Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) floor and roof forms, represent Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) that have been grabbing the attention of architects, developers, contractors and self-builders.
ICFs are generally made in three styles; hollow blocks, planks,
EPS components create permanent forms to support cast-in-place concrete walls and floors – and even roofs in some countries.
The EPS form remains in place after the concrete has cured, and provide anywhere from u-values of 0.28 to 0.11.
ICF buildings are strong (bomb proof in fact!), energy-efficient, sound proof, comfortable (draft free!) and durable (120 year Life Cycle Assessment).
They provide a quick method of construction that enable excellence in design, whilst considering best practice environmental issues.
ICF and EPS building components are lightweight - this supports best practice H&S policy, whilst also reducing the machinery needs for cost effective site management.
Air (98‰) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) (2‰ Styrene) are the main ingredients in ICF/EPS building systems
ICF systems have different internal components called webs. They are usually made of metal, recycled polypropylene (PP) or high density polystyrene (HDPS), or EPS in older design blocks. All components are easy to recycle.
An ICF building will provide excellent results for Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), Home Information Packs (HIPS), and Carbon Management Policy (CMP), using comprehensive Lifecycle Analyses (LCA).
There are in excess of 150 ICF product designs internationally on offer. There are only 12 on the market in the UK at present. This gives you an idea of much choice there is out there for building with ICF, and how large the market will grow in the next few years.
If your ICF installer is experienced, your project should go well. However, if the brand of ICF chosen, and installer experience with the ICF, don't align, problems can arise.
Make sure your contractor/supplier is experienced in ICF construction, or offers project management with hands on 'training' for your crew.
Most of the problems encountered with ICF systems, can be identified before you design, build, or pour the concrete for the ICF project. So, take extra time to plan the project well, and search for the right supply chain partners.
ICF building is also competitive with other methods of construction, traditional and modern. ICF can offer better whole project costing, and more effective use of difficult sites, such as steep hills and flood risk areas.
ICF building also offers below ground options for maximizing small building footprints– a warm, dry basement for teenagers, wine cellars, gym, extra bedroom, or even an in-law suite!
Our Build ICF™ combination of professional design, engineering, installer training and / or installation, and product supply is always
a custom solution for your project.
Your experience, budget, location, and project type are at the centre of our customer services.
If you do choose an ICF building, you will choose have one of the most airtight building structures achievable - using many recycled materials for a long-life, recycled content building envelope, and.........you can save quite a few trees along the way...about 40 trees per mid size house in fact!