ICF Homes

Important facts about ICF Homes

What are ICF'S

Homes constructed with ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms), are homes built with a super insulated concrete shell, which spans from the basement floor to the eaves. This superior, insulated shell makes for more comfortable climates. These homes can be constructed more quickly while using much less lumber, helping to preserve forests. When finished, these homes use 40% - 80% less energy to operate, saving homeowners money. By consuming less energy, ICF homes put less of a demand on our environment's quickly dwindling fossil fuels.

Improved Comfort

ICF homes have a strong reputation for maintaining an even temperature. The reason for this is because of a phenomenon called thermal mass. Thermal mass can be best described as "having the ability to retain heat and give heat when necessary". In ICF homes, temperatures vary from floor to ceiling 1-2 degrees F. In traditional framed homes, variances are 5-10 degrees. Because of the evenness in indoor climate, ICF homes have no drafts or hotspots. There is little to no air infiltration within these homes, resulting in a substantial decrease in dust, bugs, pollen and disease in general. Because of an ICF home is so airtight, an air exchange system is required. These systems can filter and regulate heat and humidity more efficiently than traditional systems

Energy Efficiency

Homes constructed with ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms), are homes built with a super insulated concrete shell, which spans from the basement floor to the eaves. This superior, insulated shell makes for more comfortable climates. These homes can be constructed more quickly while using much less lumber, helping to preserve forests. When finished, these homes use 40% - 80% less energy to operate, saving homeowners money. By consuming less energy, ICF homes put less of a demand on our environment's quickly dwindling fossil fuels.

Environmentally Friendly

ICF Homes minimize the use of lumber up o 33% when compared with a 2x4 stick-built home. Drywall, siding, brick, stucco, paneling, or any other finishing system can be directly fastened to the ICF wall, eliminating the need for a 2x4 stud wall and sheathing for the entire shell of an ICF home. ICF blocks are also proven as a vapor barrier, eliminating the need of any house wrap material. Finally, ICF homes require less energy to heat and cool due to the superior thermal performance.

Unsurpassable Strength

ICF homes have proven to be sustainable through hurricanes, tornados, and even earthquakes. ICF homes are impervious to rot, decay, and termites. The EPS foam, which the blocks are made of, is not a source of food for termites and other infestation.

Fire Rating

Most ICF manufacturers have a 2-4 hr. fire rating, while a comparable stick built home only has a 15-30 minute rating. These better flammability ratings can result in 10% - 15% lower insurance rates.

Peace and Quiet

Sound transmission through an ICF wall is reduced 2-3 times when compared to a well-insulated 2x4 stud wall. This sound resistance is attained in two ways. The foam insulation absorbs, or deadens sound, while any remaining sound is deflected off the solid concrete wall.

Resale Value

Concrete Homes in general have much higher resale value than traditional stick built homes. Insulated Concrete Homes go one step further because of their unique insulation properties. While the initial cost to construct an ICF home may be greater than that of a traditional home, this cost will be offset in energy savings. This reduction in energy costs begins with low utility bills from day one.