Back in the mid-1990s at Myles Nelson McKenzie Design, we started developing foundation designs for our custom home projects, using Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs). They worked exceptionally well for our custom home projects in Park City, Utah. The Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) were used for the projects of stem walls and basement foundation walls.
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) are a great product to speed up the construction time for residential stem and basement walls with several additional advantages, such as;
ICFs are very energy-efficient with a minimum of an R-22 insulation factor. This is the result of continuous EPS insulation (higher & uniform R-value), greatly reduced air infiltration, and the thermal mass effect of concrete as Quad-Lock, manufacture of Insulating Concrete Forms mentioned. (Click here for additional energy-efficient information from Quad-Lock) With Insulating Concrete Forms, you will find that there are no drafts or cold spots, thus greatly reducing the amount of fuel needed for heating and cooling.
Quick Construction Time
The versatility of the product allows for quick assembly of the Insulating Concrete Form Blocks. A crew of four men can assemble a 1600 square feet ranch-style house in a day.
With the construction assembly of ICFs, the walls are “cast-in-place,” monolithic continuous reinforced concrete. Quad-Lock ICFs forms offer various wall widths (4″- 12″) for different applications.
ICFs can have up to a four-hour Fire Resistive Rating. Quad-Lock mentions that their black assembly with 8″ concrete thickness is 4 hours per UL tests. Great for the mountain project with high fire issues!
Mold and Moisture-Resistant
Walls made with Insulated Concrete Walls, which are inorganic nature of most ICFs do not support mold growth ensuring unwanted allergens, pollutants, and mold.
ICFs are made from recycled material and with construction site waste a minimum, which can be recycled, it is a great environmental product for residential and commercial construction.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, a program of the U.S. Green Building Council, evaluates the total environmental performance of a building over its life cycle. Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) contribute significantly towards the credits in several LEED certification areas.
Many companies will give discounts to ICF building owners for disaster and fire insurance, a nice benefit!
So, what are the Pro/Cons of using Insulating Concrete Forms for residential and commercial projects?
From our viewpoint, there are no cons! Just a great deal of advantages of using Insulating Concrete Forms. The advantages out way the initial cost for any new residential or commercial construction project long term.
For further information, click on our link to the US Department of Energy. They provide a great source of information in regards to the Insulated Concrete Forms. Such as product scope, description, compliance and further reference information for Insulated Concrete Forms.
Contact us today at Myles Nelson McKenzie Design, We would happy to design your next custom home, using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs).