Benefits of Insulated Concrete Forms (I.C.F.)
With the need for green structures increasing by the day, there are several green materials to consider to achieve such buildings. However, do these materials offer the full benefits of a green building? It would interest you to know that, as much as green materials differ in quality and method of construction, their benefits, also, differ.
If you are looking for a green building, you are looking to;
- Save your home on energy costs
- Block outside sounds
- Resist fires
- Add value and structural integrity to your building
Notably, Insulated Concrete Forms (I.C.F.) offer these benefits and much more. Additionally, ICFs are changing the method of insulation and the construction of modern buildings. Recent studies show that the insulating properties of ICFs are high, especially when it combines with foam. This article features the benefits of insulated concrete forms.
One notable benefit of Insulated Concrete Form is its insulating property. Installing ICF walls ensure that your home or building retains more heat effectively, as well as, maintaining your home’s comfortability by preventing heat from entering during the summer and preventing heat from leaving during the winter; This is because, the ICF would form a thermal barrier. Because of this thermal barrier, ICF can reduce the heating cost of your home or building.
The most effective insulation of a structure is, however, provided by foam layers and ICF walls; These can save up to 70% of heating and cooling costs.
In addition to the thermal barrier, ICF provides, it also forms some kind of sound barrier, this property makes ICF perfect for use in noisy neighborhoods and for buildings where minimizing noise is a priority. This noise reduction property of ICF is possible because of the thick multi-layer ICF possesses.
A contractor survey shows that most contractors prefer ICF to other materials. Some contractors check the box that says ICF is easy to assemble. This is because ICFs are light, and therefore, easy to move around, and they come in symmetrical shapes. The assembling ease makes construction faster and who doesn’t crave a reduced onsite time.
Therefore, customers who are worried about how long it will take for their building to be complete, don’t have to worry with ICF.
The popularity of insulated concrete forms as construction materials is seen to increase because of the green qualities of concrete. The production of ICF requires less energy as opposed to the production of other popular construction materials like steel and wood; This is because, the production of concrete involves the use of recycled materials, such as:
- Fly ash
- Silica fume
- Other crushed concretes
Additionally, the fact that the use of exact amounts of concrete, according to construction requirements, minimizes waste production.
Another important benefit of ICF is its Unlimited design options, this makes Insulated concrete form perfect for buildings with many aesthetic features. It is possible to shape or cut ICFs into desired shapes or design, etching and engraving design patterns are also possible.
Admittedly, it is possible to have an interior of conventional construction materials like wood and steel, pairing with an exterior of ICF. It is important to note that an ICF building can be wired and plumbed like any traditional home.
Generally, concrete can become almost anything you want.
The strength of ICF walls cannot be overemphasized. Recent studies show that concrete wall can resist the attacks of lateral loads like wind, being able to survive wind speeds up to 250mph. Therefore, if you’re building in areas susceptible to wind, ICFs should be your go-to option.
ICFs come in single large blocks, this makes it more than 5 times stronger than traditional wood frame. Therefore, in addition to earthquake-resistant design, ICF can be a safe option for seismic zones. The lifespan of a concrete structure is more than that of wood.
An ICF is fire and water-resistant; this is because it is designed in such a way that concrete is poured between two ICF layers. Thus, creating elements barrier, which is down to the resistant property of concrete. Concrete is not affected by moisture; therefore, it will not rot or deteriorate.
Additionally, unlike wood, concrete is safe from insect infestation.
CONCLUSION All things being equal, ICF offers lots of benefits, enough for you to consider it for your next building project. If you want all these aforementioned benefits, and much more, choose an ICF building. However, just choosing a construction material is not enough, picking the right structural engineering firm is also very important. You must make sure that the firm you pick provides top-notch structural engineering services, to effectively produce your ideas.