The Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) building system combines the strength of steel-reinforced concrete with the insulating properties of expanded polystyrene to creates a strong and energy-efficient structure. All walls are fully insulated automatically.
ICFs are hollow blocks or panels that a construction crew stacks to create the exterior walls of a residential or commercial building. Reinforcing steel is added and the gap between the two layers of foam is then filled with concrete. After the concrete has hardened, the forms stay in place and become the insulation for the walls.
Any conventional interior or exterior wall covering can be accommodated. Standard single story, two story, multi-story, even curved walls can be achieved!
The one system includes structure, insulation, vapour barrier, fire wall and battens. ICF construction is safe and strong. Reinforced concrete provides protection from natural disasters, and is resistant to storms and high winds. It offers increased design flexibility with no joints or weak points. Clear spans of more than 20 feet are easily achieved.
ICF construction provides sound attenuation making outside noise inaudible inside. Buildings situated in areas of high traffic noise, aircraft, train, vehicular and severe weather noises will benefit. From partition walls in senior complexes, to churches, to commercial structures.
It combines expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation with the concrete’s thermal mass to give you 30-50% savings in heating and air conditioning costs. Walls are airtight and have an R-3.5 insulation value.
There are air borne glass fibres to breath as well as no insulation settlement to be concerned about. With ICF, high fluctuations in room temperatures will become a thing of the past and consequently you and your family will experience overall comfort like never before.
There are significant, consistent long-term savings building with ICF. Its easier and cheaper to transport as components allow assembly on site. Because most of an Eco ICF Block home is concrete, it is considered masonry construction, ultimately resulting in lower insurance costs.
Covered EPS does not settle or deteriorate and there is no food value for termites in an ICF construction. Use of wood products in construction is significantly reduced.
ICF structures are built from footing to rafter typically have their floor joists hung by engineered systems so that you have a full height reinforced insulated concrete wall. Savings from heat loss are possible by eliminating drafts that are typically found where conventional floor joists rest on foundation walls.
Walls built with Insulating Concrete Forms have a three-hour plus fire rating. Any interior or exterior finish can be applied including Rockcote.
A house can be constructed in one day with a four-man crew with the three-step process – stack, brace and pour.
Eco ICF Builders specialise in ICF construction and is a 35 year old Australian family owned business.
For more information about Insulating Concrete Forms, see CISC member Eco ICF Builders.