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A Better Way to Build   


                                              icfbetterway1Why A Better Way to Build? 


Built to Last

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) have been around for more than 30 years.  ICFs are hollow building blocks that are constructed from expanded polystyrene.  The ICF blocks can be interlocked and stacked to form the exterior walls of a building.  Once stacked, the forms are reinforced with steel and filled with concrete.  After the concrete sets, the ICF blocks are left in place to provide an extra layer of insulation and allow the builder greater flexibility finishing the exterior of the walls.  ICF blocks provide a lasting protective envelope, designed to withstand fire, wind and other natural elements as well as the test of time.  Although most home and business owners prefer to stucco or brick the exterior, many options are available.

icfbetterway2Energy Efficient k Environmentally Friendly

ICF homes and buildings are extremely energy efficient.  Homes and buildings built with insulated concrete generally boast at least twice the energy efficiency of traditional wood frame projects.  The exterior walls of wood framed buildings typically have an insulation value, or R-value, between 13 and 20.  ICF projects generally have R-values between 30 and 50.  The larger the R-value of a material, the greater it's insulating properties in stopping heat flow. 





The high R-value in ICF homes and buildings is partly due to the fact that air leaks are virtually eliminated because the walls are poured seamlessly; therefore, there is no space for air to seep into your home.  Likewise, there are no convection currents within the



 the wall cavities.  Since ICF blocks encapsulate the concrete within the wall from both sides, the blocks provide insulation on the exterior and interior of the house.  These features create a more comfortable home because drafts and cold spots are virtually eliminated in the home.


ICF homes also benefit from a property known as "thermal mass".  Thermal mass refers to the ability of concrete to conduct and store energy (heat and cold) and release that energy back into the living space as temperatures change.  Thermal mass helps moderate the temperature in your home by keeping the walls a little warmer at night and a little cooler during the day.     


Building a home with insulated concrete is also good for the environment.  The materials used in concrete are abundantly available , contain recycled materials, and is itself recyclable.  The polystyrene used in the ICF blocks is non-toxic and can also be recycled.  Furthermore, the energy savings incurred by building with ICF technology helps preserve our natural resources.



Quiet k Safeicfbetterway3

ICF homes and buildings are much quieter than conventional framed homes.  Due to the double insulation and significantly thicker walls of ICF homes (11-13 inches) compared to wood frame houses (4-6 inches), most, if not all, of the exterior noises will be eliminated inside an ICF home.  According to the National Association of Home Builders, the sound tests conducted on ICF walls showed that ICF homes allowed less than one-third as much sound to pass through the exterior walls as do ordinary frame walls filled with fiberglass.  





Additionally, many insurance companies offer discounts to customers who build ICF homes and buildings.  The superior strength and durability of ICF homes is unequaled.  Concrete is one of the most resistance building materials to heat and fire.  ICF buildings far exceed the two hour fire rating for above grade exterior walls.  Furthermore, insulated concrete buildings offer far more protection against storms, high winds, flying debris, and tornadoes than conventional wood frame construction.  An ICF home can withstand up to 225 m.p.h. winds, or the equivalent of an F4 tornado!






Maintenance and Pests

Concrete homes and buildings need far less maintenance than traditional buildings.  Concrete will not rot, rust, or burn and is impervious to damage from termites and other pests.  Also, since the walls are seamless, there is less of an opportunity for pests to invade the interior of your home or building.  Concrete requires far less maintenance and costs significantly less to maintain over the life of your home than any other material.




      True Custom Building

Due to the elegant simplicity of the building block design, a home or building can be designed to your specific standards.  Need a tall garage for your big boat?  No problem.  Want extra wide doors for your entryway?  No problem.  Want eye-catching complex angles or window designs?  No problem.  With ICF technology, windows and doors are cut and blocked before the concrete is poured so as to preserve the openings and create frames for the doors and windows. 





Lasting Value

While building an insulated concrete project can cost a little more upfront (generally 5-10%), more and more home and business owners are realizing it is a smart investment.


Lower utility, insurance, and maintenance bills will last for as long you own your home or building.  The energy savings in an ICF home versus a traditional frame house can be as much as 65 percent.  In addition, ICF structures will maintain their value and command a higher resale price when sold.










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