ICF stands for Insulated Concrete Form. ICF Construction includes two hollow foam blocks surrounded by reinforcing bars that form the exterior walls of the building. When the ICF system is installed, concrete is poured between the walls, making it exceptionally strong and insulated.
Insulated Concrete Forms provide many benefits to the construction environment. There are four benefits you can expect when building with ICF.
ICF blocks are very well insulated, which effectively eliminates the need for existing insulation. The ICF block can keep the heat flowing with extreme efficiency and empty the house, allowing homeowners to save energy costs each month and even provide the opportunity to miniaturize with a small HVAC unit.
This thermal value extends well beyond home and other residential areas. In fact, ICF is a building material widely used for ground pools.
Without ICF, the average ground pool will lose nearly 80% of its heat through the floor and sides. With ICF, however, the pool has a continuous insulation across the bottom, inside, and outside sides of the pool. This reduces heat loss and reduces pool heating costs by up to 60%.
ICF blocks are also a good choice for building basements because of their resistance to decay, mold and moisture. Thanks to the added thermal efficiency, there is no need to install insulation over the entire underground, depending on the cold weather in the area.
ICF’s thermal efficiency implies substantial financial savings for building owners who can use fewer insulation during construction and consume fewer resources to maintain comfort after construction.
However, efficiency is a two-sided coin with ICF. In addition to home energy efficiency, ICF offers considerable efficiency in a workplace that is easy to install. Whether ICF pools, basements or other structures, ICF’s lightweight design and construction processes do not require heavy equipment, making ICF affordable and simple to build.
With less equipment, less labor, and less time, the ICF can be built from scratch to be more cost effective and efficient.
Compared to other materials such as wood, ICF blocks are very durable. They are resistant to decay, mold, moisture, insect infiltration, and other factors that can compromise the integrity of the building. They also respond well to harsh weather conditions such as strong winds and seismic activity.
This is due to the specially designed and interlocked steel tie in each wall of the ICF block. This relationship keeps the structure robust and intact even under extreme conditions.
For this reason, many weather shelters and buildings in dangerous weather are now being built into ICF blocks. ICF houses and buildings have proven track record in providing safety under these conditions.
In fact, it is not uncommon for homeowners to receive low insurance premiums from home insurers after building an ICF basement or other projects because the insurer knows the data on how safe, efficient and durable ICF construction is.
Another positive result for excellent insulation is that the ICF provides significant sound insulation between the walls.
ICF is well suited for residential projects where peace and quiet are top priorities, as well as commercial environments where soundproofing is essential to the core function of the building. For example, cinemas are often produced using ICF.
ICF therefore often eliminates the need for traditional insulation, as well as the need to install soundproofing panels.
ICF: When To Switch?
The ICF block offers excellent options for a variety of applications, including residential. Projects built with ICF are quiet, efficient and robust. Installation is also much faster and generally cheaper than alternatives.
Whether you are an architect, architect, or homeowner, it’s time to take a closer look at ICF. Visit Hurricane Home Builders, today, to find out more.