ICF Construction


KingBig Inc. builds with ICFs.

From Wikipedia:

  • ICF structures are much more comfortable, quiet, and energy-efficient than those built with traditional construction methods.
  • Minimal, if any, air leaks, which improves comfort and reduces heat loss compared to walls without a solid¬†air barrier
  • Thermal resistance (R-value) typically above 3 K¬∑m¬≤/W (in American customary units: R-17[2]); this results in saving energy compared with uninsulated masonry (see¬†comparison)
  • High sound absorption, which helps produce peace and¬†quiet compared with framed walls
  • Structural integrity for better resistance to forces of nature, compared with framed walls
    • Higher resale value due to longevity of materials
    • More insect resistant than wood frame construction
    • When the building is constructed on a concrete slab, the walls and floors form one continuous surface; this keeps out insects.
    • Concrete and Polystyrene do not rot when they get wet
  • Reduces¬†HVAC operating costs from 30%-70%
  • Construction methods are easy to learn, and manufacturers often have training available
  • Designing and Building with ICFs help your construction project attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building status.
  • Insulating Concrete Forms create a structural concrete wall (either monolithic or post and beam) that is up to 10 times stronger than wood framed structures.
  • Interior ICF polystyrene wall surfaces can be coated with gypsum drywall or a number of other wall coatings.[3]

Construction costs

The cost of using ICFs rather than conventional construction techniques is most sensitive to the price of labor, wood, and concrete. Building using ICF can add 3 to 5 percent in construction cost over building using wood frame.[4] However, the energy savings of an ICF home usually result in far lower cost for utilities compared to most conventional construction.[5]

This also depends on the use of the ICF:

  • Below grade, in most cases ICF construction will come in about 40% less than conventional (basement) construction because of the labor savings from combining multiple steps into one step.
  • Above grade, ICF Construction is typically a little more expensive. But when adding large openings, ICF construction becomes very cost effective. Large openings in conventional construction require large headers and supporting posts whereas ICF construction reduces the cost because all you need is additional reinforcing steel directly around the window and large openings; and large openings reduce the materials needed (concrete, rebar, ICF).
  • Depending on design, an average home will cost about five dollars per square foot more than a conventional wood built home. This usually amounts to about 5% of the cost of the home. For high-end wood homes this percentage decreases to about 2% or 3%. For high-end homes constructed of concrete-based materials like¬†CMU, the insulating concrete form solution is usually less expensive.