about ICF

About ICF: A Closer Look

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.

Energy Efficiency

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.

Structural Integrity

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.

Acoustic Insulation

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.

misconceptions about insulated concrete forms

5 Misconceptions About Insulated Concrete Forms and Blocks

It’s Too Expensive

One of the biggest about insulated concrete forms are their expense. And in some buildings, it may be true that ICFs cost about 3% more than traditional wood or poured concrete building techniques. This is only the initial expense, however.

ICFs are far more insulated than more traditional building materials, meaning that over the lifetime of your home or business, you’ll pay less in utility bills and HVAC costs. In this way, ICFs and blocks can pay for themselves, saving you money in the long run and making them cheaper than other building materials long term.

They’re Too Complicated to Use

While at first glance ICFs are certainly different than the building materials you’re used to, they are actually very simple to use and put together. In fact, some people find that using ICFs is like building with Legos, and many DIY homeowners have been able to use ICFs with little learning curve.

However, like any building material, when it’s time to hire someone to work on your home, make sure you find a contractor or builder who is well versed in ICFs, their benefits and their use. You’ll find that this is easy, as more builders are beginning to make good use of these products for themselves.

They’re Only Good in Cold Climates

Insulated concrete blocks and forms are best known for their insulated properties, which may lead some people to believe that they will only function best in cold climates. ICFs do work well in cold climates, but this isn’t the only area that can benefit from them.

Hot climates can benefit from ICFs as well, keeping the interiors of the home cool and keeping out the heat. ICFs have additional benefits, such as increased structural integrity. Many homes built in earthquake-prone areas are beginning to use ICFs to help earthquake-proof the building.

Commercial and medical office buildings designed using ICFs also tend to be quieter. Likewise, homes built in congested areas can also benefit from ICFs’ sound-deadening characteristics.

ICF Homes Are Unattractive

While it’s true that a home built of nothing but concrete blocks would be unattractive, that isn’t the case when building with ICFs. A home or building’s exterior is still finished using brick veneers, stucco, wood siding or any other material you choose. The benefits are coming from within the home, and a house or building built with ICFs will not appear any different on the outside from those surrounding it.

But when you feel the difference in comfort and see the difference in lowered energy bills, you can truly appreciate the building material. No one viewing your home or building from the street is going to know what’s underneath. Whether you want a traditional or contemporary home, you can easily achieve those architectural results, alongside the many benefits that using insulated concrete blocks and forms can bring.

They Aren’t as Safe as Traditional Building Materials

Many people are simply more comfortable with what they know and have experienced. But the fact remains that homes and buildings built with ICFs are not only more comfortable and better insulated against heat transfer and sound, they’re safer as well.

While wood buildings are subject to issues such as termites, wood rot and fire, ICFs are resistant to all three. At the same time, insulated concrete blocks are also built to withstand natural disasters. In addition to being earthquake proof, the forms are also made to withstand an F5 tornado when built to FEMA specifications. You won’t find another material that will perform the same way, even if you build a home or shelter underground.

Misconceptions About Insulated Concrete Forms: Know Your Building

When it comes to building your home, it’s important to get it done right the first time. For expert ICF construction services from a leading name in the industry, visit Hurrican Home Builders today!

Construction Benefits of Concrete Fasteners

Note that concrete fasteners and concrete anchors are structurally and linguistically the same thing, except that the term “fastener” is used when describing non-structural attachments, whereas “anchor” is used when describing ways to hold a building or other structure in place. As you might guess, concrete anchors are much bigger than concrete fasteners.

Concrete fasteners are usually made from galvanized carbon or stainless steel. They are very strong and quite weather-resistant. Galvanization is a process whereby zinc is added to the surface of the fastener via electrostatic plating.  The zinc preserves the integrity of the steel, and keeps the elements out. Stainless steel is steel mixed with chromium or some other metal.  This  keeps the steel corrosion and rust-resistant, and also prevents the steel from staining whatever it is drilled into. The carbon adds a whole new level of strength and insulation from the corrosive effects of concrete.

A concrete fastener can find its way into a myriad of situations, including, but not limited to: countertops, furniture, basements, driveways, fireplace surrounds, foundations and foundation repair, landscape borders, patios, pool decks, and water fountains.

