What Homeowners Need to Know About Building With ICFs

| by David Morris
What Homeowners Need to Know About Building With ICFs

If you're thinking about building a high performance home, you should strongly consider choosing insulated concrete forms for your wall system. Here are a few of the tops reasons that make ICF a good choice.

Structural Safety. ICF construction is known for its ability to resist damage and protect occupants from fire, wind, earthquakes, and flooding. Most notable is the inherent strength of ICF construction against severe wind loads, including hurricanes and tornadoes.

Comfort. Though it's hard to measure comfort deals with important issues such as even distribution of air temperature in the home and the quietness or acoustical properties of the home. ICF construction reduces outdoor noise compared to standard home construction practices.

Energy Efficiency. Energy efficiency is the ability to maintain acceptable indoor living conditions at a low monthly energy cost. ICF construction, in general, provides improved energy efficiency compared to standard home construction practices.

Durability. ICFs have the ability to resist rot, decay, corrosion, pest attack, and other forms of degradation that may occur over time.

Comparison with Standard Construction. Comparing monthly costs to own a typical stick built home, ICF construction adds only about $24 per month (taking into account a decrease in monthly energy cost and insurance premiums). The cost difference can approach $35 per month in comparison to a wood-frame home upgraded to achieve similar energy performance, according to "Costs And Benefits Of Insulating Concrete Forms for Residential Construction," a 2001 report from the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing.

Actual cost differences will vary depending on the size and complexity of the home, the type of ICF used, and other site-specific factors; thus, the additional cost of ICF construction relative to wood-frame construction may typically range from $3 to $5 per square foot, according to the report.

Talk with your architect or building contractor to learn more about the cost-effective benefits of ICFs for your next home.

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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