Better Building Blocks, by Durisol

Durisol blocks can be used an multiple home styles, regardless of the exterior finish.

Building just got smarter thanks to a few tweaks in decades-old technology. Building better and building smarter means more energy efficient homes, inch by inch.

Meadowlark Builders specializes in green building products. Their Durisol blocks caught my attention as an excellent building material for passive homes and other structures aiming to push the envelopes of energy efficiency.

Durisol is an insulated concrete form (ICF) of  fiber cement. It is a composite formed of Portland cement, post-consumer wood byproducts, and an insulation material like mineral wool. The insulated material is non-compressible and rot resistant.

I’m not that interested in blocks, much less what they’re made of, but the composition of the Durisol block is what makes it special. Each block holds its concrete content at its core, surrounded by a wood fiber shell bonded with concrete. This unique construction makes each unit hygroscopic, absorbing excess moisture from the air and slowly releasing it over time to create a balanced moisture environment throughout the day.

Cross section of blocks

Durisol blocks also take full advantage of concrete’s thermal mass. The energy that you use to heat your home stays in your home. Whether you are heating through convention methods or passive solar heating, Durisol allows you to reap the full benefits of your heating methods. During construction, Meadowlark wraps their structures with polyisocyanurate board insulation which keeps the exterior elements at bay for superior protection.

For a block, that is pretty interesting. And pretty smart. Lowing energy consumption lowers utility bills and minimizes our environmental impact. It’s a win-win.

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