When considering what type of concrete fastener to use for a given job, consider these elements: the hollowness or solidness of the underlying concrete, whether the concrete is outdoors or indoors, distance from corners, bars, and other obstructionsFeature Articles, and so on.

Simple Staining Instructions for Concrete Floor

In manufacturing or industrial environments, aesthetic considerations take a back seat to functionality, and grey works just fine. But what if you have concrete inside or outside of your home? Suddenly aesthetics are just as important as functionality. If you have a patio area with a concrete floor, you want to inspire frivolity and fun for your guests, not remind them of an auto body shop. Fortunately for the concrete-bedecked home owner, the choices for staining concrete are numerous, and the potential for different types of designs is as easy as deciding on a pattern. Colors range from earthy browns to exotic reds and greens. Staining your concrete can also save you money, as well — instead of covering it with expensive flooring material such as ceramic tiles, marble or hardwood planks, a decorative stain application will foster a beautiful look while costing half as much as those other options. If you are interested in staining your concrete floor, follow along with these simple instructions.
Plan and Prepare

Although staining concrete is a relatively easy task, you do not want to just start spraying away. A thorough understanding of your intentions and ultimate outcome is necessary to have before you even buy the stain. Consider the context of the concrete and its surroundings. How would different colors react with the furniture and the walls? What patterns could you implement, and what effect would they have on the decor? It might be worth the investment to hire an interior decorator. Their professional opinion might be the difference between a job well done and a wasted job. Go to your local home improvement store and look through the various colors and stains they have available. Seeing the various colors in person should help you make a decision.

When you have settled on an appropriate design, and know the colors and patterns you would like to implement, you can start preparing the concrete for the stain application. First, determine if you have a weather sealant or cure on your concrete. If you do, you will have to strip it with a sealant remover, as its presence will block the application of stain and result in a lackluster color. If you do not have sealant, begin by thoroughly cleaning your floor with a strong soap or astringent and water. Look for any irregularities, bumps and imperfections, and sand them over. In fact, it is a good idea to sand the entire surface of concrete, as this will make it much more receptive to the stain. Once you have cleaned and sanded the floor and given it time to dry, put down painters tape and drop cloth over the areas that you do not want stained, or want to stain later with a different color.

Stain the Concrete

Now you are ready for the fun part, actually staining the concrete. You may want to don a respirator and safety glasses before you begin, so you don’t accidentally inhale any of the stain. Most stains are applied via a spraying mechanism attached to the bottle of stain, but you will still want to have a paintbrush to ensure that it absorbs into the concrete properly. You may want to have an assistant nearby to deal with the brushing as you handle the spraying. Cover the concrete completely, and work in one area at a time. After you have covered a patch of concrete, have your assistant go over it with the paintbrush. It is best to use the brush in circular motions. This helps keep the appearance of brush strokes down. If you would like to add patterns that may require a little more complexity than you can achieve with the painters tape and drop cloth, use a durable type of cardboard as a stencil. Just cut your pattern into the cardboard, and have your assistant hold it down as you spray over it. After you have applied the stain to the entire area, keep the tape and drop cloth on the ground and let the concrete dry overnight. It might be helpful to place signs and warning tape around the edges so passersby don’t accidentally wander into the stained area.

Secret Types of Modern Concrete

History of concrete goes far back in time and concrete has been used since ancient times but time has changed now. Now there are entirely new types of concrete that a person, few decades ago could barely imagine. And not only this, a continuous research is going on to devise new types and improve the existing types of concrete by finding their flaws. This has led to a building designs which were unthinkable in past and has taken the skyscrapers to a new vertical limit. Let’s discuss briefly that what is so different about these new types of concert and what makes them so effective.

Modern concrete
Several new types of ready mixed concrete London are available which include powdered cement mixed with an aggregate. All it requires is a specific amount of water, relative to one’s needs. Use of such concrete is continuously increasing in routine life. Demand of Ready Mixed Concrete has increased several folds and it seems ever increasing in all the major as well as small cities of England.

Stamped concrete
Stamped Concrete, just like it sound is all about giving the perfect finish to the surface of the concrete. Any type of texture can be drawn on the surface after the concrete is pretty much settled. After sufficient hardening the surface is cleaned and generally sealed to give a protection. It has the ability of endure the bad weather conditions and gives really good results despite extensive exposure. This is why this type of concrete is used in parking lots, pavements, walkways etc.

