Sure, we could simply tell you all the reasons why Logix is an industry-leader, but it’s another thing to get insight from the actual people who choose the Logix ICF brand and work with the product themselves. And this is exactly why we spoke to general contractor Will Gonell of Gonell Homes.
Whether you’re a homeowner, a builder or an engineer, it’s beneficial to know why others in the industry select ICF (and Logix, in particular). This kind of insight allows you to make the most informed decisions for your company or home.
WHY BUILDERS CHOOSE LOGIX ICF: A CONVERSATION WITH GONELL HOMES
The award-winning Gonell Homes chose Logix ICF for the “Chateau Nectar” project, a French baroque mansion in Vaughan, Ontario.
As you can see in the image below, this home was built to resemble a French chateau. Think high ceilings (as high as 26’ in some areas), large openings, long spans and overall grandness. Gonell, the general contractor, describes the home as “radiating the feeling of walking through an old castle.”
This nearly 20,000 sq. ft. home was a $6 million project. The windows of the home were actually ordered from Poland. Other elements were ordered from Spain.
A significant amount of this home was built with insulated concrete forms. In fact, 90% of its exterior walls were built with it. Gonell also selected ICF for the interior walls of the home as well as the retaining walls, swimming pool and outbuildings (more on this decision to come). ICFs were also used as a supporting wall for the elevator, which ran from the foundation up to the second floor. All window wells were also made out of ICF and then cladded with marble. A green roof system was even incorporated in this build to soften the view, and brick ledges were used throughout to support the marble façade.
These are just some of the reasons why Gonell submitted the Chateau Nectar home to the 2019 ICF Builder Awards. The home has since been featured in several magazines, including Renovation Contractor and Canadian Contractor. It has even received multiple national awards, including the CHBA 2017 Custom Home Builder of the Year award and the 2017 Best in American Living Awards, for which Gonell received gold for International entry.
Today we are speaking with Gonell himself. The homeowners of this project got in touch with him after the original project managers failed to deliver on what the homeowners were looking for.
One of the first questions we wanted to ask Will was, “Why ICF in the first place?”
First and foremost, Will builds primarily with ICF exteriors. According to him, “It becomes easy to sell on something you believe in to be the best choice for the client. I now have a bit of a niche when it comes to mainly working with ICFs. This is something I don’t see myself changing any time soon.”
Here are a few key things Gonell noted when it came to the benefits of building with ICFs:
- Time-Savings. Gonell saved 2 weeks on this project by building with ICF.
- Elimination of the Use of Steel Support Beams. Gonell was able to eliminate the use of steel support beams, using ICF beams instead.
- Cost-Savings. With its high ceilings and open spaces, this home would have been much more costly if it wasn’t for the use of the ICFs.
- No Additional Costs. With other construction materials on the market, Gonell finds that incurring unexpected additional costs is commonplace. One of the benefits of building with ICF, however, is the predictability of its construction cost because very few unexpected costs are incurred.
Interviewer: Why do you think this project is exceptional (or different from other projects you do)?
Will Gonell: “What made this project great was the homeowner’s unquenchable need for perfection and detail. He wanted to make something that would be his legacy, in other words – a contractor’s dream. Not only did he appreciate the details, but he looked for the best materials around in every aspect of the build. Much of the technology used was all firsts in Canada, and especially at a residential level. Nothing was spared to find anything to complement the durability and efficiency of the ICF shell. Lastly, the freedom to build to the best of my ability at the time made this project unique.”
Interviewer: How did this project push the envelope in terms of what you build for your clients?
Will Gonell: “This project was originally going to have a LEED designation, because of this every material sourced was to gain points for the certification. Along the way, the client no longer cared for the title and just selected things that made sense. I was fortunate to have him as a client because of his worldwide connections. It changed the way in which I now build to not be limited to what’s available here.”
Interviewer: Why was Logix specifically picked as the ICF brand?
Will Gonell: “The homeowner for this project was very resourceful and did all his due diligence when considering an ICF block. His research educated him on the benefits of the Logix block. So, in other words, he sold himself on it. Logix had the Platinum Series block which no one else had at the time.”
The R-28 rating and overall performance of Logix Platinum Series were the critical differentiators in the decision to build this amazing home with Logix.
CHATEAU NECTAR PROJECT WINS BIG!
Congratulations to Will Gonell of Gonell Homes for their recent win of Best Unlimited Residential project at the 2019 ICF Builder Awards!
WRAPPING IT UP
The use of ICFs saved Will Gonell’s company both time on the job site and money. Not only would the grandness of this particular home have been much more costly, but no unexpected additional costs were incurred. So when it came to choosing Logix ICF for the Chateau Nector home build, the choice was an easy one for both the homeowner and Gonell himself, with durability and efficiency being at the forefront of their decision.
Recommended Further Reading:
- How to Build Your Home with ICFs – Tips for Getting Started
- How to Build Your Home With ICFs – Design Tips (and The Most Common Mistakes to Avoid!)