The recyclable insulated concrete forms create a strong building envelope that provides comfort to the inhabitants. The integral quality of a building starts from the ground up and this alternative method of building represents an improved technology over the conventional system of building structures. It has many names but is often referred to as progressive home building.
Some of the benefits of concrete forms are the creation of a 4 hour margin where there is a resistance to fire and 200 mph winds. Molds, allergens and dust cannot easily penetrate the ICF Construction. There are two layers of polystyrene tied together by polypropylene ties with six inch spacing. Metal rods are used to reinforce the poured concrete. The buildings are energy efficient, eco-friendly, sustainable and quiet.
The builders can subcontract the pouring of the cement into the Concrete Form. The manufacturers will train the buyer how to do it once they have brought out the forms to the building site. The actual forms act as a vapor barrier so no vapor barriers are needed in the house. The structure reaches down thirty inches creating a frost wall and is built up to the roof line. Spray foam insulates the ceiling.
The blocks stack together like children’s inter-connecting building. The exterior is finished with bricks, stone or siding. This system has already been used in the construction of large movie theaters and communities of Energy Star homes.
There is a lot of information about this technology on the internet and much tends to contradict other sources of information. The product is gaining a lot of attention with an ongoing buzz of information exchange. Some tips to keep in mind to dispel any rumors include the density of the foam.
Some installers recommend that the denser the Insulated Concrete Foam the better the installation. The recommendation from the manufacturer is that when building with the denser blocks the builder risks jeopardizing their building code approvals. The denser the foam actually means the decrease in insulating properties.
Some other reminders include the fact that the walls do need to be water-proofed. The material cannot stop insect infestation unless all the steps are taken to treat the material properly. Instructions will state what the water proofing material is called and how it should be applied.
The sound will be reduced to being twice as quiet as traditional homes since sounds will still be heard through the windows. Regarding the insurability of the material it is not listed in the insurance policy so the closest it can be compared to is the masonry classification. This information will also need to be investigated.
Insulated Concrete Forms represent a new kind of building methodology. It integrates a cutting edge modern foam material with the use of reinforced concrete. It indicates a trend of where the building industry is moving towards. New homes will have to go through an IECC Blower Door Test in 2012 where exterior walls will need 50% more insulation. It is inevitable that the building codes will continue to go throw changes and adjustments for many years to come.