High-performance concrete
High-performance concrete (HPC) is pretty much a new type which is being constantly used in industry. But we must keep in mind that high-strength concrete is always a high-performance concrete too but high-performance concrete may not always be high in strength. Some of the example of High-performance concrete application are given below.

Ease of placement
Early age strength
Long-term mechanical properties
Volume stability
Long life
Ultra-high-performance concrete
Ultra-high-performance concrete is relatively a new type of concrete. This type was developed due to the protection point of view. Ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) is also composed of a steel fiber-reinforced cement composite material which has increased compressive strengths. UHPC is typically composed of fine-grained sand, silica fume, small steel fibers, and specific mixture of high-strength Portland cement. Still question are raised on the durability and failure of UHPC and several agencies and universities are conducting research on its ability to endure stress.

Micro-reinforced ultra-high-performance concrete

Micro-reinforced ultra-high-performance concrete is the next generation of UHPC. Some of the most distinct qualities of this type of concrete are high compressive strength, durability and the ability of shock absorption. Moreover micro-reinforced UHPC has the qualities including extreme ductility, energy absorption and resistance to chemicals, water and temperature. The special cubic structure and ability to disintegrate into fiber, tremendously increases its strength. The performance of the discontinuous and scattered fibers in UHPC is almost unpredictable. One of its common uses include blastFree Reprint Articles, ballistic and earthquake resistant constructions.

It concludes that a diverse variety of concrete is available and many types are in great demand. For instance the demand of ready mixed concrete in London is ever increasing due to its ease of use and demand in daily life. Likewise high performance concrete has also reserved its irreplaceable position in industry. All your requirements can be meet but at the end a perfect mix is not possible. If you go down the stream you have to suffer from poor quality and if you don’t then you must keep you budget high. You are only to decide which type of concrete will suits the specific construction needs & the budget best.

Insulated Concrete Form Market size worth $970 million by 2024: Global Market Insights, Inc.

Insulated Concrete Form Market size to exceed USD 970 million by 2024; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.

Rising consumer preference for energy efficient buildings accompanied by the need to reduce operating e will be a key global insulation concrete form market share trend. Policies such as energy saving program by the U.S., Net Zero in Canada, and new building codes by EU will fuel insulated concrete forms industry growth.

Initially, the industry faced issues with product acceptance, due to low-awareness, lack of regulatory clarity and an unorganized sector, offering varying ICF grades. However, the situation has been significantly salvaged, as clear regulations and product guidelines have been put in place.

U.S. insulated concrete form market share dominates regional demand, with residential applications alone valued at over USD 100 million in 2015. Demand is primarily driven by the need for sustainable construction to save energy.

Increasing infrastructure expenditure in the Asia Pacific and MEA, along with government regulations relating to demand for energy efficiency, safety and need to reduce construction time is anticipated to stimulate industry growth.

Close to 80% of ICFs are used in below-grade applications for residential applications, with revenue poised to approach USD 500 million by 2024. Industrial and infrastructure applications should see more than 7% growth. Key ICF market features include technology access, cost reduction, energy conservation, and strong insulation performance.

Polystyrene foam was the leading product segment with more than 60% of total insulated concrete form market revenue in 2015. Fire & thermal resistance and durability are expected to drive the polystyrene foam demand.

Browse key industry insights spread across 170 pages with 85 market data tables & 29 figures & charts from the report, “Insulated Concrete Form Market Size By Application (Commercial, Industrial, Infrastructure, Residential), By Material (Polystyrene Foam, Polyurethane Foam, Cement-Bonded Wood Fiber, Cement Bonded Polystyrene Beads, Cellular Concrete), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook (U.S., Canada, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia, China, India, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt), Application Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2016 – 2024” in detail along with the table of contents:

Key insights from the report include:

Residential insulated concrete form market share may exceed 150 million square feet by 2024, with the industry anticipating significant penetration across APAC & MEA.

Industrial applications should see growth in excess of 10%, driven by favorable infrastructure and commercial construction spending trends.

The Asia Pacific, backed by strong domestic demand from China, Australia, Japan, and India insulated concrete form market, generated more than USD 15 million in revenue for PU foam based ICF for 2015.

