Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF’s)

 

Insulated concrete forms are forms or moulds that have built-in insulation which accept reinforced concrete.  They were created in the 1960’s but most recently, especially in the last 4 years, they are becoming one of the favoured building products on the market.  They consist of large hollow blocks which are taken straight off the lorries and filled with reinforcing bar and concrete.  Once finished they become a high performing wall which is not only structurally sound but also well insulated.  They are well insulated because nothing can blow through reinforced concrete therefore there are no draughts and temperatures remain constant inside the homes.  The great thermal mass of the exterior allows homes to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

 

Many believe that ICF’s are safer and far healthier for the homeowners.  There are no CFCs or formaldehydes involved and are great for allergy and asthma sufferers.  They will also withstand severe storms and are termite and pest resistant.  Outside noise is also eliminated by using ICF’s so if you live near flight paths or motorways then ICF’s are ideal for you. 

 

More importantly homes built with ICF exterior walls require 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than other frame houses.  It is cost effective too, building with ICF is cheaper than brick and block and around 5% cheaper than a timber frame.  It is also quicker to construct than the 6-8 order time for timber frame houses, you will also not need the expensive lifting equipment.  ICF is 8.5 times stronger than timber frames and have a four hour fire rating.  There are also no toxic emissions with ICF which timber frames have, toxic and carcinogenic substances are painted onto timber frames.

 

Many believe that ICF’s are the right choice, the reasons are below:-

·         They are environmentally friendly with no CFC’s and are non-toxic.  They totally replace timber so is good for the environment as around 8 trees are felled to make a typical 3 bedroom house. 

·         They are builder friendly as they reduce the construction time of your house and can be adapted to any architectural design.  They also replace any insulation materials.

·         They are homeowner friendly as they reduce the fuel bills in your home and increase the resale value.  They are extremely durable so there is no structural deterioration involved.

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