By Melissa Dunson
When Lamar resident Jenice Gaither encountered a tornado as a young child, she decided that any house she would occupy as an adult would have to be safe.
Gaither found the security she was seeking in an insulating-concrete-form house that uses layers of Styrofoam, thin plastic and 6 to 8 inches of concrete for the walls. The result is a structure that resists fire, water, mold, termites and winds up to 160 mph.
Gaither said the indestructible nature of her Lamar home is reassuring, but her husband’s favorite feature of the ICF house into which they moved in 2000 is their monthly utility bills, which run 30 percent to 50 percent lower than those of some of their neighbors.
“There’s so many things we appreciate about the ICF house,” Jenice Gaither said. “If we ever had to build again, I wouldn’t have second thoughts about doing another ICF house. It’s well worth it.”
The combination of the increased energy efficiency and structural soundness of ICF buildings uses technology that Webb City builder and developer Danny Phillips said has been around for more than 20 years. But the concrete homes are just now gaining popularity in the Joplin area.
Phillips is finishing a 6,350-square-foot ICF home in the new Oakwood subdivision in Webb City. He estimates that the house normally would cost $450 a month to cool, but the monthly electric bill will be only around $250. The ICF buildings cost $4 to $5 more a square foot than traditional wood-frame construction, but Phillips said the energy savings pay for the added cost in three to five years.
In addition, Phillips said, federal tax credits are available for building ICF homes. Builders are eligible for up to $1,500 per home, and home buyers can qualify for up to $2,500 through the government’s Energy Star energy-efficiency program.
Click the link on the left to view the slide show.
By Melissa Dunson
- Local News
Cross-country trip promotes animal adoption
Where’s Bixby? Not the town in Oklahoma, but the dog on the back of a bicycle ridden by Mike Minnick. On Monday, the two were in Joplin, one stop on a cross-country bike trip to promote the adoption of dogs and cats from local shelters.
Seneca man draws concurrent term in sexual abuse case
A 39-year-old man who sexually abused a girl over a four-year period in both Joplin and Seneca received a 15-year sentence Monday in Newton County that will run concurrently with a term he received earlier this year in Jasper County.
Defendant who pulled knife on ER doctor sent for treatment
A man accused of pulling a knife on a Freeman Hospital West emergency room doctor pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Monday and was sentenced to the state prison system’s Institutional Treatment Center.
Judge lifts seal on records in Parsons quadruple slaying
A judge has rescinded his order sealing court records in the case of David Bennett Jr., who is accused of killing a Parsons woman and her three children.
Wal-Mart to build second local Neighborhood Market
A second Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store is planned for Joplin. The company has filed an application with the city to rezone nearly six acres of land on the west side of town in the tornado zone to build a new Neighborhood Market and gas station.
VIDEO: Train mail car trailered on Joplin's Main Street to Redings Mill
With a police escort leading the way Monday, postal car No. 34 breezed through downtown Joplin en route to its new home in Redings Mill, where it was greeted by a welcome party of local residents and railroad enthusiasts.
Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe
As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.
VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show
The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”
Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing
There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.
Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant
Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.
- More Local News Headlines
- Cross-country trip promotes animal adoption