North America, through U.S., is the largest ICF market due to consumer preference towards energy efficient buildings and willingness to use innovative technologies.

In revenue terms, polystyrene foams dominate the industry and were valued at over USD 300 million in 2015. Cement-bonded polystyrene beads in the Asia Pacific may grow significantly and surpass 2 million square feet by 2024.

Global insulated concrete forms market share is highly competitive due to the presence of multi-nationational players. Some of the major competitors for ICF market share include Airlite (Fox Blocks), BuildBlocks, Amvic, LogixScience Articles, Quad-Lock and IntegraSpec were the key companies.

Insulated Concrete form (ICF): Construction beyond Concrete

Insulated concrete forms or insulating concrete forms (ICFs) have brought a revolution in the global residential, commercial, institutional and industrial building industries. Other building methods are losing the limelight to building with ICFs, at a comparable costs, due to its unparalleled benefits of comfort, durability, energy efficiency, and safety ratings.

Lower energy bills. Lower maintenance. A home that’s healthier to live in, and easier on the environment.Compared to concrete, for conventional sticks and blocks, ICFs offer a simpler and arguably better answer to meet those issues in many aspects.

What is ICF?

ICF is a system of formwork for reinforced concrete which is made with a rigid thermal insulation that stays in place as a permanent interior and exterior substrate for walls, floors, and roofs. The forms can be characterized into three main categories: Block, Panel and Plank, each having their own advantages.


Concrete walls built with insulating concrete forms (ICFs) give a building enhanced comfort, solidity, durability, resistance to natural disasters, quietness, and energy efficiency. Use of ICFs is growing rapidly. They offer owners and builders many advantages compared to wood or steel frame walls.

Comfort. Buildings constructed with ICF walls have a more even temperature throughout the day and night. They have virtually no cold spots, and far fewer drafts. ICF walls have negligible air infiltration.
Solidity. Flexing in floors, as well as vibration and shifting from the force of wind is reduced by the solidity of concrete construction.
Quiet. An ICF wall only lets through one-sixth as much sound compared to an ordinary frame wall.

Energy Efficiency: The superior insulation, air tightness, and mass of the walls can reduce the cost of operating HVAC in the building by up to 40%. The high R-value combined with thermal mass means ICF walls exceed most energy code requirements. By reducing the buildings fossil fuel requirements, the ICF plays an important role in reducing the negative environmental impacts associated with fossil fuel use.
A third party project completed in 1999 for Natural Resources Canada confirms the energy savings of 46%, in building new houses with the ARXX (Blue Maxx) Wallsystem.

Fire resistance: ICF walls have also proven more resistant to allowing fire to pass from one side of the wall to the other. This is a significant benefit in areas where brush fires are common, or where high density zoning increases the risk of fire spread. Unlike wood, concrete does not burn. Unlike steel, it does not soften and bend. Concrete does not break down until it is exposed to thousands of degrees Fahrenheitfar more than is present in the typical residential or office building fire.
Natural disaster resistance

One would rightly ask just how expensive is it to get all these extraordinary benefits? The answer is you can get superior ICF technology for a lot less than you’d think. ICFs are so efficient to build with and easy to use, that the cost of building an ICF house is almost comparable (5-6% more) to that of an ordinary 2×6 wood-framed house.

Over the last ten years, ICF prices have been remarkably stable. Recent price increases in other materials have generated interest in concrete building systems as never before. Labour savings and readily available materials make ICFs, feature for feature, one of the most cost competitive wall systems in U.S. and Canadian housing markets.


As far as their availability is concerned, if you go through any building magazine, youll find manufacturers of insulated concrete form systems spending a fortune on advertising their products. Theyre expanding dealer networks all over the globe, so no matter where you build, you can probably buy one of these products.

Mostly insulated form systems are used by builders to replace poured concrete or concrete block basements. However, the systems have more to it. They can be used for any concrete wall or foundationComputer Technology Articles, but their greatest benefits apply to insulated walls.

Globally ICF market is expected to show a compound annual growth rate of 27.5%. North America currently dominates the market for insulated concrete forms followed by Europe and APAC. The developing regions of South America and Asia Pacific are expected to increase its market share in the future owing to the growing construction activity in the developing countries.