With today's modern technology there are many alternative products and techniques to build a home other than the traditional stick built home. One of the most popular alternatives is using Insulated Concrete Forms, also known as ICFs. ICFs are forms or molds with built-in insulation which accept reinforced concrete. The basic design is two sheets of Styrofoam connected together by plastic or metal connectors. Steel reinforcement called rebar is placed inside the forms and concrete is poured into the forms. The forms are then left in place and become a part of the building. Why would you choose ICF as part of your building plan?
Comfort - ICF walls are highly wind resistant resulting in no drafts or cold spots. Therefore, a home built with ICF is very well insulated costing less to heat and cool once it is built.
Safe and Healthy - ICF is made of non-toxic materials thereby creating a healthier environment for you and your family. Also, with no air infiltration, you and your family are not bothered by dust or allergens. In addition, there are no cavity walls for mold, mildew, insects or rodents to infest. These walls have a two hour fire rating and can withstand a severe storm hit.
Since 1983, insurance claims due to a majority of severe storm events have been doubling every five years.
Flexibility in Design - Drywall can be attached directly to the forms on the inside while stucco, cultured stone and siding can be attached directly to the outside. Framing and insulation will not have to be added where ICF has replaced foundation walls. ICFs can take the place of just the foundation or can go all the way up to the roof line.
Quiet - Your outside noise is significantly muted due to the thickness of the walls.
Energy Efficiency - Because a home built with ICF is well insulated and not drafty, your ongoing energy costs are less than with a conventional stick built home.
Every ICF home saves approximately 8.5 trees and effectively preserves nature's air filters.
The most common use of ICFs is for the basement level of a home. This is the most cost effective use of the forms. As the height of the wall gets higher, the cost goes up, but there are many examples of ICF walls going all the way to the roof line.