Cool Home Concrete Home

Cool Home, Concrete Home with Christy Howell

Today, we’re happy to have Christy Howell, from CRH Design + Build, joining us. Christy was on the show previously, about a year-and-a-half ago, when her business was going through a transition phase.

She is currently building a pilot home using the incredible ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) technology blocks, which she describes as being like large Lego blocks for adults. Building a home with this innovative new green technology has many benefits. In today’s episode, Christy will talk to us about the myriad advantages of building a house in this way.

Christy has a bachelor’s degree in fine art, so CRH Design + Build does a large number of interior design projects.

Since 2004, she has been doing a significant amount of interior design assistance with new construction projects, remodels, staging, and other kinds of work that falls under a similar umbrella. Although most of the work she is doing is residential, there are also some commercial projects that she does.

Between 2018 and 2019, Christy felt that it was time for her to change, and start transitioning into a greener lifestyle. So she decided to incorporate some more structured, and healthier ways to build, and some greener oriented ideas, into her business.

Since the start of the pandemic, Christy has been looking for ways to adapt the kinds of changes that we have all had to make, due to the pandemic, to what she was already trying to adjust her vision for her business into becoming.

Christy’s pilot project is a house that she is building for her parents. It has been built with ICF blocks, and she cannot wait to experience the wonderful cool factor that the house is going to be providing during the hot summer months of July and August.

When Christy discovered ICF building blocks, she fell in love with them immediately because of their resilience, which is mind-blowing from a wind factor, a tornado factor, and even a hurricane factor.

The ICF build will contribute towards the green home certification Christy is seeking for the home. It helps Christy as it makes it easier for her to accommodate it in the various steps she needs to take in the green process of the build. The certification also reassures her that her customers are healthy because they’re sleeping in homes where there’s no need for them to worry about anything toxic or anything going wrong, other than the occasional things that will typically require regular maintenance in a home.

Christy describes ICF blocks as large Lego blocks for adults. They are approximately four feet wide and sixteen inches tall. They are put together like a sandwich, with sides made of styrofoam about two inches thick, and concrete in between.

All the external walls of a house can get built from ICF blocks. The blocks insulate the walls to keep the house warm inside in the cooler weather and cool inside in warmer weather.

ICF blocks create a very well sealed home because they get stacked in a way that makes the building very strong and completely airtight.

To save money on construction costs, you don’t have to use ICF blocks to build the garage.

ICF blocks not only insulate the house so that it stays warm or keeps cool when necessary, but they also isolate it from any noise from outside. Christy explains that they do such a great job that you won’t even know when it’s raining outside, and at times, you might not even know when it’s thundering!

The quality of homes built from ICF blocks is impressive. The houses are resilient against strong winds, tornadoes, and even hurricanes.

Constructing a house requires a lot of hard work. Christy assures us that it is possible to do it, however. She explains that as long as you have grit, you’ll do well. If you have tenacity, you’ll be great, and if you have the drive, you’re sure to be successful!

Go to the Green Home Coach website and click on the “consult with me” link for a free 20-minute consult with Marla about the product swaps you can do in your home.

Are you interested in making your next home a healthy, eco-friendly one? We’ve partnered with to help match you to expert agents who are matched based on your unique real estate needs. It’s free, no obligations and takes less than 5 minutes.