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Advantages of ICF

Energy efficiency is the core feature of insulating concrete form construction because so many owner /occupant benefits stem from it.

Actual studies show that homes built with ICF exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable wood frame houses.

However, homes and structures built with proper complement of windows, doors, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, and methods, generally accomplish that least a 50% savings in heating and cooling. And in some cases, depending on the areas and climate, homeowners experience as much as an 80% decrease in energy use and costs.

At a time when energy costs are soaring, many building owners are deciding it makes more sense to spend money on a safer, longer lasting, and more energy efficient structure than to spend that same money on utility bills.


The Total Effective R-Value (U-Value) performance of BuildBlock ICFs consists of three factors:

a) the R-Value of the expanded polystyrene
b) the thermal mass of the concrete and
c) the enormous reduction in air infiltration (leakage).


First, the R-Value of ICF Blocks polystyrene alone is R-20, compared to wood frame’s R-9 to R-15. So, if ICF walls are expected to cut the conduction losses through foundation and above-grade walls by about half.


Air leakage accounts for as much as 40% of the heat load requirements of a wood framed structure. Nothing blows through solid concrete! ICF walls reduce air infiltration by about half, compared to wood frame.


But ICF walls do more than cut down the biggest types of energy loss. The concrete gives them the heat-absorbing property, "thermal-mass." This is the ability to smooth out large swings in temperature. It keeps the walls of the house a little warmer when the outdoor temperature hits its coldest extreme, and keeps the house a little cooler when the outdoor temperature is hottest.

As a result with the combined performance of these three factors, ICF walls actually perform as high as R-50 in some areas.


Insulating Concrete Forms

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