ICF (Insulated Concrete Form)

Insulated Concrete Foundation

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What is ICF?

ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) is based on hollow lightweight block components that lock together without intermediate bedding materials, such as mortar, to provide a formwork system into which concrete is poured. The block is formed of sheets of insulation materials normally expanded polystyrene tied together with plastic or steel ties or an integral web of the same insulation.

The Benefits of building with ICF

Reduced energy bills

Homes built in ICF block construction require considerably less energy – in heating and cooling. The savings in bills costs have been registered as high as 70% when compared to a wood-frame house. Comfort and reduced noise Though somewhat intangible, comfort deals with important issues such as

Comfort and reduced noise

Though somewhat intangible, comfort deals with important issues such as an even distribution of air temperature in the home and the quietness or acoustical properties of the home. ICF construction provides considerably improved reductions of “outdoor” noise relative to standard home construction practices. The houses built with Insulated Concrete walls have the air temperatures more even and there is no draft. The barrier formed by the insulation and concrete sandwich design reduces the air infiltrations sometimes as much as 75% than a comparable wood frame house. With the concrete high thermal mass that buffers the home’s interior from extreme outdoor temperatures and the continuous insulation layer that minimizes the fluctuations of the temperature inside the house the cold spots issue, that can be found in a timber frame wall along the studs or at gaps in the insulation, is being eliminated.

Pest proof

The concrete and the insulation concrete forms are not a desirable environment for rodents, woodworm and insects that often reside in wood framed walls. Healthier indoor environment As there is no organic composite within the ICF walls the growth of mould, algae and any other hazardous microorganisms is unlikely. The polystyrene insulation is non-toxic and free from asbestos, fibreglass and methanol. The tests carried out to the indoor air quality in ICF homes environments did not find any harmful emissions. Structural Safety. The ability of ICF construction to resist damage and protect occupants from wind and earthquakes are considerably better than most of the traditional building systems. In general, Insulated Concrete Formwork wall construction provides 5 to 10 times the racking resistance of conventional wood-frame walls. The racking strength of these walls prevents the building from collapsing or being pushed over by wind or earthquake forces. The concrete is able to maintain its structural capabilities over a long period of time and extend the life-expectancy of buildings. Life-expectancy and maintenance of a home is a concern of homebuyers and designers with a long-term perspective. Reduced maintenance costs As the ICF walls are made of non-biodegradable materials, they are not vulnerable to rot or deterioration. Also being a reinforced concrete structure there are no settlement cracks that often appear in the render or plaster long after new buildings are finished. Fire resistance Fire resistance is important to the protection of occupants from fire and to allow sufficient time for warning and evacuation. Concrete walls have superior fire resistance in comparison to most other building materials. Solid concrete ICF walls can generally sustain as much as four hours of extreme fire exposure.

Healthier indoor environment

As there is no organic composite within the ICF walls the growth of mould, algae and any other hazardous microorganisms is unlikely. The polystyrene insulation is non-toxic and free from asbestos, fibreglass and methanol. The tests carried out to the indoor air quality in ICF homes environments did not find any harmful emissions. Structural Safety. The ability of ICF construction to resist damage and protect occupants from wind and earthquakes are considerably better than most of the traditional building systems. In general, Insulated Concrete Formwork wall construction provides 5 to 10 times the racking resistance of conventional wood-frame walls. The racking strength of these walls prevents the building from collapsing or being pushed over by wind or earthquake forces. The concrete is able to maintain its structural capabilities over a long period of time and extend the life-expectancy of buildings. Life-expectancy and maintenance of a home is a concern of homebuyers and designers with a long-term perspective. Reduced maintenance costs As the ICF walls are made of non-biodegradable materials, they are not vulnerable to rot or deterioration. Also being a reinforced concrete structure there are no settlement cracks that often appear in the render or plaster long after new buildings are finished. Fire resistance Fire resistance is important to the protection of occupants from fire and to allow sufficient time for warning and evacuation. Concrete walls have superior fire resistance in comparison to most other building materials. Solid concrete ICF walls can generally sustain as much as four hours of extreme fire exposure.

Structural Safety

The ability of ICF construction to resist damage and protect occupants from wind and earthquakes are considerably better than most of the traditional building systems. In general, Insulated Concrete Formwork wall construction provides 5 to 10 times the racking resistance of conventional wood-frame walls. The racking strength of these walls prevents the building from collapsing or being pushed over by wind or earthquake forces. The concrete is able to maintain its structural capabilities over a long period of time and extend the life-expectancy of buildings. Life-expectancy and maintenance of a home is a concern of homebuyers and designers with a long-term perspective. Reduced maintenance costs As the ICF walls are made of non-biodegradable materials, they are not vulnerable to rot or deterioration. Also being a reinforced concrete structure there are no settlement cracks that often appear in the render or plaster long after new buildings are finished. Fire resistance Fire resistance is important to the protection of occupants from fire and to allow sufficient time for warning and evacuation. Concrete walls have superior fire resistance in comparison to most other building materials. Solid concrete ICF walls can generally sustain as much as four hours of extreme fire exposure.

Reduced maintenance costs

As the ICF walls are made of non-biodegradable materials, they are not vulnerable to rot or deterioration. Also being a reinforced concrete structure there are no settlement cracks that often appear in the render or plaster long after new buildings are finished. Fire resistance Fire resistance is important to the protection of occupants from fire and to allow sufficient time for warning and evacuation. Concrete walls have superior fire resistance in comparison to most other building materials. Solid concrete ICF walls can generally sustain as much as four hours of extreme fire exposure.

Fire

Fire resistance  is important to the protection of occupants from fire and to allow sufficient time for warning and evacuation. Concrete walls have superior fire resistance in comparison to most other building materials. Solid concrete ICF walls can generally sustain as much as four hours of extreme fire exposure.

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