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Is an ICF Home the Right Choice for My Climate Zone?

 
Dec. 5, 2016 | by David Morris

We get homeowners and builders asking whether insulated concrete forms are a good choice for their home. The short answer is almost always, "Yes!" People typically think of ICFs for colder climates, where the value of insulation is understood. But the same principles of insulation and air sealing hold true in warmer climates, too.

An ICF home functions like a big foam cooler, with the strength of concrete in the walls. The goal is to keep the conditioned air inside of the home regardless of the outside temperature. An ICF home functions like a big foam cooler, with the strength of concrete in the walls.

We're seeing a growing number of ICF homes being built in the south and southeast, particularly in areas prone to hurricanes and flooding. In addition to energy efficiency, ICF homes are valued for their structural stability and durability. Builders are offering ICF homes to give owners piece of mind. It's also easy to build in a safe room or storm shelter to provide extra protection for the family.

E3 Design Group compared the costs to build a masonry block wall and an insulated concrete form wall in South Florida. They found that an ICF wall costs more than a concrete block wall, but it is less than a 10 percent increase in price. However, their tests also found that ICF construction resulted in an average of 38 percent reduction in energy usage for heating and cooling.
So take a look at ICF construction, no matter where your home may be located. You'll love the lower energy bills and the peace of mind that comes with the strength of concrete.

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, Thermal Envelope

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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