Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF forms)

Insulated Concrete Forms, most often constructed of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation, are becoming a popular alternative in the northeast as they contribute greatly to an energy efficient, airtight building envelope. Typical insulation values for the ICF forms range from R-17 to R-26, compared to the R-10 (average) required by building codes.

Insulated concrete forms are used for the building foundation or the whole wall system for a house or garage. EPS ‘blocks’ are stacked atop a concrete footing, reinforced within and then filled with concrete providing the foundation or wall system for the building. The EPS forms remain in place to provide a high performance thermal barrier.

The walls of the ICF foundation are resistant to high wind loads, can be easily designed for active seismic zones, are resistant to moisture and are far less attractive to termites and other insects than wood products.

Exterior and interior finishes of all varieties may be applied to ICF forms; the majority of which have integral fastening channels or substrates for furring strips or directly applied finishes.

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