The most important decision you’ll make is to choose the right material for your new project.
Depending on the type of project, different materials can make a huge difference to the price, performance or appearance of your final product. This is an important decision that can make the difference between success and failure, especially if your budget is sparse.
Introducing: Insulated Concrete Forms.
Insulated Concrete Forms (or ICF), consist of sets of hollow foam blocks surrounded by reinforcing bars which form the exterior walls of your building. When the ICF system is installed, concrete is poured between the walls, making it exceptionally strong and insulated.
Insulated Concrete Forms provide many benefits to the construction environment. There are four benefits you can expect when building with ICF.
ICF blocks are very well insulated, effectively eliminating the need for existing insulation once they are integrated. The ICF block allows heat to flow with extreme efficiency, saving homeowners on energy costs from month to month and providing opportunities to miniaturize with a small HVAC unit.
These thermal values far outstrip homes and other residential areas. In fact, ICF is a building material widely used in ground pools, as well.
Without ICF, the average ground pool will lose nearly 80% of its heat through the floor and sides. However, ICF pools are continuously insulated across the bottom, inside and outside. This reduces heat loss and reduces pool heating costs by up to 60%. ICF blocks are also a good choice for building basements because of their resistance to decay, mold, and moisture. Thanks to the added thermal efficiency, there is no need to install insulation over the entire underground, depending on the cold weather in the area.
ICF’s thermal efficiency results in significant cost savings for building owners using less insulation during construction and consuming fewer resources after construction.
However, efficiency is a double-sided coin with ICF. In addition to energy efficiency, ICF offers considerable efficiency in workplaces, as well as being easy to install. Whether a swimming pool, basement or other structure, ICF’s lightweight design and construction processes don’t require heavy equipment, making ICF affordable and simple. With less equipment, less labor, and less time, you can build a new ICF from scratch.
ICF blocks are extremely durable. They resist collapse, mold, and moisture extremely well, as well as insect infiltration and other compromising factors. It responds well to strong winds and seismic activity. This is because there is a specially designed and interlocked steel tie on each ICF block.
This ensures more robust structures that can not be damaged in extreme weather. Weather evacuation facilities and dangerous weather buildings are being built from ICF blocks, now, as a result. ICF structures have been shown to be safe under heavy conditions. Landlords often receive lower premiums after building an ICF basement or similar, as well.