What are ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms?)
Forming systems for solid monolithic steel re-enforced concrete walls and the form stays in place for thermal protection. ICFs have built in studding to accept your interior and exterior finish.
Why use ICFs?
Basements built with ICF have the advantage of solid concrete, superior insulation and attainable higher ceiling heights, wherein the ICF walls are ready to finish.
Why build Insulated Concrete Homes/Town Homes/Condominiums?
High Energy Efficiency, Built in Sound Proofing, Much Higher Fire Rating, Greater Load Bearing Walls, and ready for installation of Exterior Insulated Finish System (EIFS) (this type of exterior finish can be less costly) just to name a few advantages.
ICF Advantages For The Homeowner
Greater Comfort & Lower Energy Bills
- Energy savings and comfort are built into every ICF system. Air barriers provided by the foam insulation and the concrete reduce air infiltration to a minimum. There are no convection currents within wall cavities. The concrete walls of an ICF home have high thermal mass, which buffers the interior of a home from the extremes of outdoor temperature during every 24-hour cycle.
- The combination of high R-values, low air infiltration, and high thermal mass accounts for an amazing 50% or greater in energy savings with ICF versus wood or steel-framed homes.
Peace & Quiet
- New ICF homeowners almost always remark on how unbelievably quiet their new house is, compared with their old stick-build home. In sound transmission tests, ICF walls allowed less than one-third as much sound to pass through than ordinary frame walls filled with fiberglass.
- With double-glazed windows in ICF walls and beefed-up roof insulation, you will rarely hear street noises or airport traffic.
Solid & Lasting Security
- The high-mass walls of an AMVIC ICF home not only give it a remarkably solid feel, but they also make it safer for the family. The high-mass walls make a remarkably solid and secure investment. Concrete homes have a proven track record of withstanding the ravages of hurricanes, tornadoes and fires, when all the stick-build houses around them are in ruins. In fire wall tests, ICFs stood exposure to intense flame without structural failure longer than did common frame walls. The polystyrene foam used is treated so it will not support combustion.
- Some insurance carriers are now offering a discount on a home owner’s policy for an ICF home.
Less Repair & Maintenance
- With ICF homes, the equation is simple. No Rot = Less Repair and Maintenance. Neither polystyrene nor concrete will ever rot or rust. Concrete can be exposed to the elements for centuries with few ill effects.
- Reinforcing steel, buried deep inside and protected by concrete’s alkalinity, does not corrode.
A Healthier Home & Environment
- Building with ICFs is healthier for the environment in a number of ways: by minimizing the number of different building products involved in construction, by reducing the amount of waste generated on the construction site and by lowering energy requirements for heating and cooling. ICF homes provide a healthy indoor environment. Nothing held within or ordinarily emitted by an ICF wall is toxic.
- The measurement of the air contents of actual ICF houses shows an almost complete absence of any emissions.
Frank’s Insulated Concrete Forms & Building Systems, Inc. participates with the Pocono Home Builders Association and Lehigh Valley Builders Association Home Shows Each Spring.