What are Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF)?
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) are hollow Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) blocks that are stacked to form the walls of a structure. They are then filled with steel-reinforced concrete. The EPS blocks remain in place and serve as insulation for the structure while providing direct attachment points for interior and exterior finishes.
Why use Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF)?
ICF add value to your building investment. Some of the benefits of ICF include:
  • Strength
    ICF create a monolithic concrete wall that is much stronger than wood framed structures.
  • Safety
    Studies show that ICF walls can withstand damage from and projectiles launched by tornado and hurricane strength winds. As well, ICF walls are fire-resistant and concrete homes can be among the safest and most durable types of structures in an earthquake. ICF Safe Rooms, built to FEMA Design Specs, can easily be integrated into an ICF structure.
  • Longevity
    ICF walls are more permanent. Neither polystyrene nor concrete will ever rot or rust. And ICF walls are lower maintenance due to negligible air, moisture and insect infiltration.
  • Energy Efficiency
    Studies show that structures built with ICF exterior walls require up to 40% less energy to heat and cool than comparable conventional construction.
  • Interior and Exterior Finish Flexibility
    ICF are extremely adaptable to any design. The flexibility of the foam material allows unique footprints, arches, angles and curves at lower construction costs than with traditional building methods. ICF buildings can be designed in any style, and will accept any traditional exterior finish including vinyl or wood siding, stucco, rock, and brick.
  • Affordability
    For residential homes, we have shown that ICF can be built with costs comparable to that of standard 2 x 6 frame structures. Plus, ICF has the added benefit of cost savings due to lower utility bills. ICF benefits in the commercial markets include reduced costs, reduced construction time and easier LEED certifications.
  • Health, Comfort and Quiet
    The high thermal mass and minimal air infiltration of ICF walls create a more uniform and stable temperature throughout a structure and help improve indoor air quality. Indoor air quality maintained at 45% humidity will not provide opportunity for mold or dust mites to grow. And ICF walls are up to eight times quieter than walls built with other construction methods.
  • Acceptance
    Every major code body in North America, including ICC and CCMC, has approved ICF. Also, ICF are listed as a prescriptive method of building in the International Residential Code and are commonly built to commercial design specifications using the International Building Code.
ICF Resources and Information
We are not out to reinvent the wheel. There is a large amount of good ICF information currently available on the web. Here, we provide links to trusted sites with accurate information for researching purposes. Please contact us if you have a website relevant to ICF that you would like to have listed.
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Blue 80 Construction Company
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