What do you know about ICF construction? I am thinking about building a new home.
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ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) are part of an integrated solution to producing an effective building envelope.
- The thick concrete core of insulated concrete forms works well keeping air where it should be, cold air out in winter and warm air inside.
- It works just as well in summer keeping the warm air in while providing a barrier that resists harmful mold,dust and allergens, along with powerful wind, storm and fire damage.
One house completed in upstate New York put metal struts and a poured concrete floor in the first floor and you could drive a car into the living room it was so strong.
Normally two layers of expanded polystyrene are held together by strong polypropylene ties. The range of different widths and angles allows for almost any design. Check with the manufacturer but most ICF's are rated at over 150 mph wind resistance and 3-4 hour fire rating. ICF's are used to build everything from homes to multi-story apartments to movie theatres.
I originally became aware of ICFs in Canada and only recently have they caught on in the US.
As for manufacturers there are plenty to choose from and they are all pretty good. You might want to start by looking at: www.rewardwalls.com and review their education information as they instruct contractors on installation as well as provide the ICF's.
For more information:
Read Daniel Glickmans's Q&A "My builder doesn’t want to use ICFs, but I’ve heard they’re a great product. What do you think?"