Did you know that buildings made with insulated concrete forms, or ICF blocks, are six to nine times stronger than those built from traditional methods? The technology has been used for about 60 years in the global construction market. Here are a few reasons why ICF blocks are a greener, more cost effective option for newer buildings in the commercial and residential sector.
What’s the Truth About ICF Blocks Used In Construction Projects?
When a new material comes onto the scene, there is naturally some caution in response. Our buildings are meant to stand the test of time, to be resistant to termites, rot, and the weather. Tried-and-true methods are appreciated due to their predictability over time. When ICF blocks gained some popularity on the 1970s construction scene there was some concern over its performance due to it only being patented in the mid 1960s, however this material has proven itself to be a reliable choice.
What Exactly Are ICF Blocks?
ICF blocks are a little like LEGO bricks in that the forms are interlocking modular units. The blocks are essentially a formwork for reinforced concrete. The formwork is made with an inflexible thermal insulation, making it resistant to temperature changes. The durability of ICF blocks makes them a favored choice for buildings short and tall. The reinforced formwork complies with strict natural disaster building codes.
What About the Cost For Such Strong Material?
After considering the strength of a material, it is time to look at the cost. Oftentimes the best materials cost the most, but not so with ICF blocks. It is estimated that ICF blocks can decrease final costs by about $0.75 per square foot. That is an estimate, though. There are some building projects where the initial cost of using ICF blocks is a little more that traditional materials. Remember though that ICF blocks can be more energy efficient over time, creating a cost savings in energy usage. It is important to look at how the finished building will behave over time, not just on its finished day.
How Are ICF Building Blocks Energy Efficient?
ICF building blocks are insulated due to their formwork. This makes them act as good insulation for keeping the warmth in during cold months, and the warmth out during the hot months. There are other good secondary effects too. One great perk of the thickness of the blocks is sound control, keeping outside ambient noises out. Another benefit is better regulated humidity and air quality.
ICF building blocks can be a great choice when choosing construction materials. Due to its insulation properties, lower cost of production, and overall strength, this option can be a good choice for newer homes. New home buyers should talk to their contractor about choosing the best building materials for their project. Creating ICF walls for a more energy efficient home could result in greater cost savings over time, which is something anyone can appreciate.