ICF Home Construction
Insulated concrete forms (ICF construction) are hollow foam blocks which are stacked into the shape of the exterior walls of a building, reinforced with steel rebar and then filled with concrete. This innovative technology provides superior R-values, superior strength, straighter walls, less maintenance, provides excellent insulating qualities, prevents the growth of mold and mildew, prevents pests in wall cavities, lasts longer than wood, and requires less energy to heat and cool than traditional wood framing.
Benefits of ICF construction include:
- Increased structural safety and hazard mitigation: Increased impact resistance, compressive strength, bending strength (bending loads from wind, seismic, flood water, and earth pressure), and racking strength (lateral pressure (i.e., sideways)- loads created by wind and earthquakes. The racking strength of these walls prevent the building from collapsing or being pushed over by wind or earthquake forces. In general, ICF wall construction provides 5 to 10 times the racking resistance of conventional wood-frame walls.
- Fire resistance: Concrete walls have superior fire resistance in comparison to most other building materials. Solid concrete ICF walls can generally sustain as much as four hours of extreme fire exposure (as reported at www.rwsinc.com), whereas typical wood-frame walls in houses generally do not exceed a one-hour fire rating.
- Durability: Concrete used in ICF walls is further protected from moisture and other environmental factors. While wood is similarly protected within the walls of a home, it is susceptible to rot in areas where water often penetrates the exterior weather-resistant barrier of a home, particularly in hot/humid climates. Wood materials are also subject to termite attack which can result in significant structural damage and necessitate structural repairs.
- Energy Efficiency: ICF construction provides an inherently high level of thermal resistance. Winsome clients who track their energy use report that the cost to heat and cool is half that of a standard stick frame home.
- Noise Control