FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long does the initial construction of the IFCW™ take?
As with any construction project, the amount of time it takes to construct the wall depends on the size and complexity of the project. However, construction time could be as short as three months, including design time.
How much time and effort does it take to erect the IFCW™?
The IFCW™ is easily erected in a relatively short amount of time. Man hours can be calculated by multiplying the height times the width and dividing by 200.
For example, a 50-foot wide by 10-foot high wall would take 2.5 hours to erect. With two men (the recommended amount), this wall would be up in 1.25 hours.
However, it should be noted that this would bring the wall to its 100-year floodplain height, which very well may be unnecessary. Quite probably, these same men would only be erecting the wall to half its potential height or less, requiring only 45 minutes or less to erect.
On smaller, more difficult sites, unit production may be slower. In such cases, erection time may be calculated by multiplying the height times the width and dividing by 100.
How long are the IFCW™ planks?
The lightweight aluminum planks which comprise the IFCW™ are available in any length, however 20-feet is the recommended length.
How much storage room does the IFCW™ require when it is not in use?
Since the IFCW™ is stored with its aluminum planks stacked neatly on top of each other - with the parting supports stacked on top of them - the required storage space is minimal.
The planks in the photo are 10-feet long, and make up a wall that is 90-feet wide and 4-feet high. Obviously, the storage room required (5’ x 5’ x 10’) for this wall is negligible.
How much of the IFCW™ is left on site when the planks are in storage?
The only component of the IFCW™ that remains when the wall is stored is the concrete foundation, leaving the protected site completely unfettered when river levels are normal.
How long does the IFCW™ last?
The system is comprised of three main components: the foundation with embeds, the galvanized steel posts and clamps, and the aluminum planks.
Foundation Life: A reinforced concrete foundation simply has to be designed to last however long it is desired to. FCA encourages all clients to retain a local foundation designer who is familiar with local soil and environmental conditions, who can then design a foundation that fits the desired life span of the system, from 50 years to 100 years or longer.
Galvanized Steel Components: The amount of galvanization applied to the steel components determines how long the steel will last. A simple graph below displays how long galvanized steel lasts in various environments while constantly exposed. NOTE: Keep in mind that IFCW™ components are stored over 99% of the time, and will therefore break down much more slowly than even this graph shows.
Aluminum Planks: According to our aluminum extruder, our planks can last 100-200 years depending upon the environment. Again, however, this is based upon constant environmental exposure, while the IFCW™ will only be exposed 1% or less of the time. This drives the hypothetical life span of our product into several hundred years.
Rubber Gaskets: The gaskets that FCA uses to seal the system are made of the same material used in window glazing treatments, and typically should last at least 50 years. However, we automatically ship a 10% surplus of gasket material with every order, in case of damage due to wear and tear.
100-Year Supplier: FCA is an American company that uses suppliers based exclusively in the United States. If any component is damaged or stolen, FCA will be able to provide replacement parts in perpetuity. Unlike competing, foreign products, whose components are typically manufactured across broad geographical and political regions, FCA’s components will never be subject to levies or sanctions based on shifting diplomatic relations with the U.S., which can result in long lag time and huge price increases on replacement parts. We are 100% American, and can quickly provide replacement components to our clients.
Does the IFCW™ really require as little maintenance as more traditional flood protection such as earth levees and concrete walls?
Absolutely. The truth is, earth levees are constantly in danger from burrowing rodents and tunneling snakes as well as considerable erosion during flood times, both of which require vigilant observation and upkeep. Similarly, concrete walls are vulnerable to the destructive forces of freeze and thaw, settling, and the expensive and annoying plague of vandalism and graffiti.
Since the IFCW™ remains stored securely away when it isn’t being used, it is subject to none of the dangers that affect traditional flood control systems.
Is the IFCW™ really as reliable as traditional flood control systems?
Yes. The IFCW™ meets all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers design criteria for floodwalls and has been approved for use on five current Corps of Engineers projects. Unlike traditional alternatives, however, the IFCW™ keeps the beauty of a riverfront setting intact.
World Trade Center - VSC
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FCA has designed and manufactured a removable floodwall system around Tower One at World Trade Center.
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FCA produced large-scale demountable floodwalls for flood protection at multiple powerplants.
FCA expands into Canada
FCA has delivered multiple removable flood walls to Medicine Hat, Alberta.
“We had to be able to see the river and protect ourselves from it to keep our history the way it should be. The Invisible Flood Control Wall was the solution…We would have a 12-foot wall there right now if it weren’t for the IFCW. Many people comment on how attractive the approach to the riverfront is. They don’t feel like they’re driving into a flood control project.” - Gary Sanders, City Engineer, East Grand Forks, Minnesota