Helix Steel - Case Study - Caribbean ICF Solutions - Vela Development

Case Study: Building Efficient Caribbean Homes to Withstand Earthquakes and Hurricanes with Helix® Micro Rebar™

This task seemed impossible just a few years ago. Today, Caribbean ICF Solutions is leading the way in supplying the Caribbean with the materials needed to build better homes with the ultimate, proactive concrete reinforcement technology.

As an islander himself, Fernando L. Martinez, Principal of Caribbean ICF Solutions, and his dedicated team took on his latest challenge with immense passion. “We needed to bring quality construction to the Caribbean that adds value to our business and customers,” he recalls. 

Specifically, he sought out processes and products that were not only more energy efficient and able to create more comfortable spaces for homeowners, but also those that can take on the debilitating forces of earthquakes and hurricanes which are so common in Puerto Rico and surrounding islands.

Started in 2009, Caribbean ICF Solutions began distributing insulated concrete form products to island-based owners, architects, developers and general contractors to support them in making Puerto Rico’s homes as efficient as they can be. One of Caribbean ICF Solution’s key product offerings is the Quad-Lock insulated concrete forms (ICF) building system, which is a much faster way to build, but rebar installation always slowed down the speed of construction.

“We needed to bring another product that adds value and operates faster, and Helix® Micro Rebar was the first product to come to mind,” says Martinez. “We were introduced to it at an ICF training session and knew some people on the West Coast who had success with adding strength to their buildings. So in 2018 we made the leap and we’ve never looked back.”

Especially on an island that has a storied history of challenges, it has not been easy finding quality products and a range of construction services all in one business. But with Caribbean ICF Solutions it has now become possible, and it is making a big difference in the markets that we serve by helping to protect them against major catastrophic events of mother nature and improving their quality of life. After many years of hard work, the business is now reaping the benefits.

Faster, Stronger, Helix® Micro Rebar Improves ICF and Traditional Concrete Structures in the Caribbean

Caribbean ICF Solutions has been using Helix® Micro Rebar for a few years now, and their customers have seen significant improvements in the amount of time it takes to install the reinforcement as well as the concrete’s strength. 

Caribbean ICF Solutions has a warehouse in Puerto Rico and Miami so that it can quickly and efficiently supply the innovative concrete reinforcement to any destination in the Caribbean within just a few days. Martinez and his team carefully plan the fulfillment and logistics of every project so they can deliver the products when they are needed. Often, the slab on grade can begin with Helix® Micro Rebar while they wait up to three weeks for the other building materials to arrive. 

We are now at the point where we’re moving Helix® Micro Rebarwith every ICF project we supply; it is now a core part of our business,” says Martinez. “We’ve been steadily introducing Helix® Micro Rebarinto the market, with more than 30 projects beginning construction. We can’t wait to see what this next year has in store.”

Building Smarter Caribbean Homes Today

Building with ICF makes sense for many new homes, resorts and commercial buildings, especially those in the Caribbean. Crews erect a structure much faster, and owners enjoy a building that is better at controlling temperatures, resulting in operational efficiencies and more comfortable spaces.

Combined with Helix® Micro Rebar, an even faster ICF project is possible, with stronger slabs and walls that can withstand the forces of nature’s fiercest powers.

“I can tell you that of all the projects we’ve completed using Helix® Micro Rebar, the product has performed very well. All of the people that we have introduced this to, like it.”  


But the product is only part of the story. The service is what really sold him, “My complete experience with Helix® Micro Rebarhas been very positive. The Helix Steel engineers’ support to our engineering department has allowed our company to have the capability of resolving the most difficult and challenging structural issues by always finding the best possible applications through engineering. It definitely helps us to sell the products, and provides better quality technical advice to our customers.”

Stronger Homes for Uncertain Futures

With a strong presence in Puerto Rico, Caribbean ICF Solutions is expanding their business throughout the rest of the Caribbean, and looks forward to being a ‘household name’ throughout the entire Caribbean region, including: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Navassa Island, Nueva Esparta, Puerto Rico, Saba, San Andres and Providencia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Turks and Caicos, and the US Virgin Islands.

“We have many projects in our sales pipeline and are currently working on many new project opportunities,” says Martinez. “I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.”

To read more about the many success stories that Helix® Micro Rebarhas played in the Caribbean and around the world, continue reading www.HelixSteel.com. For a personal consultation with one of Helix Steel’s in-house engineers, and more about ICF applications, please contact the Helix® Micro Rebarprofessionals today.

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