Over time, constructors have worked to find the most efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly construction materials possible. All of this needs to be done while still building a quality home for consumers. One material that helps with this is insulated concrete forms, or ICF. The use of ICF walls alone during the construction process can help homeowners save up to 25% on annual heating and cooling costs.
About ICF and Home Construction
ICF was first patented in 1966 by Canadian contractor, Werner Gregori. This is a reinforced concrete that includes thermal insulation. It is used as a permanent foundation for building construction, especially in walls, floors, and roofs. There are many efficiency benefits to ICF concrete when used for decking and outdoor projects as well, weight much less while also including superior insulation capabilities.
Affordable and Efficient Building Materials
ICF concrete is a more affordable foundation and construction material than others. When used for basement and foundation it costs about 40% less than standard concrete. It is also much lighter than standard concrete, where it is being mixed and poured or the blocks are being stacked. Luckily, ICF walls, floors, and foundations provide improved insulation and energy efficiency due to the insulation factor in the materials. Therefore, ICF helps make the construction process much easier from the start.
ICF and the Building Process
ICF is helpful in commercial construction, with building blocks that produce much taller walls in a much faster process. Without the need for pouring and spreading techniques, the benefits of insulated concrete forms remain throughout a longer building process while keeping the same benefits it has in the residential process. ICF is simply a quality building material that benefits both the interior and exterior of a residential or commercial property. There is also much to be said for the fact that it can be purchased at home repair stores for do-it-yourself projects like the back deck or porch built on your own.
ICF has come a great way over only a half-century. Now so reliable within the construction market, homes and buildings older than that being completely reliant on the heavier, non-insulated, more expensive concrete that requires much more maintenance over the years. Additionally, foundations or concrete walls cannot be updated to ICF without a complete house re-construction. One more thing to consider regarding the ICF concrete and block is its incredible strength against wind, rain and all torrential weather. This quality material has everything to offer the construction industry, helping all buildings stand the test of time.