As the cost of building homes rises, a Phoenix-area company is using new materials to build homes

Officials from a Phoenix-based international company say they have solved the problem of the high cost of homes and the environmental impacts of wood.

The housing-at-home process and lumber issues are both massive issues facing Arizona. Supply chain issues have had a huge impact on the cost of lumber, which in turn increases the cost of building homes.

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

On what could be the quietest construction site in the world, wood-cutting machines are replaced by crews that heat a wire with crews that heat a wire with a battery, stretch it and slice the foam like butter. They then glue it to the rest of the house with glue that turns into more foam. Finally, the foam is covered with a thin layer of concrete formula. People couldn’t tell the house was built out of foam.

“So it’s 100% breathable, 100% livable. FDA approved and 100% recyclable,” said Amir Saebi of Strata International Group.

A product donated by Strata is used to build a 6,000 square foot home in Phoenix. Saebi said that while the price of lumber has only gone up, the cost of foam hasn’t really gone up. In fact, Saebi said building a house with foam can be 10-50% cheaper.

“No supply chain over the past year has ever affected us, and no supply chain is affecting us,” Saebi said.

Strata has built hundreds of structures with this method worldwide. Currently they have 1 ongoing projects in Arizona including their headquarters. While people may think moss makes a house rickety, Strata officials say people need to think again. In fact, they say the foam can withstand winds of over 200 miles per hour. They say the material is earthquake, hurricane and fire resistant.

As for houses built with foam, says Saebi, since the house is mostly made of insulation…so it’s more than twice as energy efficient as a traditional wooden structure.

“It’s the only type of construction that makes sense, going forward, because of climate change, because of the supply chain,” Saebi said. “It’s a type of product that will make sense to build with, not only because of cost and time, but it saves our world by being the greenest product to work with.”

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Strata International Group