Insulated Concrete Forms, otherwise known as ICF’s, is a system for insulation forming that is made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) which is used for concrete walls and foundations. It is a forming system used for concrete. You can think of them as building blocks. Once Pete’s Custom Concrete installs your slab, the ICF’s get stacked in a staggered pattern to form your wall structure. This can be used for both commercial and residential applications. Once the concrete is placed in them, the forms stay as a permanent part of the wall. Once they have cured, the walls form a strong monolithic structure which is permanent and non-deteriorating. Pete’s Custom Concrete uses ICF’s with an inner concrete core 4-8 inches in width and 2 plus inches of polystyrene around it.
ICF was developed in Europe after WW2 as a cheap and durable way to rebuild structures that were damaged in the war. ICF manufacturers can be found around the US and Canada, and are making a variety of shapes and sizes for all different types of projects. ICF is rising in the market, and will be the future for constructing houses and light commercial buildings.
ICFs are energy efficient, durable, and environmentally sensitive. ICF walls can be made from recycled materials. They have a record of withstanding hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and tornadoes. These walls can withstand up to 2000 degrees for around 4 hours and the plastic foam used in ICF’s are made so they don’t burn by themselves, which helps save your home in the case of a fire. Insects and vermin have a difficulty getting into the walls because they’re so air tight, which is good for homes and businesses alike. ICF walls have a Sound Transmission Rating of 48-50, which means typical outside noises can’t pass through very easily. ICF’s also keep mold to a minimum and improve air quality better than regular concrete walls.
Everything in or emitted from ICF walls is non-toxic, and because of the lack of air going through the walls houses can be dust and allergen free. Because ICF walls are so air tight, proper ventilation is necessary to make sure there is a large supply of fresh air and exhaustion in structures.