting up a block distribution business a very affordable venture.

Energy efficient buildings

With the cost of energy rising every year, homeowners and businesses are increasingly demanding super-efficiency in their building projects to lower energy costs and produce structures that are more durable and promote better health for the family and workforce.

EF Block™ founder Dan Chouinard and his wife Sue have made it their life’s mission to revitalize the green building movement with visionary products that are now set to ride the coming wave of demand for green, eco-friendly buildings.

They are now fielding enquiries for plant facilities all over the country, and are in negotiation to open plants in Portland, Oregon, and Tuskegee, Alabama, as well as The Philippines, Costa Rica and Africa.
Using a proprietary cementious material blend called “EF Admix” and unique compression technology, they have created a distinctive ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) called Earth Friendly Block (EF Block™).

ICFs are lightweight building blocks, planks or panels used to form the building’s skeleton into which steel re-bars are inserted and concrete poured, so as to provide strength and solidity.

While there are many choices in the market, the EF Block™ manufacturing process is special in that it shreds stabilized, post-consumer EPS into tiny bubbles, then blends in the Admix and, under high compression, forms a 10”-wide x 12”-high x 60”-long block comprised of 87% post-consumer EPS and weighing less than 50 pounds.

Besides the positive impact that this product can have on our urban landfills and recycling programs, it is nothing short of remarkable in its application:

• EF Block™ will insulate at a thermal rating of R-40+ with no further spray foam insulation required to the inner walls. The insulation is IN the block.

• Those attributes supplying thermal insulation also deliver high soundproofing.

• This is the only ICF product we know of where each and every block produced is made of post consumer EPS making not just a safer product but a truly green one.

By taking EPS out of landfills, EF Block™ manufacturers can form “official recycler” trade partnerships with government, municipal, and commercial associations and can, where applicable, qualify for green tax credit and funding.

• Because it uses stabilized, post-consumer shredded EPS, EF Block™ will not “off-gas” (i.e. not produce dangerous gasses associated with ICF structures made with stay-in-place virgin EPS or traditional spray-foam). This makes EF Block™ the best choice for a healthy family and workforce. For this reason EF Block™ is approved by the American Lung Association.

• EF Block™ is mold, fungus and termite resistant compared to traditional stick fame buildings.

• EF Block™ is 700% stronger than traditional timber frame structures, and is resistant to hurricane force winds.

• The unique pliability of EF Block™ makes this building form more resistant to minor earthquake tremors than traditional CMU.

• Nothing is wasted in the EF Block™ facility. The cement and EPS dust that settles on the floor is vacuumed up at the end of the day and can be mixed back into the process the following day.
EF Block™ is versatile and easy to use.

In fact, many experienced builders have found EF Block™ to be superior in so many ways that it has won them over. By word of mouth, more and more in the industry are incorporating the benefits of the block into their builds.

EF Block™ is a 12” on center screen grid molded ICF, and conforms to the Prescriptive Method – US Dept. of HUD in Plane Shear Resistance- US Dept. of HUD, IRC 2006, 2009 & 2012 requirements. It can be made into permanent formwork for retaining walls, sound and basement walls, foundation, stem and load bearing walls, as well as backyard planters, landscaping and BBQ areas.

It is lightweight enough to allow one person to lift and stack it in place but heavy enough to stay in place with little to no bracing necessary when grouting; every time one block is laid it covers 5 square feet of wall. Because the block is pre-insulated it cuts out entire trades and dramatically reduces build completion time thereby enhancing cost savings.

It also makes electrical and plumbing duct work a breeze by allowing a high degree of flexibility of channeling into the walls, thereby further cutting down on labor. When all this is taken into account, EF Block™ is cheaper than traditional insulated CMU and insulated timber – the two most common forms of construction.

Here in Arizona, it’s possible to recover investment costs and start to see profit in the first few months by selling the blocks for US$22.50 each, which is a very competitive price. Depending on local costs for labor and shipping, other locations around the world can experience similar returns (see detail below).

Sample purchase plan for a 110-Mold EF Block™ Manufacturing Plant
Earth Friendly Building Materials provides:
• 100 block moulds
• 10 end moulds
• All manufacturing equipment necessary to produce 110 EF Blocks per shift
• Shop manual, safety manual
• Plant set up
• Plant testing
• Licensing agreement
Total US$297,600
Purchaser is responsible for:
• Shipping fees
• Import or export fees
• Forklift, pallets
• Airfare and travel expenses to set up plant
• Onsite utilities
• Labor to operate plant
• Admix and Royalties: US$2 per EF Block.
(Buy out on royalties available after five years, but the Admix cost will be continuous at US$1 per EF Block.)
Production/revenue illustration:
• 110 molds = 110 blocks per shift x 260 shifts = 28,600 blocks manufactured annually
• at $20.50 per block the plant generates $643,500 annually operating at full capacity
• Additional shifts can be added with use of Admix accelerators to double output
• See complete EF Block™ Manufacturing Plant Purchase Plan presentation.

As an EF Block manufacturer, you will be an ideal corporate citizen as you make use of discarded polystyrene (or Styrofoam), which would otherwise go into landfills, and help local contractors build more environmentally responsible buildings.