Benefits of Insulated Concrete Form Construction

Insulated concrete forms have largely been marketed for their energy efficiency and superior structural integrity. These are real and significant advantages over more traditional means of construction, but ICF walls are truly a revolutionary means of construction with many benefits for both the homeowner and builder. Here is a list of some of the many advantages that ICF walls have over more traditional means of construction.

Builder’s advantages

Consolidation of trades:

One ICF installation crew provides the services of masons, framing carpenters, and insulators combined. This 3-in-1 construction process simplifies project management and can reduce costly down time.

Design versatility:

Unlike other patented forming systems ICF blocks can be made to fit almost any design with little alteration to the plans and almost no additional labor. ICFs enable builders to offer the option of solid concrete walls for almost any set of plans.

Quick construction:

ICFs are not only erected in less time than other means of load bearing construction. Since they are already insulated and don’t require the interior framing to finish, they significantly reduce the over all construction time and keep a project moving.

Homeowner’s Advantages:

Built to last:

In terms of structural integrity ICF homes are in a league of their own from the start, but the capabilities of an ICF wall will also not degrade over time. An ICF wall will be just as strong decades from now as it was the day it was built.

Termite resistant:

A minimal use of wood also means that an ICF home has a substantially lower risk of damage from termites and other wood boring pests.

Improved indoor air quality:

Solid concrete construction reduces unwanted air infiltration, dust and allergens. The expanded polystyrene insulation eliminates formaldehyde off-gassing common to fiberglass insulation.

Mold and rot resistant:

With little to no use of wood, ICF walls are not susceptible to the damage that Florida’s humidity can cause to traditional wood homes.

Environmentally friendly:

The unbeatable efficiency of ICF insulation not only reduces the cost of running a home, but the amount of fuel actually consumed. Case studies have shown that the non-renewable resources consumed while manufacturing ICF blocks is often reclaimed in conservation after as little as one year of use.

Cost effective:

Most ICF homes are estimated to cost around 2% - 5% more than traditional wood framing, but in almost every case study this upfront investment is shown to translate into savings in less than five years due to energy savings. When you compare ICF construction to other methods of building a solid concrete home, even the initial investment can be less.