Developer relies on ICF panels for townhomes in LEED-ND site

Gainesville-based Viking Companies broke ground in early November on 86 luxury urban townhomes in Celebration Pointe, a 160-acre premier mixed-use development in Gainesville, Fla. Celebration Pointe will be the first green transit-oriented development in the state and will seek LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) certification in keeping with national guidelines for community sustainability.

The VUE townhomes feature ICF construction with 1-ft.-thick concrete exterior walls, spray foam insulation, and stucco exteriors.

The VUE is a secluded, gated townhome community and the only for sale housing in the mixed-use development. Homes will range from 2,050 to 2,670 square feet of heated and cooled space, with unique touches such as optional elevators and rooftop terraces. Base model finishes include quartz countertops, gas cooktops, designer hardwood cabinets, luxury vinyl plank flooring, custom tile in bathrooms, tankless gas water heaters, and, private, two-car garages.

All exterior walls surrounding each unit will be built with Nudura brand Insulated Concrete Forms with a 6-in. concrete core and 2 5/8 inches of foam on each side. “An ICF home’s superior energy performance comes from expanded polystyrene forms working in conjunction with the thermal mass of a solid concrete core to provide one of the strongest, most energy efficient and airtight wall systems available. The VUE provides homeowners with this superior ICF wall product for reduced energy costs, safer living and work environments, and more comfortable living and work spaces,” affirms Celebration Pointe officials.

This is the first time the developer has applied the ICF concept to a whole community/subdivision. According to Celebration Pointe spokesman Phillip Bergman, although a full cost comparison was not done between concrete block and ICF, “we did compare with traditional frame construction. In the multi-family scenario, ICF was just slightly over the cost of traditional frame. [However], the synthetic stucco system we are using really applies well over the ICF.” Bergman also notes that the strength and wind-load qualities of the ICF wall panels easily exceeded building code requirements.

“These uniquely designed luxury homes will have many community amenities and exceptional views of Gainesville’s largest nature preserve, combined with walkable access to all of Celebration Pointe’s many experiences,” adds Ralph Conti, founder/managing principal of RaCo Real Estate LLC, development partner in Celebration Pointe.