ICFs Deliver a Good Foundation
If you'd like to build an energy-efficient home, start with a good foundation -- an ICF foundation.
Energy research shows that a poorly insulated basement or foundation can lead to loss of 25%-30% of a home's heat, leading to unnecessary energy bills. Insulated concrete forms are smart way to insulate a basement or crawlspace correctly to create usable and comfortable space.
ICF construction offers an attractive alternative to more traditional methods such as poured in place or concrete blocks. Unlike poured in place walls, there are no forms to set up and remove, which cuts construction time.
Cost wise, ICF walls are usually competitive with formed and poured reinforced concrete foundation walls when the cost of basement insulation is included in the analysis.
In below-grade applications, using concrete in some form is standard practice. Because of the speed of construction benefits, ICF is cost comparable to other types of below grade applications.
ICFs offer advantages in that there are fewer seams to seal compared to simple block foundations. And the insulation remains on the walls, improving thermal performance of the home.
While the cost of a bare block or poured wall is less, ICF construction also provides integrated insulation and furring strips, and is ready to finish, making it a cost effective and less labor-intensive choice.
Keep in mind that building codes say that unfinished walls in habitable spaces must have a 15-minute fire rated covering (usually a half-inch gypsum wallboard). The webs found in ICF blocks provide built-in furring strips, saving additional labor over CMU and poured-in place construction types.
If you'd like a basement that provides comfortable, usable space for living, check out the advantages that ICFs provide.
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.
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.