Habitat for Humanity builds first Georgia Home using insulating concrete form

Athens Area Habitat for Humanity volunteers lay down the foam and steel foundation for the “pour down” event at 195 Marlborough Downs Road in Athens. Experts say the insulating concrete forms will develop a more sustainable home for an Athens family. (Photo Courtesy/ Athens Area Habitat)

By: Sarah Fredrickson

Gov. Brian Kemp and Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz will attend the “pour down” event Friday morning for the construction of Georgia’s first home utilizing insulating concrete forms. 

Athens Area Habitat for Humanity, Georgia Ready Mixed Concrete Association and Build With Strength joined together to build this home to promote the newest innovation in construction and provide more affordable housing. 

“It’s a logical partnership for us to help Habitat build houses, and not just build houses, but build better houses,” said Gregg Lewis, executive vice president of promotion strategy and communications for the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association. 

Insulating concrete forms grew popular as timber prices have risen in the past years due to supply chain issues and tariffs placed on Canadian lumber, Lewis said. 

Concrete is poured in around big foam-like blocks snapped together and reinforced with steel to form walls that make the house quiet and temperature controlled. The new innovations are also environmentally sustainable. 

“It doesn’t do us any good to build houses that are depleting natural resources,” Lewis said.  

Insulating concrete forms help prevent builders from constructing houses, schools and other types of buildings that are “grossly inefficient” in energy use, Lewis said. 

The “pour down” event will begin at 8:30 a.m. at 195 Marlborough Downs Road starting with remarks from Kemp and Girtz. Liquid concrete will be poured into the house’s assembled frame at the “pour down” at 11 a.m. 

Industry representatives will provide more education to contractors and residents about insulating concrete forms. 

“My main goal for this event is for the folks that attend to be exposed to this kind of building and to hopefully appreciate that this might be a real viable option for buildings of all kinds,” Lewis said.