While living in Palm Coast Florida in the late 1990's my wife and I ran across a new building system called Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), which later became a very popular but short lived alternative building system. ICF is a "stay in place" Polystyrene forming system whereby poured concrete is placed between layers of Polystyrene.
I was, and still am, a Florida Real Estate Broker (BK 3000273) with decades of experience working for builders in many differing capacities. One afternoon while I was holding an open house in one of my builder's model homes, a lady came to visit. We ended up in a long conversation about different types of building techniques and I excitingly told her what I learned about ICF. She asked me if I could build her a home out of ICF and of course I said yes. She returned to New Jersey and I developed a set of plans and specifications which she approved without hesitation. I sent the plans to an ICF sub contractor in Ft. Lauderdale Florida and we agreed on a price and later scheduled the site work to begin.
About two thirds of the way through the wall construction I fired the ICF sub contractor due to cost over runs and sloppy workmanship. Since we were over budget and could not afford to hire another sub, I spent the next five months on the jobsite five to six days a week. After much effort and time, the home came out splendid. However, I had a very bad feeling about any and all ICF types of systems.
I felt that poured in place concrete was a very cost effective and substantially structural method of construction if done right and the right forming material was used. One late Friday afternoon I was saying good bye to a contractor that I was doing a financial statement work for. I saw a note book on his desk that had a bright yellow cover on it and I ask what was that material on the outside cover. He said it was Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC). He continued to explain that it was a very porous material that had excellent acoustic, fire and termite resistant properties. I borrowed the book over the weekend and my life took a sudden change of course. Through many weeks and months visiting the manufacturing plant and testing the materials I developed an easy to assemble, cost effective tri-wall system. While at the plant one day meeting with the engineer i asked if the AAC could be used for forming concrete and I received a quick reply; "no it is to brittle and would crumble under the hydrostatic pressure". He informed me that many people have tried and failed. So I said, if I figured out a way to use AAC as a stay in place form that could hold the pressure of the wet concrete I would be on to something great. He laughed and said, "you would be a genius if you figured that out." Well, I did just that and immediately applied for a patent.
I was working as a financial controller of a large builder when my patent was approved. I framed the patent and placed it on my wall for posterity purposes. Three years later, within one year 3 devastating hurricanes and a massive fire descended on Central Florida. I felt terrible to realize that if all those homes were lost from in the fires and hurricanes were built with my patented system, they would all have had very little to no damage. So in 2005, I quit my career job and set up a business to promote my system. I called the business Omnicrete ("Omni"=all and "crete"=concrete).
The first home we built was a 5,000 living square foot home near Sanford, Florida. After building a total of 8 homes and a church and securing 12 distributorships ready for contracting totaling approximately Eleven Million Dollars and 34 homes in the negotiation stages we were well on our way to massive success. Then the real estate market crashed occurred in the latter part of 2008. Then to make matters worse for me and my family, I was involved in a construction accident that nearly cost me my life and later my left leg. After 10 serious operations and many weeks in hospitals, Doctors were able to save my leg but said that I would need years to completely recover. My family and I moved to a Western North Carolina to heal and learn to walk again.
In 2015 a friend and business associate Mr. Michael Ellis, contacted me and asked me to return to Florida and launch a restart of Omnicrete. Since I was walking much better, the market was much improved, and he found an accredited investor to properly get the business re-started I relocated to Kissimmee, Florida with my family. After a short period of time we determined we were extremely under capitalized and abandoned our start up venture.
Michael Ellis and I found other sources of income and have been attempting to find funding through word of mouth with little to no working capital. We have found it difficult to restart Omnicrete. That brings us to 2020 and massively more challenges to deal with.
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