Insulated Concrete Forms Advantages & Disadvantages - CEMEX USA
When building a new home, consider Insulated Concrete Form Systems (ICFs) as an alternative to traditional wood frames. Insulated concrete form homes are beautiful, energy efficient, and quiet.
Insulating Concrete Form Systems
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) are concrete wall forming systems that are not removed after the concrete has hardened, but stay in place permanently as part of the structure. The forms are generally made from high density styrofoam or other lightweight materials. The insulated concrete forms are either pre-formed interlocking blocks or separate panels connected with plastic or metal ties. The left-in-place insulated concrete forms not only provide a continuous insulation and sound barrier, but also a backing for drywall on the inside, and stucco, lap siding or brick on the outside.
What are the benefits of ICFs?
As the name suggests, insulating concrete form systems provide insulating properties for the concrete walls of a structure above and below grade. In residential construction, regular concrete foundation walls often require the installation of insulation after the forms have been removed. With ICFs, since the insulation remains in place, the insulation installation is not required.
Insulated concrete forms are lightweight, and many systems are erected like toy building blocks making them easy to install.
Insulating concrete forms can be used for residential below grade foundations and above grade walls up to two stories. Engineering designs may be required for larger structures.
Insulated concrete form homes can be designed in any style and will accept any traditional exterior finish, such as siding, stucco, or brick. In addition to the many functional aspects of insulated concrete form homes, consider the sheer beauty that can be added. Insulated concrete form systems accommodate any of today's most popular design features. Cathedral ceilings, tall walls and large openings are just some of the options available. Because concrete can take any shape or form, it can create an unlimited variety of curves and angles.
Secure - Quiet
The massive concrete walls of insulated concrete form homes provide a remarkably solid feel as well as safety for your family. Concrete has a proven record of withstanding the ravages of hurricane, tornadoes and fires. In sound transmission tests, insulated concrete form walls allowed less than one-third as much sound to pass through, as compared to wood-frame walls with fiberglass insulation. With double-glazed windows and increased roof insulation, you will rarely hear street or airport traffic, all of which disappears behind your insulated concrete form curtain of tranquility.
Energy Efficient - Durable
Energy savings and comfort are built into every insulated concrete form system. The thickness, or thermal mass, of the wall configuration buffers the interior of the home from the extremes of outdoor temperature variances. Foam insulation provides a high R-value, so with the combination of the foam and concrete, the wall allows minimal air infiltration. Over the long run, benefits of energy efficiency, disaster resistance and durability reduce the cost of owning a home.
For more on information on insulated concrete forms call 1-855-CX-BUILD (29-28453) or request a quote.