Why Use ICF?
Wind and Storm Resistant - ICFs are constructed with reinforced concrete, which greatly increases strength and maximizes resistance to hurricanes, tornadoes, and wind-blown debris. We have constructed homes in Baldwin County, Alabama that were engineer stamped for 180 MPH winds using a 4" concrete core.
Fire Resistant - ICFs are manufactured using flame-retardant agents and have a three plus-hour fire rating. Consequently, ICF homes provide much greater fire resistance than traditional homes.
High Indoor Air Quality - ICFs are made with EPS foam beads. These materials are inorganic and cannot support mold or mildew. The concrete encapsulated by foam creates a virtually impenetrable surface for outdoor air to penetrate, resulting in much fewer outdoor allergens and such.
Energy Efficient - While the EPS provides insulation, the concrete thermal mass reduces temperature fluctuations due to the extremely slow rate of heat and cold transfer within or thru the mass of concrete. An ICF wall can easily achieve an "effective" R-Value of 50 +. This results in approximately 30-50% in monthly savings on energy bills.
Indirect Savings - ICF home owners can attain many tax credits and/or deductions for the use of energy efficient materials.
Lasting Value - EPS foam and concrete do not deteriorate, do not rot, do not weaken, do no mold, do not mildew. These materials do not provide a food source for termites or carpenter ants. Therefore, resulting in a home that will withstand the trials of mother nature.
Sound Barrier - An ICF wall provides exceptional sound attenuation(sound proofing). While a standard wood framed house has a sound transmission class (STC) rating of 36-38, an ICF home can achieve an STC rating of 50+. That's a reduction in over 2/3 of transmitted noise.
Superior Insulation - The ICF system replaces commonly used fiberglass insulation or spray foam with expanded polystyrene (EPS). EPS is made of a collection of closed plastic cells bonded together very tightly, therefore creating a very tight "envelope" for the home. ICF walls can easily achieve a "effective" R-Value of 50 plus, where as a typical wood framed home can, at best, achieve an "effective" R-Value of 25-30. This results in a extreme reduction in energy use.
Reduces Emissions - An ICF home reduces energy consumption by about 30-50% monthly, which results in an equivalent reduction in harmful emissions. The construction waste generated is also less than 1%, which reduces land filling and methane emissions. No CFCs, HCFCs, formaldehyde or any chemicals are used.
Conserves Trees - Each ICF home can save 30 plus trees, which absorb carbon dioxide and give us oxygen.