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As home-building costs rise, Phoenix area company uses foam to build houses

Officials with a Phoenix-based international company say they have solved the problem of high home costs and the environmental impacts of lumber.

Home housing processes and issues with lumber are both massive issues that Arizona is facing. Supply chain issues have dramatically impacted the cost of lumber, which, in turn, increases the cost of building homes.

For 50 years, Strata International Group has been working to solve the problem of using wood for homes, and their solution is to use foam.

At what could be the world's quietest construction site, machinery to cut wood is replaced with crews heating up a wire with a battery pack, stretching it out, and slicing the foam like butter. Then, they glue it to the rest of the house, which turns into more foam.

Eventually, the foam is covered in a thin layer of concrete formula, and people would not be able to tell the home was made from foam.

"So, it is 100% breathable 100% livable. FDA approved and 100% recyclable," said Amir Saebi with Strata International Group.

The product offered by Strata is currently being used to build a 6,000-square-foot home in Phoenix. Saebi said while lumber has only grown in cost, the cost of foam has not really increased. In fact, Saebi said building a home with foam can be 10% to 50% cheaper.

"No supply chains in the last year has [sic] ever affected us, and no supply chain moving forward are affecting us," said Saebi.

Strata has built hundreds of structures with this method around the world. Currently, they have 1 project in the works in Arizona, including their headquarters. 

While people may think foam makes a rickety home, officials with Strata say people need to think again. In fact, they say the foam can withstand more than 200 miles per hour winds. They say the material is earthquake-proof, hurricane-proof, and fire-resistant.

As for homes built with foam, Saebi says since the home is essentially made out of insulation, it’s more than twice as energy-efficient as a traditional wood structure.

"This is the only type of construction that makes sense, moving forward, due to climate change, due to supply chain," said Saebi. "This is a type of product that will make sense to build with, not only because of cost and timeframe, but it saves our world by being the most eco-friendly product to work with."

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Strata International Group


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