Insulated Concrete Forms
An Alternative to Wood-Frame Home Construction
The vast majority of homes in Ontario, and in fact within North America, are made of wood-frame construction. A very common sight when driving through a new home development is the familiar outlines of framed walls awaiting the next stage of the construction process.
For many people who are planning to build a new or custom home, this would likely be their default option as well, save perhaps for the construction of a log cabin or a retro-style stone farmhouse. However, wood-frame construction is not the only option for a new home, and for those with a particular interest in energy conservation, they might want to consider the alternative of insulated concrete forms, or ICF. The application of ICF technology is an area of specialization for the team from Ruppert Contracting.
Insulated concrete forms, more specifically their concrete core, provide a built-in and superb thermal mass; this translates into exterior walls with the capacity for retaining and radiating heat and cold, depending on the season, thereby moderating inside temperatures on a year-round basis. In turn, this can have a long-standing influence on heating and cooling costs.
Added Benefits Beyond Energy Efficiency
ICF construction technology was initially developed in Europe as a relatively inexpensive yet durable way to rebuild/restore buildings and structures damaged during World War II. Like many aspects of construction, it has undergone several advancements in terms of materials and processes since that time, and its adoption in residential construction has been steadily increasing since the 1970s.
In addition to its thermal properties, ICF construction offers homeowners several other very important benefits, including:
- Structural strength and integrity – up to 10 times greater than wood frames
- Sound absorption – blocks outside noises such as mowers, traffic, power tools
- Fire protection – minimal surface burning; four- to six-hour fire resistance rating
- Better air quality – comfortable climate, low probability of mold or dust production
- Resistance to unwanted intruders such as mice, termites, and other types of insects
It will be important to bear in mind that ICF construction represents the internal structure of a wall rather than its visible appearance from the exterior or interior of the home. Without delving too deeply into the specific procedure for erecting these walls, it may be helpful to picture a solid concrete core, instead of the gaps/spacing found in wood-frame construction, with appealing exterior and interior finishes or facades that can be found in or on any home.
To learn more about the construction technology and benefits of insulated concrete forms for your home, call the ICF experts at Ruppert Contracting today at 416-939-6029 to schedule a complimentary consultation.