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Features and Benefits of Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) Construction
Certified in NUDURA Building Technology
Energy Related
 
  High performance R-values
  No air infiltration
  Permanent performance; no downgrading over time
  Shifts thermal loading from peak periods
  Lower cost to heat and cool
 
Health Related
 
  No air infiltration means less dust and allergens
  No cavity walls for mold, mildew, bugs or rodents
  Non-toxic materials * No off gassing of materials
 
Structural related
 
  High wind resistance
  Fire-rated assembly
  Strength is permanent
  Will not rot or decay
  Resistant to termites (the concrete)
  Impact resistant * No maintenance requirements
Comfort Related
 
  High sound attenuating
  Enhances steady temperatures
  Peace of mind during inclement weather events
  Low maintenance structure * May attribute to lower insurance costs
 
Constructability Related
 
  Design versatility
  Energy efficient
  Structurally capable
  Fire rated
  Sound deadening
  Quick (depending on installer)
  Conducive to Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS)
  Permanence
  Fully code accepted cast-in-place concrete walls
  Time tested and proven
 
Energy Efficient
Energy efficiency is the core feature of insulating concrete form construction because so many owner/occupant benefits stem from it. Actual studies show that homes built with ICF exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable wood frame houses.* However, homes and structures built with the proper complement of windows, doors, HVAC systems, and methods, generally accomplish at least a 50% savings in heating and cooling. And in some cases, depending on the area and climate, homeowners experience as much as an 80% decrease in energy use and costs.

 

What are Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs)
Insulating Concrete Forms (or ICFs) are forms or molds made from expanded Polystyrene (EPS). Reinforcing steel added and concrete poured into the form. The result is a high-performing reinforced concrete wall that is insulated, vapor retardant and structurally unsurpassed. It is ready to accept ANY final exterior / interior finishes. Why consider building with anything else?
 
Are structures built with ICF walls safer?
Yes, ICF walls are proven to significantly withstand 2000 degree heat from fire for 3-4 hours and 200 m.p.h. wind caused by severe weather. Structurally superior, the life expectancy for ICF buildings is more than 200 years. Plus, the air inside structures made with ICF walls is safer because there is no air infiltration to encourage mold, dust or pollen. Building materials for ICFs are safer for the environment too.
 
How do structures "breathe" through ICFs?
Structures built with ICF walls are barriers against allergens--including mold, dust and pollen--because virtually no air or moisture passes through ICF walls. However, proper ventilation is necessary to make sure an ample supply of fresh air and exhaustion of normal household gases.
 
They cut energy consumption up to 72%, Adheres to "Green Building" guidelines, Recycled Plastic used in the internal ties(like studs). All components are recyclable, No-off gassing from ICF forms, Air-tight interior means controlled healthier air to breathe.
 
 
Here are some of the best reasons to build with ICFs:
 
Energy Efficiency
Homes built with ICF exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable wood frame houses. Consequently, HVAC systems could be downsized.
 
Build Green with ICFs - Protect our Children's Future!
Our world’s number one challenge is to cut the amount of carbon dioxide discharged into our atmosphere. The earth’s relatively sudden warming and consequent dramatic effects of climate change are directly related to these carbon dioxide emissions. 
 
Landfill construction waste is reduced to less than 1% when you build with ICF. For every one ton of methane produced by landfill practices, 20 tons of CO2 produced. Every ICF home saves many trees and effectively preserves nature’s oxygen production. If we can cut our energy bills by as much as 40%, we can reduce CO2 emissions by the same amount. The world’s international Kyoto agreement insists on a reduction of emissions by 50% just to slow down the effects of global warming. ICFs are a part of the answer to CO2 reductions.
 
Safe & Healthy
There are no CFCs, HCFC’s, or formaldehyde, no wood to rot and mold. ICFs are the answer for allergy and asthma sufferers. These buildings are termite and pest resistant, but most importantly, these structures can withstand a severe storm.
 
Quieter
Insulating concrete form homes provide unparalleled peace and quiet and true protection from outside noise. In sound transmission tests, ICF walls allow less than one-third as much sound to pass through as regular frame walls. Air movement is not possible through reinforced concrete. There are absolutely no drafts and no cold spots. ICF owners invariably comment on the consistent temperature within their homes and offices. Because of the huge thermal mass of the exterior wall envelope, temperature peaks smoothed, and these structures are noticeably warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
 
Storm Warning!
Perhaps most importantly, ICF walls provide safe shelter from severe storms, whose occurrence is increasing in frequency as well as severity. States with no past history of tornadoes are now experiencing them. As a result of the recent number of hurricanes, building codes have been upgraded along the East Coast including the Virginia coastline. Since 1983, insurance claims due to severe storm events have been doubling every five years. Protect your investment, protect your family, and protect yourself. Build with Insulated Concrete Forms.
 
Greater Comfort
The high thermal mass and minimal air infiltration of insulating concrete form walls create a more uniform and stable temperature throughout your home. You'll have no more hot spots or cold drafts. Reinforced concrete has proven design capabilities. ICF wall systems can support concrete floor and roof systems and the exterior and interior walls are ready to receive any finish materials you choose.
 
Healthier Air
ICF walls reduce air infiltration by 75%: The effects of hay fever, asthma, and other airborne allergies greatly alleviated as a direct result of the reduced leakage of outside air, which brings dust, pollen, and other pollutants. Indoor air pollution is a great health concern today. ICF walls are non-toxic. Measurement of air contents of actual ICF houses shows an almost complete absence of any emissions.  
 
When planning a new house, consider the greater well-being that comes from living with more even temperature, sharply reduced drafts, and noticeably greater quiet. That's what you get with an insulating concrete form home.
The cost of ICF vs. more traditional methods of construction is typically more for the actual construction, but the cost of ownership of an ICF structure is significantly less than the more traditional methods.  In nearly every documented case of the cost of an ICF structure, the return on investment (ROI) for the extra construction cost is within 5 years with many showing less than 3 years.  Depending how costs are viewed, ICF may cost a little more or significantly less to build and operate.
 
Insulated Concrete Form Construction
The house is completely constructed using Insulated Concrete Forms. Using sustainable materials such as concrete yields higher quality, creating a building with more value, and the cost to the environment is substantially reduced. These materials cause minimal impact and offer the highest energy efficiency. 
 
Q: Why concrete?
 
A: The latest advancement for walls in technology consists of stay-in-place concrete forms, which are vastly superior to construction with wood. The Lego-like, pre-assembled units allow for more freedom of design. It also produces far less waste than the traditional wood-framing method. The reinforced concrete is then sandwiched between two layers of expanded polystyrene foam insulation.
 
Q: What are the benefits?

A:
Energy bills reduced up to 70% and with this concrete system you also get…
    Twice as energy-efficient (no air spaces or studs), and the technology events out the effect of external temperature swings. Up to three times more sound resistant due to the double-foam, insulated concrete core. Up to four times more fire resistant, since the walls built with steel reinforced concrete. Far more resistance to thermal bridging, where outside cold travels easily through walls to create uncomfortable cold spots, drafts and mustiness. Coupled with concrete floors, this system is guaranteed mould free. Its hypoallergenic nature is great for people who suffer from allergies.
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