Making your home energy efficient with insulated concrete forms

white concrete house

Energy efficiency is the new must have! One of the biggest current trends in custom home construction is incorporating energy efficient elements into the design, and this is something that more and more of our clients have been looking for too.

The focus on energy efficiency is no surprise – having an energy efficient home can help save you money on your heating and cooling, electricity consumption, and help reduce your carbon footprint.

If you are looking for ways to make your new custom home energy efficient, why not start with the bones of your house? A great way to add energy efficiency to a new home is to have a custom home builder insulated concrete forms, or ICFs.

In a nutshell, ICFs are concrete walls which are cast in place between layers of insulation material. The walls themselves are made from many interconnected ICFs, which then create a solid, permanent structure.

From there, regular finishes are applied to the interior and exterior faces – drywall in the interior and siding, brick, stucco, or another finish on the exterior.

Once completed, buildings constructed using ICFs look similar to more traditional buildings, only with slightly thicker walls.

This method of constructing walls is extremely strong and is known to be energy efficient. ICFs are common in many residential and commercial low-rise buildings as they are a practical way to save energy.

More about ICF

ICFs have been around since the 1940s, but have definitely changed and evolved over time. The ICFs that you will see in buildings today are more advanced than the structures that were originally built, but they still have some resemblance to the older versions.

When ICFs were first used, construction companies were not familiar with the system, and this led to a large group of people lacking the skills and expertise to properly install ICFs.

Constructing ICFs was pricey and it was a difficult process to have ICFs approved against the building codes. To help fix these issues, the Insulating Concrete Form Association (IFCA) was created in the 1990s.

Their goals included researching ICF techniques, promoting product approvals, developing new tools and technologies to make ICF better, and helping ICF find its place within building codes.

With the help of the ICFA, ICFs started to be included in more and more construction projects, and many construction companies learned to properly build ICFs at a more reasonable cost.

Today, ICFs are found in a range of structures such as custom homes, mid-price homes, apartment complexes, and even hotels.

The ICFA estimates that around two thirds of buildings with ICFs are residential, which means that homeowners are taking advantage of these energy efficient structures. Using ICFs does not just benefit homeowners…
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