Proponents of ICF claim that it will soon be the preferred construction method in North America. They advocate the many benefits of this building material, and shun all others. So, what exactly is ICF, what about it is so great, and what makes it one of the greenest materials in construction?
The acronym ICF stands for Insulating Concrete Forms. These forms, most commonly made of polystyrene foam, create a system of interlocking modular units that are laid out like Leggos according to the building’s design specifications. Concrete is then pumped into their hollowed interiors and reinforced with steel. The forms remain in place and provide thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as space to run the electrical and plumbing. They also serve as a backing for the exterior and interior finishing materials (stucco, siding, gypsum board, etc.). ICF’s are easy to use and build with, and create minimum material waste, since you only use the amount of forms you need.
Other Benefits of Building With ICF ‘s As Compared To Regular 2×6 Construction:
– Stronger structure
– A quieter interior
– Lower energy bills due to superior insulation
– A better seal from the outside also equals less insects coming in
– Materials have a longer life and require less upkeep and repair
Are there any disadvantages? Comparative cost analysis shows that, although ICF’s do increase the per square foot cost of a home initially (by approximately 4-5%), that these are countered by the energy savings and other benefits of an ICF home. In other words, there really aren’t any disadvantages. And if you can make the minor investment up front, you will reap the cost savings in the future, while living in a home that’s comfortable, structurally sound, and “green”.
Advance Concept has the knowledge, expertise, and resources to build your new ICF Home. Our team of architects, interior designers and contractors can meet with you to discuss the details of taking on such a project. Give us a call today— we’d love to talk to you!