We have profiled numerous weather outbreaks and severe weather seasons over the years and none have been more dramatic than this years. After the May 2013 Moore, OK EF5 tornado tilled up the land, taking lives and homes in its path, Reward was contacted by a homeowner and his builder, to notify us that their Reward ICF home was in the direct path of the tornado and the walls stood up to the destruction and invited us down to profile it. while we were down there we were notified of another 2 story Reward ICF home that took a direct hit as well. Reward’s engineer (Kelvin) and I drove down there to meet with the owner and document his story. Also while we were down there we were able to witness first hand the destruction and devastation in the mile wide path of the tornado. It surely put some things in perspective of how small we all are in the world when it comes to forces of nature.

I won’t offer too much many words or explanations and Ill let the pictures do the talking, but hopefully these photos and the testimonial of the owners can influence a few people out there to building with ICFs and in turn give their family and occupants the best chance to stay safe.

ICF Home Vs. Moore, OK Tornado

Kenny had his home built back in 2001 by Bill R. and they used the waffle grid eForm for all of the exterior walls and for an above ground safe room. The waffle grid ICF is now about obsolete for all practical purposes, as all of our products and the majority of the ICF industry’s are flat wall ICFs.

On the afternoon of the tornado, Kenny was sleeping (works nights) and heard the sirens go off, so he turned on the television. Broadcasting on the TV was live footage of the tornado touching down about 3-5 miles away from his home. He immediately took shelter in his ICF safe room, and waited for about 5-10 minutes before it was apparent the roar of the tornado was directly on top of him. He could hear the noise and the sound of the roof getting sucked up. After agonizing minutes he came out and witnessed the destruction to his home and his neighborhood. As you will see from the pics below, the south side of his home took the brunt of the winds, and the tornado even threw a Toyota Tundra directly into the exterior wall of the safe room, and yet the wall did not budge.

Kenny has said the ICF walls without a doubt saved his life. He is planning on stripping out the home and keeping the ICF walls standing and rebuilding the rest.

General Notes on Home

Some other general notes on Kenny’s home in Newcastle, OK. Overall all of the ICF walls seemed to be structurally fine and the damage was to the missile hitting and chipping away the foam after the brick blew off.

  • Reward 9 ¼” (6” core) waffle-grid ICF walls (no longer in production, as waffle grid is obsolete)
  • Built in 2000
  • 8’-0” walls
  • Single story 2,300 sf with no basement in Newcastle, OK (just SW and adjacent to Moore, OK)
  • Safe room closet with two of the four walls exterior walls and a concrete top. Safe room had a storm resistant metal door.
  • Exterior finish was all brick
  • Regular corrugated brick ties to hold brick to wall. Very few were used it appeared.
  • Roof attached to ICF walls with anchor bolted rim joist. In many areas the wood rim joist pulled through the top of the anchor bolts.
  • Roof and interior walls were metal studs
  • Cellulose blown in insulation in walls and roof
  • Windows were not storm resistant – double pane, low-e
  • V-Buck used for window bucks. V-Buck held up very good.
  • Mostly a hip roof
  • Attached garage was not ICF – metal studs

Check back soon for another post on the two-story ICF estate that took a direct hit from the 2013 Moore, OK EF5 tornado.

Insulated Concrete Forms and Tornadoes

MooreICFTornado 150 2MooreICFTornado 184 MooreICFTornado 182 1MooreICFTornado 181 MooreICFTornado 179 3MooreICFTornado 162 MooreICFTornado 150 MooreICFTornado 149 MooreICFTornado 138 MooreICFTornado 137 MooreICFTornado 133 MooreICFTornado 129 MooreICFTornado 100 MooreICFTornado 097 MooreICFTornado 040