February 20, 2005
Insulating concrete forms (ICFs) are an advanced system for building both a home's foundation and above-grade exterior walls. Interlocking hollow blocks of insulating foam are stacked on foundation footings, reinforced with steel rods, and filled with concrete. The forms are left in place, providing superior insulation. ICF walls are solid with no air spaces or seams, making cold spots and drafts a thing of the past.
Once in place, ICF walls are ready for standard interior drywall and your choice of exterior cladding, brick or stucco.
The Perfect Canadian Building Technology
Given Canada's demanding climate, ICF wall systems are
the perfect choice for long-lasting comfort, superior energy efficiency
and outstanding protection.
The ICF "sandwich" of reinforced concrete and insulating foam provides exceptional structural strength and a high level of insulation. An ICF wall is extremely solid with much greater mass than typical construction, so sudden swings in outside temperatures have little impact on the temperature inside the home. No settling, shifting or warping means that repairs due to nail pops are avoided. Because the wall is one continuous structure, there are no gaps, cracks or joints to let in dust or cold winter drafts.
Strength and Flexibility
ICF construction allows incredible design flexibility. Curved walls, vaulted ceilings, longer floor spans, and large or shaped windows are all easily accommodated. Virtually any style or type of home can be built using ICFs.