What Is ICF Home Construction? Green Building in Vancouver Washington
Another building technique that is becoming more common in green building in Vancouver Washington, is the use of ICF's. ICF's are Insulated Concrete Forms. Insulated Concrete Forms are stay in place forms used to build a superior concrete home. ICFs can be made from a variety of materials: Expanded polystyrene (EPS) - most common, Extruded polystyrene, Polyurethane, Cement-bonded wood fiber, and Cement-bonded polystyrene beads.
The majority of forms are made of foam insulation, such as expanded polystyrene (EPS), and are either separate panels connected with plastic connectors or ties; or pre-formed interlocking blocks connected with plastic or steel connectors or ties. Most forms have vertically oriented furring strips built into the forms on 6", 8", or 12" centers which are used to secure interior and exterior finishes. They are connected together forming the shell of the wall and then filled with concrete.
Local Contractors are increasingly taking advantage of ICF's for their green building in Vancouver Washington. Some of the benefits of building with ICF's are:
Minimal, if any, air leaks, which improves comfort and less heat loss compared with walls without an air barrier
Thermal resistance (R-value) typically above 3 K·m²/W (in American customary units: R-17); this results in saving energy compared with uninsulated masonry
High sound absorption, which helps produce peace and quiet compared with framed walls
Structural integrity for better resistance to forces of nature, compared with framed walls.
Higher resale value due to longevity of materials
More insect resistant than wood frame construction
When the building is constructed on a concrete slab, the walls and floors form one continuous surface; this keeps out insects.
Concrete does not rot when it gets wet
Reduces HVAC operating costs from 30%-70%
Construction methods are easy to learn, and manufacturers often have training available
ICF structures are much more comfortable, quiet, and energy-efficient than those built with traditional construction methods.
Designing and Building with ICFs help your construction project attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building status.
Insulated Concrete Forms create a monolithic concrete wall that is 10 times stronger than wood framed structures. As one builder put it, " The difference in quality is similar to the difference between Three Little Pigs' brick house and the one that was made of sticks."
As green building in Vancouver Washington accelerates, I am certain that there will be more ICF constructed homes in the area.
If you are thinking about building green in Vancouver Washington, give us a call. We work closely with Vancouver's premier builders and can put you in touch with builders who are at the forefront of green building in Vancouver Washington.
Read more about green building in Vancouver by going here:
Green Building in Vancouver Washington
Photo Credits - Mark Hall all rights reserved.
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