Picking suitable materials is one of the most critical aspects of any construction project. The right materials can significantly impact appearance, durability, performance, and cost. A vital part of the building process where it is incredibly critical to choose suitable construction materials is the building of the exterior walls, and this is where ICF comes in. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) are made of two polystyrene foam blocks with gaps that allow concrete to be poured between them to create a substantial, insulated wall. If you are deliberating whether or not to invest in ICF, here are eight benefits of insulated concrete forms to help you make an informed decision.
Perhaps the most significant reason to invest in Insulated Concrete Forms is energy efficiency. ICF blocks are well insulated, so they effectively lock the heat in and cold out. This eliminates the need for investing in conventional thermal insulation.
Homes with ICF blocks have an “A” insulation rating because they are extremely energy efficient. This means you require less energy to heat and cool your home, lowering energy bills. According to a recent study, homes with Insulated Concrete Forms can achieve around a 60% reduction in their heating and cooling bills. You could even invest in a smaller HVAC system with an ICF exterior wall. Visit excelbuilders.com to hire the best ICF contractors in Delaware and Maryland for Insulated Concrete Forms installation to realize long-term energy cost savings.
Improved Construction Speed
If you want to build your home within the shortest time possible, consider investing in Insulated Concrete Forms. The ICF construction is straightforward and not labor-intensive. Six construction steps, including insulation, wall and form structure, vapor and air barriers, and the exterior and interior finish anchorage, are completed with a single product.
ICF blocks have a grid that interlocks, allowing for easy stacking. This significantly cuts the building time because you can assemble the blocks quickly, unlike in traditional construction. Contractors then use a concrete pump to apply concrete into the hollow blocks, cutting the building time in half. You also do not have to spend more time cleaning and stripping the Insulated Concrete forms to continue the construction process. This, coupled with the fact that ICF construction is not affected by extreme weather conditions like rain, enables you to complete the project according to your schedule without delays or setbacks.
Insulated Concrete Forms are more durable than other building materials, such as wood. ICF homes have concrete and steel reinforcement, making them structurally sound. They are also resistant to insect infestation, mold, moisture, and rot, among other elements that could hurt your home’s structural integrity. ICF builds can also withstand seismic activity and extreme weather conditions such as heavy rains and winds. This durability allows your ICF home to maintain its character and quality throughout its lifespan, giving you a sense of security and peace of mind.
Lowers The Need For Acoustic Insulation
You may be worried about noise pollution if you are building your home in an area with a dense population, busy nightlife, or near a public road. Insulated Concrete Forms are a practical option for creating a peaceful home environment because they offer acoustic insulation between walls. The blocks used to develop ICF walls build incredibly thick and solid surfaces that prevent the permeation of sound.
This is not only a viable solution for residential homes where quiet is paramount. ICF walls are also perfect for commercial buildings like movie theaters where soundproofing is vital. Investing in Insulated Construction Forms eliminates the need to invest in conventional insulation materials and prevents installing acoustic insulation panels in the future.
Insulated Concrete Forms can help you cut construction costs significantly. Since most ICF buildings use the waffle-style blueprint, they use 10% less concrete than the straight-form design.
Even when you opt for the straight-form design to develop your building, you will likely achieve excellent strength with a six-inch concrete wall instead of the conventional eight inches of concrete. This allows you to save up to 25% on materials and costs when using the straight-form design.
Allows Easy Wiring And Plumbing Installation
You do not have to worry about wiring and plumbing with an Insulated Concrete Form wall. The thick ICF foam enables contractors to groove it quickly to install wires and pipes. The wires and pipes penetrate the wall as easily as any other building structure. The spray foam insulation also helps secure potential leaks during the wiring and plumbing installation.
It Provides An Airtight Construction
Air infiltration often results in higher heating and cooling bills. Keep energy bills to the minimum by investing in Insulated Concrete forms. ICF walls ensure uniform insulation throughout the structure, offering a degree of airtightness. This means that the outside air cannot enter the house. It also prevents penetration of drafts, providing a constantly controlled indoor temperature.
The uniform insulation also prevents cold-bridging( mixing cold and warm air), which results in mold growth and condensation. Ensure you install a mechanical ventilation system in buildings with Insulated Concrete Form walls to maintain a steady fresh air supply.
ICF construction can be incorporated into any commercial or residential project. To adopt the Insulated Concrete Form, you should stretch your exterior walls outwards to include the thicker walls. You could incorporate other architectural flourishes. For instance, long clear spans can be accommodated into your structure because ICF walls can hold steel beams and loads required in the design.
The ICF foam substrate is also ideal for textured acrylic finishes and cement-based stucco. Since there are no extra vapor barriers needed with ICF walls, you could also apply manufactured stone, brick, or stone to your building. Cement board, wood, or vinyl siding can also be fastened onto your ICF walls.
Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction improves energy efficiency, reduces the need for acoustic insulation, saves cost, creates an airtight home, and offers endless design options. It also helps contractors improve construction speed and achieve their bottom line. Contact a reputable, reliable, and experienced ICF contractor today to build an extremely energy-efficient dream home.