ICFs Deliver a 5-in-1 Wall Assembly

Sept. 12, 2017 | by David Morris

Each step in a traditional wood frame wall assembly represents cost and the opportunity for something to go wrong. Each layer, from framing to sheathing to insulation to house wrap, requires that the crew move around the whole house and complete a wide range of tasks according to manufacturer's instructions and building codes.

Any lapse in details such as windows that aren't flashed properly or insulation with voids can lead to call backs and unhappy customers.

Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are double insulated reinforced concrete walls using expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation forms. The foam blocks are stacked as interlocking blocks, connected with steel rebar. They offer well-insulated, airtight, quiet, energy-efficient building enclosures, replacing traditional wood-frame construction.

An ICF wall delivers five layers in one step:

  • Wall structure
  • Insulation
  • Sound barrier
  • Vapor barrier 
  • Furring

An ICF walls delivers a continuous air and heat barrier with no cracks and crevices other than what's supposed to be there, such as utility penetrations. You end up with a concrete steel-reinforced wall that's ready to be finished on the outside, and ready for drywall on the inside.

With an ICF wall, there's no more house wrap whipping in the wind, insulation voids around wiring or ducts, or time-consuming furring strips. A builder can deliver a home that doesn't leak air or lose heat to thermal bridging. 

An ICF home performs well for the long term, and reduces the chance for callbacks and warranty rework. It's a better way to create a better building envelope with a proven system. 

This blog was developed by Fox Blocks. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.


Topics: Building Green, Insulated Concrete Forms - ICF

Companies: Fox Blocks



David Morris
A Detroit native, David T. Morris, LEED® Green Associate, used his drive for entrepreneurship, innovation & new product development to develop a patented product and later took a new building product to market. In 2012, he became U.S. East Regional Manager with Fox Blocks, a division of Airlite Plastics Company, managing ICF sales in seven states. Since 2006, David has delivered more than 140 IFA/ICF training seminars to contractors, plus another 120 presentations to architects and engineers. He is a featured speaker and SME on High-Performance Buildings, and his efforts have resulted in environmentally friendly construction being specified for residential, commercial, and institutional buildings throughout the country.

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