Insulated Concrete Forms
ICF (insulated concrete forms) are a very energy efficient way to build a home. ICF forms are made up of two 2 1/2” Styrofoam. They are connected internally with high strength plastic. This plastic acts as your wall stud and provides stability for the blocks when the concrete fills them. Thus, insulated concrete forms are a system for reinforced concrete, that is typically made with a rigid thermal insulation. This stays in place as a permanent interior and exterior layer for walls, floors, and roofs. IFC’s are locked together to create the structural walls or flooring for the building. The IFC method is rapidly gaining popularity in commercial construction.
IFC Building Process
Hollow foam blocks or panels are stacked into the shape of the walls of the building. These ICF’s are then filled with steel-reinforced concrete to create a solid structure. The walls become air-tight, highly insulated, difficult for pests, and fire resistant. These stay durable in the harshest temperatures. Common construction tools and equipment are used to install IFC’s.
Benefits of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) Construction:
- Lower monthly utility bills
- Lower insurance premiums
- Less Drafty
- Smaller HVAC unit can be used per square footage.
- Radiant heating options
- Form-A-Drain footers
- Excellant waterproofing
- ROI (Return on Investment)
Insulated Concrete Forms are great in seismic areas. It provides strength, hardiness, air-tightness, and superb sound insulation. IFC construction is ideal in the Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky weather, where the temperature varies daily.
The typical insulating value (R-value) of ICFs range from R-12 to R-26, which can be a good R-value for walls in a moderate or hot climate