If you just read that and thought, “IC-what?”, then this article is for you!
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) are completely revolutionizing the way residential and commercial buildings are constructed in 2019!
We live in a multidisciplinary world where one product must perform multiple jobs at the same time – lest it is a strain on our resources. In this vein, it isn’t enough for concrete structures to be visually appealing, they must also provide greater safety, insulation, comfort, and energy efficiency.
ICFs are the eco-friendly solutions that our communities crave. In this article, we explore their benefits and analyze whether they are well worth the price. We also reveal how certified concrete forming contractors in Vancouver can help you execute your next project in a feasible and timely manner.
An Insight Into Insulated Concrete Forms
ICFs are a construction component designed from expanded polystyrene – a synthetic resin that is used to make rigid and lightweight forms. These forms aren’t left as is. No, they are stacked and reinforced with steel so as to become extremely durable molds.
Of what good are these molds? Excellent question! These are filled with concrete and, unlike regular forms, do not have to be peeled away but rather, form a permanent part of the assembly. When finished, ICF walls act as a solid monolithic container that offers a whole range of benefits.
How do insulated concrete forms work? In an ICF wall, each block is stacked upon the previous one and reinforced with steel rebar. This is comprised of concrete, brick, stucco or rock. On the inside of the house, plumbing and electricals go through the foam once the wall has been poured. Drywall is added to the structure after which a trim, flooring or any other finish is applied. While your house still looks the same, it now performs 80% better!
This is why ICFs have gained immense traction in recent times and are used in all manner of construction projects – residential, commercial, educational, medical, military, and high-rise buildings.
Benefits of Insulated Concrete Forms
As the name suggests, ICFs provide immense levels of insulation to the enclosure by serving as a thermal envelope. This is the best protection in all types of weathers. Below, we compiled a list of the biggest advantages that ICFs usher into the construction project.
Unparalleled Energy Efficiency
Rising energy costs are a concern for every homeowner and builder out there. The solution? Construct structures using energy-efficient forms that not only prune your monthly bills but also lessen your carbon footprint.
ICFs optimize your energy performance by reducing the air infiltration. Their structural strength and insulating properties have proven to reduce energy overheads by at least 57%.
Ideal For All Locations and Weathers
Their rigidity alone is a force to be reckoned with. ICFs are reinforced with steel, meaning that they are durable even in fire, hurricanes, tornadoes and all seismic situations. And because they prevent the entry of mold, your structure’s lifespan is indirectly extended.
Extremely Comfortable Living Spaces
When you opt for a regular concrete structure, the cold temperatures can easily penetrate through the walls and cause thermal bridging. This essentially makes the interiors uncomfortable as random hot and cold spots crop up in every room.
Insulated concrete forms do away with this issue completely. They have impressive thermal bridging properties so that they are able to block the entry of draft and eliminate cold spots.
Maximum Sound Resistance
Apart from simply keeping your living area free of outside allergens and temperature swings, ICFs act as effective sound barriers, and thus filter out any unwanted noises. They dampen vibrations as well, meaning even if you are situated in a noisy area riddled with industrial sounds, traffic, noisy neighbors and trains – you won’t be put out in the slightest.
Unbelievable Fire Protection
Most municipal building safety codes in 2019 now require enclosures to use fire-rated products so as to alleviate occupant fatalities in the incidence of fire. Steel reinforced ICFs offer fire-protective properties for up to 4 hours. These ushers in a great deal of safety for you and your family.
The expanded polystyrene is non-toxic and fire-retardant so that it can take great impacts and still maintain its structural integrity. Moreover, having a rigid core, ICFs can combat 400 kph winds so that you don’t have to bat an eyelid even in the most alarming weather conditions.
The value that you get to enjoy with an ICF is unlike any other. Because these naturally last longer than regular forms, they require limited repair and maintenance. This means that you get a great ROI on your capital investment – your wallet is not going to complain any time soon!
ICFs and Their Price Tag
Now with the plethora of benefits that ICFs bring to your project, they must be very expensive, right? Wrong!
A question we get asked a lot is; How much are insulated concrete forms? The cost per square foot for an ICF is around $4.10. However, it’s important to weigh this cost against the long-term benefits!
The labour cost to install an ICF form is about $5.70. Basically, if you were to opt for regular plywood, you would be spending about $13.48 per square foot. But with ICFs, you are spending a total of $9.80 per square foot!
Bottom line: The marginal savings per square foot add up, meaning that you’ll be saving thousands upon thousands of dollars when you go for an ICF as opposed to plywood.
Certified Contractors in Vancouver Can Give You Amazing Results in Record Time!
Pedron Contracting believes that a good foundation is absolutely vital. Without it, the rest of the structure is nothing more than a house of cards that deprive you of your comfort and safety. It’s time to say goodbye to shoddy services.
We provide amazing quotes and highly trained contractors to get the job done right!