Did you know that the use of insulating concrete forms in the US started in the 1980s? In fact, they date back even further to the 1940s in Switzerland?
An ICF wall system consists of hollow panels made of plastic foam. They’re formed into the shape of walls and then the center is filled with concrete. They’re used in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
Are you considering ICF walls for your home, but still unsure of their uses and benefits? This brief guide will explain 5 important ICF details you should know before buying this popular system.
Types of ICF Walls
There are several types of ICF wall configurations to choose from. This offers customization and flexibility for a multitude of situations.
Flat wall systems have a continuous concrete thickness of concrete and are similar to conventional poured walls.
Grid wall systems use a waffle pattern and the concrete thickness varies in different areas.
Screen grid systems use spaced-out vertical and horizontal concrete columns enclosed in foam.
Curved ICF walls use radius blocks that allow for curved shapes and further expand the possible designs and applications for ICF walls.
ICF Wall System Heights
There are very few limitations of height with ICF walls, especially in residential buildings.
Freestanding and load-bearing ICF walls are built as high as 48 feet tall. The walls are often poured in stages regardless of height. For example, a 9-foot would be poured halfway, then a second pour would complete the wall.
ICF Wall Thickness
ICF walls typically come in thicknesses between 4 feet and 12 feet, but it is possible to build them even thicker. 4-foot walls are generally only used for non-loadbearing applications like dividing walls for apartments or hotels.
ICF Walls Cost
ICF foundations and walls usually cost around $7 per square foot. The forms stay in place so ICF walls typically take less time to install than poured concrete and cost less.
Benefits of ICF Walls
ICF walls are so insulated that they often eliminate the need for additional thermal insulation.
They are extremely efficient at keeping hot and cold air in or out depending on the need. This temperature regulation can save homeowners substantial money on their energy bills.
Durability is another great benefit of ICF walls. They are resistant to rotting, mold, moisture, and pest infestation. They hold up very well in severe weather conditions like seismic activity and high winds.
The insulation of ICF walls also provides phenomenal sound isolation between walls. This is great for keeping a home quiet and tranquil. It’s often essential for multi-residential buildings and commercial buildings like theaters.
As mentioned above, these walls are quickly constructed and will save time and money when compared to other methods.
Are You Ready To Build ICF Walls?
Now you know what an ICF wall system is, how they’re made, and what benefits they provide. It’s a fantastic option for new homes or as an upgrade to existing homes.
Please check out some of our other articles for more useful tips and helpful information.