Builders and architects have utilized insulated concrete forms (ICF) in wall systems for both commercial and residential construction since the 1960s. ICF wall engineering provide several advantages over wood-frame construction: protection from fire and wind events, improved durability, and added energy efficiency. By using Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF), not only has it been possible to economically produce concrete wall elements, but the heat insulation properties (R-value) of the finished elements have been dramatically increased over that of conventional, insulated wood framing. ICFs wall engineering create homes and buildings that are more energy efficient, stronger, more sound resistant, and more environmentally sustainable than any other construction method. For years ICF wall engineering were used almost strictly for residential construction, but not anymore: the method is rapidly gaining popularity in commercial construction. Today approximately one-third of ICF structures are non-residential.
ICF construction is now cost-comparable with conventional framing. ICF wall engineering provides a number of advantages and benefits over traditional concrete block construction. First, insulated concrete forms result in a building that cost less to heat and cool over the life of the building, due to superior insulation properties. The material does not decay and offers the occupant extremely high degrees of wind, fire, insect and impact resistance. While ICF wall engineering are durable and energy efficient, they can also be difficult to construct accurately and efficiently. Constructing ICF walls is simple in concept, but is best done by well-trained specialized installers who have access to the proper tools, scaffolding and bracing systems. At Greenwood Engineering we are experts in ICF wall engineering and ICF installation. ICF walls are also thicker than conventional framed walls and can take up excessive space on the foundation, which is a particular disadvantage in smaller buildings. Additionally, ICF walls require a lot of concrete and are heavy, which may add to the overall cost of constructing the walls and foundation.
Properly constructed ICF walls are as structurally sound as any typical formed concrete wall. Proper construction means the system is installed as detailed and designed. This requires a different skill set for ICF compared to traditional cast-in-place walls, particularly in commercial applications. A handful of different ICF manufacturers exist in the U.S., all of which offer similar products. Make sure that the installer on your project is trained and certified in the particular ICF system specified. Don’t waste time or money with engineers who don’t know ICF wall engineering inside and out. Our seasoned ICF wall engineer can help solve your problems.
With ICF Technology, there is nothing to break, maintain, or to wear out. Your savings continue year after year, and ICF buildings offer unmatched protection from fires, storms, high winds, and other natural disasters. Concrete’s strength can lower your insurance costs and your building will hold its value for generations. ICF Buildings are also very environmentally friendly. ICF foam insulating building blocks allow easy building in the cold winter months and wrap residential and commercial concrete walls in a blend of quiet, strong, and energy saving construction techniques